The Lovely Eggs,
Thick Richard, Arch Femmesis,

Clwb Ifor Bach

I was only vaguely aware of The Lovely Eggs before going to see their headline show at Clwb Ifor Bach, but it was a great show and I've really enjoyed listening to their music since.

I got to the gig early and catch Arch Femmesis, a punkish electro duo, whose set transforms the atmosphere of the room into a Berlin nightclub or an anarcho-feminist commune. Androgynous and propulsive, their skeletal drum-machine songwriting seems to engage the receptive Welsh crowd. I like their song 'Medusa', which I think they finished on - the singer writhing, snakelike, contorting around the microphone stand, voice fed through a harmonizer effect programmed to a discomfortingly atonal setting. The "chorus" consists of a wordless, blood-curdling scream; beautifully fucked-up with discordant intervals looming above.

Thick Richard is a John Cooper-Clarke-esque performance poet, who surprises the audience by seemingly appearing on the stage out of nowhere and rattling off an introductory screed. He's probably sick of being compared to Cooper-Clarke, and it's probably a bit of a lazy thing for me to say, but I think it's a good thing.

Thick Richard is hair-raisingly hilarious, using words like paper aeroplanes giving you a paper cut. Standouts include 'I Like My Rockstars Dead', with a line addressing the disappearance of Richey Manic, and 'The Shit That Killed Elvis'. There's a good piece about palindromes in which he points out that the words 'tit' and 'boob' are both palindromes.

I really like his poem 'Leftover Soup' as well - it's a fragmented mashup of cutting-room-floor lines which he deleted from other poems he's written. As a songwriter, I can relate to this, as I'm always carrying around weird lines that don't seem to fit anywhere, and sometimes they do eventually find their place.

After concluding on some kind of bizarre sexually explicit, drawn-out metaphor, he shouts something like "that's what the inside of my head is like all the fucking time". It's been good to be inside his head for a bit - he's a riotously funny and talented Mancuncian rock-n-roll poet, shouting scorched words from the gutter, raw peeled-back exposed.

More bands should have poets and comedians open for them, it makes for a more interesting night, I reckon.

The Lovely Eggs are up next, and they take us somewhere otherwordly and special. Their fifth album Welcome to Eggland came out in 2018, and the title feels appropriate for the divided island of Britain in 2022. I feel like the band is looking out at all the madness from their own eccentric position, taking us on a psychedelic trip to another place, with a wry smile.

They make a powerful sound.Holly Ross seems to have an octave pedal on her guitar, filling the sound out so you don't really notice the lack of a bassist. It's a pleasingly fuzzed-up trashy noise. David Blackwell is a powerful drummer. The set is an epic, comprehensive display of songwriting genius and unaffected, deadpan yet powerful stage presence.

There's some funny banter about the 'middle-aged crowdsurfing competition' and some affectionate words for Cardiff at the expense of the poshness of Stroud, the last place on the tour. There's some interesting effects on Holly's vocals, some kind of lo-fi distorted delay. Her voice is childlike and unpretentious, full of wit, innocence and confusion.

My favourite tracks are 'Fuck It' and the amazing singalong 'Wiggy Giggy', which is kind of like two songs stuck together, an absurd children's song-type chant that segues into a fuzzy garage rock classic with a beautiful melody. It's stuck deep in my head at the moment.

I leave Clwb and walk home with a big stupid smile on my face. I've got egg on my face, and it's lovely.


Words : Tom Emlyn

Cardiff Pix : Rosey
More here
(apologies for lack of Thick Richard, Arch Femmesis pix-
my train was very late)
Cambridge Pix : Theo
More and review here

Visit Eggland here

Big thanks to Rob at Sonic PR for sorting this out for us.