- by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date: Label:
I’m not sure but I think The Lovely Eggs might have been out on tour for the entirety of 2018. Fuelled by cider and an undimmed passion for all things DIY, Holly Ross, and David Blackwell have been nigh-on unstoppable. They’ve even found time to release one of their strongest albums to date, the psychedelically inclined punk-rock opus This is Eggland. Even a bout of pneumonia (David spent some time in hospital) didn’t come close to slowing them down. Tonight will be the third time I’ve seen them this year and I can’t wait.
As always the Eggs have brought some great support acts along for the ride. Taut, groove-led, rhythms, hummable hooks, drawled vocals and the kind of guitars that 90’s alt-rock dreams were made of. There’s a lot to love about Mush. I’ve seen the band a few times now but tonight’s show feels particularly energetic. Like the Duracell bunny pumped up on radioactive superpowers, the band delivers everything at full pelt.
It’s a strong set but they’ve gone and saved the best for last. The epic, 10 minute ‘Alternative Facts’ bristling with Television guitars and a tonne of 21st-century friction. The coiled up tension the band has built up over the course of their set is suddenly let off the leash with passages of wild and satisfyingly explosive noise. More please!
Back in February, The Lovely Eggs brought comedian Phil Jupitus aka Porky the Poet out on tour with them. It felt like something new, perhaps even a little risky. Porky was, of course, absolutely brilliant. With a shared love of Richard Brautigan and all things slightly surreal, it’s comedian-come-poet Rob Auton that now joins the band out in their veritable land of eggs.
“Ladies and gentlemen” begins Auton “those are the names we give to the toilets”. With a dry, surreal wit and a joke lurking around every corner, Auton has the Brudenell hanging off his every word. Pulling out a book of poems, he proceeds to read aloud (well, it wasn’t going to be in his head was it?). Highlights include an epic, existential crisis about water. Auton and audience channelling a little Edwin Starr as we chant in unison, “Wa-ter! What is it good for? Absolutely loads of stuff”.
He makes you think. I mean, are there crumbs in heaven and is the Lurpak complimentary? I haven’t laughed this much in ages. The final poem, ‘The Normal Song’, looks at some of the horrendous things that have somehow become ‘normal’ and finds Auton on passionate form. Absurdity, passion, poetry and a bit of politics. Auton, thankfully, is anything but normal.
I first saw The Lovely Eggs three years ago, they’d just released This is Our Nowhere and sold out the old pool room at the Brudenell. Now, those that remember the old pool room will know that it wasn’t a particularly big space. A few years later and they’re selling out the main room like nobody’s business. The Eggs have done all this, of course, on their own DIY/indie-till we die/ punk-rock terms.
Bursting from the starting blocks with an absolutely fierce ‘Witchcraft’, the duo is on blistering form from the start. Where early albums focussed more on quirky, Half Japanese-esque indie-pop, the material from This Is Eggland has dialled up the energetic psych-punk vibes. Repetition, fun and boundless energy is the order of the day.
It’s an energy that you can feel in the room. The Lovely Eggs are genuine, Gipton Wood party starters and make no mistake. From the relentless snarl of ‘I Shouldn’t Have Said That’ to the psych-punk wind-tunnel of ‘Magic Onion’, the duo gives it their all. Holly thrashing into her guitar and rocking back-and-forth as David propels everything forward. There are no half measures here.
The duo is undeniably passionate about what they do. ‘Would You fuck’ is dedicated to Lancaster City Council, the band currently backing a campaign to try and stop the closure of Lancaster Music Co-Op. We’re encouraged to go on our phones and get it signed. I’ll put a link at the end of the review so you can get it signed too.
‘Big Sea’ sounds particularly euphoric tonight, everyone coming together as part of the big Lovely Eggs family. The beautifully hazy ‘Hello I Am Your Sun’ and the ridiculously fun ‘Wiggy Giggy’ come next, the middle of the room a mass of sweaty, enthusiastic pogoing.
At one point Holly halts the gig and stops someone getting unfairly thrown out by security. Cheers and smiles all round as the party continues. The band's spiritual anthem, the delicately titled ‘Fuck it’, is a highlight as always. Scarves aloft (emblazoned with the song title) and voices defiantly raised in unison. See you at the next one?