THE LOVELY EGGS + ROB AUTON + THE BUG CLUB, April 14th
The Lovely Eggs + Rob Auton + The Bug Club
Wales’ The Bug Club are slightly surreal, but cuddly in the extreme, and peddle a rather nice line in alternative rock. Imagine The Sundays, The Wedding Present and Half Man Half Biscuit rolled into one package, and you’d have something approaching their bittersweet sound. Tonight’s set is primarily pulled from their Pure Particles EP with ‘If My Mother Thinks I’m Happy’ and ‘The Word Of God’ going down particularly well. ‘My Baby Loves Rock N’ Roll’ gives a nod to the Velvet Underground but new single ‘Lay Down Your Roses’ is all Bug Club, and its sweet, infectious harmony will rattle round your cranium for several days. On the strength of tonight’s performance, I’m sure The Bug Club will be back soon...but next time as headliners, me thinks.
With his long hair and beard comedian Rob Auton cuts a rather cult-leader, messianic type figure,kind of like Charlie Manson in reverse. He’s come to share his irreverent worldview with a sold-out Black Prince. With a decidedly deadpan delivery he explores such weighty topics as "where does the sky start?", and the cut of his jib certainly goes down a storm. I initially wondered how well a comedian would slot into this bill but Rob bastardises The Temptations’ ‘War’ and with plenty of crowd participation turns his set into a quasi-rock gig - and it’s all good.
With their unique brand of psychedelic punk, The Lovely Eggs have carved out a unique niche for themselves and it’s safe to say that their live show is an experience like no other. Defiantly DIY, The Lovely Eggs have, with little help, toured nationwide and released a bumper crop of albums and singles. It’s their last two 7” singles (both released in 2020) that open the show. ‘This Decision’ is a fuzzed-up rocker that’s high on adrenaline, but an other-worldly mid-section provides a brief moment of respite before a scything riff returns to lop off our heads. Like Hawkwind on cheap amphetamine ‘Still Second Rate’ follows and it’s just as delicious as its predecessor. Vocalist Holly barks her lyrics, and they arrive as if sent into space and then beamed back via the moon while her partner in crime, David pounds the skins and the two combine to create a punishing beat. ‘Magic Onion’ is just as good as the title suggests, and finds Holly stalking the stage whilst holding her guitar like a gun. It’s a weapon that fires unearthly power chords before she stands on one leg, stork-like, to deliver the cryptic ‘Slug Graveyard’. A capacity crowd are only too happy to sing along with ‘Fuck It’ and it’s a track which makes a fine precursor to the Bank Holiday weekend. The Lovely Eggs don’t do encores but with fair warning ‘Return To Witchcraft’ makes for an abrupt closer and, like driving into a brick wall, it’s the only way to go.
Words Pete Dennis, Photos David Jackson