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Mr. A. Lanfranchi "alanfranchi" (Taunton, Somerset)

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The Great Poets: John Clare [Unabridged] [Naxos AudioBooks: NA0094]
The Great Poets: John Clare [Unabridged] [Naxos AudioBooks: NA0094]
by John Clare
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £8.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Reading of Sublime Poetry, 26 July 2013
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John Clare, probably the best poet ever to walk this earth, has been woefully neglected for many, many years! On this CD, it sounds as if David Shaw-Parker was born to read this poetry. It is absolutely brilliant from start to finish. My only criticism is that for such a hugely prolific poet (over 3,000 poems), Naxos have severely under-represented his work. It runs at just over an hour with only 24 poems. It really should have been a double CD!!

William Wordsworth: 21st-Century Oxford Authors
William Wordsworth: 21st-Century Oxford Authors
by William Wordsworth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £107.50

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Exorbitantly Priced For Such A Poor Collection!, 1 Nov. 2011
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The claim on the back cover stating that "this is the most comprehensive selection currently available", is total and utter nonsense! You'd be better off buying The Major Works or the Wordsworth Poetry Libary Edition of The Collected Poems. Yes, admittedly, the print in The Collected Poems is a tad small, but far, far cheaper than this rip off!! DON'T BUY THIS!! Shame on you Oxford University Press!
Or have you not yet realised that we're in the Age Of Austerity???
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 8, 2012 10:40 PM BST

The History of English Poetry (Non-fiction)
The History of English Poetry (Non-fiction)
by Peter Whitfield
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £20.41

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Brilliant Brilliant!, 24 July 2010
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There truly isn't much more I can add to the above title, except that this Box Set is an absolute pleasure from start to finish! It is thoroughly enhanced, as one would expect, by the wonderfully silky voice of Derek Jacobi. He conveys himself with great vim, vigour and verve, and if you have a passion for poetry, then this is so totally for you. I have found myself purchasing more and more poetry books simply because of the feelings that this has stirred-up in me. It makes me so hungry to learn more about such an interesting and rewarding topic. Go on, lose yourselves in an idyllic Arcadia by purchasing this wonderful collection. You won't be disappointed! Trust me.

Great Poets of the Romantic Age (Poetry)
Great Poets of the Romantic Age (Poetry)
by Heather Godwin
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £11.22

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Michael Sheen Very Disappointing!, 21 July 2010
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Far be it for me to criticise an Award-Winning Actor, who was absolutely brilliant as Brian Clough in The Damned United, but I'm afraid Michael Sheen's 'radio voice' let's him down very badly on this occasion. He is just far too declamatory and way over the top at times, especially on Jerusalem. This particular rendition just makes me want to turn it's awful! This is radio Michael, not the back row of Wembley Arena!
A radio voice should have variety, excitement, passion, quietude and denouement. Sadly, all of these vital elements are completely lacking here. Some excellent poems ruined. Shame on you Producer Nicolas Soames. This is rubbish. It sounds like an inept 3rd year Drama Student speaking through a crap microphone!
Basiledes..."rhetorical, lyrical enthusiasm and prophetic intent" What on earth are you talking about? In my humble opinion, poetry is like music, ie, there are only 2 kinds 1)Music you like and 2) Music you don't like. In other words, there are good poetry readings and there are bad poetry readings. For me, on this CD, Michael Sheen is not at all on form. He is, however, excellent on the Poets Of The Great War CD.
If you want to hear some decent readings of Blake's work then I suggest you listen to the CD with Michael Maloney, Robert Glenister and Stephen Critchlow...way better than Mr Sheen! As for Keats, I think Sam West does a brilliant job on Realms Of Gold, which, by the way, was recorded in 2006 NOT 1999!
Finally, once again, Shelly's Ode To A Skylark is given wonderful service by Bertie Carvel...better than Michael Sheen's!

Childfree and Loving It!
Childfree and Loving It!
by Nicki Defago
Edition: Paperback

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Need To Feel Like A Weirdo Anymore!, 26 Jun. 2010
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For almost my entire life now, I have been made to feel like some sort of freak just because I choose not to have children. Mind you, I do come from an extremely parochial part of the country...Somerset! Where if you're not white, heterosexual and happily, or unhappily as is often the case, married with 5 pain-in-the-arse-kids, then you are definitely regarded as quasi-dysfunctional!
My entire life is based on what my thoughts, feelings, perceptions and instincts tell me, and with this premise in mind, from a very early age, I hasten to add, I just knew that I would've made a completely crap parent! So I am not going to participate in procreating progeny that I will simply be unable to look after or take responsibility for. Unlike some of these teenage mothers and fathers who clearly are totally clueless in parenting skills. You see their offspring running riot around shops with absolutely no discipline whatsoever. Why oh why did they ever decide to bring those poor children into the world?
At least I have the honesty and humility to admit my limitations, and not having children seems an entirely logical decision for me.
Nicki Defago has written an extremely intelligent and cerebral publication, which conveys brilliantly the point of view of those of us who do not choose to become parents.
I cannot recommend this book enough. I love reading poetry, listening to music, watching football, seeing friends (when THEY can make baby-sitting arrangements!) when I feel like it. There are just so many things too numerous to mention here, that I simply would not have achieved, had I become a parent! You parents may call us selfish..we child-free people call it empowering!

Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.98

3.0 out of 5 stars What Are You Doing Carlos?, 22 Jun. 2010
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This review is from: Shaman (Audio CD)
The musicianship on Shaman is very competent, sprinkled with the occasional Santana-esque highlights, but apart from that, this is a very mediocre effort by the virtuoso guitarist. Supernatural worked very well on most of the songs, but Carlos Santana does not appear to be heeding his own eulogising comments he once made about Miles Davis and how his music always moved forward. On this album, he has tried to repeat the formula he used on Supernatural, and, for me, it simply hasn't worked. Come on Carlos, move on and infuse yourself wtih some new ideas. Personally, I believe that the basis for any album should be in its homgeneity and not sound as though there are 75 different producers! This makes an album sound almost too eclectic for its own good.

Miles at Fillmore: Live at Fil
Miles at Fillmore: Live at Fil
Offered by DCBUYS
Price: £17.38

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Adore Miles Davis, But This Is Way Too Noisy!!, 11 May 2010
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I am a huge Miles Davis fanatic and inclusive of Box Sets, I must own more than 70 of his CDS from every period of his career!
Birth Of The Cool, Walkin', Steamin', Relaxin' etc, to Miles Smiles, Nefertiti, Sorcerer, Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Dark Magus, Pangaea, Agharta....but, for me, the Fillmore concerts are just way, way too noisy, formless cacophanous dins that drive me bloody potty!! Although he wasn't describing these particular gigs, Teo Macero once said that some of Miles's later music was just one big musical gang-bang that went absolutely nowhere! I would have to agree and apply that opinion to this CD.
Dark Magus is much better than this, if you really want to hear Miles rocking!! Fillmore...AVOID!

devolo dLAN duo (HomePlug) Starter Kit - Ethernet or USB
devolo dLAN duo (HomePlug) Starter Kit - Ethernet or USB

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite As Easy As 1, 2, 3, 13 April 2010
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You do occasionally find that product descriptions can be a little deceptive, in my opinion. Initially, I did find these plugs rather irritating as I couldn't get the damn things to work, not realising, of course, that I had plugged them into an adapter as opposed to a wall socket!! I repeat, WALL SOCKET!!
After 5 hours of brushing away hair that I'd pulled from my head, I resorted to calling a computer engineer. He couldn't figure it out either! Eventually, we did realise that you need to be absolutely certain that you have a wall socket close to your PC and Router and NOT plug them into an adapter with loads of other plugs in it already...because if you do they ain't gonna work!!! Trust me.
Fortunately, I had a 10m and a 5m Ethernet cable because the ones that come with the plugs are too bloody short.
Everything appears to be working fine now thankfully, but not without some considerable trial and error, and a slight loss in broadband speed. With the Ethernet cable running directly from my PC to Modem, I was getting between 4.7 and 5.4Mb of download speed. With the Devolo plugs I'm now getting 3.6 and 4Mb. Slightly slower, but not visibly so.
Maybe I'm just a complete technophobe, but if a Professional PC Engineer struggles to work it, then that certainly makes me feel a whole lot better about myself!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 18, 2010 4:12 PM BST

Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1963-1964
Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings 1963-1964

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Plugged Nickel, 28 Nov. 2009
I do wonder why Cook and Morton, the erudite authors of The Penguin Guide To Jazz tomes, have completely overlooked this quite splendid Box Set. Ian Carr, now very sadly deceased, quite correctly points out in his biography of Miles, that when the Plugged Nickel sets were recorded, Miles Davis had in fact been laid off for 9 months with very debilitating health problems. To my ear, this is clearly very evident...the trumpet playing at times really does sound awful, shrill, flat and out of tune. Hardly surprising after spending most of 1965 recovering from painful hip surgery. Miles is obviously not 'match fit'. Not so on Complete Seven Steps. Miles is in good lip, with tremendous energy, focus, and the whole band truly are a very tight-knit unit exuding loads of sparks throughout all of the performances. I strongly recommend all Miles fanatics to purchase this Box Set head, shoulders and half a waistcoat above Plugged Nickel!!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2009 9:15 PM GMT

Wild West Show [DVD]
Wild West Show [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tubes

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!! Better than when I saw them 24 years ago!!, 5 Sept. 2005
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This review is from: Wild West Show [DVD] (DVD)
It is truly unbelievable that I saw The Tubes 24 years ago at the Colston Hall, Bristol on The Completion Backward Tour. I thought they were brilliant then, and when I knew they were coming to the Carling Academy in Bristol, I quickly went to their website to check the current line-up. Yes, Fee Waybill was still on lead vocals!
Initially, I was a little apprehensive about booking a ticket as I feared that I'd be the only one there. But no, the place was packed...about 1500 people.
When they came on stage I was simply blown away. They really did sound better than they did all those years ago. And Fee's singing, to my ears, has improved no end. He always had a very good voice anyway, but his range just seems so much wider. He really does hit those top notes on "She's A Beauty" and "I Saw Her Standing there".
To me also, Prairie Prince is still THE best rock drummer I have ever heard. People are always ranting on about John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, but he comes nowhere near Prairie's ability. That double-bass pedal just goes right through me!!
This DVD, recorded at Shepherd's Bush Empire 4 days before I saw them, really captures the band at their best. Go and buy it right now. You WON'T be disappointed. Trust me.
The interview with Fee Waybill is very interesting and it shows what a lovely bloke he really is.
I was very lucky that I got to meet them all after the gig. They are all so very down to earth and kind.

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