An oversized crowd squeezed itself into the upstairs band room at The Lexington in Islington. Like an amorphous blob moving between the bar downstairs – the only place to buy pints – and the toilets – the crowd eventually settled as The Lovely Eggs wandered onto the stage.
The husband/wife duo from Lancaster played their first handful of songs with routine confidence, despite beginning the day cleaning their three-year-old son’s vomit from their hotel room sheets. It was an on-stage anecdote that revealed something about the band. Lead by Holly Ross, formerly of nineties punk band, Angelica, the couple presented as road veterans uncoupling from their more irresponsible youth.
So to, it seemed, were their fans. Scanning the crowd – smattered with survivors of the Brit-pop era – there was a clear dichotomy in career directions, with near middle-aged men sporting pony tails over their faded black t-shirts standing next to businessmen who had removed their ties before coming upstairs.
Perhaps this was why the energy the band received from the first three rows, didn’t extend deep into the audience. The vast majority of the Wednesday night crowd gave a polite response to David Blackwell’s pounding drums and Holly Ross’ blonde hail flailing as she ferociously strummed her Fender Jaguar.
In one of her many friendly chats with the audience, Ross lamented those who chose to stay home to watch The Great British Bake-Off; a criticism she wouldn’t hold for those who would choose to watch Hunted over seeing them play the following night.
The tepid crowd warmed mid-way through the set, after a run of the band’s most popular tunes: ‘I Just Want Someone To Fall In Love With’, ‘Magic Onion’ and ‘Fuck It’. The last, a slow-lament, lead some to hold up a popular piece of Lovely Eggs merch: a faux-football scarf with “Fuck It” emblazoned across it.
The two continued to hit the audience with their consistent brand of catchy garage pop tunes, in two or three song bursts. A tactic, which the band claimed was, designed to regulate how quickly they downed their cans of Strongbow.
The quiet crowd stayed that way for much of the night – except when laughing along to the on-stage bickering between the couple about how much each was drinking – waking up again when the band finished with their catchiest tune: ‘Don’t Look At Me (I Don’t Like)’.
The Lovely Eggs bid The Lexington goodnight to a hearty applause, that dissipated quickly as the crowd filed out of the room without expecting an encore. It was a lively, and near technically faultless performance, by two legends of the Lancaster scene; poorly served by a mid-week crowd that might have been more enthusiastic on a Friday night.