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Lawrence Of Euphoria (London)

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The Show Goes On  Songs of Ronnie Lane
The Show Goes On Songs of Ronnie Lane
Price: 10.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shine For Me, 6 Mar 2013
`Reformed but unrepentant' it proudly states on the band's website [...] and here's the proof. 10 tracks drawn in large part from the arc of the post-Faces career of one of Britain's least commercially visible but best and most enduring songwriters - Ronnie Lane - all solely written or co-written by him and played here by a version of his band Slim Chance whose members are drawn similarly from the band's personnel from the mid to late 70s.

Pastoral, folk-edged and rough hewn but subtle and exceptionally well-played the songs on this album sit comfortably alongside the original versions as exemplars of the talent and depth of Lane's song writing. None of the ten tracks here could be described as mere copies of the earlier versions - rather the same songs approached from a different angle - for those who know the originals these are simply another dimension. It goes without saying that they still have the timeless and characteristically English sensibilities of his songs - the tough East End world view that hides within it a sensitivity that is in a direct spiritual line to the English Romantic tradition.

The remarkable thing about RL's songs - for all their apparent simplicity - is that there's something in them that gives them a resonance and meaning far beyond their existence as mere (albeit great)folk-rock-pop songs - a truth obliquely revealed perhaps, that converts listeners to devoted fans. If you're not in that category yet all you have to do to gain admittance is buy this album.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 11, 2013 11:24 AM BST

Microlabs FC330 Model 2.1 System Speaker
Microlabs FC330 Model 2.1 System Speaker
Price: 44.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, another 5 star review..., 21 Oct 2012
Can only concur with the majority of reviews of these speakers - an exceptionally good speaker system for a ridiculously low price. Solidly built, attractively designed, well engineered and with a rounded and balanced sound that you'd expect from a system that you'd expect to pay well over twice this price for.

Best Of Perception & Today Records Compiled By Dj Spinna And Bbe Soundsytem
Best Of Perception & Today Records Compiled By Dj Spinna And Bbe Soundsytem
Price: 11.20

0 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the..., 16 May 2012
2 cds and nothing from the masterful Larry Young album Lawrence of Newark - hardly qualifies as a 'Best of' then.....

City of Sin: London and Its Vices
City of Sin: London and Its Vices
by Catharine Arnold
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Popular history....., 15 Oct 2010
An entertaining and (mostly) well written account of London's place in the world of vice over several centuries that for me was let down on one level by the, admittedly minimal, but jarring, use of modern idioms such as 'bling' and a reference to a person being someone's 'bitch' but more importantly by naming Thomas Becket as Thomas à Becket (p34) and a description of Henry Mayhew "...During his inspection of the many brothels that 'infested' the East End....(observing)... clapped-out old women sharing a can of beer." (p208). Remarkable as Mayhew was writing in the 1850s and the first mention of canned beer in the UK was some 80 years later! Such sloppy editing/proof reading made me question the veracity of all the facts in the preceding pages...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 4, 2011 1:46 PM GMT

Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead!
Men Opening Umbrellas Ahead!

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars caveat emptor...., 14 Oct 2010
Good to see this available again after such a long time but.... the packaging and general care and attention that you'd expect such a long-awaited release to have paid to it simply hasn't happened, especially as it purports to be a limited edition. The overall feel is of something that has been hastily put together and barely checked before release - aside from the very poor design - think early 90s budget label - all the tracks are assigned completely wrong timings in the over-large text on the inlay and sides A and B of the 45 which are the 'bonus' tracks are transposed there too. The booklet has no photographs - just an image of the A-side of the single which hasn't even been cut out properly to lose the background - remaining pages have the lyrics. Inner inlay has a picture of what appears to be a stone garden bench - no caption or reference to say what this is or why it's there. Very poor. All the other comments here regarding the music I can't really add anything too - they're all accurate and will give you a good idea of the music here if you don't already know it. If you are a regular buyer of reissue cds don't expect a quality package of anything like the standard you'd expect of Ace or the higher end major label releases for your money. ***** for the great music, * for the slipshod 'packaging'.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 14, 2013 12:12 PM BST

Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head
Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head
by Rob Chapman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last words..., 7 Jun 2010
It's hard to see what else there could be to say on the subject of Syd Barrett and his music after this, probably definitive, biography. It's a welcome and long overdue revision of his history and the ridiculous and undignified mandrax hair mythology that has cluttered up attempts at a proper appreciation (that and the quality of earlier writer's attempts) of his relevance as a serious artist.

The placing of his work within and connections with english literature and the literary tradition were what made the book for me - the author diligently traces these influences and shows how Barrett's slim body of work didn't just appear out of nowhere as a manifestation of uk psychedelia. Such was the depth of source material uncovered I wondered at points whether I'd actually been listening to the same records as those described. The result of this was that I went back to the albums and listened to them again with a new perspective - on that level alone the book was a great success. The well chosen chapter header quotes from Wind In The Willows caused a re-evaluation of that too - I thought it was just a pleasant children's story - I hadn't realised it was a cosmic treatise on life!

I didn't think as one newspaper critic had suggested that the book became a succession of talking heads - rather that the narrative was moved along by the use of successive first person accounts - just as documentary tv does. Same too with the suggestion that we've all heard enough from Miles etc - sure, he is fairly ubiquitous but he was a vital part of the story therefore relevant and necessary - as others - I didn't feel there were any gratuitous inclusions. It appears that the involvement of the remaining members of the Pink Floyd was quite limited - a shame but I don't think their absence necessarily makes A Very Irregular Head a lesser book for that...

The pointing up of Syd's willful stance to the co-opting of his vision by the demands of the business was interesting and cast his allegedly mad behaviour in a totally new light - its sad that his circumstances/psychology/drug use ended his involvement in music (and life effectively) and rendered him a mad cartoon figure in the mad old sixties but I think the book has gone a great distance in restoring the dignity that those lazy stereotypes and the doorstepping morons who couldn't leave him alone had stripped away.

In an area of publishing dominated by cut-and-paste hack jobs this stands out as a proper piece of work: well written, intelligent and informative and deserving of a place on your shelf next to other similar works by Michael Bracewell ("Re-make, Re-model"), Jon Savage ("England's Dreaming") and Nick Kent (The Dark Stuff).

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