I woke up with a sore throat this morning, and things have gone progressively worse from there. I started to feel queasy before lunchtime, and now I'm shaky and achey all over. A week ago, Lorna came down with a 24-hour bug type lurgie, and now I'm beginning to think I might be as well. What a great way to start my Easter weekend!
Anyway, I'm determined to write up my definitive report of my two weeks in Blighty tonight, and I'll do it in a just a few paragraphs to capture the highlights so as not to bore you silly with an 'and then and then and then' style write-up of every little thing we did or every place we went to.
So, for our first memorable outing together, _mysteria_, anonypooh, freakspawn and myself met up with fellow Griffin-fan Neil, encountered by Lorna at last year's The Borderline gig, outside his swanky place on Warwick Rd and drove down to the Warwick Arts Centre for my first ever Griffin House concert. As he was opening for Jane Siberry, his set (in which he was accompanied on the piano and bass by his barefoot friend Tron) lasted a mere 30 minutes; but that half hour was enough to turn me from an interested bystander to a fully committed fan. In the interval, I went in the wake of the others to meet and greet the artist, and got myself a signed cd and a few kind words. He seemed awed that I had come all the way from Holland especially to hear him, and told me he was trying to secure another gig in London the following Tuesday. Whoops of joy followed on this announcement, and later, over pints and olives in Spon Street's 1450, we all made excited plans to go if his efforts should pay off. Unfortunately, an e-mail came through on Monday to say that the gig would not take place, as The Luminaire had already been booked solid and management saw no chance to fit him in. However, I'm sure it won't be long before I'll get to see and hear him live again. Until that time, I will just have to content myself with his cd and the knowledge that another one will be out in "the fall" - why do Americans always opt for such a vague indication of time? I had to press him for a more concrete date, but in the end he gave it: October.
The next day, Mothering Sunday, we went to Kenilworth for a stroll around the ruined abbey and an excellent pub lunch.
Lorna was working that week, so I amused myself during the day by exploring my surroundings, and quickly got to know my way around Coventry city centre pretty well. Sometimes I'd go to meet Lare in her lunchbreak, and we had the most delicious coffee at Alma's in Corporation St one day; while in the evenings, we'd go grocery and wine shopping, and either stayed in with a couple of dvds or other girlie pursuits, or went out on the town.
Wednesday night is acoustic night in Coventry, and that first Wednesday night of my visit we went on kind of 2-Tone Trail of our own devising. We started off in the Whitefriars pub where it was Open Mic night, and 2 talented young guitarists called Luke and Ken entertained us with renditions of classic rock favourites. Then we went on to The Jailhouse where Roddy Radiation and Kirk Brandon were playing, then progressed to another pub where another singer-songwriter, Karl Sweet, was playing. It was a great night out, and I got merrier and gigglier with every pint. The rest is a blur, though I do remember going onto the Internet in an inebriated state and posting in code.
Thursday we had a little Depeche Mode pre-squee party at the house, and the next night we made it over to the Birmingham NEC with _mysteria_ and housemate Rachel for the concert we'd be looking forward to for 8 long months. Lare, Rachel and I had VIP tickets, which meant 3 drinks at a specially cordonned off bar and easy access to restricted area loos from the moment the doors opened to the moment the headline act came on stage. We went to our seats to listen to The Bravery for a while, but in the interval went back to the bar for drinks and nibbles and a final nip down to the loos before DM came on.
There are no words to describe how absolutely brilliant the concert was. The stage design, the lighting, the crowd, the atmosphere, but most of all of course the band and the music were simply fantastic. The set list was as follows:
A Pain That I'm Used To
John The Revelator
A Question Of Time
Policy Of Truth
Walking In My Shoes
I Want It All
The Sinner In Me
I Feel You
Behind The Wheel
World In My Eyes
Personal Jesus – 2/3rds into the song, Dave halted the proceedings. Martin had come in too early on the guitar riff and consequently he and the drummer had gotten out of synch; Dave laughingly said "Stop" and "Can we start that again?" They took it from the top, and this time, it was flawless.
Enjoy The Silence
Leave In Silence - all week long I'd been saying how much I'd like to hear this, and then I got my wish! Acoustic Martin left me goosepimply all over.
Just Can't Get Enough
Never Let Me Down
We hung around after the gig, saw Martin coming out, missed the last train, and took a taxi back to Coventry.
Actually - I think I will do this in two parts. This post is getting uncharacteristically long and I don't feel like typing anymore. Hope you enjoy your taster of Griffin's music (click on the linkie above)!