If you ever have the honour of going to a Skinny Lister gig, be prepared to sweat and dance – a lot. On the 23rd of November, in the basement of Òran Mór, Skinny Lister teamed up with Beans on Toast for a joint headline gig as part of their Double Trouble tour.
It has been three years since Skinny Lister last played Glasgow, a gig at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’s, which entered my top five favourite gigs, where it remained until last night ,when it was pushed down the rankings.
The opening act was Beans on Toast, promoting his new album Cushty. Don’t be put off by the name, Jay McAllister, aka Beans on Toast, his pseudonym might be the staple student meal the week before SAAS is due, but what he produces is something far more exhilarating. McAllister has a strong Essex accent and seems to talk rather than sing, but the strength of his politically charged lyrics are more than enough to entertain you for the set. These lyrics received plenty of laughs and cheers from the unsurprisingly rowdy Glasgow audience.
However, Beans on Toast was able to segue into two back-to-back love songs that reduced the previously raucous audience to a pensive and tearful silence. The dramatic shift in mood was unlike anything else I had experienced at a gig.
The unassuming and simple set-up of the slightly raised stage with the seated band suited the stripped-back surroundings. A purple backdrop which we were told was made by McAllister’s mother-in-law, Yvonne, was the only decoration. He does not need stage production to captivate an audience.
After a short interval, the purple curtain backdrop dropped to reveal the Skinny Lister motif and the six-piece bounded on stage and immediately began their exuberant performance. I’ve seen many a mosh pit before at a gig but Skinny Lister seemed to have the magic touch to make dancing pits a thing. Their trademark flagon of rum was passed round the already thriving crowd and, shortly after, the entire crowd was dancing together.
The set list contained old songs such as ‘Rolling Over’ and ‘If the Gaff Don’t Let Us Down’ as well as new songs from their album; The Devil, The Heart & The Fight. The curfew came all too soon but the band were persuaded to play one more tune after many chants from the rum-fuelled audience and played ‘Forty Pound Wedding’ before inviting Beans on Toast back on stage to end the night together.
The audience climbed back up to the chilly streets of Glasgow’s West End, breathless and sweaty, with pounding heads – from both the music and the rum – with the closing words of the bands still ringing in their ears: “chill the fuck out and be happy.”
By Rebecca Gallacher