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B. Warburton "Lord Barry of Bannockburn" (East Anglia-ish)
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Tales from Terra Firma
Tales from Terra Firma
Price: £11.96

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Keep an eye on the bigger picture, 16 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Tales from Terra Firma (Audio CD)
It's hard to write anything critical of Stornoway because they are so individually talented and appear to be such nice people that you are really rooting for them - however if the basic question is "does this album match their last?" then the answer unfortunately appears to be "no". That's not to say it's bad, but there's not just much in the way of stand-out tracks and their debut was so good it was always going to be hard to match - there's no contenders to rival "Fuel Up" to be found here sadly.

Self producing their album doesn't seem to have done them much harm as the sound is good and they should be proud of their recording achievements, although as other reviewers have noted occasionally the vocal is slightly buried. However, this is probably down to a bit too much going on musically on some of these tracks for Brian's voice to overcome, as this was also the case when having just watched them play live again recently. Maybe a producer would have helped them, as they say, keep their eye on the bigger picture.

Album opener "Take Me As I Am" starts off promisingly but unfortunately descends into a little bit of a musical freakout. The album ambles on reasonably if slightly forgettably, taking in the decent but similarly bloated at a shade over six minutes (A Belated) Invite to Eternity, until reaching its low point "Hook, Line and Sinker" which really has very little to recommend it. Not sure how this track made it past quality control and onto an album of only nine tracks.

Luckily "Knock Me on the Head" starts to pick things up with a well produced Japanese intro before moving into a classic Stornoway feel, a real relief even if it doesn't end up delivering as one of their very best. The good form continues and my favourite tracks are to be found at back of the album. "The Ones We Hurt the Most" (of which they did a very moving live acoustic version which the recording doesn't quite match with its school assembly drum sound) is my personal highpoint and pushes all the right buttons. "November Song" will be very familiar to Stornoway fans as it has long been included in their set (it's the one with the refrain "There's a clock on my wall, sometimes I hear it in my dreams") - I thought they must have just put out as B side somewhere, so was pleased to find it perfectly captured on this album. "The Great Procrastinator", is quite a sweet and undeniably catchy little affair, even if some might be slightly bewildered by the 1930's detective sounding clarinet intro.

I'll keep on listening to this and hope it will grow on me in time. Really hope the band carry on doing what they're doing, am sure they have many more classics left in them. They have a great band identity and individually they're all fantastic musicians, especially multi instrumentalist Jon and Ollie's highly inventive bass playing. This may not be the album to break them into the bigtime - but then again, probably neither they nor us would that for them.


Foo Fighters: Live At Wembley Stadium [DVD] [2008]
Foo Fighters: Live At Wembley Stadium [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Foo Fighters
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £5.48

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm no Mary Whitehouse but.., 21 May 2011
Never been too convinced of the Foo's output, which seems to rely on the shouty stuff a bit too much - ok if you're fifteen perhaps. Still the case here but the acoustic section is more interesting musically.

Having thought of Dave as the sensitive member of Nirvana it was a bit of a surprise to discover that he doesn't seem to be able to put a sentence together on this dvd without the f word. Maybe I'm just getting old. The amount of guitar posing was also slightly concerning - perhaps this was supposed to be ironic and I missed the point..
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2012 8:36 PM BST


Anne Frank (2001) [DVD]
Anne Frank (2001) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ben Kingsley
Price: £4.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anne Frank on Dvd?, 11 July 2010
This review is from: Anne Frank (2001) [DVD] (DVD)
What I didn't expect from this adaptation was the time spent attempting to go beyond the diary itself, notably the lingering and undeniably harrowing concentration camp scenes. Obviously any reader of the diaries can imagine to an extent what followed at the diary's end, but to see it played out is still extremely disturbing - you are left with the feeling that it would have been more merciful if Anne had been sent straight to the gas chambers, as many who do not fully know her story might think was the case. A consequence of showing the aftermath of the Gestapo raid is that whilst the film captures the essence of diary, even at three hours long there isn't sufficient time to develop certain themes to their full extent, most surprisingly Anne and Peter's developing relationship and also Anne's conflicts with her mother. I also felt that you don't quite get the same sense of Anne's increasing maturity that comes through so clearly when reading the diary itself.

Crucially Anne is extremely well cast, as is Peter, Anne's father and the family's outside helpers. Rather less so are the other occupants of the house and the villain who exposes their hiding place, which is a shame as their almost panto portrayals rather detract from the authenticity of the film.

Overall a good adaptation, but those old questions remain - shouldn't we all just take the time to read the diary? Somehow it just feels wrong to be buying this kind of subject matter on dvd, as if it were entertainment, and it almost takes the truth into the realms of fiction. But still I guess it's whatever it takes to help spread the story in a modern world..


Beachcomber's Windowsill: Digipack
Beachcomber's Windowsill: Digipack
Price: £8.09

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you the one that I've been waiting for?, 26 May 2010
For many people this debut will have been a long time coming. What it delivers is basically Stornoway's live sound, which is probably what most of us were hoping for - a band like this don't need studio trickery.

Frontman Brian may share an Oxford education with the rest of the band, but his lyrics and vocals have such a simple beauty that you can't help but think the world would be a rather more decent place if someone were to do the honourable thing and appoint him as its king. Oliver's bass playing is hugely melodic (and a source of some not inconsiderable personal jealousy) and Jon seems to have the knack of just absolutely nailing his parts on whatever instrument he chooses.

What I find odd in the other reviews I've read is that they seem to concentrate on "Zorbing" and "We Are the Battery Human". Personally I find Zorbing to be a little too close to Dragon's Den's Hamfatter for comfort, though it's still a good song, and whilst We Are the Battery Human is an excellent concept and a first listen novelty it soons become eminently skippable. I just don't understand how a song of the magnitude of "Fuel Up" seems to have escaped many people's attention. It has the most wonderful lyrics that will reach out to an awful lot of people and an arrangement to die for, with Jon's organ playing and Ollie's bass underpinning the whole song beautifully. "End of the Movie" is a similarly gorgeous piece of work, the piano part on "Coldharbour Road" evokes the ocean in a way I can't even begin to understand (although Brian's voice suffers from being slightly buried in the mix) and "Boats and Trains" is just a very sweet little song. Of the more upbeat tracks "I Saw You Blink" is simplistic, but a grower that seeps it's way into your brain (it also has the unfortunate distinction of having a pretty terrible video, notwithstanding budget limitations!) and "Watching Birds" hints at a rockier direction they could easily take if the fancy took them.

In essence, this is an excellent debut, leaving a warm glow that brightens your days and fills you with a sense of optimism. The whole is not quite perfect but there's an ample amount of perfection within to more than justifies five stars. They're the kind of band who can make you reconsider the type of band you'd like to be in yourself. That said, their music won't be to everyone's tastes - when I had it on my car stereo my friend thought it "sounded like Clannad" and generally took the Michael...

This cd will look rather nice on your shelf as the cardboard cover is beautifully illustrated - and it will certainly always have a place on my shelf. Let's just hope its release doesn't get overshadowed by the pleasant but rather less imaginative Mumford and Sons album. I know which I'd rather spend my money on.


Beachcomber's Windowsill
Beachcomber's Windowsill
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you the one that I've been waiting for?, 26 May 2010
For many people this debut will have been a long time coming. What it delivers is basically their live sound, which is most probably what most of us were hoping for. Brian's lyrics and vocal delivery leave you with the impression that the world would be a rather more decent place if someone were to do the honourable thing and appoint him as its king. Oliver's bass playing is a thing of true melodic beauty (and a source of some not inconsiderable personal jealousy) and Jon seems to have the knack of just absolutely nailing his parts on whatever instrument he chooses.

What I find odd in the other reviews I've read is that they seem to concentrate on "Zorbing" and "We Are the Battery Human". Personally I find Zorbing to be a little too close to Dragon's Den's Hamfatter for comfort and whilst We Are the Battery Human is a good concept and a first listen novelty, I find both to be eminently skippable. Where they score for me is primarily on their slow-burners, most particularly "Fuel Up" which has the most wonderful lyrics that will reach out to an awful lot of people and an arrangement to die for, with Jon's organ playing and Ollie's bass underpinning the whole song beautifully. "End of the Movie" is a similarly beautiful and honest piece of work, the piano part on "Coldharbour Road" evokes the ocean in a way I can't even begin to understand and "Boats and Trains" is just a very sweet little song. Of the more upbeat tracks "I Saw You Blink" is simplistic, but a grower that seeps it's way into your brain (it also has the unfortunate distinction of having a pretty terrible video, notwithstanding budget limitations!) and "Watching Birds" hints at a rockier direction they could easily take if the fancy took them.

In essence, the whole is not quite perfect but there's an ample amount of perfection within that more than justifies five stars. They're the kind of band who can make you reconsider the type of band you'd like to be in. Let's just hope this release doesn't get overshadowed by the rather less imaginative Mumford and Sons album. I know which I'd rather spend my money on.


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