Tunabunny in the UK, part three
The late night drive back to London is hilariously fun, with Russell buying doughnuts for everyone and dancing madly in his seat to Radio One’s Friday night rave-up. Everything about the next morning’s plan goes off without a hitch — except for the fact that Rough Trade doesn’t have any T-shirts in my size. The one fucking thing I wanted. Grumble.
The London show is eagerly anticipated, at least by one person, and it doesn’t disappoint. Skinny Girl Diet are so good that all four Tunabunny members, along with Mike, have independently bought one of their T-shirts by the end of their set. Mary Jane wears hers during our show and Brigette gets hers autographed.
Ethical Debating Society are next. They’re so good I wish I’d had more money to spend on T-shirts.
Shrag close out their tour with an absolutely incendiary set. Russell ends the last song by slamming his bass — the bass I am about to play — into the ground repeatedly. This is our last show, and throughout the tour we’ve tried to be as respectful to Shrag’s instruments as we possibly can. It hasn’t always been easy. Back home we tend to throw our own gear all over the stage, out of frustration and joy. But now that Russell has abused his bass so thoroughly (the fretboard also has a crack from where he fell in Liverpool) I figure it’s OK for me to take a few whacks at the cymbals with it.
For whatever reason, the band is in a particularly pissed off mood. Before the first song is over, Brigette has already knocked her guitar out of tune from strangling it against the microphone stand. And my hand is bruised from punching the bass over and over. Mary Jane’s already jumped into the audience twice in the first five minutes. In the sports world, this is known as ‘finishing strong’.
Throughout the tour we’ve kind of disingenuously playing this game with Shrag. Once they started getting all freaked out by how we’d change up our set from night to night, it became a fun kind of challenge to see what else we could do — partly to keep things interesting for ourselves, and partly to fuck with Shrag a little bit. But they have no idea that we’ve managed to save our best, and strangest, for last.
‘Outer Space Is The Center Of The Earth’ is the first song we ever released. We chose it, in part, as a test to our new label, to see how much freedom Mike was actually willing to give us. The piece Everett wrote about it is one of the most rewarding articles anyone’s ever written about us. To be mentioned alongside Sonic Youth, Kraftwerk, and Can … well in our world that’s the highest praise you could ask for.
I’d also like to point out that Everett wrote about Tunabunny long before any of us wrote for Collapse Board.
Anyway, this is the last song of our tour. Thanks to the guy who filmed and posted it. And thanks to Ethical Debating Society for loaning us a battery and an extra drum stick. And thanks to everyone for coming out. And thanks to Shrag for laughing at my jokes and being patient with my dark moods. And thanks to you for reading. Around the five minute mark, I surf the keyboard stand into the ground. Dalston Beach Party.
This song was so satisfying, as an ending, that Tunabunny could never play another note of music again and it would make for a perfect closing to our story. What began as little more than a weird art experiment four years ago has managed to take us places we never could have imagined. Back when we were just four friends goofing around in a spare bedroom, we used to imagine what it would be like to actually play a show — in front of people.
As it turns out, we’ve already recorded most of our third album. It should be out sometime around August. It will make three albums in three years. And yes, we’ll be returning to Britain. I don’t think I’ll be doing another tour diary though. [Brigette’s turn, right? – Ed]
In one sense, the story ends here. But we still needed to get back home. And that would turn out to be the biggest challenge of all.