Shrag vs Tunabunny Tour Diary: Day 9

Day 9: A Fog of Chips in Nottingham

2nd March 2012

Bob: Day 9 has been etched into the unreliable personal organiser known as my brain for some days now. It’s the day I retrieve my coat and camera from Stafford Services (Northbound). Someone from Tunabunny sings “Reunited” by…  *consults google* Peaches and Herb. It’s an appropriately schmaltzy song for the occasion. Oh man I’m gonna properly slow dance with that coat when I see it! To see it, however, requires a 40 mile detour off route for which I stump up £30 for petrol. I still don’t know if that was enough. It was an uneducated guess.

One detour later we are back on route for Nottingham. I know little of this town/city. I once spent an entire Dot to Dot festival camped out backstage at Rock City because there was a monsoon raging outside. Today the sun is shining, but all I wanted was a power outlet to charge my iPhone (Painfully late note to self – analogue maps do not run out of batteries) so I head for a Wetherspoons as soon as we arrive and park myself near a plug socket.

We meet James Sharpe, the very talented director of the promo for Tendons in the Night, in Nandos after soundcheck and the only American we persuade to join us is Mike. Mike has not experienced the delights of this reliable high street chain before, but inexplicably goes for a green salad and creamed potato.

Back at the venue I notice that the proprietor doesn’t like serving water. There’s a sign saying ‘water for paying customers ONLY’. I bite the bullet and ask him for a water. He hates me. I can see it in his eyes. It’s not the withering look I regularly get from Scott. It’s different. Proper malice. I get half a tumbler of tepid water and slope off to the gallery where Horowitz are playing.

Horowitz are two men and a drum machine who we’ve played with many a time. They make quite a racket with their two guitars duelling away over a backing track. It’s melodic and noisy and I’m warming to the venue. Tap water is free if you have a receptacle. And strangely colder. Was he turning the hot tap perchance? Anyway it proves an adequate holder for the Chianti I smuggled in so I move on to that.

Tunabunny mix it up again. Brigette paces up and down in front of the stage while the bass throbs a single note. This goes on for some time. She’s not having second thoughts is she? Of course not. It’s that element of surprise we know and love. Soon she’s back on stage and they tear through an untidy but brilliant set.

And now it’s our turn. Russell decided earlier that he misses More Than Mornings – the song that tumultuously closed our set for the best part of two years – and wants to resurrect it. At least the one note crescendo bit. I’m up for this. Not all of Shrag seem convinced but Russell says he’s gonna go for it anyway and see who joins him. In the end we all do. Of course we do. And it’s faster than normal. Really fast. So fast there is nowhere to go except throw ourselves to the ground and make as much noise as is (un)musically possible.

We emerge from the rubble of the final song and notice that the audience are still there. And they are clapping. That was fun. Let’s do it again tomorrow. Spontanaiety schmontanaiety.

No time to hang around. Tonight I sleep in my actual bed as we are winging it back to London. But first a photo. Helen would like to point out it’s a rolled up gig flyer. (Probably because she’s so straight edge):

STRAIGHT EDGE

Helen:  We were excited about Nottingham. It was a Friday night and the show was being put on by Sam and Andy who both write highly passionate, articulate blogs about the music they love (http://alayerofchips.blogspot.com/ and http://afogofideas.blogspot.com/)  and who we knew were especially excited to be bringing Tunabunny to Nottingham. We got to the city too early and damaged the van trying to manoeuvre out of a wrong turning  (it was a stranger’s fault), and then some of us went to a pub which had an ancient well in in it and Mike told us all stories about the weird wonderful roadside stuff in Athens (a restaurant in the shape of a woman?), dinosaurs, cassette releases, and BMXing. My keyboard died sometime between soundcheck and show, but I really enjoyed this show and most of us ended up on the floor at the end, which is always a good sign. For us at least. I told my really funny Joss Stone joke on stage and everyone laughed for hours.  Tunabunny were seismic. Mary Jane drove us back to my London home in the night and Scott and Brigette did even more work sleeping in the van and unloading all the gear and returning the splitter to Wembley in the morning, and I had no clean towels to offer them in the morning :(

Steph:  I love touring….i say this every time… like it’s a surprise but i do. The things that are a bit annoying in real life, like not being able to drive, having a shit phone and a short attention span make touring pretty great for me. I have no responsibility…all i have to do is daydream in the van, meet new people, go to different places and play gigs. What’s not to like there?  Ahh i’ve run out of things to say….i can’t pin it all down….i don’t want to pin it all down…..it was really, really fun…..Bob, one day soon, you will wake up and find an M People record in your house….that’s a promise. (“ Search for the record inside your house, search for the record inside…..”)

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