The final part of our gig week was a trip to Manchester to see the Gaslight Anthem, which also happened to be on my birthday. Seeing as Manchester is about 250 miles away it was definitely too far to go up and back in a day so luckily we managed to get a bargain room at a Travelodge for £20 and only a stones throw away from the venue which couldn't have been more perfect.
I somehow dragged my backside out of bed at 5am so we could hit the road at 6am and beat the rush hour traffic, I'm definitely not a morning person so this was a struggle for me but definitely worth it. The drive up was just lovely. We haven't had any proper snow in Exeter this winter but as soon as we hit the midlands it was like driving through a winter wonderland. Everywhere was covered in beautiful thick white snow, thankfully the driving conditions were fine with just a few light flutterings, it was touch and go whether we would have been able to go at all. We arrived at the hotel at about 11am, taking advantage of the free parking and then headed straight into the city center. As we'd been to Manchester briefly last year we'd sussed out where the good shopping areas are so went there first. If you like Camden Market you will love Afflecks in the Northern Quarter, it really is home to all things vintage, retro, punk, kitsch, and just plain awesome, needless to say I was in shopping heaven. The northern quarter is by far the best shopping area if you like quirky independent shops, which I definitely do, plus there were quite a few record shops so Rich and I were both pretty happy to be mooching around. When we'd had enough of shopping we grabbed a quick pizza and went back for a quick pre gig disco nap.
As I expected the Gaslight Anthem did not disappoint. Those guys seriously know how to put on a great show. Their gigs are always in more intimate venues so even if you're stood at the back you're still close enough to get a good view and soak up the atmosphere. The main thing was they played almost all of my favourite songs and ended with Teenage Wasteland by The Who, a bit random but a great cover. If you've not listened to them before I can't recommend them enough and you should check them out right now, go!
For Rich's birthday my Dad booked him on to a tour of Old Trafford for the day after the gig. As I'm not a football fan I armed myself with a good book and the latest Mollie Makes magazine and hit the 'red bar' for a coffee and a read while he took himself off on the tour. I think it's fair to say he enjoyed himself, the big grin was a bit of a giveaway anyway. I took a few photos of outside the stadium and in the shop, that's about as far as I could stretch my interest in football/united.
Hope you've enjoyed this long post and not fallen asleep, I promise they won't all be this long from now on.