The Lovely Eggs – Live In Manchester

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The Lovely Eggs

The Lovely Eggs / Violet Malice / Loose Articles

New Century Hall - 1st June 2024

How do you like your eggs? Tonight we will be enjoying The Lovely Eggs who are touring in the wake of the release of their seventh full length, Eggsistentialism. An album that many, myself included, are calling their finest to date. Eggsistentialism was born of strife and stress, in this case spending two years fighting to save Lancaster Music Co-Op, the community rehearsal rooms and recording studio where they live. Not to mention the raging dumpster inferno, we passed it just being on fire a few years back, that has been life in the UK for the past 14 years. It’s a shame that the worst of times seem to produce some of the best music, but that seems to often be the way of things, if nothing else it at least gives us something positive to cling onto.

Lovely Eggs

The Lovely Eggs are not doing the band part time, for David and Holly being The Lovely Eggs is a way of life. It’s about art, creativity and expression. It’s about following their own eccentric path, doing things their own way and operating on their own terms, in the process constantly spewing out music, records, art and television shows before piling in the van on a seemingly endless tour. Last time we caught The Lovely Eggs at Manchester’s Ritz the venue’s security somewhat hampered the band’s show and their plans to hold the finalè of the middle aged stage diver competition. Tonight they are free of the corporate O2 venue monopoly and are appearing at Manchester’s New Century Hall on the final date of their current UK tour.

Lovely Eggs

New Century Hall also has the Sadler’s Cat bar in the same square in Manchester’s NOMA quarter, which also bizarrely houses the Probation Service’s Manchester headquarters, it takes all sorts. With Tool playing at the nearby arena the bars are at capacity and getting a pint takes a while, but it’s stopped raining and the NOMA square is packed with people of all types before they splinter to their respective destinations. This is our first visit to this recently refurbished venue that has a distinguished musical history, from Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones to Acid House, before it fell into neglect. Now the venue is restored and updated, once you’re through the entrance there’s a definite tardis like quality once you’ve wound your way up to the cavernous hall. There is also some frankly next level lighting going on, and some quite reasonable beer, which never hurts. 

Lovely Eggs

The Lovely Eggs have, as usual, lined up a genre straddling collection of support bands. First up are up and coming Mancunians Loose Articles, an act that have been our radar for a while. After some rock ‘n roll preamble they kick into their unique post everything racket, as a support for The Lovely Eggs you should always expect the unexpected, however you are supposed to do that, but this blends into overall strangeness of a lovely eggs tour perfectly. Never quite sitting in one genre for too long, it must be said that their discordant post punk dissing of the local bus services would probably have made Mark E Smith proud. Loose Articles have Manchester in their DNA, irreverent and not giving a fuck what you think, at times a kind of 21st century Slits, at others maybe Elastica on a bad trip and even a Mancunian Cramps haunted by The Fall, whatever they are, they are the perfect opener on this warmish Mancunian summer evening and, like the Guardians Of The Galaxy, it ends in a unexpected dance off. 

Loose Articles

To keep the unexpected coming we get Violet Malice with a set of deadpan northern poetry that is not for the easily offended, initially addressing the dubious values of tinder interactions such as “I want you on all fours on my polished mahogany floor”, and that is one of the milder examples from Tinder Bender. This is followed by Posh Cunts, whilst she was delivering this poem I heard a rather plummy voice behind me say “she’s obviously never eaten an oyster”, sometimes poetry hits home right there and then. This was utter filth to some, hard hitting to others, and it must be said funny as fuck from my perspective, this set confirmed that poetry might well be the new rock ‘n roll. If you ever want to hear romance deconstructed then this is something you need to experience, hysterical responses from many, disgust from other quarters. This, from my own warped viewpoint was transgressive poetry delivered raw and direct, where she is not giving a solitary single fuck what you think, it was absolutely glorious.

Violet Malice

Finally we get to the finale, The Lovely Eggs themselves, with the intro the new album echoing around the New Century Hall which is obviously followed by the intense punky Death Grip Kids. From this point we’re off into whatever parallel world The Lovely Eggs inhabit, a world where psychedelia and punk are one, “saving the best til last” they declare that Manchester had “better fucking bring it”, no fears on that front as Manchester has responded with a packed New Century Hall. When we first entered the venue we noted the size of the stage given The Lovely Eggs are a duo. What were we thinking, size isn’t everything and somehow this duo shrink the stage, or possibly they grow into the space, regardless they own New Century Hall. Whether hitting us with two minute punk blasts or ten minute psychedelic epics, there is something utterly hypnotic and unique about a Lovely Eggs show.

Lovely Eggs

Holly is clearly up for tonight as they end their tour in style, the party may be starting tonight but it’s not going to finish until The early hours of tomorrow, whether their promise to dust the audience in pure MDMA was fanciful or I just drank more than I thought is open for debate. This was a triumphant homecoming, they aren’t from Manchester but we’ve adopted them and that’s that, whether they like it or not. There is no one else like The Lovely Eggs, they live this life, we’re just sharing their world for a few short hours, and it’s a privilege to be here, they cross genres at will, but are never less than utterly compelling. We are regaled with road tales including an exploding mini fridge, lost German tourists and a dented tour van (that was swiftly funded by the eggs community), despite all of this tonight was a celebration of a cross genre community that partied together tonight. This was where it all stared for this unique duo. they might be born in Lancaster but their soul is Mancunian. This was a homecoming and the crowds reaction to the likes of Wiggy Giggy and Don’t Look At Me (I Don’t Like It) only confirm they are honorary Mancunians.

Lovely Eggs

There is no fake encore, they just keep going to curfew, including the glorious duo of I Don’t Fucking Know What I’m Gunna Do and Dickhead, they promise to party in Manchester tonight as it’s also their 17th anniversary as a couple. Tonight The Lovely Eggs delivered a show that would have left even the most cynical critic almost lost for words, this was a celebration of overcoming adversity and pursuing what you know to be right in the face of overwhelming odds. For me The Lovely Eggs tonight delivered their finest show to date, at least that I’ve caught, and it is of course on their own terms. Given everything they’ve been thorough tonight’s tour finalé was a vindication and celebration of everything The Lovely Eggs stand for. What’s next for this unique duo, who knows, but I’m already looking forward to it.

Lovely Eggs

Live photography courtesy of Gary Hough from Shot From Both Sides