Musings from a diner lunchtime
As has happened fairly regularly I find myself working at a new company. This brings lots of new challenges, but by far the most enjoyable is having a new set of options for lunch. As I walk round this slightly different part of London I’m struck with choice. There is so much choice that I don’t know if I’ll be able to try them all in the short time I will be at this company.
After wandering about for 10 minutes I knew I had to pick something quickly (as time to order and eat was running out). In the end I decided on a burger. This is a rare choice from me. It’s not that I don’t like burgers (I do), I just like most other things more. I went to Ed’s Easy Diner. If you haven’t been to their restaurants before you should. They offer up ‘good’ food from America’s golden age of dining. The place was small and cozy. It was full of all the things you’d expect from an American diner. A high counter and chairs that spin. Chequered tiled floor. The cook visible in the centre of the restaurant. Mini juke boxes on the counter playing the hits of the 1950’s and of course burgers and fries.
The waitress was attentive, but not pushy. She could see I was reading (Jamie S. Rich’s brilliant second novel The Everlasting, more on that in coming weeks) and I just wanted a place to get out of the Sun and have a good meal for thirty minutes. When my food arrived (Chilli Cheese Burger) I put the book down and started to take it all in. As I have said everything you expected was there, but then it dawned on me, it was too perfect. Ed’s Easy Diner is the Café Rouge of American Diners. It’s the idea of 1950’s America by someone who never lived it and had an unhealthy obsession with Happy Days.
These are my only criticisms (and they are petty at best). My burger was excellent and exactly what I was after. My shake was amazing. The music was some of the best I’ve heard over lunch for a long, LONG time and I will be heading back there again soon with others.
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Rockabilly chantress returns with forth album, its business as usual
Imelda May returns this week with her fourth album. Her first in four years. That is a long time for someone to be away. Luckily Tribal is everything that we’ve come to expect from an Imelda May album. There are subtle differences this time though. Not all of the songs are the fast paced tracks that have populated her previous albums, there are more meditative songs. This is probably because May and her guitarist husband have had a baby. This new tenderness isn’t out of pace. On her previous album there was the beautiful Kentish Town Waltz (my first dance with my wife at my wedding), but these songs feel more touching than that.
This is the album of someone who is in control of their career. It rocks when it needs to and sways when that it needed too. The only problem is that we’ve heard it all before on her previous three albums. When she broke out on to the music scene in 2003-2007 she was like a breath of fresh air. She went against the grain of what was happening. Her retro sound, social commentary lyrics worked well and breathed new life into an old sound. In 2014 though I’m feeling that it’s not as new, fresh as interesting as Love Tattoo or Mayhem. In no way am I saying that this is a bad album, far from it, my only complaint is that it’s far too predictable. I fully understand that May’s stitch is that she’s the embodiment of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s golden age. Big hair, leather jackets and attitude and if she started throwing in stuff that didn’t sit with this it wouldn’t work. However after four albums I think that the formula is starting to get a bit thin.