Manchester Folk Festival 2018: This Is Now Agency Showcase

An evening showcase featuring Beans on Toast, Skinny Lister, Will Varley & Xylaroo at The Ritz as part of Manchester Folk Festival 2018.

After more than 10 years in the game, Essex born songwriter Beans on Toast has become something of a cult figure. He’s written and recorded 9 albums, he’s played every bar, club, venue, pub, festival, party and honky tonk you can think of and he’s showing no signs of slowing down, he’s loved every minute of it. He’s a hippy, a punk, a poet, a drunk, a die-hard romantic and an eternal optimist. Singing simple songs that tackle big issues. Political protest songs for the modern day, honest and open Love songs. Songs that will make you laugh, but also make you think with no holds barred honest lyrics and quick wit.

As folk rock’s rowdiest rabble since 2009, Skinny Lister’s world has always been filled with adventure. They’ve held gigs in Land Rovers. They’ve sung while wing-walking. They’ve toured in a narrow boat. They’ve stomped and jigged on restaurant tables, in hotel elevators and in record label car parks. And, as their two previous albums sent them reeling into the hearts of America, the UK, Germany and Japan – on headline tours and stints with Frank Turner, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys and the Vans Warped Tour – wherever they play their lusty shanties, punk folk roar-alongs and crazed whirls of love, fighting and booze, you’ll still find them out dancing with the crowd, passing around their flagon of rum or crowd-surfing to the bar to neck shots mid-song. Make no bones – Skinny Lister are the wildest party band you’ll ever get drunk with. And you will get drunk with them.

The heady sense of the unfamiliar suffuses Will Varley’s music – somehow so rooted in the ancient folk traditions we know intimately yet with a voice and lyricism that resonates unlike anyone before him. Perhaps it’s the collision of his relative youth and wisdom. Or perhaps it’s the times, and how Will is able to capture them in his soul-searching and musings. Will’s determination to never give up is an inspiration to other artists. For over 15 years, Will has honed his skills touring the countries open-mic nights (using fake ID to gain entry for many years!), he’s played countless tour supports for the likes of Frank Turner, Billy Bragg, The Proclaimers and Beans on Toast. He’s even walked 500 miles whilst playing a show each and every night from Lands End to his hometown of Deal, in Kent.  All of this has brought him to where he is now: revelling in the release of his 5th and very best artist album, Spirit of Minnie.

Xylaroo are Holly and Coco Chant – a sister duo act with a refreshing folk sound. Having travelled the world in their youth, starting in Papua New Guinea and ending in London via Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Azerbaijan, Switzerland and Kent, they’ve got more air miles under their belts than all the members of The Traveling Wilburys put together.Their shared experience of the world is vocalised in beautiful shimmering harmonies, with that special magic created when voices from the same family combine. Think First Aid Kit, The Staves, or Secret Sisters. As well as extensive tours of Europe and the UK, they have headline d Latitude BBC Introducing stage and played main stage Camp Bestival.


This event is part of Manchester Folk Festival – an urban folk festival. It takes place over 18-21 October 2018, in an around HOME and the city centre. Over the autumn weekend, they present an exhilarating range of events, with the spotlight on English folk.


  • Recommended age 14+
  • A booking fee of 10% per ticket will be added at checkout
  • Buy for 4 Manchester Folk Festival shows in 1 transaction and get 20% discount on ticket price