Review and Photography by John Bentley

The Lovely Eggs, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

It’s a bit of an odd coincidence, but with The Lovely Eggs I have now reviewed three bands in a row made up of married couples. The Eggs are Holly Ross and David Blackwell from Lancaster. Holly sings and plays guitar and David is the drummer, which sounds like a sort of English White Stripes, with gender reversal. However, the Stripes were steeped in the American blues and rock, whereas the Eggs look more towards a punk tradition with a distinct northern English edge.

Sweet Deals on Surgery, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

Opening three-piece band tonight, Sweet Deals on Surgery describe themselves as ‘noise-pop scuzz punk’, their name apparently taken from a song by Burning Airlines. And pretty raw they are too, playing fast and noisy, with lots of rhythm changes – and with a broken cymbal on the drum kit (which looks like a piece has been bitten out of it). Plenty of energy and attitude on display in this Manchester band. And there are song titles like ‘Elvis Costello is a Wanker’.

Zvilnik, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

Preston band Zvilnik present us with an interesting musical mash-up, which seems to draw on quite a range of influences, including punk, Black Sabbath, prog, fractured Beefheartian-type arrangements, jazz and ….er….cabaret! Plus lyrical content, sung by the powerful voiced Lyndsey Wilson, referencing some serious ideas and literary sources, like ‘This Dumb Machine’ (from their debut album ‘Sparkle Motion’), which discusses the intelligence or lack of it in machines. Apparently the band describe themselves as ‘burlesque science rock’.

The Lovely Eggs, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

The facts that musician and comedian John Shuttleworth appears in one of The Lovely Eggs’ videos and that David Blackwell has a Ramones-style haircut are significant. Both Shuttleworth (including his one-time alter ego Jilted John) and The Ramones sing about mundane everyday subjects, whether it’s someone pinching your girlfriend or about sniffing glue. And so it is with The Lovely Eggs, who avoid clichéd rock ‘n’ roll subjects and are more interested in why people are twats or why someone is staring at them.

The Lovely Eggs, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

The Lovely Eggs have been around as a band since 2006 and have clocked-up a fair bit of radio airplay and enthusiastic support from DJs like Huw Stephens, Marc Riley and Steve Lamacq. In fact another radio session with Marc Riley, where they will be previewing their forthcoming new album, is scheduled for 21st April. They are in a long-standing DIY punk tradition, but at the same time they manage to be truly original one-offs, witty and interesting. And they make a fantastic noise, with tunes, riffs and lyrics that seem to stick in your head after only one hearing.

The Lovely Eggs, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

The Eggs are as down to earth as they can be, setting up their own gear and ambling on stage with no ceremony. The set comes from their three albums so far, plus some new material, including the, rather good, new single ‘Magic Onion’, which is perhaps best described as punk-psychedelia. Their music videos on You Tube are very DIY and very entertaining and are highly recommended. The new material suggests that the music is becoming more elaborate and ambitious, while still maintaining its raw appeal.

The Lovely Eggs, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

The band’s home town of Lancaster is only just up the road from Preston, so they have a bit of a local following here at The Continental. Favourites like ‘I Just Want Someone to Fall in Love With’, ‘Allergies’, ‘People are Twats’, ‘Food’ (“I want to masticate with you”) and ‘Digital Accordion’ go down a bomb. ‘Fuck It’, their unplayable-on-radio single, goes down particularly well too.

The Lovely Eggs, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

There’s a good bit of banter. Someone at the back shouts “Where’s your cap, Dave?” There’s laughter at this in-joke. Holly explains that David has OCD and is continually worrying about forgetting things. They’ve even written a song about it (‘Panic Plants’, not played tonight). The show ends with another early single ‘Don’t Look at Me (I Don’t Like It’), the track that features John Shuttleworth on the video. The Eggs gather their stuff together and leave the stage. There’s no encore, they definitely don’t believe in that sort of bullshit. They head for the back of the hall and hang around by the merchandise table chatting to people as they leave.

The Lovely Eggs, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

The Lovely Eggs, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

I knew little about The Lovely Eggs before the gig, apart from hearing them in passing on the radio. But after a day listening to their stuff on You Tube and hearing their set at The Continental, I really am a convert. I purchased a copy of last album, ‘Wildlife’ on the way out and it’s been on continuous play on the CD player all day while I’ve been writing this review. I look forward to the new album.

The Lovely Eggs, The Continental, Preston, 19-3-15

2 Responses to “The Lovely Eggs + Zvilnik + Sweet Deals on Surgery at The Continental, Preston, Lancashire, UK – 19th March 2015”

  1. Paddy Says:

    The Eggs were superb, so much noise from so few people! Food was a particular highlight, and the understated intro to it… “so… does anyone like food?”

    Cheers for the review, and for taking the time to listen to the supports as well as the main event :)

    Minor correction, we in Zvilnik describe ourselves as “baffling cabaret rock”, not burlesque. I can guarantee that not one of us would be seen sporting a public nipple tassel, even if if 50% of the members of the band can make such things swing in opposing directions at the same time 😉

  2. john bentley Says:

    Sorry! I got that ‘burlesque’ bit from an internet source, which just goes to show that you can’t always rely on what you read. I always listen to the support acts. There are so many good ones around and every band has to start somewhere.

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