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A. R. Tyte "Brit abroard" (China)

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Solo: A James Bond Novel
Solo: A James Bond Novel
Price: 2.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, weak and a waste of time., 14 Feb 2014
A dreadfully dull book from start to finish. The only reason I completed the book was because I was on holiday and had nothing else to read. I will never get the time back I took to read this. If an unknown novelist had produced this it would never have got published. Dreadful.

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

5.0 out of 5 stars A musical magical Journey, 3 April 2012
I have just finished reading Andy Kershaw's stunning auto biography "NO OFF SWITCH". Its a brilliant read which the other 50 reviewers describe well enough. You don't see close to 50 out of 50 5 star reviews on a pup, so what are you waiting for go and buy this book. You really don't need my pointless review to convince you.

The Review by Rachel Cooke of the Observer is a vile and personal assault on Andy as a person and as an author and should be ignored at all costs. In fact If I was her editor I would be asking her to explain herself. I doubt for one moment she has even read the book, because her opinion of the contents differ so much from what I have taken from the book.

Andy had me reaching for records I had not played in years as he wove his life in and out of an ever changing music scene. I must confess to not listening to much of Andy as a Radio broadcaster as I was often living abroad (as I am now)but whenever I came across him on TV or other, he always struck me as an enthusiastic presenter who believed in what he was saying, and that's why I bought it in the first place. His enthusiasm shines throughout the book, often its his desire to get things done now, that has caused him problems particularly with his personal life towards the end of the book.

His stunning accounts of his adventures into Africa are a reminder of the stark reality of the atrocities that have been committed and one that we should not forget and I thank Andy for describing them so vividly.

This book is so good, the next time I have to buy a present for someone, then this is the best gift I can think of.

Good Luck to you Andy, and if you ever find yourself in Hong Kong let me know, I will buy you dinner and a beer as a way of a thank you.

James Blake [2CD Deluxe Edition]
James Blake [2CD Deluxe Edition]
Price: 6.36

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont be fooled by his Radio Sessions, 7 Mar 2012
I must say, I heard James playing live on Dermot O Leary and being heavily pushed by Jo Whiley and I really liked his stripped down sound. However this album is terrible. Its a one trick pony and the songs all sound far "too samey" for my liking. I would strongly suggest you carefully listen to this before buying rather than judging it as I did on the Radio live sessions which were excellent. Sorry James, its a miss this time around.

Price: 8.23

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great song writing but over produced, 11 Feb 2011
This review is from: Bella (Audio CD)
3.5 stars for me.This album came out on February 7th, and by coincidence I went to see Teddy live at the intimate Norwich Arts Centre the very same evening without listening to the album. A friend of mine who is a big Teddy fan, spoke to me late in the day to say he quite liked the album, having played it at work all day, BUT said it was over produced with too many strings. Teddy came on stage and was accompanied by a drummer, bass player, the very impressive David Ford (who was also support at this show and is very very talented and worth checking out) and one Violinist who also sang on a couple of songs, her duet on "Tell Me what you want" was far superior to the album version. Teddy romped through his set and the new songs from Bella appeared familiar and in general, they are well written, typical Teddy Thompson songs (nothing wrong with that), catchy and very well sung and sit perfectly with his back catalogue. At the gig, we bought the new album Bella and played it on the way home in the car. Immediately I could see what my friend was talking about, the strings (as one reviewer has already said) appear on a couple of songs to have been added almost as an after thought?
I have to say that the song writing is as good as ever, if not better, I much prefer the stripped down versions sung at the concert rather than the "over produced" CD version. In time of course I am only going to remember the album version, and in time I may be able to forgive the over use of the strings. I am really not sure how Teddy allowed the album version to be released as it is now...or indeed why someone close to him has not had a word about the production. Perhaps there is a master plan, for Teddy to release a stripped down version later on, just as The Coral have done with their last album (now there's an idea)?
Old fans of Teddy are not going to have too much trouble with this album (unless you are effeccted by the production), as its typically Teddy with his high songwriting craft and silky voice. I am not sure though it will convince anyone who is unsure about him? I would give the songwriting 5 stars if it was based on the merit of the songs and his splendid voice, but it loses 1.5 stars for me because of the production.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 28, 2011 9:50 PM BST

Foxy: My Life in Three Acts
Foxy: My Life in Three Acts
by Pam Grier
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Foxy by name but not by nature?, 1 Nov 2010
This is a thoroughly enjoyable read from arguably (one of)the first major Black American actress to hit the screens as top billing. Its a fascinating story of what life was like growing up in a racial intollerent world and the struggle to be accepted as an equal and the breakthrough into movies and stardom.Pam has lead a very interesting and often tragic life, having been raped twice, once at the age of six,and battled through Cancer (which killed two of her best friends at a young age) she has had more than her fair share of heartache and pain, but comes through it all with dignity and a greater appreciation for life. The book would have been better in my opinion to have included more details about each film she has starred in, Coffy, Black Mama White Mama, Foxy Brown,etc(after all, thats the main reason I read the book in the first place)and she has rejected the opportinity to make it a kiss and tell story, in most cases. We do learn about her breakthrough, filming in the Philippines and getting eaten alive by mosquitos and a great story later how she got the part in "Fort Apache the Bronx" with Paul Newman.I completed the book in two sittings and topped the day off watching her in Tarrantinos, Jackie Brown, where she stars in one of her very best performances.
I have huge admiration for Pam Grier as a person after reading this book, it would be easy for someone so beautiful to be completely up their backside and abnoxious, but she is as far removed from that as you could ever be. Good Health Pam Grier!

One Flew into the Cuckoo's Egg
One Flew into the Cuckoo's Egg
by Bill Oddie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.00

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring Boring Boring!, 18 Oct 2010
It pains me to say this, but this is one of the dullest books I have ever read. Sorry Bill, but it really is.

It started off okay, but then just dragged on and on, and to be honest I really struggled to finish it.

I loved the Goodies as a child, like him on Springwatch, had dinner with him once in the Seychelles where he was entertaining and very interesting and could not wait to read this after my parents left it behind after a visit earlier this year.

I hated the section where he interviews himself, as one other reviewer states the novelty soon wears off. Having read the book, it looks as if the publishers at several points throughout him writing this, probably thought he was never going to finish due to his (mental)health issues. I can only assume that they were so relieved that he had finished it that they did not have the heart to tell him, that it really is not good enough or interesting enough.

If there are other Bill Oddie books where he talks in more detail about the Goodies, then perhaps I picked the wrong one to read...but I can't see me going near them now.

Before anyone thinks I am Bill Oddie bashing I am not, I like the man, but the book is dull.

The Riches - Season 1 - Complete [DVD]
The Riches - Season 1 - Complete [DVD]
Dvd ~ Eddie Izzard
Offered by loftmedia
Price: 13.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great acting but unbelievable plot?, 6 May 2009
I know I am going against other reviewers here, who love this programme, and I can see the appeal, however the programme just has an unbelievable plot line and I just could not get my head around that. Strange that I can enjoy say Star Treck or Batman, the difference being they are make believe and this is supposed to be drama, with a healthy mix of comedy thrown in. So lets get things out in the open here;
The pro's are the cast, simply excellent all round, Minnie Driver is breathtaking as Dahlia Malloy who starts season one being released from prison to be reunited as the wife of (Eddie Izzard), Wayne Malloy and the Mum of the exceptional Noel Fisher as Cael Malloy, Shannon Marie Woodward as DiDi Malloy and the cross dressing son Sam, played by Aiden Mitchel.
After a freak accident where they stumble across the recently departed Riches they assume the identities of Doug Rich and his wife and live in luxury in Edenfalls, a gated community, not bad for a bunch of travellers (gypsies).
Sadly this is when it gets a bit unbelievable for me, as Wayne takes on Dougs role as a hot shot attorney for the wicked Hugh Panetta head of PANCO, played by the talented Gregg Lee Henry.
Having said all that, will I be watching season two, almost certainly yes, but I will still have that feeling that its all a bit too absurd for its own good. The acting is really exceptional though and thats what holds it together. People who like Weeds may enjoy this, those that like shows like the Wire, Madmen or the West Wing may just feel that the writing is just a bit far fetched.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 10, 2010 6:50 AM BST

The Rockingbirds
The Rockingbirds
Price: 27.46

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Band Before their time, 3 May 2009
This review is from: The Rockingbirds (Audio CD)
At last the Rockingbirds first album has been released and with it a second disc packed full of extra tracks including their first ever single and a couple of early live tracks from Austin, Texas in 1992.

Its often said that bands were ahead of their time and I cant think of a better example of that, than the Rockingbirds. When they were performing around Camden in the early 90's, the term Americana had not been born or was not widely known, and if they had come along a few years later, they may well have had the success they deserved?

Alan Tylers songs have always been severely under rated, who penned all songs on the original release except for "In Tall Buildings" which was written by John Harford. Some years ago, I talked to Alan after one of his gigs in London and asked him why he had not sung "In Tall Buildings" as I thought it was brilliant. He just smiled and said he should consider it next time, rather than tell me I was a numpty as he had not written it. Thanks for being a gent Alan. If there is any justice in the world Alan Tyler will hopefully be known for writing great "country" or "Americana" songs, because some of these rock. Wrong time, wrong place perhaps?

Alan's solo albums are worth checking out, but not before you indulge and listen to one of the best Americana bands around and perhaps at another time would have made more of an impact. the Rockingbirds have been touring the UK this spring, and no doubt will be attracting lots of new fans along the way. This is a great place to start. Good luck the Rockingbirds with a new start.

The Sound of Laughter
The Sound of Laughter
by Peter Kay
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Part One of his life story., 3 May 2009
This review is from: The Sound of Laughter (Hardcover)
This is an enjoyable read for anyone who likes Peter Kay, and perhaps those of you who are not quite sure will still be left undecided? Peter talks us through his childhood and his upbringing in Bolton with ease and humour. You never really know if what he is saying is the truth, or just a far fetched story line to get an extra laugh. It does not really matter, as its an easy read and entertains throughout. I have been a fan for years so found the book thoroughly enjoyable. Some great stories in here, which have at times appeared in his stage show. You can also see lots of characters which later made it onto his TV Shows, such as Phoenix Nights. Nice one Peter, lets be having the second part now, so we can see how the TV Shows came about.....Ave it!

Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll
Too Old To Rock 'N' Roll
Price: 4.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Tull at their prime, 10 April 2009
This is where a life long love affair with Tull began, way back in 1976. A friend of mine played me this album several times over a few weeks, and to be honest it took me a few listens to appreciate it, first only liking the title track and then gradually everything track by track. I later got it my wn copy for Christmas and I must have driven my parents and brother mad playing it over and over again, in over 30 years I have never tired of it.Its an album which I can listen to time and time again, as it is so well structured and performed.

Strangely I was oblivious to the negative reaction that this album got from many of Tulls fans and critics alike, as in my opinion it sits very nicely in between the classic 1975 offering "Minstrel in the Gallery" and the start of Ian's love of country pursuits and the "Songs from the Wood" album which followed in 1977.

Too Old to Rock n Roll too young to Die has always been one of my favorite Tull albums from arguably the strongest line up, Tull ever had (and there have been some rather strong line ups over 40 odd years)with Ian Anderson supported by Martin Barre on guitar, John Glascock on bass (his first outing) John Evan on Keyboards and Barrymore Barlow on drums.

As other reviewers have mentioned, this was originally planned to be a stage show, using the music, and you can see how this would have worked by the strip cartoon which graces the middle of the album sleeve. I think this might have worked a couple of years earlier, but at the time this was released, there was a new movement happening either side of the pond as the first signs of Punk Rock appeared and the "natural" backlash against the "dinosaurs" of rock began to show (the tipping point)... any band linked to prog rock got an instant berating from the younger journalists (what happened to the journalists that had previously loved those classic rock bands..did they all get fired at the same time, did they all suddenly turn their back on clasic rock and embrace the new scene...? Possibly because the music scene was dominated by pop/teen magazines and weekly publications such as the NME, Sounds and Melody Maker, it left no room for the classic bands which had dominated the last 7 years of rock music. I doubt that could hapen now, as monthly magazines such as The Word are designed for a wider audience with probably a higher demographic.

Anyway, back to the album, its a concept album about Ray Lomas an old rocker who early on (Quizz Kid) gets his fifteen minutes of fame, before his life slides back to normal, this makes Ray look at his life, his friends and his future. It also has a couple of excellent bonus songs, A small cigar and the brilliant underated Strip Cartoon, which really should have made the original album cut.

Classic Tull, performing Classic rock from one of the strongest and interesting periods of music, forget the 60's, to me the 70's is the decade where we had some of the most interesting sounds ever created and some of the worlds greastest and best selling albums ever made. I cannot honestly say if this is the best album Tull ever made, but I can tell you this, its right up there with them and to me will always be amongst my favorite albums of all time. Too Old to Rock n Roll is a classic just like Dark Side of the Moon, The Lamb Lies Down or Hotel California, this is another timeless album one you may not have heard of but one which should not be ignored. A great place to start if you are not sure where too with Jethro Tull and at this price its not going to be much of a risk either.

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