All the members had full-time jobs, so it was more of a part-time affair. Williams had a knack for remembering facts so started making paid phone calls to the telephone trivia game, Entertainment Trivia. He won $1500 in a month, providing enough extra cash to take the band into Progressive Studios and start recording an album.
After funding the recording themselves, they decided to self-release it through their own label Globule Records, with distribution through Festival. Hollands appeared on the album but left soon afterward and the line-up was made up of guitarist Rachel Moloney (who co-wrote the songs), drummer Steve Gilberd, bassist Mark Robertson, and keyboardist Graham Danielson.
Lurid (1994) was a student radio fave and catchy single ‘Husky Vooms’ appeared on the 95bFM compilation Louder. The music video also gained high-rotation on Max TV and the band undertook a national tour.
A real buzz built around the group and their manager Campbell Smith arranged for Sony to re-release the album, with the hope that their sub-labels might promote it in the US where a decent number of music fans had taken an interest in the New Zealand indie sound via Flying Nun Records.
The updated version of Lurid had two new tracks funded by Sony – ‘Beautiful Ride’ and ‘Snake Bite’, though it was sensibly decided that the album only needed one version of the odd track ‘Aiee!! Aiee!!’ (named after Holland’s screaming during the song). ‘Beautiful Ride’ was given a music video and released as a four-song CD single with a new song (‘Shady Tree’) and the two tracks that had been student radio and Max TV favourites, ‘Pettibone’ and ‘Husky Vooms.’
In an era when ‘alternative’ music was becoming mainstream, The Tufnels’ gift for melody on these songs and others such as ‘Where’s Bobby England’ made it seem as if they might cross over to a bigger audience. However, the band had always made it clear that making music was all about enjoyment and when things began to get serious, they simply faded away.
Ross Hollands - vocals
Ross Williams - vocals, guitar
Steve Gilberd - drums
Rachel Moloney - guitar, vocals
Mark Robertson - bass