A very happy new year to you all. There’s slightly less to catch up on retrospectively than normal as I took my annual ‘I’m actually not going to do much for a couple of weeks at Christmas’ Christmas. So my gig at the Market Vaults, the usual pre-Christmas epic that it is, was my last gig and as always it was a belter because let’s face it, it is the best pub in all the world. After this, it was off to my parents in Penrith for a thoroughly lazy week and then a great time at new year with extended family down in Chichester. I feel much better and greatly refreshed as I prepare for 2017.
This year will see a new album and a lot of touring again including my return to the USA (don’t worry the visa situation is all in hand and after all they’ve got this new president who’s apparently much more open minded…). I’m excited about my new album – it’s a bit of a revisit to some of my original love: the folk music of Ireland. There’s a few trad tunes on there and quite a few trad-type tunes as well as some of my usual things like funk and a bit of bluegrass. I’m excited!
Now then, I’d like to tell you about the heaping pile of turd that was Zizzi in Earls Court, London. This experience can be best described as shite. Have a read through my letter of complaint to them…
My family and I went to see Paul Simon recently, a very exiting occasion for us all. As we had plenty of time (or so we thought…) we decided it would be nice to go out for a meal and sit down and enjoy it. Zizzi seemed a good bet as I had been before and the food had been as distinctly bland and generic as one might expect but of reasonable value and it had arrived relatively quickly. That this was not true across all restaurants became quickly rather apparent. After being given a welcome that was about as warm as a service station chip, we then waited a phenomenally long time to be asked to order anything. After eventually ordering a drink and being abandoned before having the chance to order any food we had begun to consider whether it might be best to abandon a rather fruitless project i.e. trying to get a meal at Zizzi. However, after concluding that God loves a trier we eventually attracted the attention of a waitress who seemed understandably peeved that we had interrupted her intensive public break and placed our order. Then came another very long wait in a reasonably sparsely populated restaurant. Our sense of having plenty of time to relax and talk about the many problems facing the world such as Trump, Brexit, the quality of modern restaurant chains etc was quickly morphing into one of anxiety over whether we would have ample time to get into the venue for the support act or indeed for the main act. We had arrived at 5.25 as I recall so a 7.30 start did not seem like an obstacle when we arrived. Anyway the starters finally arrived (had we known the length of waiting time we would of course have omitted this course) and were suitably unpleasant with a gargantuan flavour bypass and all the appeal of a half eaten takeaway from the night before on a fragile morning. After consuming this, my usual English patience and elan rather eluded me and I asked our friend the waitress who wished people would stop interrupting her thoughts with work related matters if our starters would arrive before Ken Barlow is no longer on Coronation Street. She seemed perplexed at the idea that our starters had not arrived quickly, that we had not waited half the night to even place the order and that the food was not a Wetherspoons quality meal but more expensive. However, she did ask the kitchen staff and mercifully the wait this time was not quite so painful. The food was of course but we were at least prepared for this by now. We of course had to forgo dessert and hurry up getting to the Albert Hall which we had hoped to walk to but in the end a tube journey was required. We made it just in time for the support act and thankfully Paul Simon was magnificent. But of course I do thank you for giving us our lesson of the day as we all need enlightenment in this world: if you need quick and friendly service, quality Italian food and an enjoyable dining experience and you want it to be a name you recognise then it’s best to stick to Pizza Express.
After taking a painful amount of time to respond (and after some prompting by myself) what do you think they gave me? Oh yes. A £30 voucher…for Zizzi.