Lo-fi female fronted punk isn’t a new concept. But never before has it been so successfully achieved up-north than by Lancaster duo The Lovely Eggs.
Dubbed “as indie as indie gets”, the happy coupling of Holly Ross (guitar, vocals) and husband David Blackwell (drums, backing vocals) have created some of the most unique music you will ever hear.
Since 2006 the delightful pair have penned such songs as “Goofin’ Around (in Lancashire)”, “I Like Birds But I Like Other Animals Too” and “I Collect Snails”. Hopefully these titles may go some way in conveying the amount of fun that drips out of every line of lyric, driving beat and distorted chord.
As The Lovely Eggs prepare for a headline UK tour in early 2018, we spoke to Holly about life in a band up-north.
So how did the quirky band name come about?
Well I was living in Paris and David kept coming over to visit me and we started writing songs and stuff. One day a pigeon laid two eggs in an abandoned nest on the bathroom windowsill. When the eggs hatched we flew off to play our first gig in NYC so we called ourselves The Lovely Eggs.
And how would you describe your sound?
Like listening to Black Sabbath while reading Richard Brautigan.
Where is a good starting point for someone wanting to get into The Lovely Eggs?
All our records sound different. That’s what you get when you’re a band with freedom to do our own thing and have been going for over 10 years! Cob Dominos has got some of the more popular ones on like “Don’t Look at Me (I Don’t Like It)” and “Fuck It” but I personally really like our last one This is Our Nowhere which maybe is closer to what we sound like today.
My favourite is the new one This Is Eggland that we have made with Dave Fridmann, our first time working with a producer. But it’s not out till February next year.
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What influence has the North had upon your music? Is there something up here that can’t be found in the South?
Oh without a doubt. Being where we come from has a massive impact on our music. We couldn’t come out with the stuff we do if we didn’t live here. Where else do you get lunatic asylums being turned into luxury flats and men being imprisoned for feeding ready meals to pigeons? It’s the crazy nutty north and we fucking love it!
Being northern is just in you. You can’t really explain it. You just feel it and know it and you recognise it in other people who feel it and know it too. I suppose it’s just your culture and upbringing. It makes you who you are and you identify with others who share that.
Do you think that there is a quintessentially English charm to your music? Is it important to let your personality and identity shine through?
I think we are just two idiots making music. Make of it what you will. We are just being ourselves and that to me is important in making music. We can’t be arsed with all that posturing bullshit. With us, what you see is what you get.
With the upcoming tour you’re playing mainly independent venues, is it important for you to support these places?
Yeah. In fact we rarely play anywhere else other than independent venues. You sort of feel a solidarity there. Everyone is getting on with doing it on their own terms. Yes, it is fucking hard but is also perfect freedom!
With Angelica (Holly’s previous group until 2003), you had the endorsement of John Peel, but is it now more difficult for bands to get radio play? Is an independent music champion sorely missing from music?
Well there’s no one like John Peel is there but Radio One still played a load of bullshit back in the day (with the exception of Mark and Lard and even they sometimes had to play bullshit.)
BBC 6 Music is great because it’s a whole station dedicated mostly to new alternative music. Nobody is going to fill John Peel’s shoes but I’ve discovered some ace new bands on Marc Riley and Gideon Coe’s shows.
I think they get pretty much free reign over what they play and that is ace because there’s some fucking good bands coming through. And Marc Riley has really helped us out, asking us to do so many sessions and hammering our records when they’re released. He’s a good bloke that man.
Finally, The best thing about Leeds is….?
The Brudenell of course! And all the amazing bands like Mush and Cowtown and Drahla and Hookworms and Nervous Twitch. David used to go on holiday to Gipton Wood though so he would probably say that!
In 2018 The Lovely Eggs, with support from Phill Jupitus (Porky The Poet), play:
Thurs 8: The Yorkshire House, Lancaster
Fri 9: The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Sat 10: The Cluny, Newcastle
Sun 11: The Mash House, Edinburgh
Mon 12: Stereo, Glasgow
Tue 13: The Adelphi, Hull
Wed 14: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
Thur 15: The Cellar, Oxford
Fri 16: The 100 Club, London
Sat 17: Band on the Wall, Manchester