Any night that ends in a seedy snooker bar alongside the bands is a good one. Indeed, as Beans on Toast and Skinny Lister graced Manchester’s O2 Ritz on the second night of their Double Trouble tour, it turned out to the best escape from a windy Manchester night possible.
Showcasing his new album, Cushty – set for release, as is tradition for him on 1 December – Beans on Toast took to the Ritz with the addition of a full band. Suitably shambolic – a last-minute decision to play ‘Fuck You, Nashville’ resulting in Bobby Banjo forgetting the chords, a call for requests resulting in indeterminate yells – but as fun as ever, Beans on Toast displayed his ability to evoke all manner of emotions. From protest songs against fracking – ‘Major Oak’ – to heart-warming love songs like ‘Jamie & Lilly’ and tales of questionable drunken promises (see new single, ‘The Unlikely Gymnast,’ Beans on Toast introduced us to an album that will have you crying about how much you love your partner while sending angry emails about the environment to the government – and all while making you laugh.
6-people strong, Skinny Lister stormed the stage next for an hour of unrelenting energy. With vocalist Lorna at one point joining the crowd to test the Ritz’ infamous bouncy dancefloor, before later handing round a bottle of some indiscriminate throat-burning liquid, the band graced the venue with an energy that’s no doubt difficult to keep up. But they do, and as they play firm favourites like ‘Beat It From the Chest’ as well as their their new Christmas single ‘Christmas Calls’ (it’s definitely too early, but it’s hard to be a scrooge when Skinny Lister are on stage) it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to refrain from dancing.
With both bands then drinking well into the night at the Rainbow Snooker Club, kudos is due to them if they manage to keep this up for a 16-date tour; which we’ve no doubt they will.