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Reviews Written by
Michael Powell (Cheshire, UK)

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Raise the Pressure
Raise the Pressure
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £3.66

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's only Euro-pop but I like it, 5 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Raise the Pressure (Audio CD)
If you have heard the first Electronic album, it would be reasonable of you to expect more of the same here - but you would be mistaken. To some people, this album it is fair to say was a disappointment. Gone are the bleak rainy soundscapes of early 90s Manchester and instead we have Euro-pop, some mid 90s dance and house interspersed with some guitar-driven tracks. A "mixed bag of goodies" is how I often perceive this album to be. The opener "Forbidden City" is a sublime song and sees Bernard Sumner giving Electronic it's own "Regret", "For You" follows and is another slice of sublime indie guitar-driven chugging along the M56 on a 90s summer day. "Dark Angel" is the album's first step into Euro-dance territory and where I can imagine some people began to switch off, but the warm touching vocals of Denise Johnson I find hard to resist, not to mention that the dancier tracks on the album are very well constructed, taking the listener down all sorts of tunnels and distractions, on a 6-minute journey of euphoria. This album is not for everyone, but if you are a bit of a sucker for some cheesy 90s dance-pop then this is an album that will be appreciated. Fans of Joy Division the harder-edged New Order of the 80s, would probably wise to avoid. Fans of "Republic" era New Order will feel right at home with this, and could be viewed as the album's natural successor, as opposed to the New Order album which followed, "Get Ready" in 2001.


I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan
I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan
by Steve Coogan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Back of the net!, 5 Oct. 2015
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Quite possibly the most funny book I have ever read, and possibly will read ever... I do not think there was a single page where I did not laugh out loud - literally. A must for any Alan Partridge fan!


Electric [VINYL]
Electric [VINYL]
Price: £17.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Electric!, 5 Oct. 2015
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This review is from: Electric [VINYL] (Vinyl)
A very strong album sees the Pet Shop Boys sound as contemporary and energetic as they have ever been throughout their 30 year career.


Fudge Hair Cement 300 ml
Fudge Hair Cement 300 ml
Price: £10.18

2.0 out of 5 stars Be Wary - Probably Better Off With Something Else, 5 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You would be wise to avoid, the product generally works ok but in my experience the spraying mechanism fails long before the contents are empty. You then end up with half a container of "cement" and no real way of using it. You would be better off using normal putty or gel and finishing off with some hairspray.


Commodore Amiga 1200 - A1200 computer
Commodore Amiga 1200 - A1200 computer

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Versatile Home Computer Ever?, 5 Oct. 2015
Amiga 1200 is by far my favourite machine for a variety of reasons, firstly it is probably the most adaptable and expandable computer available bar none. You can keep it at its stock spec with 2 megabytes of memory and a humble 68020 processor for some classic floppy based gaming, or you can have a bit more comfort by adding a CF card installing WHDLoad and the OS to run and all the software from CF card, which is much nicer experience than doing the "floppy shuffle". This realistically requires some extra memory (not much, a few extra megabytes should do the trick). A CRT screen is preffered over LCD for classic gaming, as the LCD panels show up things that were not originally meant to be seen - jagged edges are visible that would not normally be there etc - it is "too high" definition for the picture that the Amiga was designed to produce. That said, you may not even want to use an Amiga 1200 for gaming.

"What?" I can hear many people saying. Well yeah, why not use the Amiga 1200 as a serious computer?
You think I am kidding? These wonderful machines, despite what some people say, can be capable home computers if you want them to be. Bare in mind, you will need to do a fair bit of upgrading from the base spec, but if you had an accelerator card such as a 68030, around 32/64 megabytes of memory, an 8gb CF card and upgrade to the later AmigaOS v3.9 updates then you have access to an array of features, many of which you would not associate possible with such a classic machine. Wireless Wi-fi connected to your home broadband? Sure, no problem. Cards and software for the Amiga 1200 to do this are readily available. Word processing? Not a problem. There is an array of good office software packages for the Amiga 1200. Listen to MP3s? Yeah you can even do that if you wish. There are some really nice paint and graphics packages also available for this baby - so really, the Amiga 1200 can be anything you want it to be, it all depends on how far you want to push it! DVD drives have also been used on this machine, you could even use an Amiga 1200 for a home theatre setup if you wanted! Plus, what can be more fun than listening to mp3's, browsing the net, doing a bit of word processing or classic gaming on a machine that was launched more than 20 years ago and show it off to your friends and family? The Amiga 1200 was and still is continuing to be expanded with upgrades made available that were far beyond the wildest dreams of the engineers at the time who created it. You can indeed, if you so wish, make the Amiga 1200 a perfectly enjoyable usable computer to face 2015.

Having said all that, the Amiga 1200 is always an excellent classic games machine if that is all you wish it to be, and why not?


BRUT Splash On 200 ml
BRUT Splash On 200 ml
Offered by Look Beautiful
Price: £3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars this splash on version is good to splash liberally over the body and the legs ..., 21 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Classic Brut smell, this splash on version is good to splash liberally over the body and the legs but some dedicated deodrant and aftershave is also required as the scent on its own is too weak on its own after a few hours.


Lost Sirens
Lost Sirens
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost The Plot?, 24 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lost Sirens (Audio CD)
As a New Order fan we expect a New Order album to be quirky in places, perhaps even poor, but the tracks that are true gems more than make up for the offset. Unfortunately on Lost Sirens there are no such gems, and plenty of parts which are poor.
There is no obvious single on the album, no Crystals, no Kraftys, and as such we have an album of 100% mediocrity.. though perhaps slightly harsh as the album DOES come close at certain points. The opener "I'll Stay With You" could ALMOST be a single, but there is something missing, Sugarcane is cheesy throwaway pop, Shake It Up sounds like "Rock The Shack" from Get Ready in a nightclub and the remix of I Told You So is purely disposable.

Lost Sirens has its moments, but unfortunately there is not enough of them to make this a worthwhile purchase. The sound of a band falling apart, tired and in freefall to self-parody.
For the hardcore fans only.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2013 4:50 PM GMT


Nokia Lumia 800 Sim Free Windows Smartphone - Matte Black
Nokia Lumia 800 Sim Free Windows Smartphone - Matte Black

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Phone I've Used Since The Motorola Razr v3, 24 Mar. 2013
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Very rarely do you find a phone which has a wide array of features without compromising in some way on everyday usability or stability, but the Nokia Lumia 800 running Windows Phone has managed it.
After several Android devices over the last few years, I became tired of the constant crashing and on some handsets criminal underperformance [the Barcelona from Orange was far too underpowered] so decided to try something different.

Despite being a Mac user for 10 years, the iPhone I find far too expensive for what is essentially - a phone - though I accept this is 21st century and i Needed more than basic phone/text functionality.

I attempted this narrow end of the market - the low-end smartphone sector - last year with the Blackberry Curve 8320.
Whilst being intially pleased and the interface was very nice - the phone suffered from lack of touch screen and the "ball" used to navigate your way around would often get stuck and need a good clean with compressed air, DESPITE it having a case and being kept as clean as you can keep a phone used everyday. So I promptly sold it and took a look at the Lumia.

As I mentioned earlier, being a Mac user, getting a Windows phone was not really an easy step... but after living with it for now over a month I do not regret it.

The phone is quite simply... very fast.... a speed which I have not seen in fact since the rise of the popular mobile phone with the Nokia 5110 / 3310s of the early millenium. They had their humbleness as an excuse though - these days we want to get on the Internet, listen to music, watch films, download apps - all at the same speed we are used to texting people and calling people. The Lumia does not disappoint.

With the Lumia 900 and 920 models now on the market - for considerably higher cost - the 800 is well worth a look with prices now around £130 sim-free. By avoiding the niggles of a long-term contract, and using a pay as you go service such as Giffgaff - you have a very good value handset indeed.

The best phone I have had since the RAZR V3. A top all-rounder, give it a look.


The Next Day
The Next Day
Price: £5.76

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album since Outside, 24 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Next Day (Audio CD)
Once again the master of all surprises surprises us all again with what has been tipped as "the best comeback album ever". Such a grandiose statement is normally met with cynicism and understandably so - but this time the critics have hit the nail on the head.
The album begins with the punky-sharp "The Next Day" with Bowie biting back at rumours of his health with the chorus line "here I am / not quite dying" his voice sounds the best it has done for possibly 20 years, most likely due to being off the cigarettes for 9 years.

Despite its many nods to the past; "Valentines Day" would not sound out of place on Aladdin Sane, "If You Can See Me" sounds like his early 90s work - the album has its own distinctive sound.
You can tell in places it has the same producer - Tony Visconti - of his previous two albums Reality and Heathen, but the sound is much more layered and as a result does not suffer from flashes of underproduction / clinical compression which occasionally dogged those albums.

All songs including the couple which are down-tempo have a vibrancy which we have not seen in Bowie's work for some time, and though the divine "Where Are We Now" is certainly a brilliant single, it does not portray the feel for the whole album - this is a rock album - which will appeal to all generations of Bowie fan, without sounding like a repetition of the past.

On The Next Day, Bowie has pulled off yet another masterstroke.


Hacienda 30
Hacienda 30
Price: £11.09

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Sounds Great, 17 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Hacienda 30 (Audio CD)
It's been 3 years since the last official Hacienda compilation, Acid House Mixes from 2009 mixed by Peter Hook.
Whilst enjoyable, it only captured a certain side of the club's legacy. Hacienda 30 I feel does a much better job of portraying the various styles of music played in the club through its later more successful period of the late 80s to late 90s. It has 3 disks like the original Hacienda Classics CD, each one mixed by a different DJ; Graeme Park, Mike Pickering and Peter Hook [though the latter I believe did not DJ at the club].
People looking for a compilation for the early years of the club will probably be better off with the 2006 Hacienda Classics compilation, but those wanting some good old-skool dance music from the era the club had its peak could do far worse than this release.


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