Profile for Hawk > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Hawk
Top Reviewer Ranking: 49,168
Helpful Votes: 99

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Hawk "againes18"

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
4 Play [2CD]
4 Play [2CD]
Price: £13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 for a boot, 21 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 4 Play [2CD] (Audio CD)
I always liked this late seventies version of the band and thought that Tipplers Tales and Bonny Bunch of Roses were very strong albums. Unfortunately because of the changes in the music scene at the time these albums were ignored and the band were paid off by their record company and eventually split up.. . . for a time!

These live performances, compiled by Dave Swarbrick, show that Fairport were certainly not washed up as a live band. The band sound enthusiastic, tight (in a loose sort of way!)and engaging with the audience really well (General Taylor) The CD is made up from a selection of 5 gigs and compiled very well to represent a "typical" gig from that time.

What I would highlight however is that these were not "official" recordings. As Dave Swarbrick mentions in his notes this Cd has been compiled from cassettes sent to him by "soundmen or promoters" and had been "carted" around the world for the past few decades. So don't expect the sound quality of the Fairport '74 album or even House Full. Essentially these are of soundboard bootleg quality, albeit very good quality and very listenable but not classic high fidelity. Personally I've found this cd sounds better played on a ghetto blaster than a quality stereo system but that's my own peculiarity!

This isn't a major criticism as I knew what I was getting having got Swarbs previous 2 cds he released with Simon Nicol and Martin Carthy which were from similar sources. However I thought it was worth a warning in case some people expected a pristine recording and end up disappointed.

So, not a cd for the beginner but if you like this line up and want to hear them in full flight well worth getting.


Wintersmith
Wintersmith
Price: £10.20

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing 2 and a half stars, 31 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wintersmith (Audio CD)
I feel like I'm swimming against the tide here. I have a very soft spot for Steeleye as it was through listening to them as a child I got into folk music in its many forms and have followed them and their many line ups since the mid seventies.

I saw them perform 3 of these tracks in the summer and was quite impressed (Dark Morris and Crown and Ice were 2 of the tracks played)and was looking forward to hearing the new album. I must say I was very disappointed and repeated plays hasn't changed my initial impression.

The sound of the current band is very good and numbers such as Dark Morris and Crown and Ice remind me of Bedlam Born (ironic as the line up was very very different at the time) however, overall I find the songs very weak. Part of this is due to it being an album carrying a story and it seems that some tracks are there to do just that and don't really stand alone as tracks in themselves. Also, some tracks just sound a bit forced and might have better with better lyrics.

I think a major problem with the album is that Steeleye in all their many incarnations have never had a strong songwriter. As arrangers of trad songs into a rock format they are excellent, but when writing their own they fall down badly. The last time the band had an entirely self composed album was Sails of Silver which I think is their weakest. This is better than that as the band have a very interesting mix at the moment particularly using guest Kathryn Tickell on Northumbrian Pipes. However, with the exception of the above 2 tracks and the title track the songs just seem bland. There is one true clunker , Good Witch, which has one of Maddy Prior's jolly singsong tunes coupled with the most embarrassing lyrics I have heard for a long time and which had me squirming with embarrassment. I guess if you are a Terry Pratchell fan this album and the songs might ring a more enjoyable experience. Personally I'm not a fan of Terry Pratchett at all but I do enjoy songs about magic, faeries and witchcraft and hoped that with the bands history of covering such subjects they'd make a more interesting job of it.

On the plus side, Its good to see an appearance by Bob Johnson on this album and I'm glad that Steeleye are still recording and taking risks!. Maybe these tracks will come across better live. Good luck to them I just hope they make another album which plays to their strengths.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2014 7:51 PM BST


Fringe: Season 5 [DVD] [2013]
Fringe: Season 5 [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Anna Torv
Price: £9.95

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A great let down, 3 Oct 2013
Having followed Fringe through the past 4 seasons, from the early X Files type tales to alternative worlds and then alternative alternative worlds ! I was looking forward to see where the final season would go. Sadly, up a dark hole it appears!
This felt like a completely different series to me. Certainly not the Fringe I knew and loved. The team are now in 2036 in a world run by the Observers. Any variety of episodes in tone and imagination has gone and what we basically have is a bog standard post apocalyptic world run by tyrants with our heroes trying to bring them down and restore world order. Yawn!

Maybe JJ Abrams ran out of ideas or had bigger fish to fry, but I found it a sad and dull end to what had been a bright and imaginative series.

On a plus note, John Noble is still wonderful as Walter Bishop!


Around The World Live [DVD] [2013] [NTSC]
Around The World Live [DVD] [2013] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Jethro Tull
Price: £20.99

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good value but some gaps, 14 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a very well put together package which to some extent does what it says on the box, showing Jethro Tull throughout their career playing over the world from the Isle of Wight in 1970 to Switzerland in 2005.
There is some familiar material which is already easily available , e.g. Isle of Wight, Montreux and London 2001 but these are just a few tracks each which i guess is to give continuity and cover certain tracks.
There are , however, quite a few things that have not been released officially before and this is both the strength and , oddly enough , part of my criticism of the set.
I had a bootleg copy of the Tampa 1976 set and, for those of you who have not seen it, it is excellent, showing a youngish, almost clean shaven, confident (arrogant?) Ian Anderson with the classic band just pre their Rock/folky era and still with a foot in the prog/ rock camp displaying an energy and edge which I had not seen before. The bootleg copy, although good quality "bled" colours and gave the impression it was from an old video tape, I looked forward to a cleaned up clearer copy. Sadly, however, there doesn't seem to have been any improvement which with the technolgy today I thought might have been possible. Still it is very watchable and a must for those of you who have not seen it before.

Next up are 10 tracks from Germany in 1980 which I anticipated with great excitement as it was on this tour that I first saw Tull. Again, nothing wrong with the performance but the quality this time , as a previous reviewer wrote is poor bootleg quality and deteriorates throughout.

Following a few available tracks from Germany in '82 and 86 disc 2 concentrates on Chile 1996 which is fascinating. the quality is excellent and showcases the Roots to Branches album plus old favourites. Of their later albums I think it is one of their strongest and to see some of these tracks plus solo Anderson tracks performed live is very enjoyable. Ian Anderson is using a head mic which looks odd and he doesn't look very comfortable with it (I'm not aware of him using since?) Anderson's voice is just about holding up on most tracks and it isn't till the next discs that we sadly see the decline in full throttle.

That is the end of disc 2 and this is my other criticism! This is a 4 disc set and yet by the end of disc 2 we have seen Tull performing from what is (or probably will be ) their last but one studio album. The next two discs cover just six years and the last disc in Switzerland is quite painful at times as Ian Anderson is really struggling with his voice. Again, as a previous reviewer says, his presence and professionalism just about carries it but it can get painful (and for him I guess!) The studio , semi unplugged set from Holland in 1999 is quite nice and it was good to hear "The Secret Language of Birds"

There are huge gaps which I wish could have been covered. Nothing from the period between 1970 and 76? not even a track surviving from an archive? I have seen a 1977 in concert but I guess the BBC own that! I saw a few things from the Catfish Rising tour which looked exciting and could have filled in the 10 year gap between 1986 and 96 on disc 2.

Anyway, maybe I'm just being picky!!!Overall this is a very good package, excellent value and packaged well. There is a lot of good stuff to watch it just has a few gaps and quality issues that stops me giving it 5 stars!


The Trial [1963] [DVD]
The Trial [1963] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anthony Perkins

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to watch, 28 Feb 2013
This review is from: The Trial [1963] [DVD] (DVD)
I was excited about seeing this film when I bought this DVD in a local shop. The combination of Perkins, Welles and Kafka seemed a wonderful match.

It might still be.

I tried watching this and had to stop after about 15 minutes. Nothing wrong with the performances and direction but the quality of this transfer is awful. A previous reviewer likened it to an old VHS transfer, I'd actually liken it, in quality, to a pirate movie. The picture fills the screen in a most peculiar way and the sound is very poor as though recorded on a video camera in a cinema. I'm not saying this is the case but that is how poor it is.

Hopefully there are other DVD copies out there which are better quality than this.


The Notes and The Words: A Collection Of Demos & Rarities
The Notes and The Words: A Collection Of Demos & Rarities

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not that exclusive, 20 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The performances and the sound quality of virtually all the tracks on this box set are excellent. Hearing some of the songs in a raw "unplugged" manner as though Sandy Denny is performing at a local arts centre (or your own living room) is compelling.

However, I was disappointed to find out how many of these recording had already been released before in the last few years. If, like me you already have the single disc remasters of her albums and the 4cd "Boxful of Treasure" with the extra disc of demos you will find that there are quite a few double ups. This is a shame as I thought the tracks on this collection would be all new to cd.
On the other hand, it is fantastic to have all these collected together and it is a joy to listen to.

So its 5 stars for Sandy minus 1 for a lot of doubling up and also a booklet with too many familiar pictures and not enough info and writing.


Warriors
Warriors
Price: £6.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent live compilation but. . ., 25 Sep 2012
This review is from: Warriors (Audio CD)
This is a compilation of the two live compilations Tracks 1 and Tracks 2. The recordings cover a wide period of time from 1972 to 2002 and are on the whole excellent both for sound quality and also performances. One can hear that throughout the years and despite many line up changes since the 80's the essence of the Wishbone Ash sound remains, although I find Andy Powell's vocals less attractive to hear than Ted or Martin Turner's, but they not bad. The choice of tracks is comprehensive and covers old favourites from Argus with lesser known material from later albums.

I don't know who has the say in all this but, as enjoyable as the music is I do find the phrase "flogging a dead horse" comes up. This is not the only double cd to compile tracks from the "Tracks 1 and 2 " double albums and send it out repackaged etc etc. The Cds "Rocked up Beyond Belief" and "Past and Present" are also repackagings from the Tracks Cds!

Basically, if you're into Wishbone Ash and want something more than the Live dates albums and want hear an excellent overview of the band's live work these recordings are for you. However, see if you can find the Tracks 1 and 2 cds first from which these 3 other compilations are taken from. On looking recently they are reasonably priced and are well worth getting. If you can't find them, this Cd will do!


Melodic Sounds
Melodic Sounds
Price: £8.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overview of later career, 24 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Melodic Sounds (Audio CD)
Firstly, this 4cd box set is essentially a repackage of the 3cd compilation "Backbones" with the addition of extra tracks from the "Illuminations " album making CD 1 in this set the entire Illuminations album.
This is an excellent overview of the the later Andy Powell incarnation of Wishbone Ash up until 2004 including tracks from 3 of their later studio albums and the 2 live "Tracks" collections. As a former fan of the line ups from the 70's I had given up on them in the mid nineties as Andy Powell seemed to be leading a group of session musicians in playing greatest hits with no real creativity or feeling of it being a band. My opinion wasn't helped by the "Visionary Trance" synthesised Cds which I felt had nothing to do with the band.
The compilation, which I bought mainly out of curiosity and nostalgia ( and because it was cheap!) was a very pleasant shock for me as the studio tracks showed a band being creative and incorporating the classic Wishbone Ash sound with twin guitars and a mixture of heavy rock and acoustic material, whilst the live tracks (a mixture of the old and new line ups) were very well recorded and showed that Wishbone Ash are at their best live. Particularly interesting were the tracks taken from the "Barebones" Cd which is mainly acoustic interpretations of old and new tracks. The slow acoustic bluesy version of Living Proof is excellent.
The compilation certainly encouraged me to follow up their later material and start seeing them live again.
I know that there are ongoing disputes as to whether this is "real" Wishbone Ash or just Andy Powell's Wishbone Ash (much like Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash) and ideally it would be great if they could work together although this seems very unlikely. Whatever the arguments , this does sound like a band creating new material with the familiar sound of a Wishbone Ash for the 2000's. It is not perfect but then the classic mk1 and mk2 line ups also had their failures, "Locked In" anybody??.
If you have not heard much or anything from the later Wishbone Ash, this is an excellent way the start and at £10 is well worth checking out.


And The Band Played On [2CD]
And The Band Played On [2CD]
Price: £8.73

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Live Set but released before, 28 Jun 2012
This is an excellent live set from Fairport with a good mix of old classics and also what at the time were new tracks from the "Wood and the Wire" album. However, the main reason for writing something here is to let people know that this was previously released as "Journeyman's Grace" a few years ago with a similar designed cover only with a rustic brown background.
So don't get too excited by this if, like me, you have many Fairport CDs and are looking for more. This isn't the first time this has happened with Fairport live albums. I can understand things being out of print and having to be re released but I don't know why it has to have a different title and redesigned cover.
Anyway, for those of you who don't have this album and who enjoy the more recent incarnations of the band this is a well recorded and vibrant performance and well worth getting. Check out the reviews for Journeyman's Grace!


If I Were a Carpenter: a Tribute to the Carpenters
If I Were a Carpenter: a Tribute to the Carpenters
Offered by Media Hessen
Price: £14.98

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Warning, 23 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well it was my own fault. I thought that as the title was the same this was the album of alternative / interesting covers of Carpenter songs (Crackers version on that album of Rainy Days and Mondays is fantastic).
Sadly it is not that album. It is an album of cover versions but actually totally unimaginative and more less copies of the originals.
All a bit pointless.
Anyway, beware and be careful of buying this


Page: 1 | 2