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T. Moss "tim_moss10"
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The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
Price: £4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give yourself to this delight, 28 Mar 2014
I first discovered elbow after hearing Newborn from Asleep in the Back. I purchased the album on the strength of that song alone and found what I consider is one of the most beautiful and intelligent albums ever. It was nominated for a mercury to my delight, and didn't win to my surprise. Such a cracking album and my all-time favourite.

The follow up album Cast of Thousands was something of a disappointment at the time, but I have grown to love it after hearing the songs live. I think it was the prosaic "not a job" that did it in for me, a bland snow patrol effort and I was worried that they were going in that direction. However, most of the rest of the album is truly excellent.

It was about this time the guys did a brilliant skiffle version of Destiny's Child's independent women, which made me realise this was a band with great musicianship but did not take themselves too seriously. Google it if you haven't heard it. Charlie, how do yer get yer angels to get down like that?

Leaders of the Free World is elbow's lost album, which is a great shame since it is outstanding. For those of you who found elbow via One Day Like This, you should listen to this album with its uplifting sing along anthems such as Station Approach and Forget Myself. This is the album in which Guy gained his confidence with his observations "Saint Peter in satin, he's like Buddha with mace" and what is sheer poetry "I pull out the stops/And you, you pull the plug". To this day, the sublime Great Expectations remains my favorite song.

No need to talk about the next album but it was as successful artistically as it was commercially, a rare beast.

Build a rocket boys had a hard act to follow. Yes, it is formulaic and yes, it was rushed, but it is still a fine album, just not as good as it could or should have been. Still, one I return to a lot. How can you not love concepts like "cigarette senate".

So now we have the Take Off and Landing of Everything. And I have to say it is a delicate and measured work of art. Elbow have always rewarded listeners of patience and this album does not disappoint with its sardonic and wistful, often acerbic observation, with breathtaking musicianship. As a lyricist, Guy gives himself entirely, raw nerves and honesty. The opener, This Blue World is initially unsettling with a funereal organ segueing into spacey wistfulness, speaking of sorrow and regret. Charge is a typical elbow wry detailing, funny/sad and with a great hook. Fly Boy Blue/Lunette reads like Guy's diary entries, an internal dialogue or stream of consciousness, again sardonic but reeking of loss. The skiffle verses release to Kid A psyche horns, brilliant stuff. FBB drifts down to the folky Lunette for the remainder. New York Morning is more of a friendly punch (gentle shoulder charge?) to a city than a Paen... Real life (Angel) is my favourite track of the album, a mesmerising, lovely track. Watching sunrise from the mountain listening to this is magical. Honey Sun is a highly unusual track, layers of rythmic motifs, Guy being wistful and sad again (poor chap). My Sad Captains is a weirdly uplifting track; it's musically a military march (Captains?) and a bromance anthem, it's warm and fantastic. Colour fields is another rhythmic motif layering, lyrics speaking of getting away and living - build a rocket girl? The title track is next and its a soaring thumping spacey number. It has the more homogeneous sound of Asleep and while a busy track, if you listen, you are rewarded with lots of counterpoints and detail. Wonderful. Another good track to stare at vistas with. On the final track, Guy is basically channeling early Peter Gabriel with the electronica and ebb and flow.

So again an excellent effort all around. elbow have evolved into a majestic outfit and I don't doubt they will be seen as the Floyd of their age in a couple of decades. I just want to give Guy a big hug and find him a nice girl.

4.5


Keen Targhee II Mid Walking Boots
Keen Targhee II Mid Walking Boots
Price: £99.99 - £115.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Climb with confidence, 28 Nov 2013
I did not buy this from Amazon because I was not offered shipping to Hong Kong - I bought from another company via Ebay.

The boots are in a word excellent.

Comfort - this is the forte of the boot and as soon as you wear them, you feel they are a very familiar pair. Good contact around the heel, midsole and ankle, which is assisted by the tape attached to the laces that wraps around the back of the heel. The toes are left with loads of room and there is just no rubbing at all there - brilliant. Ive worn them for about 60 miles in a short period of time so far and not one niggle. They are also very light for their size which helps massively. The boots absorb shock very well and I felt confident enough to use them to run down the mountain yesterday. this is impressive because hitting the ground to hard was the cause of a recent injury and had I felt any pain at all, I would walked.

Support - this inspires confidence with a tough and rigid midsole and a firm but not restrictive ankle cuff. this shines on uneven ground, you can just power on

Grip - this is better than most reviews say. If these are a 3 star for grip than my North Face hedgehogs woudl get zero. The Targhees are grippy in mud and wet stone but they do suffer on wet moss/lichen. On a dry day nothing will stop them but do be careful on angled rocks in the wet. I woudl give 4 out of 5.

Protection- for a light boot, they are rugged and the trademark rubber toe cap is effective for absorbign stubs. I've not used them in anythign ither than light rain and they kept very dry.

Generally, they are easy to clean with deep, wide lugs. The laces do ride up and over the tongue, but it is easy to prevent that by passing the laces through the loop on the tongue. The laces are of perfect length and are grippy, but even better the plastic lugs at the top of the lacing entrap the lace and don't let it slacken if they become unlaced.

All in all, a very good boot and i highly recommend it.


Weather Systems
Weather Systems
Price: £12.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Soaring and Seasoned, 15 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Weather Systems (Audio CD)
This really is a marvellous album. First of all unlike most albums, there is not one weak track, they all have a presence even they all tell a similar story and they all have a similar form, but each with very different flavours.

The individual tracks with one obvious exception all begin with soft or quiet beginning but soon lift and soar and occasionally rock out with clever instrumental arrangement and skill. This is very emotional stuff.

The first tracks are wistful and melancholy but quickly lift the spirits with a positivity, drive and happiness. You have a sense that these guys are happy with life at the moment.

It is a wonderful listen and the songs stay in your head. Who needs mood-enhancing drugs with music like this?


Variations On A Dream
Variations On A Dream
Price: £11.61

5.0 out of 5 stars Serendipitous Spleandour, 30 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Variations On A Dream (Audio CD)
It is very odd how one becomes aware of an artist/band. My introduction to Pineapple Thief was entirely due to being blown away by North Atlantic Oscillation's Soft Coda on Guy Garvey's Radio 6 show and then the incidental finding of a fantastic independent label in Kscope. It's what I did earlier with Ninja Tune with Coldcut, Cinematic Orchestra et al nearly 10 years ago. I am frankly ashamed I have never heard of Kscope until a few weeks ago.

I feel like I have found the motherlode here with PT and this album is the first I heard. This is a supremely talented outfit and as an album it is an embarrassment of riches. Quality track after quality track, soaring, delicate, mesmerising, measured, jawdropping melodies... How can a band create such delicacy as Wednesday... and then such raw power as Part Zero... it is a wonderful discovery and it lifts my soul to find people are producing music of such pristine beauty. This is an album for staring at vistas, contemplating life and loving it.

How can I have missed this for so long? Anyway, as a previous reviewer has said, do yourself a favour.... Buy this album, pour yourself a large glass of something cheering and give yourself to this rare treat.


Fog Electric
Fog Electric

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and refreshing, 29 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fog Electric (MP3 Download)
This is a great second album for a band crystallising their art into a definite style. They are very individual but I have a sense of more commercial neo Floydy Sigur Ros, but with more affinity with modern production techniques and breakbeats. This is indie rock for the gym, pacey and occasionally aggressive yet uplifting and with an underlying intelligence. What I find the most attractive is the unusual but delightful melodies - they are a constant surprise and definitely a cut above the rest. My only gripe is the disparate arrangement of the album, but with a bit of arrangement it could be virtually perfect. A real gem, and I highly recommend it. 4.5 out of 5.


Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning - Hot & Spicy 280 g
Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning - Hot & Spicy 280 g
Offered by Premier Life Store
Price: £5.41

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Kitchen Must-Have, 20 Dec 2011
I am a serious cook and I hate laziness in the kitchen. I have never seen the advantage of pre-made Thai and Indian spice mixtures since although they taste fine they lose a lot of the vibrancy.

Walkerswood is one of the few exceptions to this rule. I have tried many, many jerk recipes using the freshest ingredients and none have been able to recreate the savouriness, depth and balance of this seasoning. It really is an expert blend and I think markedly better than every restaurant jerk I have had.

It is much more herbal in character and less sweet than what I would consider "typical" jerk. It has prominent allspice and thyme flavours and I am pleased to say that it really packs a punch with a generous quantity of scotch bonnet. Again, nothing overpowers, it is a beautiful balance. It really is the perfect spice for chicken thighs and wings but I find it less successful on pork.

Highly recommended.


Build A Rocket Boys!
Build A Rocket Boys!
Price: £3.99

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rocket of a record., 9 Mar 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Build A Rocket Boys! (Audio CD)
This is a delightful album from start to finish and I am very glad to see the lads have carefully hewn a blissful, characterful, honest and organic piece of art by doing exactly what they want to do.

The massive highlight for me is "The Birds", a powerful and moving piece with the hypnotic melody taking us on a journey at first floating on top of grimy industrial guitar then over Gabrielesque electronics and suddenly to fly to the heavens on a fulsome sweeping orchestration which was for me literally breathtaking. Guys voice goes from the chanting mantra of the first part to emotional belting, never missing a trick. A really cracking track, very uplifting and chill & tear-inducing. A new Newborn of ever there was one.

I've already come to love "High Ideals", thumping bassline and quick tom-toms as a canvas to a clever conversations between guitar, strings and keyboards, it sounds like a musical chain reaction is taking place and there is a vaguely Oriental pentatonic motif punctuating the track. Wonderful textures and so Elbow.

A very untypical track is "The River", a plaintive and undeniably beautiful song, ebbing and flowing like a tide. It is beautifully sparse and delicate like early Kate Bush or possibly later stuff from Cinematic Orchestra. I just wish it was longer.

The album has its eminently chantable anthems in "Open Arms" and "Neat Little Rows" which are typically warm and truly uplifting but I feel it is unavoidable that virtually every TV incidental music technician will be deploying excerpts as soon as they can - you have been warned. Guy's openness and poetic soul are more then evident on track like "Jesus.." and "Dear Friends"

Another unmitigated and unapologetic triumph.


Retribution Falls: Tales of the Ketty Jay (Tales of the Ketty Jay 1)
Retribution Falls: Tales of the Ketty Jay (Tales of the Ketty Jay 1)
by Chris Wooding
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure and skullduggery on the high, errr.... winds., 22 Sep 2010
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Retribution Falls is set in a pseudo Victorian era world where high tech is mechanical rather than electronic, and humanity has taken to the air rather than the seas. It is a breathless tale about the adventures of a disparate crew of freebooters and buccaneers aboard a crumbly old (air)ship.

What is unusual is that character development takes place throughout the novel, the author regaling back-stories at strategic points and one begins feeling somewhat disjointed from the characters initially, which is only a minor criticism since once development occurs, the reader quickly warms to the varied rag-tag of crew. Once in gear, the book rattles along at a fierce pace. This is one of those books where you are looking forward to the next opportunity to read what is going to happen next.

Chris Wooding has clearly imagineered this whole world and society with impressive detail and I have a sense that he has carefully researched the differences in this society that would inevitably occur if human technology had taken such a different path earlier on. He writes very well in terms of prose and the coherence of the plot. I can tell that he has carefully planned the story and this gives a rounded and very satisfying conclusion, which is unlike so many contemporary horror/sci-fi/fantasy writers who seems to all be writing to a deadline and end stories with dissatisfying whimpers or cliffhangers.

So altogether, it is a hugely enjoyable, well-realised adventure that crackles with rich invention and imagination. In fact the only other criticism I would have is that the world is so rich and well-imagined that it takes time for your mind to absorb this unusual yet familiar place. 4.5 stars out of 5.


Asia, the beautiful cookbook
Asia, the beautiful cookbook
by Jacki Passmore
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seminal classic - a must for any serious cook's shelf, 25 April 2009
I first got this book as a birthday present at the age of 18 when I started to become interested in cooking. 20 years on, the book has rarely left my side and is easily the most used cookbook in my considerable collection.

I must have tried almost all of the recipes now, and with few exceptions, they are easy to follow and absolutely delicious. Some recipes have become such stalwarts of my repetoire that I can't imagine life before gulai hati, chet glay hin or nem nuong.

The book is divided into sections by country, with an affectionate description of each at the beginning, and then each recipe is preceded by a little tale, which I love in a cookbook. As far as I am aware, every single dish appears in a photo, which is also helpful.

Recipes have been clearly well researched, and taste like the dishes I have had in the countries I have visited.

After 20 years has produced rather a heavily foxed book, I received a brand new unsullied copy for my 38th birthday recently. I treasure this book and cannot recommend it highly enough.


Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart
Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart
by Pauline Nguyen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed diamond, 25 April 2009
I agree this is a stunning book with wit, reverence and lyrical descriptions, which make it a delight to read. I do have a real problem, however, with the technical material. On the whole, the recipes are superb and typical of the characteristic fragrance and lightness that makes Vietnamese my favourite cuisine. Unfortunately, there are several mistakes, with ingredients missing from the method or vice versa, steps missing and a bewildering list of very unusual ingredients. I know what perilla leaf is, but I doubt many other UK, US or Aussies do without serious research. I have no idea what nem powder is, neither does anyone in my local oriental delis and "half a packet" is hardly a helpful measurement.

It is a great shame, and the blame ultimately lands on the doorstep of the editor, who should have included a glossary and fewer errors to make this into a more user friendly book. It would get five stars in that event.

I would certainly recommend the book if you love Vietnamese food as I do; the recipes are unusual and seem to be more from the heart and home than other more professionally put together books. Because of the occasional frustrations, I would only recommend to a serious cook.


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