This weekend my very good friends Will Tun & the Wasters are releasing their debut album, the first full album they have made in their five years as a band, it’s certainly been a long time coming. Unfortunately at the same time of the album coming out, the lovely Will Tun has decided it’s time for him to move on with the band, which means that the two shows this weekend will be his last (but not the band’s last as they will be continuing without him), so it really is the end of an era this weekend. The album is superb and by the time you read this you should be able to check it out via bandcamp, I even enjoy this album even though a couple of the songs I’ve heard endless times live in the last few years and most of the other songs being written and practised a hallway away from my bedroom, I’ve relentlessly heard them building this album so it’s great to hear a finished product even if I have heard them practise “The Otherside” over and over in our house.
Stream the album here in full
As much as it’s lame to say, or at least as much as I don’t want to give them the satisfaction because I’m a dick, the band Will Tun & the Wasters mean a lot to me, they have been some of my best friends for years, practically were my entrance to the underground punk scene, they have taken me to many festivals, gigs, a European tour and just general adventuring and for the last year 2 of the band I call my housemates, but all of the band are basically family. Soppy I know, but this is why the weekend being both the album release and Will’s last shows is certainly an end of era and might make me slightly emotional – but I feel it’s the most appropriate time to reflect on the last five years.
I really yesterday that it’s been five years since I last saw the band Mouthwash, which is obviously tragic, then it dawned on me that the first time I went to a gig was ten years ago, but it was over four years ago that I met the bunch of scoundrels Will Tun & the Wasters. The first time I saw Will Tun & the Wasters was at The Red Lion pub in Reading, I hadn’t really been to a gig in a pub before but I was in love with Tyrannosaurus Alan’s album ever since I saw them supporting Sonic Boom Six a year before, so the idea of seeing them in a small pub seemed rad, and to make it better Claypigeon who I had seen once before supporting The Skints at Nambucca in London (damn, I miss seeing The Skints at such small venues) were also playing and it was also the first time I saw the band Drones.
Ppening the gig was Will Tun and the Wasters, way back when their only release was A Year Wasted, which although I can feel nostalgic for the songs really don’t match how incredible the material on their new album is. I saw them again in Reading at Purple Turtle a few weeks later and then I believe the next time was them supporting New Town Kings at what was then the best pub in Reading, (or anywhere) The Blagrave Arms (sadly a completely different place now), which Ivo from the band organised. At this point I think Ivo was a stand in member for the band before he joined the band permanently. It seems crazy looking back on that show and seeing the nine-member New Town Kings crammed into the corner of such a tiny venue, they can’t have played somewhere so small for ages. After the show I ended up in Ivo’s back garden drinking god knows what until the sun had risen and I walked over an hour home to sleep through the day and then got up in the evening to visit the Global Café in Reading for the first time, where the band had coaxed me to come and see them again, where I believe I met MC Amalgam for first time as well as witness their first live collaboration together.
The band kind of stole my summer away from me at this point. I ended up going to all their local shows over summer, with many nights of street drinking and jumping the train to messy Basingstoke punk shows. It was kind of sad when it came to the last day of summer and everyone went back to uni. That Christmas I think was when they made the video for “Community”, filmed in the absolute pit of a pub function room at The Butler in Reading, another messy night where I can recall Ivo putting me in a sleeping bag and crowdsurfing me during Drones as well as it being the first time I ever saw Let’s Go Nowhere. Until the next summer I think the only times to really hang out was when Ivo put on some absolutely ridiculous house shows, the first I remember going to – if my memory serves me well enough – had in Ivo’s bedroom, a crazy Will Tun & the Wasters set; a set so grimy from Skub Zero that drummer Adam puked half way through (which kind of became a trademark for them playing that room fortunately being a uni style dorm there was a conveniently placed sink), followed by a particularly rowdy set from Drones. It’s complete chaos seeing that band play in a bedroom. It was then headlined by Captain Accident and the Disasters… It’s all quite unbelievable looking back. I remember that night Joe gave me a CD-R copy of their second EP Time is a Bastard.
I always thought Time is a Bastard was a great EP although it definitely seems a bit more obsolete now, at the time I definitely gave it repeat listens. I can’t seem to recall too much of the summer of 2012, I think that may have been the year of the classic BBC Introducing gig the band did, where they drank a shot of whiskey each between each song until the set kind of imploded itself at the end. I think it was also the summer when we filmed the video for “Cracks in the Wall” where we all turned up at Will’s house one day, like the extended friendship group we had at this point, and made the video outside the front of his house much to the dismay of his neighbours. I think the band had blagged a load of cider from a wedding they played the night before so it was quite a boozy video shoot, in fact it was filmed in chronological order so if you watch the video we’re all a lot more drunk towards the end.
2013 was a great year, when I first did what I’d been threatening to do for ages and put on a gig, as my 21st was this year and was by magic on a Saturday I wanted to make sure I didn’t have the sort of shit Reading birthdays most have by going to shit Reading clubs. Obviously I got Will Tun & the Wasters to play, they were probably the first band booked, it would have felt wrong not to, then of course they ended up playing most my shows that year because I couldn’t resist putting them on with some bands that I’d somehow managed to book. I remember that year was when Unite and Charge was recorded and came out, I went to the studio once or twice during the recording back when Downtown Digital Records existed and were based in a flat above a pharmacy on Oxford Road in Reading (admittedly one of the more shitty parts of the town), that’s when I first heard “Slice Slice Slice”, when Deaglan nailed an amazing clarinet solo and I first heard Ivo’s amazing lyrics to that track, although I’m shamelessly hyping up their new album this may just be the best Will Tun and the Wasters track ever recorded.
The week that Unite and Charge came out was deemed “the best week ever”, due to coincidence it all became a bit amazing, Friday night started with a crazy gig I helped put together at Global Café in Reading to launch the album where our friends Dirty Revolution played and at this point was maybe the best gig I’d ever done, then Saturday I think the band supported Captain Accident at The Lounge Bar in Alton before returning to Reading on Sunday to support The Skints at Sub89. The Tuesday happened to be the day I first put on a favourite band of mine, Chewing On Tinfoil, which I did back at The Red Lion, the venue where I first saw Will Tun & the Wasters… So naturally they had to play too, although Will fell sick that day and didn’t make it, so the band blagged through a set without him at the last minute over pulling out of the show. That night was definitely one of my favourite nights I’ve ever had, I can’t really remember what happened after the gig ended so much but I remember waking up to a text from Ivo asking if I wanted to head to Boomtown a day early – considering this was the day before Boomtown I found myself packing a festival bag last minute and heading over to Ivo’s house within the hour. This is where the best week ever ends, with the best weekend ever at Boomtown fair, where the band had two sets, one on the Thursday and then again at a prime Friday slot playing after Faintest Idea on the Devil Kicks Dancehall stage, I’d seen the band enough times in the last week at this point but did casually steal Jared’s microphone to shout a bit of “Skank For Me” at the end of their set – so I’ve technically played Boomtown right?
I think that brings a nice little history of my time hanging around with Will Tun and the Wasters, obviously 2014 happened, and you can read about the best part of that as part of former Fishlock Fridays “Quit Your Job and Go On Tour” where I recount the European Tour I went on with the band.
About three weeks ago I got to listen to the final version of The Anachronist’s Cookbook out today and it made me really happy hearing an album I know has been building up to that sound for five years of hard work and drinking. Make sure you get it to your ears. Now I just need to not cry when Will plays his last show with the band at The Golden Lion in Bristol tomorrow.