Is the Buffalo the only frigging venue Joy Of Sex ever play? I’ve got visions of them rolling out of bed to the sight of the ‘What The Fuck’ sign, rehearsing downstairs before the bar opens, then choosing lunch from the extensive and affordable food menu. They’re still one of the capital’s finest bands: stripped down to their two-piece core (insert obligatory reference to their Spinal Tap-esque drummer history here), Max and Rosie send out sleek scrapings of guitar, bass and machine thud, short songs that ride on that densely melodic bass and smart, non sequitur lyrics. As a series of minimal post punk grinners it’s hard to beat, even if their final, new song slowly forces a harmonica on the audience. Set eyes and ears for the split single with fellow local dudes Gindrinker, launched in September with a gig in… well, not Clwb.
Hotpants Romance start playing. Some people leave after two songs. Suckers: the detuned hen night racket emanating from the stage is pure joy. Guitars that clang out three chords, rickety as old sellotape. Drumming at great cardboard box level. And a vocal baton that gets passe to each of the three members, every other line – unfettered screeching that contains with it all the open-eyed fun of being young and alive. It’s the primitive weirdness of the Shaggs, ramped up several hysterical and brilliant levels, played by three women in hotpants and wilting beehives. They’re in a band because it’s a laugh. These things are allowed to be fun you know.
The genre I keep wanting to peg The Lovely Eggs with is ‘twee grunge’, a possibly unhelpful category that allows for the fact that every ickle affectation is countered with surprisingly hefty guitar noise. But naff off genres: this is more like a joke that everyone’s in on, surrealist ramblings that have more teeth than a thirty-something couple singing about dinosaurs and olives perhaps should. David Blackwell is the most reassuring drummer in music – bleak thoughts evaporate next to his superbenign face. Holly Ross, on oldish, girlish vocals and guitar has more charisma than a plane crash full of indie dullards. Together, they do what all great bands do – create their own unmistakable world, in this case through force of winning personality as much as crooked tunes. Call it Eggworld (if you’re a twat). But this is automatic good times stuff, and the evening’s been full of it.