Friday, 29 July 2011

Come on Ova

We’re no strangers to a bit of hyperbole here at Mint Custard but when we called The Lovely Eggs’ Don’t Look at Me (I Don’t Like It) – an effervescent 3 minute rush of Kenickie, Sultans of Ping, Jilted John and Half-Man Half Biscuit - as best single of 2011 back in January we might have left ourselves open to accusations of being a bit premature.

Instead, the Eggs (husband and wife Holly Ross and David Blackwell) have gone on to affirm their place in our hearts with their second album Cob Dominos. Packed with more musical left-turns than you’d think possible in 37 minutes, it’s full of homespun wisdom, heartbreaking tales of unrequited love, cider, sausage rolls, crap jobs, first class swearing and the loveliest anthem to paranoia that will ever be written. It also contains recent single, Fuck It which might be just about the best answer for anyone trying to make sense of the madness that has been 2011 so far.

Keen to find out more about the band who give us a washing line smile, we had a chat with Holly earlier this week. Here’s what she had to say…

Hi Holly - thanks for joining us for a chat. Can we get you some tea and biscuits, or pop and cake? Cheese and Strongbow. All day, every day.

Congratulations on Cob Dominos – it’s one of our favourite albums of 2011. What’s the reaction been like so far? Thanks. The record seems to have gone down quite well we think. People have swallowed it whole. We've not got many copies left so we're re-releasing it on beautiful 12” vinyl. Oh yes we are. They will be limited edition and all hand numbered. Each one will come with a special certificate of authenticness and a letter from us. It's gonna be special. They will be available from September. People can get them direct from us but we've not worked that part out yet.

Don’t Look at Me (I Don’t Like It) is a bit special. Did some of the expressions in the lyrics [sausage roll thumbs, dog dirt eyes, car boot bones] come from people you know or are they all made up? Most of them are made up. But some are real or at least an elaboration on something real that was said. We suppose it's inspired by some of the stuff you hear everyday in Lancaster. We've got some cob expressions up here you know.

There’s that word again. Round our way a cob is a bread roll. What does cob mean in Lancaster and what - if anything - are cob dominos? Cob means funny or weird. A cob domino is someone who's a bit odd you would say. My mum calls us it all the time. She says we're a couple of cob dominos which is where the name came from.

Print an Imprint and Books, Ting! remind me of those bits in The Office where they show how boring 9-5 work can be by filming the photocopier sorting paper. Have you had terrible jobs over the years? Well David was a printer before he started working at Lancaster Musicians' Co-op so that's what that's all about. I've done loads of jobs. I've worked in a newsagent, at a meat shop (grim), at a chocolate shop, I’ve worked as a care assistant in a nursing home, as a tour guide at Lancaster Castle, as a bar maid, I worked as a local journalist, a writer for a travel company in Paris, a TV researcher and then a documentary producer/director and then in a book shop. The shittest one was the meat shop. I am a vegetarian. I thought I could handle it. I couldn't.

Watermelons features a backing army of kazoos to lovely effect. Did you have a room full of people all playing at the same time? No, just me and David. I think that was done before the digital kazoo was invented. David made it up from a kazoo and a pound shop microphone. It’s patent pending. He likes to call it the electric kazoo, but I prefer to call it the digital. Electricity is more than 100 years old. Nobody is phased by electricity any more. They take it for granted. In fact I think electricity has always been there. It comes from the sky I believe.

You’re both sporting magnificent fringes on the artwork for Cob Dominos. How do you feel about fringing on other things – jackets, boots, settees etc? There's nothing wrong with a nice bit of fringing on a settee or, say, a cushion. I don't think we have anything else fringed though. No, not like that...

The incomparable John Shuttleworth is your co-star in the video for Don’t Look At Me. Was that exciting or had your paths already crossed previously? We had met before when he performed in Lancaster. We both love Mike Leigh's Play for Today Nuts in May and just hit it off. He is a very nice man who likes eating sausage rolls. Was it exciting? Yes it was.

Watching Mr Shuttleworth’s original alter-ego Jilted John the other day it struck me that - besides great fringes - there were some musical similarities between you. Who else influences you? There are lots of things that influence us, writers and poets and relations and stuff that happens to you outside yer house. I suppose what a lot of the bands we like have in common is they don't give a shit and are just doing what they want. For us it is bands like The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Huggy Bear, Nirvana, Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, Jad Fair, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. They were all doing something different, making their own sound, which is I suppose what we are inspired by. We like to plough our own furrow. There are no rules in our band.

You released your last single on a bank holiday with the following message on Twitter: New single Fuck It comes out tomorrow. You can’t buy it cos all the shops are closed. You won’t hear it cos it can’t be played on the radio. You’re not in this for the money are you? No.

Is there any chance of seeing the Lovely Eggs in Australia at some point? We would love to. We just don't know any promoters over there yet. That would be amazing if we could pull that one off.

Do you have fans that bring you gifts or make you things? We've got some lovely fans who send us stuff. We've had two fountain pens through the post. We also had some sort of whale sponge and someone sent us a poem. We often get drawings. I always write back to everyone. I think that letters are just the best. Emails should be clunked out. If you want to write to us our address is The Lovely Eggs, c/o Lancaster Musicians' Co-op, Lancaster, Lancashire, England, UK, LA1 1XD

Mexico Can’t Make You Smile continues the Twin Peaks references from your Haunt Me Out EP. What chewing gum would you like to come back into style and did you get to Washington State (where Twin Peaks was filmed) on your American tour? Yes we did. We went to visit North Bend and visited all the locations. We had a very surreal and slightly frightening experience at the motel used in the film Fire Walk With Me. We’ll tell you about it if we ever see you. We are slightly obsessed by Twin Peaks. We better stop talking about it now. Chewing gum…? PK.

We got to go this year and did something similar. The Double R Diner is still there and they do some very lovely eggs themselves, as well as a top cherry pie. Good place to do a gig? Don't even tempt us

For more Lovely Eggs visit their MySpace page or follow Holly and David on Twitter via @TheLovelyEggs. That said, when was the last time you wrote someone a nice letter…?

1 comment:

Oily Shoes said...

Cool! My favourite question and answer was the one about things people send.