|The Lovely Eggs, The Lexington, 26 October 2016. Photo by Darren Brooker|
Midway through the Lovely Eggs’ set, as they finish ‘People Are Twats’, two audience members hold up pre-printed signs reading I Can’t Believe I’m Missing Bake Off For This. Although in jest it’s a handy – if slightly confused – reminder of ‘them’: the outside world, the 15 million people watching three people make cakes fit for the Royal Family, the twats if you will, and ‘us’: the 200 people squeezed into a far-too-small upstairs London pub venue watching a Lancastrian couple thrash out shouty philosophies and observations on a battered drum kit and grungy sounding guitar.
After expressing incredulity that anyone would watch such a thing, Holly Egg reveals her and David Egg are big fans of Channel 4’s Hunted, a show in which contestants drop out of everyday society to go underground and escape the surveillance and monitoring of The State. Sticking it to The Man. It makes sense, the Lovely Eggs do things their own way. Fiercely independent, for years now they’ve put out their own records, organised their own tours, it’s their own DIY world. “This is our life,” Holly says with a mixture of quiet pride, ridiculousness and a hint of what-else-would-we-do?
Luckily we are free to enter the world of the Lovely Eggs and the best way is always via their gigs where they make the most sense. Some of their whimsical nature of yore has been replaced by a harder edged, heavier sound over the last few years but they’ve racked up such a formidable collection of singles their set is beginning to feel like a greatest hits. The latest 45, the wibbly-wobbly, suitably disorienting ‘Drug Braggin’’ opens proceedings, swiftly followed by one of the best and most harmonious, ‘Food’. New song ‘I Shouldn’t Have Said That’ is a frustrated blast of angry punk rock; and ‘Fuck It’ encapsulates the Eggs’ well-considered design for a happy and contented life. “Some people spend thousands going to Thailand to discover that, you can have that advice for free”.
A large part of what makes the Lovely Eggs so endearing is their humour and between-song revelations. We hear about the tribulations of taking a small child on tour (it’s their son, they explain, not a random three-year old); their capacity for cans of beer (not too impressive, although the previous point a factor here); thoughts on developing a drinks holster to negate the inconvenience of having to bend down to pick up a beer; and how to make onion rings pissed as a fart at 5am.
Although every song rapturously received the atmosphere is oddly subdued between numbers. Maybe a sign of respect and attention, not wanting to chat through a gig is commendable in my book, but the audience come to life more during ‘Allergies’ when DJ Richard Merrett, positioned above the stage with Idle Fret’s Darren Brooker, claps along in time through the song’s opening pause. “That sounds really good,” notices Holly, who stops the song to ask everyone to follow his lead. They do and it works wonderfully well. London, you started it…
If the Lovely Eggs had only made 2011’s ‘Don’t Look At Me (I Don’t Like It)’ they’d still be immortal for giving us the sheer bloody poetry of washing-line teeth, dressing-gown noses, dog-dirt eyes, wheel-chair hearts, red-wine smiles and the genius of sausage-roll thumbs.
They depart. No phony encore. If you aren’t too busy watching the telly or making cakes and want a cheery and beery night out, hunt down the Lovely Eggs.
|Many thanks to Darren Brooker (@IdleFret) for the ace photos|