Holly Ross of the Lovely Eggs live in Hackney

EGGY THUMP! – The Lovely Eggs And Friends Whisk Up A Treat At Hackney’s EartH

Despite its punning title, The Lovely Eggs’ new album Eggistentialism deals with some pretty heavy issues – documenting the band’s battle to maintain their famously DIY lifestyle.

Undeniably powerful on record, would these angst-ridden new songs about fighting to survive life’s slings and arrows fit comfortably into the duo’s typically (s)hell for leather live set?

Matt Catchpole (Words) and Sam Wells (Pictures) joined a packed crowd at Hackney’s EartH to find out

VISION IN BLUE – Lovely Eggs’ frontwoman Holly Ross. Picture by Sam Wells

It’s surely no accident that The Fall‘s seminal Hit The North is among the warm up tunes for tonight’s show as the bill features three acts from oop in the top half of our Scepter’d Isle.

First up are Loose Articles a Manc quartet, with more than a hint of Riot-grrrl about them.

Ramshackle but refreshingly confident, the band get the party started with songs about ‘hating buses’, ‘jobs where you don’t get paid’ and ‘going for beers with yer mates because it’s more fun and lasts longer than shit shags’.

On the cusp of releasing their debut album, they win over the audience with some sparky banter and promising tunes given added heft by an excellent drummer.

LIFE’S A RIOT – Loose Articles rip it up. Picture by Sam Wells

Performance poet Violet Malice is an altogether different propostion.

Armed with a few slim volumes, some PVC keks and the vocal delivery of Corrie’s Bet Lynch, Violet discharges a torrent of filth even Britain’s water companies would struggle to match.

Graphic descriptions of sexual shenanigans are recited with such comic timing that nervous giggles in the audience soon give way to full on guffaws.

There’s a serious message behind some of the compositions, but mainly it’s played for laughs and there are plenty to be had.

Violet’s, ahem, climactic re-imagining of King Charles’ and Queen Camilla’s ’80s tampon phone sex scandal will live long in the memory.

Pam Ayres this most definitely was not. Pubic Ayres, maybe.

Poet Violet Malice
PVC NOT PC – Violet Malice gives it to you chapter and verse. Picture by Sam Wells

Naturally, the atmosphere ratches up several notches when the Lancaster’s Lovely Eggs take the stage.

They kick off, appropriately enough, with the new album’s opening track Death Grip Kids.

For two people they make one hell of a racket and Holly Ross is the consummate frontwoman.

Dressed in a gold sparkly dress and trainers, she’s all over the stage, whirling like a dervish, throwing shapes and even at one point balancing on one leg – her other foot perched over the body of her guitar.

There’s an obviously close connection between band and audience – many of whom are waving ‘Fuck It’ Lovely Eggs tour scarves picked up at the merch desk on the way in.

TUBTHUMPING – David Blackwell gives it some welly. Picture by Sam Wells

A few tunes in, Holly announces she’s going to feng shui the room.

“Those who want to party come to the front and those who just want to look at me and be entertained can go to the back ‘cos that’s not what we’re about as a band,” she roars.

Joking that they’ve arranged for MDMA to be pumped in through the venue’s ventilation system, Holly invites drummer and husband David Blackwell to bang a gong and they launch into psych crowd fave Magic Onion.

“Who says the drugs don’t work?” asks Holly as the crowd go into overdrive.

The Californian surf vibes of recent single My Mood Wave help us forget for a second the miserable Summer we’re having, before Holly explains the Eggs have only only gone and dinged their tour van.

Having to fork out the £750 excess fee on the van’s insurance is a potential disaster for such a DIY outfit and a sign of just how hard the duo have to work to keep the show on the road.

But with typical ingenuity Holly reveals they’re asking all Eggheads to cough up a quid each to clear the bill.

It’s the perfect moment to play Fuck It (Oh Yeah) so that’s exactly what they do.

David, a smiling, genial presence throughout, is happy to leave most of the talking to Holly.

But he gets his moment in the sun when a mutinous guitar stubbornly refuses to fire.

Holly Ross of The Lovely Eggs, live in Hackney 2024. Picture by Sam Wells

Leaping from his kit to Holly’s aid, he uses his technical prowess to get the thing going again.

Then at her suggestion he shows off his own guitar skills, knocking out a few bars of the BBC Snooker theme tune before shyly returning the axe to his missus.

“My hero!” cries Holly, before the pair launch into a rapturous rendition of Wiggy Giggy.

Two more songs off the new album I Don’t Fucking Know What I’m Gonna Do and Gaia get an airing before Holly invites the audience out for a few beers and they walk off. No encore, no nonsense.

Much is made – not least by this reviewer – of the Eggs’ DIY ethos, inclusiveness and closeness to their fans and that’s all great.

But what really deserves attention is that they’re a bloody good band, who write great songs and on this evidence, understand exactly how to deliver them live.

  • Eggsistentialism is out now via The Lovely Eggs’ own Egg Records label and is available to order here
  • For more about The Lovely Eggs including new Autumn tour dates visit them online via websiteFacebookX and Instagram
  • Violet Malice can be found at her website here
  • Get the deets on Loose Articles by clicking this link
  • Holly Wells of The Lovely Eggs
  • The Lovely Eggs 'Eggistentialism' drum riser design
  • Holly Wells of The Lovely Eggs
  • Holly Wells of The Lovely Eggs
  • Holly Wells of The Lovely Eggs
  • David Blackwell of the Lovely Eggs
  • Holly Wells of The Lovely Eggs
  • Holly Wells of The Lovely Eggs

About the author

Full time journalist, music lover (obvs) and truly terrible guitarist. You can find Matt on twitter @matcatch

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