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Reviews Written by
Simon Nixon (Birmingham UK)

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Titles: The Best Of Barclay James Harvest
Titles: The Best Of Barclay James Harvest
Price: £4.92

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prog Rock at its best!, 11 Feb. 2014
This is an excellent 'best of' album from one of the best British prog rock bands of the 60's and 70's, they are up there with Yes, the Moody Blues and Genesis, high acclaim indeed. This band were very popular across Europe and still are. There work is of very high quality but they are a little different to both Yes and the Moody Blues as a lot of their sings were based around social comment and issues at the time. I don't feel that this dates their work but then I am a little biased!

This album showcases some of BJH's more popular work including a live version of their classic 'Mockingbird' which if I remember correctly was their encore piece at the concerts where I saw them live. I am not 100% sure who this album will appeal to because if you are a fan you probably already have a number of the tracks.

Unique guitar sound combined with a Neil Young type vocal with a touch of the orchestral thrown in, it was a wonderful era and I think that there work has stood the test of time. Good value, excellent stuff recommended purchase!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 2, 2014 11:29 PM BST

Diamonds & Poison
Diamonds & Poison
Price: £13.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent album, 7 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Diamonds & Poison (Audio CD)
I found this album a bit of a dichotomy, there some social comment, an historical context but it also great fun. It consists of 11 songs and lasts around 50 minutes, during this time you are treated to a very good female vocal, some excellent saxophone and guitar playing. There is some Jazz and a whole lot of blues.

The album starts with 'Party at the end of time' an upbeat track utilising excellent vocals complimented by solid saxophone playing and a guitar solo, what more could you want? 'Black Diamond' is a key track its emotional and historical, with a story about one of the bands Granddad's brother who died in a mining accident in 1951. This is reflected in the track which is slow and melancholic. This is then followed by 'Soho by night' which makes quite a lot of social comment about this seedy side of London during the later part of the evening and there is some flute in this track! The track 'little boy lost' deserves a mention as being a fun song with an infectious beat that makes you smile. '21st Century Blues' is a track that is full of social comment, social media and the problems with now.

My only criticism of this album is the lack of information about the band, its members and their history, hidden away is though a web address which takes you to a site where there is some interesting stuff, an assumption that we all have access to the web! Overall this is an excellent album worth every penny and a band to watch out for in the future.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2015 11:50 AM GMT

A Day In Nashville
A Day In Nashville
Price: £7.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality blues from a quality blues man, 6 Feb. 2014
This review is from: A Day In Nashville (MP3 Download)
Robben Ford is a prolific blues man, he has many solo albums and has worked alongside such artists as Miles Davies, John Mayall and the Blues Breakers and Joni Mitchell, quite a pedigree!

I enjoyed this album but it didn't wow me. It consists of nine numbers and lasts about 45 minutes, it starts with 'Green Grass, Rainwater' which is a southern blues rock number a little slow though on which to start an album? The second track is titled 'Midnight comes too soon' this is a slow classic blues number which features a excellent guitar solo accompanied by Robben's accomplished vocals. 'Top down blues' and 'Thump & Bump' were both instrumental blues numbers featuring a New Orleans flavoured trumpet. My favourite track was 'Poor Kelly Blues' this I thought had everything that the blues is about in one, classic blues guitar riffs, excellent backing from the musicians and a bass line to die for.

I enjoyed this album and it is definitely a good listen recommended!

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Prague
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Prague
by VladimŪr Soukup
Edition: Flexibound

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must for Prague, 4 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just got back and I found this book very useful in getting around the city of Prague. The section on travel was invaluable, lots of good advice about what ticket to get and how to use the excellent local transport systems. We tried out a number of the restaurants suggested in the book and they were up to standard. Pull out map of the city and a few phrases that you can try out.

Useful information about the places to go and visit, my only negative comment is that some of the pictures / photos used are a little small. However if you are going to visit this is a good guide to have in your pocket.

The Royal Sessions
The Royal Sessions
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £15.00

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freedom from Royalty?, 27 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Royal Sessions (Audio CD)
I was a little surprised when I listened to this album for the first time. I thought that Paul would go back to his roots after his encounter with Queen. This album is good, its a little in the same vein as Van Morrison and I think there is a little bit of Hughie Lewis and the News in there somewhere?

First track 'I thank you' is a upbeat number with some blues undertones the third is a brave reworking of the classic 'I can't stand the rain' this works well showcasing the full range of Paul's vocal range. Track four 'I've been loving you too' is a more bluesy number with Paul sounding a little like Van the Man? Track six is another reworking of a classic 'Walk on by' this works well with backing singers sounding like Dionne Warwick.

This is an interesting album and a departure from his Free days, I will need to listen to it a couple of times and then maybe edit this review, worth listening but a little different

Master Class Stainless Steel Mug Tree, 36 cm (14")
Master Class Stainless Steel Mug Tree, 36 cm (14")
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Keep your mugs tidy, 26 Jan. 2014
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This is a well finished (satin) mug tree, a little more expensive that many but I think that its very good quality. As a mug tree its well balanced and sturdy a good way of displaying your favourite mugs. Good buy.

Midnight Blue
Midnight Blue
Price: £13.24

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality Blues, 25 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Midnight Blue (Audio CD)
This is the first album that I have listened to from this artist. I was not disappointed in my research I discovered that he lives in Atlanta was very influenced by the British invasion of the USA when we took the blues back across the pond. I think this is evident when you listen to this album.

Very good start, the first track 'If the River Keeps Rising' starts quietly before speeding up to a tempo that is maintained for most of the rest of the album. It features a combination of both acoustic and electric guitar with a compulsive back beat and is quite a topical track if you have been in the UK for the last few weeks! Its a blues / rock album in the style of Chris Rea but one of the tracks 'See No Harm' track 5 is blues in the early Fleetwood Mac mode with Peter Green at the helm.

It was very easy to get lost in this album, it's able to take you on a journey the title is atmospheric and the whole album comes together very well. I recommend this and will have to have a look at Tinsley's back catalogue.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 10, 2014 8:12 AM GMT

Bad Pharma: How Medicine is Broken, and How We Can Fix It
Bad Pharma: How Medicine is Broken, and How We Can Fix It
by Ben Goldacre
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Evidence Based Practice and the drug companies, 25 Jan. 2014
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This is a must read, it well researched and thought out delivering a critical appraisal of the pharmaceutical companies and they along with a number of other big players in your health management they are found to be lacking. I would have been far more sceptical about this book if I hadn't already read both Testing Treatments: Better Research for Better Healthcare and The Rise And Fall Of Modern Medicine (see my reviews) which also shine a light on some of the practices used to maximise profits from Drugs that may or may not be the best available.

I took a while to read this book its 400 pages and although it comes under the 'popular science' genre, I think that it is quite complex in places and expects that the reader has quite a good knowledge around RCT's and Systematic Reviews. The book though is well written and the arguments are well constructed, but I am a little concerned about where we go from here, it took a lot of public angst to start to bring the banks to book (if we have actually achieved this?) and I am not sure that it will be easy to get the professions to act to regulate and ensure that the public interest will trump the greed involved. Its quite surprising though as you would have thought that it was in the best interest of all of its users, including the drug reps and so on to get this right after all we will all need medicines at some stage in our lives.

A number of solutions are identified by Ben Goldacre but are we yet willing to challenge out GP's and Physicians? The biomedical model of healthcare is still at the top of the tree where many patients consider Dr's orders sacrosanct. Until we really challenge this I am not sure that meaningful change will happen.

Guitar Man - Live
Guitar Man - Live
Price: £11.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Blues Man, 22 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Guitar Man - Live (Audio CD)
Sherman is a 65 year old classic blues man, who has played in a number of bands and contributed to a varied group of stars. I think that the most notable band was the 'Bobby Blue Band' and he also played on Paul Simon's Graceland Album.

This is a live blues / southern rock album which hasn't a poor track on it. I could wax lyrically but will focus upon a couple of exceptional tracks, 'Out of Mind' is the first piece and this sets the upbeat tone for the rest of this masterpiece, the title track 'Guitar Man' epitomises what is good about the blues, this track showcases the exceptional guitar playing of this man when combined with the rest of the band. 'Dust my Broom' is a slower classic blues number containing blues riffs, superb guitar work and is about 10 minutes long. There is a little of the 'Chris Farlow' perhaps in his younger days in the vocal. If you like the blues then this is a album for you!

Logitech R400 Wireless Presenter
Logitech R400 Wireless Presenter
Offered by loukcyu
Price: £21.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Allows me to wander, 22 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I teach or present I like to wander around the class and this is the ideal tool to allow me to do this. Its simple to use and works well when combined with other classroom technologies such as 'personal response systems'. An excellent piece of technology that allows freedom from the podium and hence greater classroom control.

It is about 3 inches long fits nicely into the palm of the hand or your pocket. It needs two triple 'A' batteries to operate and these seem to last for a very long time. It comes with its own slightly protective cover.

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