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sloop jb (salisbury, wiltshire United Kingdom)

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The Message
The Message
by Tariq Goddard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.62

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real art of Darness. Best so far!, 17 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Message (Paperback)
This is Tariq Goddard's fifth book and it marks a satisfying leap forward in terms of style and content. He's the only writer I can think of right now whose talents are so robust that there is a danger, as was shown in The Late Review Show the other night, of reading him too quickly. With Goddard you always get two books - in this case a serious contemplation on death and the banalities of ambition and power, realpolitik and its practitioners. And a terrifyingly fast plot that takes the corners so fast you really need to hold on. He's a merciless plot driver, but what a couple of the reviewers failed to notice or at least didn't admit to noticing was the delicacy of the writing; there isn't a wasted sentence. He's a new voice, not interested so much in the sound of it, but in using it to construct a compelling and poignant narrative. The Message is fimic; but that's not his fault; and the coda is exquisite beyond words.


Six Winter Mornings
Six Winter Mornings
Price: £8.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Lost Marble found., 29 Jun 2011
This review is from: Six Winter Mornings (Audio CD)
There are names from the early 80s who for various reasons just faded away. I'd heard of them; vaguely remember a film of a very understated band and a song that was underpinned by an elusive and quite plaintive riff. There were also the very confident and tuneful Original Mirrors who had that geezer from The Lightning Seeds... I saw them at the Marquee with someone from Phonogram. They were good. Quite tasteful before it became a dirty word.

I digress. One of the figures from this peripheral 80s memory has become a mate; His name's Stuart Moxham and he was the principal songwriter and creative spirit behind those elusive Young Marble Giants - he was too modest to let on at first - we met in a local choir and got on famously (also as part of this warbling mayhem was Mathew Priest, Dodgy's powerhouse drummer) and after about 4 post-choir pub meetings he told me he'd been to France to play a gig. And they had a lot of fans there. Well, you have to ask, don't you?

What band are you in?

It's like linking arms with the past, or giving the past a pat on the back for being so understanding. I know it's selfish, but if Stuart hadn't fallen out with the enigmatic chanteuse Alison, or had trod the boards more happily with his brother, they would no doubt have made a second album (the difficult one, they say) after the seminal Colossal Youth and life would have been different. But it's looking good for Stuart, and not before time.

He's been busy since the days with the Marbs. I was actually quite shaken when I started to pick his songs off the Spotify tree. I thought, well, he'll be shorn of that drum machine and all that stark, Krafty presence. He'll just be a geezer with a guitar. Which was true; what I wasn't expecting was the sheer drama of his emotions. His voice is a resonant deep tenor, and he sings with such a physical and lyrical honesty, that some lines just catch you off guard and you have to play them again. He's a natural, born again musician.

Six Winter Mornings and it is a stupidly beautiful record. It's full of atmosphere; like a ticking clock near a kitchen table when the sky's going weird. Every song on this ep or mini album is a classic Moxham creation: thoughtful, honest and true, but played with a fine subtlety that keeps you listening for that unexpected chord, that artful dodge.

I asked him about an earlier track:"It's a Lou song, really..." He was talking about the chords, I think, but there was more than a hint of the Reed melancholy, but most of all a mood, to this Cardiff lad's strange and beautiful gift. Colossal Youth: Expanded Edition [VINYL]


The Picture of Contented New Wealth: a Metaphysical Horror (Zero Books)
The Picture of Contented New Wealth: a Metaphysical Horror (Zero Books)
by Tariq Goddard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zero tolerance. And about time., 1 April 2010
The first thing to salute is the Zero Books manifesto printed at the end of this brilliant story. It's a crystallisation of everything you might have felt, being as we are, victims of the bossy, conservative morons who now call the shots in publishing. Goddard's trashing of the new marketeers and their lacklustre risk-free approach to their business is a joy; the overpaid stewards of cultural neglect are given a proper spanking. And not before time. Not that they'll read it.

This is a 5-star book, and like the rest of this author's stories, you feel involved from first page: the time, the place, the characters and their particular world and its smells and texture are introduced with wicked ease. It's 1986. It's set in one of that decade's most pampered backwaters, and you know you're goimg to hate everybody. But you also know you're gonna love the book. Especially when you read with disbelief, the introduction to the unfortunate Brigit, whose possession is manifested to her brother as a soundscape of a noisy farmyard.

You don't hate everybody, of course, and you will soon meet The Rector, a fine, complicated and raddled exorcist who, you feel, could become a Gothic hero in his own right, were more nightmares available for him to inhabit. It's strewn with descriptive sentences, that although you want to read again just for the sheer thrill, they don't interrupt the narrative flow. I noticed a kind of Iris Murdoch paucity of commas sometimes, but to me this was only an occasional trick to disarm a thought that would hold us up. As an excellent reviewer noticed, there along with hardcore historical and personal philosophy, is homage to Mark E Smith.

We're in safe hands again with this book, written by someone who's a gifted and exemplary storyteller.


The Morning Rides Behind Us
The Morning Rides Behind Us
by Tariq Goddard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £8.66

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a five star book. But only if you like good books, Jack., 28 Oct 2009
Well this might be a bit on the complicated, emotional side of things for some people; that's what you have to put up with when you have a book published, you're going to come up against the sort of people who'd only be happy with a tank manual. Jeeze.

I've had two standout thrills this year: This brilliant, violent and compassionate novel, and Bela Tarr's film classic "Satantango" (a bit late in the day, I know). Both, of course would repel the ubiquitous Mr Udy, but both are fascinated and entranced with their subjects and the pivotal times they inhabit. If there's any intelligent life out there, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this detailed, almost pointillist evocation of immediate post-war rural England. But there is no bleakness in the prose, this is rich soil. It could be a tribute to Hardy, on whose turf this is set - the writing is as much concerned with betrayal as the brutal dislocation imposed on these beautifully-drawn characters by war.

I don't read a lot, but I'm just lucky I guess... Let me pre-empt Amazon and say, if you like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Bela Tarr, early Woody Allen, early and late Joni Mitchell, John Zorn, Tom Waits, Gary Giddins, Thomas Hardy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vincent Cassel, Le Plaisir, Cormac McCarthy, Little Jimmy Scott, Leo Messi, Billie Holiday, then get this book.

You won't be disappointed.

See you all at The Squirrel Skinners for a pint of gin, then.


Sátántangó [1994] [DVD]
Sátántangó [1994] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Berling
Offered by A2Z Entertains
Price: £11.78

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If James Joyce took to film-making..., 16 Oct 2009
This review is from: Sátántangó [1994] [DVD] (DVD)
He might have made something like this. In fact he is in there somewhere; one of the crazy dancers, short of sight but long of thirst.

Not one take that lasts less than 10 minutes. Seven hours of mud, rain, drink, madness, sadness. Doesn't sound like a lot of laughs but they are there. It's a film about people; all with their own story which is painstakingly unwound for us by Bela Tarr. This is pure cinema, and you well might, after seeing it, wonder why all films can't be made like this.


A Disastrous History Of The World: Chronicles of war, earthquake, plague and flood
A Disastrous History Of The World: Chronicles of war, earthquake, plague and flood
by John Withington
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a chilling record, 14 Jan 2009
This is one of those books that you find compulsive and fascinating. Very well written and detailed in its terrible accounts of natural and man-made mayhem. It's a valuable reminder some of the stuff that history has started to obscure; the sheer unbelievable and spectacular cruelty of the Japanese pre-war incursions into China, for instance. As well as the tragic and depressing consequences of bad judgment and greed, natural disasters are written up with necessary dryness; the awful and colossal weight of the statistics are enough. These accounts of the arbritrary fate of unsuspecting and helpless victims make very fascinating reading. Should be good reconstructed telly, you think; but the dispassionate prose is probably the best way to recount these horrific episodes that pepper our past, and inevitably, our future.


Tell an Outrageous Lie
Tell an Outrageous Lie
by Mandy Wheeler
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where do I start?, 24 Jun 2008
This review is from: Tell an Outrageous Lie (Hardcover)
I used to know Mandy soon after she graduated from Sussex and worked the summer of 82 working for a removals company in Barcelona. Our favourite bar was in Barceloneta: one which we'd discovered on a job. We spent most of that particular day and virtually the rest of the summer sprawled on the scruffy but comfortable contents of our furniture van. Mandy was a great driver even though she'd only just passed her test; I'd never taken mine, which proved to be my undoing. She was therefore a very sensible drinker and knew when to stop. It was Mandy, conscientious as ever, while taking the auction tags off the chairs, noticed that taped to the back of a tatty rattan number that I had made my own that evening, was a large envelope that had written on it the Lot Number of the piece (number 14 I think it was) and a name that seemed to spell Jesus. I remember she suddenly went, "Jeeess-oos" as though she'd discovered a body. She hadn't, just cocaine with a street value of, say, the street we were in and maybe the plaza it led to. The body, there had to be a body, came later.


Joyosa
Joyosa
Price: £15.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music from the heart, and why not?, 16 Oct 2007
This review is from: Joyosa (Audio CD)
First heard this lyrical, deft combo on Radio 3 one Sunday afternoon courtesy of the sound goddess Verity. I immediately Amazoned the album and two days later saw them live in Oxford. They were, I suppose, the right band for the not-quite-right venue; an appreciative audience of educated world music buffs not given to over enthusiasm, you felt - the interval chat betrayed the usual English middle class irritation at having to leave the house - but I thought the band were thrilling, exultant at times and inspired. Stockhausen (who is a trumpeter of great grace and speed) and Snetburger have a knack of playing fast unison passages that betray a deeps and understated knowledge of their craft; heartfelt and learned. This is a quality record that deserves your immediate attention. Also go and see them live and know that life is good. Even if it is at an arts centre.


Foxy-T
Foxy-T
by Tony White
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars London Calling, 9 Oct 2007
This review is from: Foxy-T (Paperback)
Foxy-T, Ruji Babes and Zafar Iqbal should be stars by now. This book is beautiful and filmic; written in a sharply caught Bangla London patois, lyrical, musical and fast. This is one of the great London novels. Here the geography is real and the people who inhabit this harshly lit world as detailed and loved as the author's cherished domain. The plot is simple - it doesn't need to be a labyrinthine construct; this could happen, you think. People do this. They behave strangely, and the inevitability of Zafar's fate makes this a beautiful and emotional response to real places in a real time. I think it's a masterpiece. Astonishing and audacious? Absolutely.


Du Da
Du Da
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £16.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, mysterious and sweet. Just as it should be., 13 Mar 2007
This review is from: Du Da (Audio CD)
Two Swedes and two English musicians make up this band. I first heard them on Andy Kershaw's R3 slot about a year ago and they were playing at an Arts Centre quite nearby, so I had to see them. I was struck by the contrasting elements of melancholy and brightness that seamlessly create a record of outstanding beauty.

I once heard Kenny Wheeler say he only liked sad songs, and I guess the same goes for me: listen to Ian Carr's instrumental, 'Ian's Javla Jig/Ian's Javla Polska' - track 3, and the full flavour of this magic combo will be revealed.

Karen Tweed's accordion playing is a revelation; and the two Swedish fiddlers, Ola Backstrom and Carina Normansson, (who also provides the vocals) take us on what they rightly call these chilling and thrilling adventures.

Talent in abundance; and live, almost too much to take in. Almost.

Oh yes, and if Ian Carr ever forgot how to play his sharp, concise and understatedly perfect chords, then he'd be a shoe-in for the Perrier Awards in Edinburgh, or whatever they call them now.

Go see 'em, and get their music. I envy you all the thrill of the discovery.


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