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Custard Maverick (Manchester UK)

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Ace The Face
Ace The Face
Offered by whatuk
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but no 'lost' treasure, 30 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ace The Face (Audio CD)
Ah yes...Ace Kefford – The Move never really recovered from his departure in 1968, and sadly Ace never really recovered from his demons that led to said departure. He was part of that great Move front-line with Roy, Carl and Trev – great soulful voice, great bass player and with his sunken cheek-boned face and blonde hair, easily the best looking. So with all this in mind I had high hopes for this ‘unreleased’ LP, having only heard Ace Kefford Stand’s ‘For Your Love’ from his post-Move work.

For me, ‘FYL’ is the best track on this compilation. Only problem is you may get sick of hearing it ; it appears in three versions – stereo, demo and (hidden-last-track) mono. The other four tracks included by AKS (including a blisteringly on-form Cozy Powell) are all quite impressive, and suggest a group in sync with late 60’s hard rock. But Ace was not strong enough to sustain it, and as the booklet informs us, he endured a personal hell for many years after. Sadly, it’s the unreleased ‘solo’ LP that disappoints. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to actually hear this stuff, considering it was long thought lost forever, and it boasts great production from Tony Visconti (and Ace himself helped mix it for CD release). Some vocals are very Winwood-esque, as Ace himself freely admits, the lead track ‘Oh Girl’ is reminiscent of Traffic’s ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’, and is actually really good. Also really good is ‘Trouble in the air’, which boasts a good riff and is quite rocky and has a good edgy vocal. The rest however are rather so-so, mostly quieter songs that don’t suit his vocal style, and the truly awful ‘Infanta Marina’ with its woeful vibrato vocal (what was he thinking?). And ‘Happy Hour’ is really just a novelty track, fairground organ and background shouting – hardly essential.

It breaks my heart to diss it, I so wanted it to be a real lost treasure, but it just doesn’t live up to expectations. But some tracks are certainly worth a listen, more than I can say for the two tracks by Rockstar – a one-off mid 70s release best forgotten. The last track ‘William Chalker’s Time Machine’ is interesting as it was written by Ace for The Move to record, but with Roy Wood dominating that department it was instead recorded and released by The Lemon Tree. It’s a psychedelic pop time-piece, shades of early Pink Floyd, and Magical Mystery Tour Horns, and pretty good at that.

So, it’s three stars from me. In my heart I want to give it five because I loved him in The Move, but that is still where you will hear his best work IMHO. Only the Ace Kefford Stand tracks hint a what could have been. Shame.

Pierrot Le Fou [DVD]
Pierrot Le Fou [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jean-Paul Belmondo
Price: £10.40

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better A Second Time, 4 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Pierrot Le Fou [DVD] (DVD)
Bought this recently from Amazon,noticed wide mix of reviews/ratings (Godard always did divide opinion) so thought I'd add my own two penneth.

Firstly, watch it at least twice, and preferably within a few days. On first viewing, I found it rather annoyingly disjointed and indulgent. But the second viewing open my eyes and mind to see more in it - OK it's got Godard's Hollywood/Gangster obsessions in there & seemingly improv scenes (Anna Karina denied this, saying Godard always rehearsed each scene). But it is vibrant, quick-paced, colourful and visual stunning (hats off to Raoul Coutard once again), dramatic, yet comical and even has some 'musical' bits for good measure! Plus Belmondo oozes cool and wears ace threads, and Karina is utterly stunningly beautiful to watch in this femme fatale role.

It is much better than the vastly over-rated 'Le Mepris'(Colourful,has Bardot and Palance, yes, but boy is it S L O W and unabsorbing). Halliwell thought the latter was excellent, yet dismissed both 'Pierrot Le Fou' and especially 'Bande A Part' as rubbish. Both are far superior films IMHO. 'Pierrot' shares 'Le Mepris's wonderful use of technicolor for exterior locations (here the sumptuous South of France), but also shows signs that Godard was already thinking about 'Weekend'- Tracking shots are often used, and there's a scene where B & K encounter a crashed car in the countryside with injured/ dead passengers and K convinces B to leave their own car there and make it look like they too crashed.

Karina was of course 'Mrs Godard' in the 60's and played a wide range of characters in each successive film they made together. Here she is involved with terrorists, where dead bodies are casually displayed in shot without any reference to their presence; yet when the film starts, she is also Belmondo's babysitter! She looks jaw-droppingly gorgeous throughout, and look out for the scene with the scissors in close-up, you can get postcards with this iconic image (I got one in Paris years ago) - a better image of ice-cool femme fatale you won't see.

Its not a perfect film, but it is well worth sticking with if the first viewing doesn't do it for you. As well as extras mentioned in other reviews, you can either watch original French with subtitles, or the default English overdubbed version, personally I recommend the former as some scenes are left untranslated in the overdubbed one. So four stars, not perfect, but very good - definitely worth it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2013 8:45 PM GMT

0.75 Inch Black Photoframe 18" x 12" (Plastic Glass) 33% off while stocks last
0.75 Inch Black Photoframe 18" x 12" (Plastic Glass) 33% off while stocks last
Offered by Frames and Mirrors 4 U
Price: £6.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal frame for unusual size print, 24 Feb 2012
This was a godsend. I had an 18 x 12 picture that needed framing, but no matter where I looked the only available ones were the standard 16 x 12 or 20 x 16 - the latter was the likely contender (and a not very good one) until I found this on amazon. Frame is excellent quality (the actual frame is slimmer than the picture here, but that is no critism - I prefer it that way); it was very well packaged and delivered very quickly. So don't settle for a standard, ill-fitting frame down the high st/retail park/megabore mall etc.., when you can get the proper fit here.

Bedazzled Revisited
Bedazzled Revisited
Price: £12.26

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Music, Shame About The Cover, 10 Feb 2011
This review is from: Bedazzled Revisited (Audio CD)
What we have with 'Bedazzled Revisited' is essentially the original soundtrack from the 1967 film starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, plus remixes of the 2 vocal tracks ('Love Me' sung by Dud, 'Bedazzled' performed by Pete). This CD has been issued via Dudley's estate, the booklet informs us he was 'founder & president of Martine Avenue Productions Inc'(the company set up to release Moore product, proceeds going to charities).

Though the soundtrack has had previous CD releases, this one boasts a digital remastering from original tapes (hence the 'revisited'). The result sounds like it was recorded yesterday such is the clarity. This 43 year old music has never sounded better, Moore's jazz/bossa nova, together with contemporay pop parodies evoke that late sixties era - and that's no bad thing. As someone who has the original Decca LP, I have been keen to own a CD version just to preserve the vinyl (and, if I'm honest, to play in the car). I'd hoped this latest might have included the alternate (and shorter) version of 'Bedazzled' as performed by 'Drimblewedge and the Vegetation' (aka Cook) in the film, but alas not.

My only other gripe is the packaging. Never liked digipaks myself, and the cover artwork/photos look kinda cheap to these peepers (1 colour photo still, overlapping 2 b/w ones, all lacking definition, one is so poorly enlarged you can see pixels). Surely better (and clearer) photo's could have been used (unless there were copyright probs with 20th Century Fox). Nor does the front cover tell you this is a film OST, only that it features 'Music by Dudley Moore'. And the misleading title could give the impression these tracks were re-recorded. Given the excellent remastering of the original music, it's a shame similar attention was not given to the cover presentation.

So overall I give it four stars - the music is five, but deserves better packaging than this rather cheap looking affair. But if you love the film and Pete and Dud then get it, ignore the sleeve and enjoy the music.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 10, 2011 10:50 PM BST

by Dan Clowes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clowes Delivers In Style, 14 Sep 2010
This review is from: Wilson (Hardcover)
'WILSON' is Daniel Clowes' first new work in almost 3 years. His output has become less frequent over time - issues of the seminal 'Eightball' were trickling out roughly 18 months apart (originally they were issued quarterly). So whilst not prolific, it is very much about quality not quantity - and he does everything (pencil, ink, layout, lettering and story). The joy with Clowes is the attention to detail and his unique view of American living. It was always worth the wait for new 'Eightball', because Clowes delivered something familiar in style, but new in approach every time.

And so it is with 'Wilson'. Having left Fantagraphics (who issued 'Lloyd Llewellyn' and 'Eightball') he has made his first fully complete graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, which has a simultaneous British release through Jonathon Cape.

With 'Wilson', Clowes presents a graphic novel that at first glance appears to be individual page cartoons. Each page is titled as an individual cartoon with a pay-off line in the last panel, yet also has a continuous narrative throughout. Though these last panels do provide some humour, it is often at an innocent's expense, which tends to unsettle rather than amuse, but to me that seems the intention. They highlight the titular character's lack of people skills (this is the man who says at the start 'I love people!', but his rampant misanthropy undermines this claim). At the heart of 'Wilson' lies human tragedy, much caused by him. He comes over as intrusive, insensitive and selfish. He is difficult to sympathise with, but rare glimpses of desparation to bond with estranged members of family betray a vulnerable side.

'Wilson' tackles themes of ageing, loneliness/loss, family, rejection and regret. There are no scenes of violence, sex or drugs (though all are implied). The impression of single page cartoons is enhanced by Clowes use of different drawing styles per page - a sort of 'greatest hits' of his versatility familiar to 'Eightball' readers. Fine detailed, normal proportioned figures on one page juxtaposed with simplified exaggerated 'strip cartoon' styles on others (with variations of both on other pages). Yet in every strip, Clowes skillfully portrays background (streets, shops, signs, landscape) to add depth to his characters and story (something Crumb also excelled at). The book itself is beautifully bound, and lovingly crafted and presented by Clowes.

Well worth the wait for Clowes fans, and a great introduction for new readers.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 9, 2011 11:12 AM BST

Peter Cook-Presents The Misty Mr Wisty
Peter Cook-Presents The Misty Mr Wisty
by Peter Cook
Edition: Audio CD

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dominate me Mr Wisty, 22 Mar 2010
Given the long unavailablity of the 2 Decca LPs from the 'Not Only But Also' shows, this reissue of Peter Cook's solo comedy Decca LP from 1965 as E L Wisty is more than welcome, showcasing Cook's genius with language and comic invention in these monologues originally shown on Bernard Braden's ATV show 'On The Braden Beat' from 1964. Unless someone knows differently, it is highly unlikely any of the TV shows (or even little bits) still exist. Those of us too young to have originally seen them can only guess how Cook's E L Wisty zen-like gaze into the camera matched up to these amazing sound bites, but at least we can still hear them.

Oh where to start? Marjorie Grindle, Spotty Muldoon, C P (seepy) Snow, fat old queen bees, inventing plibs,the World Domination League ('Excuse me, we're the World Domination League, may we dominate you?'), lovely ladies dying to hear about your tadpoles, wandering nudies. Most Cook fans would be familiar with this material, but it's surprisingly gentle stuff when you hear it for the first time (light years away from Derek and Clive), not satirical or acerbic, just kind of in its own world, completly unique and completly Cook - and funny.

The Very Best Of
The Very Best Of

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Box Of Delights - essential Move comp, 21 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Very Best Of (Audio CD)
This is a great introduction to The Move for anyone as it covers all bases of their erratic 7-year output.There have been a number of compilations of varying quality, but Salvo, having already lovingly reissued all The Move's original LPs and a comprehensive anthology to boot, get it right once again. Giving you all the singles from 'Night Of Fear' right up to 1972's 'California Man' when Messrs Wood and Lynne were preparing Wizzard and ELO in the wings. What we also get are excellent B- sides, not least the fantastic 'Omnibus',a superb Roy Wood tune, bafflingly relegated to B-side in favour of the disappointing 'Wild Tiger Woman' (a rare flop, between the Number 2 charting 'Fire Brigade' and the Number 1 'Blackberry Way'). Also included are 2 tracks from the 'Something Else' live EP, showcasing what a powerhouse live act they were (The famed producer Joe Boyd recalls being wowed by their Marquee sets in his book 'White Bicycles' and unsuccessfully tried to sign/produce them).

LP cuts are also offered, including the excellent power pop of 'Useless Information' and 'Cherry Blossom Clinic' from 'Move',and the string-driven ballad 'Beautiful Daughter', reminiscent of 'Eleanor Rigby' from 1969's 'Shazam'. Indeed the CD highlights the diversity of The Move - and Roy Wood's songwriting in particular. From the early psyche-pop offerings,to rock'n'roll revival, and the more 'heavy' rock of 'When Alice Comes Back From The Farm' and 'Brontosaurus', along with some class pop tunes along the way, there's no doubting the band's ability to change musical tack on occassion. Indeed as the sleevenotes suggest, the band's inability to stick to one sound may have been their undoing. I personally have always believed The Move never really recovered from Ace Kefford's departure in 1968, not only the bass player, sometime singer but also the most striking looking member of the group - 'the singing skull' as Nik Cohn once descibed him. But the real talent of the band was obviously Roy Wood, and it's largely his songs on this compilation ( along with a few Jeff Lynne ones from their latter days) that we are treated to. This CD is not just a 'Best Of' but I would say it is a real box of delights, giving the listener the hits and other hidden gems they may not have heard before. 25 tracks, 1 CD - what are you waiting for? Buy!

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