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Jimbo Starr (UK)

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Evening Conversation
Evening Conversation
Price: £18.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Live recording from 1999, 13 Oct 2008
This review is from: Evening Conversation (Audio CD)
The 14 tracks here were recorded in September 1999, in front of an appreciative audience in Hamburg - a place that Long John Baldry first visited in 1962. He was accompanied at the Downtown Blues Club by bluesharp player Butch Coulter (whose song 'Moon Dance In Tajikstan' is featured) and young English guitarist Matt Taylor. Baldry himself played 12-string guitar and his distinctive raw vocal shines throughout this set of largely acoustic blues.

The recording, Baldry's fourth for Hypertension, begins with 'Good Morning Blues', the first of five traditional songs arranged for this show. Another, 'Black Girl', features Christina Lux guesting on vocals. There are a number of cover versions including Randy Newman's 'Burn Down The Cornfield' and Tim Rose's 'Morning Dew'. Matt Taylor takes over with soulful lead vocals on a rendition of Terry/McGhee's 'Walk On' and Tom Waits' 'Blue Valentine'.

Two more covers and a Baldry original 'Maggie Bell' are followed by the closer 'Flying', a song co-penned by Rod Stewart from the Faces album "First Step". Stewart and Baldry were associates in the `60s in The Hoochie Coochie Men and Steampacket, and Baldry toured with The Faces in 1973. 'Flying' rounds off a memorable set and the package is completed with a booklet which contains a full career biography.

Music on Both Sides
Music on Both Sides
Price: £8.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CD debut for the third album by The Records, 13 Oct 2008
This review is from: Music on Both Sides (Audio CD)
"Music On Both Sides" was the third album by British power pop group The Records and was originally released by Virgin Records in March 1982. The album represented a last chance saloon for the band as they had been expecting to be dropped prior to Virgin demanding another album.

The Records are best remembered for their magnificent debut single, 1978's `Starry Eyes', which inexplicably failed to chart in the UK. The track was co-written by drummer Will Birch and guitarist/vocalist John Wicks, who had both previously been members of The Kursaals (previously Kursaal Flyers) before forming The Records.

The group's first two albums "Shades In Bed" and "Crashes" have both previously been reissued on CD by On The Beach and contain copious amounts of bonus tracks. The former is a recommended starting point for newcomers. The sparkling "Music On Both Sides" reissue follows their lead by adding a generous nine extras, seven of which are previously unreleased. The CD is housed in a neat foldout digipak, complete with Barney Bubbles' original LP artwork. Will Birch's in-depth notes document the period and reveal plenty of hitherto unknown facts.

By the time of this album, the band had recruited new vocalist Chris Gent from London power pop combo The Autographs, as well as new guitarist Dave Whelan who had responded to a Melody Maker ad. Birch, Wicks and Phil Brown remained from the earlier albums, although Birch brought in Bobby Irwin on drums (who in turn brought along Paul Carrack to play keyboards) so that he could focus his attention on co-producing the album. Gent's arrival was fuelled by critics and observers belief that the band lacked a `frontman'.

This reissue kicks off with the melodic gem`Your Own Soundtrack', which is reinstated here as the opening cut (as originally intended). The first side of the original album is particularly strong, starting with the single `Imitation Jewellery' and `Heather And Hell', which Birch notes were both influenced by the then-in-vogue electronic arm of rock. `Selfish Love', `Not So Much The Time' and `Keeping Up With Jones' are three more killer tunes.

"Music On Both Sides" is a somewhat different sounding record to the previous releases. Examples of this are the XTC-esque psychy vocals of `Third Hand Information', `Real Life' which has a more new wave than power pop feel and would probably be a smash hit if covered today by Razorlight, and the spooky instrumental `Cheap Detective Music' which sounds unlike anything else in The Records' output.

Of the bonus tracks, there are demos of three songs that ended up on the album, all of which feature a John Wicks lead vocal instead of Chris Gent. A fourth demo, the punchy Phil Brown-penned `On Time' is previously unheard in any form. There are also three live tracks from the 1978 Stiff tour (on which the band accompanied Rachel Sweet) and, to complete the package, Miss Jane Aire (described by Will Birch as Rachel Sweet's Akron nemesis) joins the band for a 1980 studio recording of Michel Pagliaro's power pop classic `Lovin' You Ain't Easy'.

The Records eventually went their separate ways a few months after the release of "Music On Both Sides", with Birch notably going on to write the definitive history of pub rock "No Sleep Till Canvey Island" and Wicks returning with a new line-up and releasing the excellent "Rotate" in 2007. "Music On Both Sides" still sounds fresh today and is strongly recommended to fans of melodic guitar-based power pop with harmony vocals aplenty!

Ol' Paint
Ol' Paint
Offered by lpcdreissues
Price: £7.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Obscure 70's power pop, 13 Oct 2008
This review is from: Ol' Paint (Audio CD)
I've become slightly wary of so-called `lost treasures', as numerous reissues of this nature have made it obvious why the album had been `lost'! The Ol' Paint reissue drew my attention from its "Beatles-influenced psych-tinged power pop" description and I'm happy to report that this `first time on CD' reissue from Fallout is indeed a hidden gem and worthy of investigation.

It would appear that very little is known about the band, hence the lack of sleeve notes. The back inlay reveals that this was their only album and first appeared in 1971. Ol' Paint are thought to have come from New York and the majority of songs were penned by vocalist Tony Caputo or lead guitarist Andy Mendelson. The album was produced by Rupert Holmes, Danny Jordan and Stan Herman.

It's an immediately likeable record, with opening cut `Always In the Way' swarming with harmony vocals, stinging lead guitar and melodic bass - exactly the sort of sound that Big Star would later gain recognition for. The jaunty `She Leaves Free' is lighter and sprinkled for good measure with some Badfinger-esque lead guitar, while `It's my Birthday' is reminiscent of Emitt Rhodes.

The band rock out for the first time on the meaty `All For Love' which boasts some glam-style vocals and searing guitar. Musically, `I'm A Natural Man' is comparable to The Action's majestic `60s album "Brain" while vocally recalling The Left Banke, and the album rolls along with the McCartney-esque `Was I Surprised'.

The remaining tracks have a more formulaic rock sound. The proggy `Mogitah' and ballad `Victims Of The Sex Revolution' don't really work, but Ol' Paint get back on track with the organ-led rock of `Up From The Sea', the tour-de-force `You Are My Friend', the dark and brooding `Good-Bye' and the vocally impressive album closer `Down So Long'.

All in all, the band can perhaps be seen as ahead of their time while also lacking the quality control necessary to be more successful. This reissue comes recommended to fans of `70s power pop, simply for the brilliance of the first six tracks.

BaByliss 2034U Pro 230 Radiance Straightener
BaByliss 2034U Pro 230 Radiance Straightener

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best straighteners I have ever owned, 14 Sep 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Over to my girlfriend for this review as my hair isn't long enough to need straightening...

This product caught my eye due to the extra features it seemed to have compared to other products I have used. However, I did keep a completely open mind as I have had things in the past that say they do something but somehow have never happened for me.

But, there was absolutely no need whatsoever for me to worry about these straighteners. The first time I used them, I was in shock, for all the right reasons. My hair was straight not flat, which is the result I had ended with on numerous previous occasions. It also kept the volume and style all day.

The additional steam feature is also excellent. It made it look like that I had just had a conditioning treatment on my hair, as it was so shiny.

I can't stop raving about my new acquisition and I tell everyone I know about them. If you need new hair straighteners then I beg you, look no further than the Babyliss.

No Title Available

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A versatile shaver and styler, 29 Aug 2008
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've never got on very well with shavers as I've generally found they don't give me a close enough shave compared to normal razors. I can happily report that the cruZer4 gives me the closest shave I've ever had, aided by the floating foil frame which automatically adapts to your skin.

It can be used in the shower for a wet shave or used simply as for a dry shave (booklet recommends not washing your face first for the latter). I've tried both and found the dry shave better for me as it seemed to be a bit closer and it was easier to see what I was doing without any shaving foam in the way. From a shaving perspective, my only real gripe is that it doesn't cut quite all of the hairs underneath my chin. However, my hair grows in all sorts of different directions under there and has never been easy to shave!

There is a wide shaper to pre-cut long hairs if you haven't shaved for a few days - I haven't needed to try this yet but it worked well when shaping my sideburns. There's a narrow shaper for defining lines and edges.

There's also a trimming attachment (for beard trimming and keeping it at a constant length) and a short beard attachment (for creating a stubble look and maintaining it). I haven't used either of these yet but they're a nice option to have.

The shaver looks and feels good and it is easy to clean and charge. Overall, I have found it to be a versatile and impressive piece of kit and would recommend to anyone looking for a reliable shaver / trimmer with a range of options.

Happy Daze
Happy Daze
Price: £10.18

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1974 album on CD for the first time with unreleased Alan Hull demos, 21 Aug 2008
This review is from: Happy Daze (Audio CD)
"Happy Daze" was the second album by the Mk II line-up of Lindisfarne and was originally released in 1974. This is the first time that the album has been issued on CD and Market Square have lovingly repackaged it and included seven Alan Hull demos as bonus tracks, six of which are previously unreleased.

Following the split of the original band, Alan Hull retained the band name and Ray Jackson also remained in the line-up. Alan and Jacka were joined by Charlie Harcourt, Tommy Duffy, Kenny Craddock and Paul Nichols and they recorded "Roll On, Ruby" for Charisma in 1973 before moving to the Warners label.

"Happy Daze" is quite a different beast to the three Mk I albums. The most memorable of Alan Hull's songs is the beautiful `River', which was recorded outside in the garden of ex-Peddlers drummer Trevor Morais's house. Alan's other contributions were `Gin & Tonix All Round', `Dealer's Choice', `You Put The Laff On Me' and `No Need To Tell Me'. The latter track would not have sounded out of place on one of the Mk I albums.

Bassist Tommy Duffy (ex-Bell & Arc and Gary Wright's Wonderwall) contributed three songs, notably the opening track `Tonight' which was released as a single. With a soulful Ray Jackson vocal and searing lead guitar from Charlie Harcourt, this was one of the stronger Mk II cuts. Duffy also wrote `Juiced Up To Lose' and `The Man Down There'. A nice touch to this reissue is his track annotation where he shares his memories of each song.

The three remaining songs were written by keyboard player Kenny Craddock who had previously played with Ginger Baker's Airforce and would go on to work with the likes of Gerry Rafferty, Paul Brady and Van Morrison. `Nellie' has a traditional folk feel, `In Your Head' sees the band members take turns to sing a verse, while album closer `Tomorrow' evokes Paul McCartney's pastoral early solo offerings.

The Alan Hull demos, which are included as bonus tracks, are a fascinating listen. Recorded at David Wood's Impulse Studios in the late 1960s, they precede Lindisfarne and the sound quality and performance are staggering. Two of the songs were later recorded by Lindisfarne (`Dingly Dell' and `Alright On The Night'), `Picture A Little Girl' was reworked for Alan's "Squire" album, while `Do Not Be Afraid', `Smile' and the Lennon / Dylan influenced `Doctor Of Love' were destined to remain in the vaults. `Where Is My Sixpence?' is the other demo, which was previously included on a Sanctuary collection.

The packaging is exemplary and all original LP artwork (including lyrics) is intact. The front cover remains as vibrant as ever and includes something that wouldn't be politically correct these days - Tommy Duffy has a cigarette in his mouth! The booklet includes extensive sleeve notes about this period of the band's career and includes fresh quotes from Charlie Harcourt, Ray Jackson and Tommy Duffy. There are also sleeve images, band photos and a reprint of an original press advert.

Overall this is a quality package that deserves a place in the collection of any self-respecting Lindisfarne and folk / rock fan.

Seven Of One [DVD]
Seven Of One [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ronnie Barker
Offered by PressPlay
Price: £15.71

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Ronnie Barker series from 1973, 15 Dec 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Seven Of One [DVD] (DVD)
Originally screened in 1973, this was a one-off series of seven episodes, all of which feature the late, great Ronnie Barker in the lead role. Each show features Barker playing a different character and two episodes were later developed into memorable series of their own; Open All Hours and Porridge. Those two aside, Seven Of One has rarely been repeated since it was originally shown and is a worthy addition to the collection of any fan of classic comedy. It consists of the following episodes:
Open All Hours – Barker plays the miserly Northern shopkeeper Arkwright who victimises his errand boy nephew (played by David Jason). This entertaining episode also features Yootha Joyce playing the part of a customer. Sheila Brennan plays the part of Nurse Gladys (later to be played by Lynda Baron) and the shop is in a different location from the later series.
Prisoner and Escort – this is the classic precursor to Porridge, which sees Barker as prisoner Norman Stanley Fletcher being escorted to prison by Mr Mackay (played by Fulton Mackay) and Mr Barraclough (Brian Wilde).
My Old Man – this features Barker as an old man who is forced to leave his soon-to-be-demolished home to live with his daughter and her family. One of the best shows in the series, it features a funny cameo appearance by Leslie Dwyer.
Spanner’s Eleven – this episode follows the fortunes of Ashfield Athletic Football Club (or Ashfield Pathetic as a fan has daubed on the sign outside their ground). Barker is the manager of the beleaguered club, and is given an ultimatum by a local councillor (played by Bill Maynard) to achieve the impossible and actually win a game! The show has a similar feel to, but not quite the quality of, Michael Palin’s classic Ripping Yarns episode Golden Gordon.
Another Fine Mess – this enjoyable episode features Barker as an American man who sends his wife to sleep with tablets in order to escape for the evening to take part in a talent contest. Dressed as Oliver Hardy, he escapes from his bedroom to join up with Roy Castle whose character is dressed as Stan Laurel. However, they get sidetracked, to hilarious effect, on the way to the contest.
One Man’s Meat – written by Barker himself, this is the weakest show of the series and feels more like an extended sketch from The Two Ronnies than a sitcom. Barker’s character is a man who is desperate to escape a starvation diet imposed by his wife (played by Prunella Scales). The show also features guest appearances by Glynn Edwards, Joan Sims and Sam Kelly.
I’ll Fly You For A Quid – the final episode finds Barker as gambling Welshman Evan Owen, who is determined to retrieve his late father’s (cleverly also played by Barker) winning betting slip. The family in the show are keen to have a flutter on anything!

In Search of The La's - A Secret Liverpool
In Search of The La's - A Secret Liverpool
by M. W. Macefield
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for all La’s fans, 13 Jan 2004
If you are a fan of the fabled Liverpool group The La’s then this book is an essential read.
It’s written by a fan who sets out to tell the whole story for the first time. Along the way he meets most of the key players & band associates (Mike Badger, Paul Hemmings, Neil Mavers, Barry Sutton, Cammy & many others) with the notable exception of John Power who declines to talk. The story is fascinating & also dispels many of the myths that have grown around the band, as well as unearthing previously undocumented tales.
The author is unexpectedly granted time with Lee Mavers. A man who rarely gives interviews, he talks openly & honestly about the band – the two “Oral History of The La’s” chapters make you feel that you are there with Mavers & the reader is left in no doubt that he has some incredible new songs.
There’s a real twist in the tale when Mavers completely changes his tune & refuses to talk anymore, saying “I just want to put The La’s & music into a little box & leave it there.” He also tells the author that he doesn’t even want to see a book about The La’s in the shops – a short time before this he was enthusing about the drafts that he had been given.
The tantalising promise of new material is the most inspiring thing about the whole book & the hope that one day, just maybe, Lee Mavers will put together a new band & capture on tape the music as he hears it in his head.
This book is a truly worthwhile read. More importantly perhaps, it makes you want to listen to the music again.

The Best Of Lindisfarne
The Best Of Lindisfarne
Price: £5.81

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 20 track collection, 16 Nov 2003
This review is from: The Best Of Lindisfarne (Audio CD)
Forget all of the sub-standard Lindisfarne compilations on the market which regularly contain live versions of their Charisma-era tracks. This is a collection of the Charisma material in it's original form including the hits 'Meet Me On The Corner', 'Lady Eleanor' & 'All Fall Down' along with the well-known 'Fog On The Tyne' + selected album tracks & B-sides. An added bonus is the inclusion of two previously unreleased Alan Hull-penned tracks. 'Sleeping' has a laidback vibe & is driven along by a melodic bassline. It's got a bit of a Lovin' Spoonful 'Daydream' feel to it, with quite a John Lennon-esque lead vocal from Hull & some great harmonies during the chorus. Even better is the slow & bluesy stomper 'Love In A Cage' which clocks in at 4:43 & contains some terrific harmonica & excellent vocal harmonies. The CD is smartly packaged & drummer Ray Laidlaw tells the history of the band in the sleevenotes.
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Because You (Cd2) [CD 2]
Because You (Cd2) [CD 2]
Offered by The Book Depository Ltd
Price: £0.91

5.0 out of 5 stars CD2 of fantastic comeback single, 7 Sep 2003
See my CD1 review for details of the 1st track. This CD includes two more non-album B-sides which are essential if you're a fan. 'The Carpenter Song' is another avenue for the guys to demonstrate their wonderful vocal harmonies. It's a brave decision for any band to attempt a cover of Stephen Stills' 'Helplessly Hoping' but the Cosmics really pull it off with an amazing re-creation of the CSN classic.

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