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Dr Roots (North East of England)
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Sick Transit
Sick Transit
Price: £0.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We're in the tour van - and we mean it, maan!, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Sick Transit (Kindle Edition)
I read this book as I’ve always been a fan of both recorded and live music. I admire musicians mainly for two things: their creative skills and artistry in composing and/or delivering a tune and their stoicism in between the times they are actually on stage for persevering through working conditions that would test the resolve of anyone too young to recall the privations of a nineteenth century coal mine.
The book takes us through the smells, sounds, sound checks, seedy venues, soiled smalls and the supping, snorting and shifty sex – although seemingly, mainly the smells - associated with rock band tours on a tight budget. It is more than tinged with realism as it brings home to me just how much I would have hated that world. It is a bit of a miracle that nobody seriously falls out with each other, although, as this is the story of a first tour, maybe we shall have to wait for a sequel for that. If was in the back of a van and the only music they were playing was a cassette of Eno’s “Music for Airports” I would be feeling positively homicidal towards my fellow passengers by the time we reached the first service station.
I hope there will be a sequel at some point, mainly because I would like to know what happened to Robi’s haversack. The only thing that stops me from awarding this book five stars is that one of the characters actually uses the phrase “craft beer” in dialogue with another character in the closing stages of the book. No sane person (and certainly not one from Newcastle), or any insane person come to that – apart from maybe a few marketing monkeys from Islington or Swiss Cottage – would ever actually use that naff phrase in conversation. If by any chance they did, however, that would, in my view, be more than ample justification for their immediate expulsion from the band. One really must run a tight ship!

Four plus stars – well worth a read.


David Cameron Lifesize Cardboard Cutout Standee
David Cameron Lifesize Cardboard Cutout Standee
Offered by Partyrama
Price: £29.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can hardly wait for the talking version, 11 May 2013
After assembling my cutout Cameron and placing it in the hallway to keep my butler on his toes, I have noticed that recently it's begun to behave rather oddly. For example, if you hold a newspaper headline up in front of it, the cutout swivels through 180 degrees and faces the opposite direction. Also, the "Made in Europe" label keeps getting mysteriously covered up. Nevertheless, I must stress that the family and I still get a good laugh everytime we set eyes on it. There is rumoured to be a talking version on the way, once they've ironed out some programming issues that allow it to say absolutely anything in an attempt to discourage you from putting it back in its box. However, it does seem to fold readily so it should be straightforward to dispose of once you inevitably tire of it.


Pure Accessory - Charge PAK C6L Rechargeable Battery Pack for Pure
Pure Accessory - Charge PAK C6L Rechargeable Battery Pack for Pure
Offered by Hughes Direct
Price: £37.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nightmare on DAB Street, 27 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Have had devil's own job with this over 48 hours. Wasn't easy to fit in the first place but when I did get it installed it refuses to engage with the radio unit. Newly purchased Pure One radio works fine from mains or disposable batteries but this (not inexpensive) rechargeable unit has been waste of money. Shame because I wanted to use the radio on a portable basis. Not happy at all and feel cheated. Others have obviously been satisfied but that's no compensation when one gets a dud for oneself.


Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream
Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream
by Neil Young
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.10

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His life's an open book, you can hear it on the radio..., 15 Oct 2012
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I have read this book twice in the last nine days. It's very direct but in places deliberately evasive. Bits of it are tragic and extremely sad, yet bits are laced with extraordinary humour. Parts of it disappoint but that's somehow masked by the parts that are simply brilliant. It's rough and ready, but you can't help be impressed by the way honesty and feeling are present in place of glossy production values. I thought: what does that remind me of? Oh yeah, most Neil Young studio albums!! Seriously, an essential read for any Young fan. Wonderful.


No Off Switch: An Autobiography
No Off Switch: An Autobiography
by Andy Kershaw
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable (okay, I know that's not a real word) autobiography, 5 Jan 2012
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For Kershaw fans, I cannot recommend this book enough. I can guarantee you will enjoy every page. I'm 59 and have listened to radio (and music) all my life since I was 5 years old and found a 10" 78rpm of Lonnie Donegan's "Cumberland Gap" and asked my mother to play it. That was it, that was all it took, I was off. And in all that time I have to say that Kershaw is one of the very best broadcasters this country has ever produced. As a music anorak, I'm often heard to say that one of the greatest items in my personal music collection is a number of boxes of tapes of Kershaw programmes from the 90s/new millenium that were completely outstanding in their choice of latin, african, asian, folk, country and r&b greats. I even went out and bought an enhanced FM radio aerial for the purpose. This book is also a must for any fans of the late, great John Walters, who - inevitably and quite rightly - features prominently in a number of chapters. Today, Andy seems thankfully to be over his well publicised difficulties of a few years back. Frankly, I'm not interested in the details of that. As long as all concerned have moved on, I don't see any reason why our airwaves should be short-changed any longer by his absence, since his series for Radio 3 a year or so back. A terrific read from terrific broadcaster.


The Masters of Sitcom: From Hancock to Steptoe
The Masters of Sitcom: From Hancock to Steptoe
by Christopher Stevens
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More a book of scripts than a biographical account, 28 Nov 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I enjoyed this book. A word of caution, however, to prospective buyers looking for a biographical account with some script extracts. It's actually the opposite of that: it's a book of scripts linked with a modest amount of narrative. Nevertheless, being a huge fan of the work of Galton and Simpson since I was a young boy (I'm nearly 60 now) I found it delightful. Some of the material I'd never heard of, let alone seen or heard, so real fans of G & S will not be disappointed.


The 52 Seductions
The 52 Seductions
by Betty Herbert
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Likeable, amusing diary of couple rekindling their relationship, 28 Nov 2011
This review is from: The 52 Seductions (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not sure why I selected this book (looking for tips, maybe?!) but I'm probably not its target audience (male, middle-aged), so please bear that in mind when you read this review. I found this to be an amusing diary account from the woman's viewpoint of a couple looking to rekindle their relationship. It's written with a good heart and considerable wit but I did find it repetitive. I realise that's probably inevitable. To be even-handed about it, it is called "52 Seductions", so it could be said it's only doing what it says on the tin! Nevertheless, it's not so much "The Story Of O", more "The Story Of Oh No, Not Again". I'm not describing it as "chick-lit" (it's miles better than that) but, to be honest, I think it would definitely appeal more to women than to men. Three-and-a-half stars.


I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59
by Douglas Edwards
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars The early days of Google - from the inside, 30 Aug 2011
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a memoir of the author's time as the marketing lead for Google between 1999 and 2005. I was looking forward to reading this book. Whilst I'm certainly no computer geek and wouldn't understand programming any more than I would understand a page of ancient Sanskrit, personal computers have paid such a huge part in so many lives over the past decade or so and Google has played a major role in that story. Besides, you don't need to know how a watch mechanism works in order to tell the time.

I thought it was well worth reading although it is a little dry in parts. Whilst steering clear of personalising a number issues too much, it certainly gives you a flavour of some of the colourful and eccentric characters that put so much into the early growth of the company. To be certain, a number of them read like people who should have gotten out more - but if they had they wouldn't be who they were and doubtless wouldn't have achieved so much.

Although Google saw itself as very much at the vanguard of the alternative business culture the internet boom helped spawn, in my view, one of the things that strike one most from reading this account is how quickly - despite all the hype to the contrary - the company developed a very corporate culture, despite the alternative trappings of what people wore to work and what the workspace looked like. Indeed, Google obviously became not just corporate but "uber"-corporate with all the usual office politics driving and/or impairing its internal culture, just the same as any corporation.

All in all, an interesting read which reminds us of the good old days of Google when its internal staff motto of "Don't be evil" still seemed to mean something. The story ends in April 2005 when Douglas Edwards left the company and therefore, reasonably, need not be drawn into some of the controversies surrounding the company in subsequent years. It's by no means a definitive history of Google - if such a thing could be written, or be allowed to be written by those who would control approval of such an account - but is worthy enough as one person's close-up view of how it achieved so much so quickly.


The End of the Party
The End of the Party
by Andrew Rawnsley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing account of the decline of New Labour, 12 Jun 2011
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This review is from: The End of the Party (Paperback)
I read this book on holiday last year (2010). The first thing I did when I got to the end was to go back to the start and read it again. I can't tell you how many years it is since I did that with a book. I'll be brief: this is essential reading for anyone with an interest in modern politics. It is a meticulously researched account of how the New Labour project went from an election they didn't even have to try to win and get a massive majority in 2001 to the winter of 2009/10 when - in the wake of the leadership change, the global recession and the need to bail out the banks - the Party seemed merely to be waiting for the inevitable defeat in the May 2010 General Election (although when that came, of course, it was played out in a drama of its own). As other reviewers have pointed out, the paperback version includes an extra chapter covering the election period.


Quentin Tarantino Presents: Hero [DVD] [2004]
Quentin Tarantino Presents: Hero [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Jet Li
Offered by rsdvd
Price: £3.79

5.0 out of 5 stars A visual feast, 17 May 2008
Fans of the genre will not be disappointed. Good story, solid performances, some fantastic fight sequences and great colour.


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