I got up early to walk _mysteria_ to the train and freakspawn to her place of work, stopping off at McDonalds for a quick McMuffin and orange juice breakfast. Now I'm back indoors with a coffee and the whole rainy day in front of me -- whatever will I do to amuse myself? Before I answer that question, I'll give an account of what I've been up to so far.
Lorna, josheehy and _mysteria_ came to fetch me from the airport, and then pointed out some Coventry landmarks like the Sky Dome and the War Memorial Park on the way home. We had a drink at Jo's before Lare and I walked home, meeting one of her housemates on the way who kindly carried my suitcase for me, proving in so doing that chivalry is still alive and kicking in the West Midlands.
The next morning, I met a few more of Lare's housemates, notably Rachel who holds the tickets to the Depeche Mode concert this coming Friday. When I inadvertently squeed, she almost wouldn't let us see them, but luckily she relented in the end and I was allowed not only to see, but to touch them as well. Very exciting stuff, although I am a bit worried about the Birmingham NEC's strict policy of not allowing any mobile phones, cameras and recording equipment in - so outdated but I hear, religiously enforced by their security personnel. I'm going to bring my camera on the off chance, but fully expect it to be confiscated anyway.
Jo (_mysteria_) arrived and we went into town and to the market, and met up with anonypooh who would spend the rest of the weekend with us so we could all go to Griffin House's gig together that evening. Lare had also made arrangements to meet up with a guy she'd met at a previous Griff gig, and he drove us to the venue, which was much better than taking the bus. He proved to be excellent company and we all went out for a drink later, but first: Griffin House!
He opened for Jane Siberry, and he was absolutely fantastic. This was my first experience of him live, having been introduced to his music some 6 months ago in the car on the journey up to Glasgow to see CoRo, and afterwards listening to the odd tune on MySpace. It was kind of funny, when he walked on stage he walked straight off it again, setting the tone for the evening, i.e. very comfortable and relaxed. There wasn't a huge crowd at the Warwick Arts Centre, and most of the people that were there had come to see the headliner, but they seemed to appreciate what Griffin and Ian (it was just the two of them this time) did, and he did very well at the merchandise table in the interval. I got my first Griffin House cd signed and delivered by the man himself, who professed himself suitably impressed to learn that I'd come all the way from Holland to see him, and mentioned that he was actually trying to secure another gig in The Luminaire Tuesday night in London. Which is why we're all sort of on tenterhooks right now, because we won't know for sure until practically the last minute, since he won't have time put it on the website if he can get in (there's 3 other bands already confirmed for tomorrow night). If he does manage it, we'll all meet up again to support him.
None of us really knew what to expect of Jane Siberry, although Neil had been smart enough to check out her website. She's more of a performer-poet-singer-songwriter, and a bit of a hippie or new ager (all her music is released on the internet at self-determined pricing -the principle being you pay what you think it's worth to you personally, which in my case would be maybe 50p-), very intellectual, kind of dreamy, and after an hour and a half of it, incredibly samey and not a little boring. And she just wouldn't stop!
I had to pee something awful, but had to squirm in my seat uncomfortably because she just went droning on and on and on...everytime we thought surely this must be the end of it, back she'd come again saying she was having such a good time and what other song did her fans want to hear -- then she'd fluff the words on the requests and to make up for her faulty memory, launch into another new song that she did remember the lyrics to. She did, however, do an interesting take on Handel's 'I Know That My Redeemer Liveth'; I wouldn't mind hearing that again.
Yesterday, Sunday, we went to Kenilworth, had a wander through the town, the abbey and castle grounds, with Lorna winning at poohsticks every time, and had dinner (by which I mean lunch) in a pub. After spending what was left of the afternoon and early evening watching Priscilla: Queen of the Desert Julia left, while Lorna's friend Kathy and her friend Isabelle came to visit and we watched The Clangers-dvd in the den, the perfect end to a perfect day.
ETA: There's no Griffin House gig tonight. Bummer!