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TeckNet® New Apple iPad 4, iPad 3 (with Retina Display), iPad 2 Leather Folio Case - Front & Back Full Protection Smart Cover With Magnetic Auto Wake & Sleep Function - Full Grade Leather (PU) with Micro Fibre Inner Cloth - Included Screen Protector and Stylus Pen - Purple
TeckNet® New Apple iPad 4, iPad 3 (with Retina Display), iPad 2 Leather Folio Case - Front & Back Full Protection Smart Cover With Magnetic Auto Wake & Sleep Function - Full Grade Leather (PU) with Micro Fibre Inner Cloth - Included Screen Protector and Stylus Pen - Purple
Offered by TECKNET
Price: £9.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the perfect item, 1 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bear in mind that I bought my ipad in the summer of 2012. I could have bought the 'official' ipad cover/stand which I think retailed at something like forty or fifty quid.

Instead, I bought the Tecknet cover- for about 15 quid at the time- and it has got to be the best value for money item I have ever bought. Seriously.

First, it is real leather and great quality. Next, it does its job perfectly- fits the ipad perfectly, protects the screen with the cover, and folds back into a very sturdy stand.

Finally, I've had this case for well over a year, use it every day, and it still looks pretty much like new. Absolutely amazing value for such a fabulous product. I'd give it 10 stars if I could.


Misplaced Childhood
Misplaced Childhood
Price: £4.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Distanced by all that was between us, 11 Mar 2010
This review is from: Misplaced Childhood (Audio CD)
Sometime during 1986, when I was eighteen and a vinyl copy of Misplaced Childhood had been my constant companion for several months, I was accused of "living my life by that bloody album" (hello Fiona). Certainly in my fevered teenage mind it was the distillation of lovelorn romanticism (in my limited experience) and, if asked, I might possibly have sworn that it was one of the top three albums of all time.

So, 25 years on, I've picked up a cheap copy on CD. I've listened to the whole of it for probably the first time in getting on for 20 years. How does it stand up?

The answer is, not very well. I've recently re-listened to Script For a Jester's Tear and other early Marillion; in the main, despite poor production, the none more prog everything but the kitchen sink energy is still thrilling. Grendel is even more epic than I remembered. Misplaced Childhood, however, is anaemic by comparison. Fish is mainly sitting in the corner moaning quietly to himself. Mark Kelly's keyboard solos are almost entirely absent. Steve Rothery's famously reductive guitar solos do burst into life now and then but for large parts of the record he's buried in the mix.

Worse, the album has attention deficit disorder. As if to acknowledge that they aren't strong enough, song ideas come and go at a dizzying speed, around nineteen of them in a surprisingly brief 40 minutes or so. Even those ideas which do work are never developed long enough to satisfy.

Of course, there are high points. I may cringe at Fish's lyrics from my middle-aged standpoint but sometimes he does produce an arresting image. Like many before him, he writes about the dislocation felt by the touring rock star, and to my ears this is what really comes through 25 years later. "Blind Curve" is a highlight, kickstarting an energy in the last few minutes that could have come earlier. And, of course, it is an irony that a band previously known for lengthy prog epics on an album that formed one continuous `suite' of music managed to produce a near-perfect pop song in `Kayleigh'.

It is easy to forget from this distance how popular Marillion were in 1985. The album went to number one, Kayleigh to number 2 and the follow up single `Lavender' to number three. Tha band went from playing sweaty clubs to full size arenas in just two years. It was a short-lived success, sure, but great while it lasted and I'm glad to see Marillion are still a going concern, supported by their fans and the Internet, although I haven't listened to anything after 1987.

I confess to being disappointed by Misplaced Childhood 25 years on. I accept this says as much about me as it does about the record; it can't possibly live up to my teenage memories, and judged dispassionately it's a great achievement. I just don't want to live in it any more.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 9, 2011 6:04 PM GMT


Hill of Thieves
Hill of Thieves
Price: £8.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and haunting, 4 Nov 2009
This review is from: Hill of Thieves (Audio CD)
Cara Dillon's fourth solo album represents something of a departure from her previous release. Gone are much of the glossy production and full band sound. Following an extended break to care for her prematurely-born twins, Cara has returned with a quieter record, comprised mainly of traditional songs, with a more distinctly Irish sound than before.

It goes without saying that Cara's voice is as beautiful as ever. It is no surprise that this is a collection of beautiful arrangements. "The Parting Glass" and "False, False" have surely never sounded better or more haunting. It did seem a little muted on early listens but repeated hearings reveal a fragility and stillness that is genuinely affecting.

I'm not saying that I would wish all Cara's albums to sound like this- overall I perhaps prefer the variety of After the Morning- but this is a rewarding album of beautiful traditional tunes.


The Resistance
The Resistance
Price: £7.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly mental, 3 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Resistance (Audio CD)
At the recent Q awards, Muse were named 'Best band in the World'. Now, I'm a huge Muse fan. Working in Torquay in the 90s, I read about the first record deal for an unknown Teignmouth band in the local paper. When their first album appeared I bought it on a whim, loved it (of course) and I've bought and enjoyed every CD since on release. But the best in the world? Really?

What's all this got to do with the new album? Well, as usual Muse never do anything by halves, and the scale of the ambition shown on The Resistance is breathtaking. As ever, the bombastic rock, warp speed arpeggios and classical-style pianos are all present and correct. The high camp and early Queen style dramatics are ramped up higher than ever (these are all compliments by the way).

And yes, mostly I love it. But- there's always got to be a but- I'm about to make two criticisms which mostly contradict each other, but do make sense. Trust me. First, much of the material hasn't moved on very much over the years. In fact, I think previous album 'Black Holes and Revelations' is superior in both songs and scope.

Second, the band have over-reached themselves in the none-more-prog three-part 'symphony' Exogenesis which closes the album. The faux-classical piece doesn't really work as rock, simply doesn't have enough melody to stick in the memory and certainly isn't going to cause any classical composers any sleepless nights.

I'm still giving them four stars, but the suspicion remains that Muse are stuck with the one trick. It's a very, very good trick, and audiences clearly love them. So do I, and deep down, I wouldn't change them for the world.


The Beatles: The White Album
The Beatles: The White Album
Price: £13.90

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars patchy after all these years, 2 Nov 2009
How does one go about writing a review of a Beatles album in 2009? It's more than 40 years since this album was first released, and there's been a hell of a lot of music under the bridge since then. First of all, I am no audiophile; this new supposedly 'cleaned-up' edition has been played exclusively on an ipod. So sue me. I bought this album on record in the 1980s, and with one or two exceptions I certainly can't hear any difference.

So if a band released this album today what would the reviewers say? Most obviously, that it is too long, too bloated and partly made up of half-baked ideas that have not been properly developed. Ok, ok; so this particular band poured out so much musical genius that it probably didn't matter too much, but I'm not sure a mdoern band would be given an easy ride on this. Of course, in 1968 a single album was limited to 45 minutes; it would be interesting to know if any of the material would have been left out if it had been designed for a CD release. Personally, I'm also not too keen on the kind of musical pastiche that too often raises its head.

Having said that, given that this album was released just 17 months after Sgt Pepper, it is stuffed full of absolute pop classics; Back in the USSR, Dear Prudence, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Happiness is a warm gun- all on side one! Most bands that ever picked up a microphone would be happy with this as a collection of a life's work- the Beatles knocked it out in little over a year, and as was their wont didn't even find the need to include Hey Jude, recorded during the same period...

For me, however, listening for the first time in many years to the whole album, George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" dominates proceedings. Sounding like it was recorded yesterday, it is one of the few moments where the sound seems to have been given a new clarity.

With the benefit of 40 years' hindsight, "The Beatles" doesn't match up quite to its predecessor Sgt Pepper or successor Abbey Road, but it is a very very high standard, and it certainly contains enough classic materail to be worth the purchase.


Recorded Delivery
Recorded Delivery
Price: £11.11

4.0 out of 5 stars Great live album, 29 Oct 2009
This review is from: Recorded Delivery (Audio CD)
When i was a teenager I used to love a good live album, however repetitive the singer's ad-libbing became after a few listens. In recent years, might be me, but live albums have become too sanitised, just a retread of the original versions, and generally boring.

I'm biased, but lovely Thea Gilmore has recreated some of the old feeling. It's a given that a live album from probably the UK's greatest singer-songwriter is full of great songs. The mix of familiar and unfamiliar material, the halves of acoustic and electric material, and a couple of brief explanations of the origins of songs make up the perfect live package.

I would give this four and a half stars; I think a five star review is too much for a live album which contains, in the end, a lot of pre-existing material. It deserves to sell millions, of course, but almost certainly won't; Thea should be a superstar, but probably never will be. More's the pity.


Yours Truly, The Commuter
Yours Truly, The Commuter
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £8.18

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fragile. Beautiful. Perfect., 28 Oct 2009
When Grandaddy split up in 2006, not enough people mourned. At their best, Grandaddy were the equal of any of the world's biggest bands, their mix of rock guitar and lo-fi piano with beautiful melodies ploughing the same groove as Radiohead, Coldplay, or last year's Mercury prize-winners Elbow (with a resolutely American bent).

It is a mystery, therefore, why they never achieved global stardom. Three years on, composer and band leader Jason Lytle returns with a solo release. Understandably much in the same vein as his band's material, maybe a little older, a little sadder, its songs filled with delicate and fragile melodies, this album gets under your skin and stays there.

Yours Truly, The Commuter contains fewer of the guitar-driven fireworks of his former band's material, but each song forges its own identity until one cannot help but fall under the spell.

Anyone who loves melodic rock music surely could not fail to enjoy this album. I just hope one day the world wakes up to the genius of Jason Lytle.


Atonement [DVD] [2007]
Atonement [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Keira Knightley
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.50

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the slightest of tales, 26 Aug 2008
This review is from: Atonement [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
When Ian McEwan's Booker-prize nominated novel was released, there must have been an instant queue of British film producers waving options contracts at him. After all, Atonement contains all the elements for a successful British film. The country house location. The upper classes, cut glass accents, the period drama. The war! Even better. And so it came to pass, that the film of Atonement was praised by many critics and nominated for lots of awards.

But how does it play when I'm sat in front of the TV on a Friday night? Therein lies the problem. I have not read the novel but I can see what the themes are, and the film is simply unable to carry them off. Without them, it is a very slight story, in which the characters are never developed fully enough for us to care what happens to them. Yes, it looks beautiful. The script is cleverly worked and tries valiantly to reproduce the effect of the multiple viewpoints of the novel. The actors, particularly the leads, are uniformly excellent, and the director has plenty of good ideas.

The big set piece scene set at Dunkirk in 1940 has attracted plenty of attention. It is certainly a tour de force and hats off to Joe Wright for pulling it off. I do feel it greatly dominates the entire film; nothing that precedes or succeeds it has anything like the same impact. Neither am I worried by its authenticity; it is ironic that in a fictional piece which questions the reliability of the authorial voice that viewers have complained about what would or would not have happened.

Ultimately, the film fails to exert any kind of emotional pull. It is a pleasant enough way of spending a couple of hours, but will not live long in the memory.


GLASS SHADOWS
GLASS SHADOWS
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £12.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars hope you like our new direction, 22 Aug 2008
This review is from: GLASS SHADOWS (Audio CD)
I first encountered Mostly Autumn by chance early last year, when Bob Harris played Fading Colours from the last album Heart Full of Sky on his late night Radio 2 programme. I was only listening because I was returning home late in the car. Fading Colours blew me away. I quickly bought- and loved- Heart Full of Sky, and sought out Mostly Autumn's `none more prog' back catalogue.

Mostly Autumn are one of those bands that hardly anyone has heard of but are actually really popular. As an avid prog fan in my youth their music is reminiscent of prog's great days, but with a modern feel, and a little bit of folk thrown in. Pretty much perfect, then.

All this brings me to Glass Shadows, their 2008 release. I have a problem with it, and it is this; there is not nearly enough prog on it. In fact, we're often in the realms of glossy American-style AOR. I guess the band have made a deliberate decision to go in a different direction, but much of Glass Shadows sounds more like Fleetwood Mac than Pink Floyd (although of course, the Floyd sound makes an appearance). Don't get me wrong, the songs are well constructed, the playing is excellent, Heather's singing in particular is right on the spot, but... well, I just don't love it enough. Highlights for me are the epic title track and Tearing at the Faerytale, when I can feel the old magic, but the whole package is a little too commercial for me.

I'm still giving this four stars because compared to most new music it's still great, and I am fully aware that most people who are not hardcore old prog fand like me may well love the direction of this album, but for me Glass Shadows is not the band's finest hour.


Ocean's Thirteen [DVD] [2007]
Ocean's Thirteen [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ George Clooney
Price: £2.72

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fast, furious and nonsensical, 19 Aug 2008
Well, here's the good news; Ocean's Thirteen is very definitely better than the self-satisfied Ocean's Twelve which preceded it. This time around the team have returned to the Vegas location of the first film. Elliott Gould's character (the names still fly past so quickly I can never catch them) has been stiffed in a deal by old Vegas hand Willie Bank (a very strange `performance' by Al Pacino) and nearly died as a result. Needless to say, the team gets back together to swindle Bank out of a fortune at the opening of his new hotel.

Cue a blur of funny wigs, frighteningly fast and incoherent exposition, dead ends, the spending of an implausible amount of money, and one impressively obvious false nose. It is easy to forget that the original was a tight, clever heist thriller with a twist very few saw coming. In Ocean's Thirteen, the heist isn't really a heist at all, just everything but the kitchen sink thrown into the plot and mixed around. Also, it's a good job there aren't any surprises- the dialogue is very difficult to follow at times.

Having said that, it's enjoyable enough in its own way, as long as you just sit back and enjoy the ride. In-jokes are ticked off (although what film Ellen Barkin thought she was in I'm not sure), characters make their expected entrance, and at the end all's right with the world. Just don't ask me how they managed to conceal not one but two Channel Tunnel diggers somewhere under the Vegas strip.


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