The Lovely Eggs - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date:
The Lovely Eggs - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
The Lovely Eggs - The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

It’s Friday night and The Lovely Eggs are throwing a party. It’s an invite far too good to refuse. Out on tour in support of the wonderful This is Eggland album, the duo are in a celebratory mood. Holly laughs and reveals that she may have “peaked too early” after last night’s post-gig celebrations but is pretty determined to plough through nonetheless. A beacon of indie-punk positivity wherever they go, The Lovely Eggs are here to kick start the weekend. They’ve brought a few friends with them too. 

Those of us who get down early enough are treated to a set by Mr Ben and the Bens. From the Eggs hometown of Lancaster ‘the Bens’ specialise in the kind of big-hearted, joyful and charismatic indiepop practiced by the likes of The Wave Pictures. They start things off with the frankly gorgeous ‘Lovely Dog’; a song about mortality, uncertainty and Mr Ben’s dog passing away (RIP). There’s another song about the time he lost his favourite pen while the tender ‘Are You in Love with Me?’ explores unrequited love.

The bands gentle, melancholic and well-crafted indiepop shines all the brighter when the trumpet is introduced for the rather beautiful ‘The Same Rain Falls on Every Soul’ while ‘Nova Scotia’ unfurls some unexpectedly kick-arse solos. Fantastic songwriting and a real pleasure to watch, Mr Ben and the Bens get the party off to a great start.

Now for something completely different. I remember Stewart Lee talking about the time he saw punk-poet John Cooper Clarke open for The Fall. Clearly a formative influence and something that’s really stayed with him over the years, it always sounded like a good idea for a night out. Lee’s anecdote sticks in my head with the arrival of one-time Never Mind the Buzzcocks captain and all-round-decent-bloke Phil Jupitus. Except this isn’t Phil Jupitus people, it’s Porky the Poet.

Starting with a poem about crestfallen Beano characters, Porky owns the stage from the moment he steps out. Porky is (quite deliberately) a tad more disgruntled than his alter ego and lets an audience member chatting away at the front know early on that if he’d wanted to perform he should have come to rehearsals. Looking to all to all intents and purposes like Kenny Rogers dressed as a London lawyer (his description not mine); he really manages to connect with the crowd.

The whole room laughing along as he recites poetry about overweight mods at Paul Weller gigs, people who think it’s a good idea to jog to work and the perils of supporting Ska gods Madness on tour. It’s brilliant and I can’t help but think that this kind of thing really should happen more often. I must be a little star-struck as myself and a friend, rather uncharacteristically, ask him for a selfie after the gig. With Porky the Poet safely away for the evening Jupitus gladly agrees.

Much like Fight Club there are a few rules if you want to get the most out of a Lovely Eggs gig. First, if you’re stood at the front then don’t fold your arms. Second, enjoy yourself. Ok, so that’s not a whole lot of rules after all is it? Holly and David really do, quite rightly, insist on the first one and the second one should just come naturally really. As the saying goes, there ain’t no party like a Lovey Eggs party.

Opening with glorious, one-chord wonder ‘I’m With You’ from This is Eggland, the duo’s energy, enthusiasm and love for what they do is apparent from the get-go. I’m unfamiliar with the new album (picking it up straight after the gig) but the new songs work an absolute treat, as immediate and thrilling as we’ve come to expect. The likes of the ‘Hello I Am Your Sun’ and ‘Witchcraft’ showing the bands increasingly psychedelic tendencies with a healthy dash of reverb-laced weirdness and a taste for mild occultism.

A married couple, Holly and David have a tremendous amount of natural chemistry when performing; joking and laughing at each other between songs. It’s this chemistry that makes them such a brilliant band to watch. That and the wealth of great songs. It’s all but impossible to feel bad when you’re listening to the likes of ‘Food’, ‘Goofin’ Around (In Lancashire)’, ‘People are Twats’ and, my personal favourite, ‘Magic Onion’. Punkified, surrealist, pop-perfection.

You feel involved at a Lovely Eggs gig, never simply watching them passively from the side-lines. At one point Holy splits the room up into a few sections (much like Stewart Lee does- second mention I know) and jokingly sets us against each other in a competition to see who’s having the best party. A great communal sing-along of the bands signature tune ‘Fuck It’ proves that we’re all on the same page as scarves and arms are raised aloft in solidarity. This band really does bring people together. The Grateful Dead may have had the Deadheads but Lancaster’s finest have the Eggheads.


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