The Lovely Eggs at Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

Support: Rob Auton| ILL
October 23, 2018 at Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
Promoter: Hare & Hounds

ILL kick things off with ‘Stuck On A Loop’ their bouncy, joyous most ‘pop’ moment. They’re great, a riot of impudent noise and colour, bursting with wild energy. Down here in the audience it’s Tuesday night, we’ve just had our tea and we’re a bit unprepared to be plunged head first into ILL’s universe of day-glo squat punk surrealism. They roar and rumble on. Harri talks excitedly between songs, they’re very pleased to have seen an armadillo earlier today at the conservation centre. She asks who’s drunk already and promises not to judge. Nobody is though and she concedes this is the problem with opening the show. Warming to the theme new song ‘Drunk Fighting’ sees her get out from behind her keyboards and square off with Whitney, “I love to swear at your mother!” finger pointing and railing before ending up in the audience yelling back at the stage, playing out the pointless circular idiocy of drunk arguments. It’s ace and if it’s a little too early to receive the chaotic and rapturous response it deserves, well, there’s always next time.

Rob Auton brings us into his own weird world as well, a crumpled carrier bag of poetry, comedy and metaphysics that’s possibly from the same cosmic shop David Shrigley frequents. He has a handful of leaves that he drops one by one to the stage, wondering what they might make of their first autumn. He ponders in increasingly convoluted ways whether or not there might be meat in heaven. “Do cows go to heaven only to be killed again?” Although he appears confused, he’s a veteran performer commanding the rooms attention. We’re completely with him by the time he urges audience participation in an absurd rhyming poem about the colour maroon that reaches an unlikely communal shout of “MAROON!” intended to banish the week’s frustrations.

The Lovely Eggs take the stage with ‘Let Me Observe’. A swooning, hallucinatory mantra among the raging punk rock of This Is Eggland, its slow repeating fade out seemed to offer up a perfect close to the record, a reverie rudely broken by the actual final track ‘Would You Fuck’. It’s the same one-two tonight but at the start of a set it launches us in with force, Holly sneers and shouts and smiles through different readings of the phrase. They channel their inner Ramones (never that far below the surface) for a four- or five-song stomp through the album before even pausing for breath.

Holly – The Lovely Eggs. Photo: Jared Dix

Holly has a sip on a can, warns us she’s not standing for any of this arms-crossed-Tuesday-night business, and they play ‘Magic Onion’. Something they share with The Ramones is an immediacy, a natural sense of rightness in the way the songs unfold that makes them seem simpler than they really are. They sound fantastic, loud and sharp, Holly’s voice strong and clear over the glorious fuzzy roar of her guitar and Dave’s relentless, elegant drums. She has a word about the current struggles of The Lancaster Music Co-op, currently facing eviction from the building where the band recorded all their albums, and urges us to sign the online petition. They follow that with ‘Fuck It’ and ‘People Are Twats’ to underscore their position. The brilliant set of songs from This Is Eggland dominate the set; I wasn’t counting but they may well have played the whole thing. They power through a few more, each one as joyous and infectious as the last, before ending on ‘Witchcraft’; and then they’re gone. The Lovely Eggs don’t do encores, because they’re bullshit. You can’t really argue with that.

 

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