It was my birthday yesterday and so K had layed on a surprise overnight trip for me in the evening. Although I knew it was some kind of event (ie something where tickets are needed) I didn't know anything more. It could have been music, comedy, theatre, vaudeville or an execution. I'd deliberately avoided looking at listings as I thought it would be nice to have an actual surprise for once.
So on Monday morning I packed an overnight bag and headed into work. At four o'clock it was time to go to the station (leaving work early is always a good start to an evening!) and because it's quite hard to hide a destination when you board a train, I was told we were heading to... Nottingham! This in itself was quite surprising as I'd more or less forgotten Nottingham existed. I was pretty much at a loss to work out what would be on there but as long as one of us knew then everything would work.
After an uneventful journey we checked into the hotel (Jury's Inn, conveniently close to the rail station) and headed straight out to get some pre-event dinner. The taxi driver didn't really understand K's accent and this led to a bit of a mix-up where he started heading in completely the wrong direction. I was able to spot this (I knew which road we were going to) by judicious use of my watch-mounted compass and Google Maps on the phone. You all mock but these are life-saving things. Especially the compass! So I showed him the map on the phone and the journey was corrected.
We had a thai meal (a bit too hot for me!) near the venue and it was at this point I found out why I'd been taken to Nottingham... It was to see Ben's Brother!
Now Ben's Brother are a mighty fine band and produced some of the best singles of last year. They made number five in my top twenty but it could have been higher as the ordering is a little arbitrary at times. I have never seen them live and so I was quite excited when I saw the tickets. Not jumping up in the air or anything, I'm not really that dramatic, but very happy. I definitely have an excellent girlfriend!
The gig itself was fantastic (apart from the absence of draft cider). Small venue (The Bodega Club, I think) but great views and great sound. And I would say it was worth making the trek to Nottingham for!
The only drawback was that because we stayed up late and then had to get up early to get the train back, and because I'm a little run down at the moment due to a stinky case of man-flu, I'm now extra tired. I'm planning for a very early night tonight!