Thursday, March 10, 2005
There is a world outside Dudley
It is called Wolverhampton. My colleague and friend Jackie took me into Wolverhampton tonight and dropped my off in the town centre. I was going in order to catch Erin McKeown at Wulfrun Hall. I was hoping to get tickets for Bright Eyes on Sunday as well, but it was unfortunately sold out. Jackie, excellent tour guide that she is, pointed out various villages as we drove to Wolverhampton and guided me through what lies within the main areas surrounding the town centre. (Wolverhampton is a 20-30 minute drive from where I currently live and work.) Jackie pointed out where I needed to go for the cash machine, restaurants, and the bus station for when I headed home and then was on her merry way. I had a few hours before the concert so I found a wine bar called Cuba something with pictures resembling Che Guevara but they were portrayed in an Andy Warhol-ish sort of way that seemed completely wrong if they were meant to be him. Eating alone, I tend to eat fast. I have no one to talk to so I tend to focus soley on the food in front of me. (If I had a book with me I perhaps would have lingered.) I found a pub after dinner and went in for a pint (mmm-John Smiths Bitter). This pub had an interesting gothic style to it (I am not talking architechture here). My table at which I sat was the lid of a coffin. Across from me against the wall was a large iron throne with dragon heads on the arms, goat legs, and a mini evil looking satyr crouched on the top crest of the chair. The walls were of course bright red, the lighting dark and various other attempts at satanical type paraphernalia were throughout the pub. The funny bit of it all is that it was just a regular pub that happened to have atypical decor. The crowd was the same, the vibe was the same as just about any other pub.I thought of a few friends though who would have made that experience much more entertaining. I then roamed the streets of Wolverhampton until the doors opened at Wulfrun for the show. In a few words, compared to where I currently live, it is cleaner, more modern and more diverse. There is a University in Wolverhampton so I think this may play some role in that. But in general, it was more like a little city than a large village. It is where I imagined I'd be living. Don't get me wrong, I like where I live. While walking through Wolverhampton, though, I thought, "As soon as my lease is up in July, I am moving here." But, upon further reflection I am not sure how realistic it is in terms of time and finances. I think I have Jackie on board, too. She is already looking at flats for me! Regardless, it is definitely somewhere I will be visiting often. There is a lot of live music in Wolverhampton playing among the Wulfrun and the Civic so I know I'll be there plenty for good shows. Speaking of good shows, Erin McKeown was once again energizing and captivating. I had the opportunity to meet her and get her autograph and she was very gracious. She was actually opening for Josh Rouse, who I think I have heard of but wasn't sure who he was. Once I heard his music a few songs sounded familiar. I ended up staying for his show as well; a little poppy but talented and entertaining. Since I cannot be in the presence of Colin Oberst on Sunday, I believe the money that would have gone to a ticket will have to now go to a CD purchase (Surprise! Surprise!).