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Andrex Puppies on a Roll Toilet Tissue 210 Sheets - Classic white, Pack of 10
Andrex Puppies on a Roll Toilet Tissue 210 Sheets - Classic white, Pack of 10
Offered by Emaan Limited
Price: £18.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully soft, 14 Nov. 2014
It's like wiping your bottom with a whispered 'I love you'

Sum Of The Parts [DVD] [2014] [NTSC]
Sum Of The Parts [DVD] [2014] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Genesis
Price: £12.16

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absent Friends, 6 Oct. 2014
This programme was broadcast in the UK on 4th October 2014. It had been hyped up as the definitive documentary on Genesis, finally including interviews from all of the classic line up plus one or two other people who were involved. Unfortunately, the finished product is pretty much devoid of new information and absurdly biased.

The coverage of the bands work is somewhat erratic. The early work is rushed over with brief comments, and Wind and Wuthering (The highlight of the brief 4 man line up era) is not even mentioned but a piece of music from it is played over footage of the band as a trio, implying that Steve Hackett wasn't involved in it! That's just the first in a line of frankly offensive neglect of Hackett's work. The solo careers of Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks are covered well and Mike + The Mechanics also get a mention. They even catch up with Anthony Phillips. Also featured is Jonathan King who produced their first album and later went to jail for molesting children. The Jonathan King interview, which mainly consists of him talking about himself, is included in great detail but nothing, literally nothing, is said about Steve Hackett.

I don't mean it's mentioned briefly in passing. I mean there is not a single word said by anyone on the abundant solo output of one of the finest living guitarists. Not a word. Inevitably, the work of Phil Collins takes centre stage, but seriously? Nothing? It's absolutely outrageous.

Even if they had covered it, the rest of the programme is padded out with the most inane filler imaginable. A bunch of random celebrities discuss Genesis and prog rock despite clearly not understanding what it is. Prog rock is defined by one of them as something along the lines of '20 minute long songs, about mystical stuff'. Now, this is true of much of Genesis' early work, but it's a poor definition of prog as a whole.

The content on the other member's work is genuinely good but the sheer awfulness of the rest of the programme makes it almost unwatchable. Fans of Genesis and Steve Hackett will be very disappointed and people with no knowledge of the band will be badly misled.

I was so looking forward to this programme but it was thoroughly disappointing. Avoid like the plague.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2015 8:35 AM GMT

Heaven & Earth
Heaven & Earth
Price: £10.99

9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag, 21 July 2014
This review is from: Heaven & Earth (Audio CD)
Yes have had an interesting run recently. After recording only one studio album with Benoit David, they've recorded another with new singer Jon Davison. You wouldn't notice though. The vocals are indistinguishable from Benoit David's. They're good but he doesn't bring anything new to it.

Honestly, this album is disappointed me. This review is entirely my opinion so please don't vote it down just because you disagree with me but I will say that, having become impatient because Amazon were not dispatching my pre-ordered copy, I listened to the album online and subsequently cancelled my order. Others may fervently disagree with me and love Heaven and Earth but this is the first album of their's that I just don't feel compelled to own.

As much as comparisons to old classic albums are silly and pointless, the opening track, Believe Again, is very reminiscent of Wonderous Stories and is actually the highlight of the album. This is undeniably classic Yes music. It's joyful and light and the musicianship is brilliant. Jon Davison sings beautifully.

What follows are three fairly bland offerings. The Game is a half decent rock song but never really lifts off or holds the interest. Step Beyond also plods. There's some good guitar but Steve Howe doesn't really get to spread his wings here. It all feels very restrained as though nobody wants to take centre stage. Yes are usually (and I definitely include post-Jon Anderson Yes in this) very good at building up to a stunning musical crescendo. Step Beyond just never gets there sadly. To Ascend is something of a ballad that sounds like a reject from a Cliff Richard Christmas album. It's mercifully short and the pace never ascends beyond a subtle whisper of a forgotten whinge.

In A World of Our Own is interesting. There is a sudden change in style, pace, and mood. We're presented with a sort of bluesy, jazzy feel. It's definitely groovy. The verse is really interesting and the tension slowly and beautifully builds until you reach the chorus and.... nothing happens. Once again, the song has promise but nobody steps up to take it any further.

Light of the Ages opens with an Asia style solo from Steve Howe and continues beautifully. It's far gentler than In A World of Our Own. It's still quite restrained but has a real depth of textures and feeling that the previous songs don't. Sadly, the vocals grate a bit as they are a little too loud and penetrating but this song joins Believe Again in sounding like proper Yes music.

It Was All We Knew is a Steve Howe song and as such actually features some interesting guitar. Again, the chorus is joyful and uplifting but it still doesn't go anywhere. They find a good tune but just meander and fiddle and do nothing with it.

The grand finale, and longest song on the album, is Subway Walls. The start is promising. Like Into The Storm on Fly From Here, it has drama and power. It suddenly all falls away into a brief muzaky organ noodle session before finding it's way and proceeding on it's jazzy, proggy way. And it's good. This is the finale of the album that should have proceeded from Believe Again. The energy is back, the arrangement is interesting and it's a song only Yes could create.

Chris Squire has a real talent for harmonies, but again they just sound flat on this album. They've lost the energy that they still very much had on the last one. The playing is mostly good but borders on lacklustre and 'painting by numbers'. Unfortunately, it also seems that Jon Davison is attempting to channel Jon Anderson in his lyrics but what it sounds like is a poor imitation. On Fly From Here, the lyrics were different to past albums which worked because, obviously, a different lyricist should mean different lyrics. The lyrics on Heaven and Earth are clumsy and forced and occasionally don't even fit the timing of the song.

It's not an awful album but Yes fans of any era are likely to be left wanting more. The songs don't deliver what they initially promise. With any luck, it's merely an experimental phase the band are going through, and why not? Yes should keep trying new things. It's far better that they experiment than rest on their significant and well earned laurels but this latest offering just doesn't work. Basically, this could be any number of bands. Most of the songs aren't even long enough for Yes to do anything with them.

It just sounds so bland and ordinary, which is something Yes are not supposed to be.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2014 1:57 PM BST

Back To Front - Live In London (2 CD+2 DVD  Deluxe Edition) [2014] [NTSC]
Back To Front - Live In London (2 CD+2 DVD Deluxe Edition) [2014] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Peter Gabriel
Price: £36.99

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now This is the Picture!, 23 Jun. 2014
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Back to Front at first glance seems like an oxymoron. It's a radically new and original retrospective. It's a well crafted and stunningly coordinated journey through the best songs of Peter Gabriel's career, the main event being a full performance of the So album in all it's glory.

It also features two new songs. The first is called Daddy Long Legs and isn't finished. Sung almost completely in Gabrielese (Peter Gabriel's nonsense language), it gives a glimpse into the writing process. The other new song is called Show Yourself and is a moving account of the search for God.

The familiar songs are brilliant as usual and many have been rocked up massively, possibly as a reaction against the recent orchestral tours. Digging in the Dirt and No Self Control are particularly strong and funky in their latest incarnations.

The show comes in three 'servings' as PG described it. The first (the starter) is an orchestral set. Stripped back versions of old songs make up this section. Then halfway through Family Snapshot we move to the main, electronic course. This contains the normal rock versions of other old favourites. The third course (dessert) is the So album followed by the encore.

The show is stunning. The moving light rigs have a life of their own and add power, emotion and beauty in a way that I never would have believed lights could. They rise and fall, line up and even trap Peter Gabriel on the ground during the extremely emotional Mercy Street. The symbolism of this song in particular is beautifully profound. Peter lies spread out in the centre of a target which seems to represent how exposed he is as the lights rigs prod and probe him from all angles.

His voice, though deeper than it used to be, lacks none of it's old power. It's always a sad moment when an artist's backing singer out-sing them but Peter Gabriel need not fear any competition. Even if the backing singers are phenomenal (which they are!). It's all here. The singing, the daddy dancing and the odd clothes.

There are some surprisingly good songs that you might not expect to be particularly exciting. That Voice Again was never the strongest song on the So album but here it is darker, louder and scarier than ever before! In Your Eyes has been done so much that by rights it should be tedious but this performance injects an incredible new life into it that hasn't been seen since the Secret World Live DVD.

In short, this is one of the best DVD's Peter Gabriel has released. After the orchestral tour, it's great to have the theatre and the power back. The band are on top form, as is the front man. It's a powerful and deeply moving performance which is both fan-pleasing and highly original. Most of these songs have been done many times before but never like this.

The Living Years
The Living Years
by Mike Rutherford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Acting Very Proper, 12 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Living Years (Hardcover)
For a man with such a long and varied career, his autobiography looked ridiculously short when I first set eyes on it. However, Mike Rutherford writes concisely and, for the most part, without unnecessary padding or gossip. He delivers the facts without embellishment as he guides us through his life and work.

As others have said, it does occasionally feel quite wooden, as Mike himself can often appear in interviews. This, combined with his tendency to leap around in time and space with each subsequent chapter makes for a slightly jilted reading experience. The book also reveals what Rutherford himself considers to be the most interesting and important parts of his career which may not always match up to the readers opinions. As such, some topics have whole chapters dedicated to them while others, including some major events in the Genesis timeline that the reader may be fascinated by, are dismissed in a sentence or less. This however, is the nature of autobiography and we see Mike Rutherford's life through his own eyes.

In terms of what is actually dealt with in the book, fans of Genesis, Mike + the Mechanics, and even his solo work shouldn't be disappointed. Every album is addressed and each member of Genesis and M+tM are referenced and described. This makes for some very interesting revelations about Peter Gabriel about whom Mike Rutherford is very complimentary and Tony Banks of whom Rutherford paints a less flattering picture. We are given a backstage pass to some of the more bizarre incidents of his career (the aforementioned Peter Gabriel leaping from a stage, breaking his leg, and being forced to finish a show anyway being just one) and get an idea of the friendships that have been made (and broken) during several decades of his career.

It's a fascinating read as getting into the mind of a musical legend is always an enjoyable experience and no other member of Genesis has written an autobiography but to be honest, it doesn't quite satisfy. Much more could have been written. Obviously, what Mike Rutherford wants to divulge is his own business but this doesn't feel like a book worth of material.

For those looking for a book that really sinks it's teeth into Genesis and their work written (spoken) by the band themselves, I would recommend Genesis: Chapter & Verse which tells the story of the band in there own words.

I would also recommends Spencer Bright's biography of Peter Gabriel which is slightly dated now but very good.

There is also a decent Phil Collins biography available which claims to be definitive but is very dated now.

Hawkmoon: The History of the Runestaff (Moorcocks Multiverse)
Hawkmoon: The History of the Runestaff (Moorcocks Multiverse)
by Michael Moorcock
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Hawkmoon: The Eternal Magpie (No major spoilers), 12 April 2014
Michael Moorcock is swiftly becoming one of my favourite fantasy writers and this collection of novels (novellas really) about the aspect of the Eternal Champion known as Hawkmoon. All four books follow a similar pattern which is a quest for a shiny magical object culminating in an epic and seemingly hopeless battle. That said, it's a good formula and works really well.

The books concern Duke Hawkmoon who is caught up in a battle to defeat the Dark Empire of Granbretan who are rapidly conquering Europe. They're populated with beautifully described cities and landscapes, hilariously creative weapons, and some of the nastiest villains in literature. The characters are, for the most part, written well and are believable even within such an outrageously bizarre story.

Moorcock has stated that he wrote the books in three days and they're very short. This has both positive and negative consequences for the books. They're undeniably action packed and fast paced. There's never a dull moment as the hero and his companions battle their way from one danger to the next. It doesn't drag at any point which makes reading them a thoroughly enjoyable experience. However, Moorcock seems to have frequently written himself into traps that he doesn't feel he has the word count to deal with properly. The result is a series of miraculous escapes by previously unknown or unmentioned means, be it the arrival of a new ally or the sudden revelation of power or tool that one of the characters had all along. It doesn't ruin the books but does smell ever so slightly of lazy writing. Sadly, the grand finale of the whole series is barely three pages long and just seems to abruptly resolve with a very weak ending. This was slightly disappointing having enjoyed the series so much.

That aside, despite it's weak points this series of books is really worth reading for any fan of fantasy. You needn't have read any other Moorcock books before these as they stand alone very well, though if you're looking for a really good introduction to Michael Moorcock's style and genre, I would heartily recommend getting a copy of his Nomad Of Time Streams series which I found to be some of the greatest and most enjoyable fantasy novels I ever read.

All in all a brilliant, if slightly truncated, read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 4, 2015 7:27 PM BST

Love This Giant
Love This Giant
Price: £9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's this?, 30 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Love This Giant (Audio CD)
David Byrne and St Vincent have both proven to be intelligent, creative and frankly strange songwriters. There was definitely potential for this album to become a disastrous clash of styles or battle of personalities. In actual fact, the album features the very best of both artists and, though the vocals are slightly Byrne heavy, David Byrne and St Vincent are more or less evenly represented here.

That being said, the music doesn't particularly resemble that of the regular output of either artist. They've combined to create a new sound for Love This Giant. The album relies quite heavily on an occasionally discordant brass section that adds power and energy to the arrangements.The songs were written with the brass section in mind so, far from being a cheap gimmick to market the album the brass section are the backbone and often carry the melody.

St Vincents appeal is not really in her voice. Her voice is not bad by any stretch of the imagination but it's also not really unique in any way. Despite this, the delivery of her unusual lyrics on her own surreal songs such as Ice Age is brilliant. David Byrne has a fascinating voice. At times it is strained and harsh (Who), sometimes it is soft and mysterious (I Am An Ape) and sometimes it's full of emotion and power (Outside Of Space And Time). He never had a perfect and polished voice, even in his Talking Heads days, but he's always known how to use it well. His voice has undeniably aged but it's certainly not gone.

Both artists sing beautifully and the lyrics are clever, witty and really very interesting. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes frightening and sometimes completely nonsensical. The songs are as good as you would expect from both artists and really come together to form a consistently brilliant album with no weak tracks to speak of.

Some of the songs are a little tricky to "get" on the first listen, so the album is something of a slowburner but more than worth the extra time and effort. Songs that initially seemed impenetrably bizarre to me are now established favourites.

Fans of both artists will be satisfied with this in their collection but you needn't be an established fan of either to enjoy Love This Giant. It may not be the most popular or widely known album in existence but it's different, it's creative and most importantly it sounds fantastic. Here's hoping there is a follow up album to come.

Price: £11.74

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New and Improved, 30 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: New (Audio CD)
Blah blah New McCartney album blah blah legend blah blah Beatles something something huge back catalogue to live up to.

Ok, now that that's out of the way I'd like to say that I think this album actually deserves 4.5 stars and is one of the best Paul McCartney has done for a very long time. The lyrics are interesting, moving, funny and, at times quite disturbing. He covers a wide range of topics and styles in his songs without sacrificing a feeling of cohesion over the whole album.

Comments will always be made about his voice but I don't see why. Ok, it's not the same voice he had when he sang Let It Be for the first time but of course it isn't! It's changed but it's not gone. It still sounds strong and he maintains an incredible range for a man his age. On some tracks he sounds older than on others but it mostly seems to be a deliberate choice to add to the tone of each song. He still has one of the greatest voices in music.

He had several different producers on the album. I don't know which producers did which songs but I can tell you that to me, the sound here is crystal clear. The arrangements are sensible, never over-produced (with the possible exception of Appreciate) and classic McCartney.

The album cover is a bit crap in my opinion. Now that I've covered all the technical stuff I'll talk about the music.

The album opens with Save Us which is essentially a classic McCartney rock out song. It has lyrics that border on religious but a song slightly reminiscent of Only Mama Knows off Memory Almost Full. ****

Alligator is quite a strange song. It's got a brilliant groove but quite depressing lyrics. Paul gives his voice a good work out, hitting some pretty high notes and showing that he's still got it. Very interesting song. *****

On My Way To Work is an early highlight. Paul reflects on his job pre-Beatles and what travelling to work was like. It switches from a slow driving verse to a harsh and grating instrumental chorus which sounds a bit oriental. The lyrics are quite dark in places but this song is easily one of my favourites. *****

Queenie Eye is the best on the album. A shameless rocker with a catchy chorus and an enticing beat. Paul is definitely at the top of his songwriting game here. The lyrics are clever, quick and flow fantastically. Even the most reserved and self-conscious of listeners will struggle not to tap their feet or clap along to this song. *****

Early Days brings the pace right down. It's a soft acoustic song which again reflects on Paul's childhood. His voice sounds more fragile in this song which may be deliberate as hearing a very old sounding voice sing about childhood is, at times quite poweful. ****

New, the widely celebrated single from the album is a bit naff in my most humble of opinions. It's not unpleasant as such but to my ears it has very little substance and quite a childish tune. I also feel that Paul is singing in a very strange key that just doesn't work with his voice. The lyrics are not awful but it's incredibly repetitive and a bit of a let down after such a good run of songs. ***

Appreciate completes the mid-album slump. An interesting electronic experiment but nothing more. Again, it's very repetitive and the lyrics sound quite uninspired. **

Everybody Out There brings it back! This was deliberately written to get the crowd singing along so it immediately gets you hooked. Great rhythm and a return of Paul's rock voice. ****

Hosanna is another highlight. It grows on you over time but it's more than worth it. Introspective, moody and beautiful are three words to describe this song. It's incredibly moving. The lyrics are pure poetry and very haunting. It has some extra instrumentation but mainly revolves around Paul and his acoustic guitar which seems to be a winning formula (Teddy Boy, Put It There and Follow Me come to mind). *****

Looking At Her is your typical McCartney love song and I mean that in the best of ways. Again we have a huge contrast between verse and chorus. The verses are quiet, softly sung and almost hypnotic as if he really is entranced by a woman, the chorus starts with the line "I'm losing my mind" and suddenly becomes loud, frantic and unreserved but still beautiful. *****

Road is an interesting song. It's dark and reminds me of House of Wax but lacks some of the same power. Probably because just as it reaches the emotional peak it cuts to a strange, flat, guitar noise type thing which kills the beauty of it. Stunning lyrics and amazing music up till that point though. ***

Turned out really should't be relegated to bonus track status. It returns to the joyous tone of Queenie Eye but without so harsh a sound. A combination of a catchy chorus, clever lyrics and great tune make this a real winner. And a good track to bring the album to it's close. *****

Get Me Out Of Here is a slightly tongue in cheek non-event. Very repetitive and very silly. *** The hidden track Scared is not particularly inspiring but not awful. It's just feels a bit too forced as opposed to the genuine emotion of a track like The End of the End off Memory Almost Full. ***

All in all this album has something for everyone. It doesn't quite get five stars from me because tracks like New and Appreciate drag the overall quality down. Others, like Queenie Eye and Hosanna are some of the best McCartney has ever written so, in my mind he's proven once again that he still has it. His music has lost none of the energy it had way back in the sixties. He may be old but topics like love and sex are still not lost to him.

He's had a very good run of recent albums (Chaos onwards) and this just about tops them. Great lyrics and enjoyable music. Any album with 14 tracks is gonna have it's highs and lows but the highs make it more than worth the lows. This is not just a good Paul McCartney album, this is a great album in general.

A Nomad of the Time Streams (Tale of the Eternal Champion)
A Nomad of the Time Streams (Tale of the Eternal Champion)
by Michael Moorcock
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Moorcock I've Read, 19 Aug. 2013
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Michael Moorcock is a brilliant character writer. All of his books are full of intriguing and cleverly written characters and this collection is no exception. In fact, this trilogy is particularly good in that aspect. Oswald Bastable is written consistently and convincingly throughout.

It is, as usual, easy to read but not overly simplistic. Moorcock writes about incredibly complicated and mind-boggling things in such a way that it doesn't stop the natural lyrical flow of the book. A Nomad of the Time Streams is full of sci-fi jargon about time travel, alternate realities and, of course, the multiverse but never gets bogged down in techno-babble.

The stories themselves are very creative. Time travel and alternate realities are not new ideas but Moorcock makes you feel like they are. The exploration of ethics, politics and relationships in a multiverse full of infinite possible realities is completely inspired and, while some of the authors own views (particularly concerning anarchism) are made abundantly obvious, the reader is never preached and it feels more like an exercise in observation rather than a social comment.

There is a deliberate pattern to the three books which makes reading them one immediately after the other a particularly rewarding experience as this builds up to an interesting climax in the final book. As much as the pattern is unmissable, the second and third books are not just re-writes of the first under another name but they build on the themes and would not, therefore, fare particularly well as stand-alone books.

Unlike the Von Bek trilogy which dips in the middle or the The Cornelius Quartet which has a particularly drawn out final installment, A Nomad of the Time Streams is a collection of three consistently brilliant and well paced books. Each is equally strong as the others and for that reason I think this may be the best Michael Moorcock I have read. So far, that is.

Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
by Michael Moorcock
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Something Multiverse Something Something Colour, 19 July 2013
Being a die hard who fan and a recent Moorcock fan, this book just seemed too good to be true. The Doctor himself, welcomed into the multiverse of Michael Moorcock? Sci-Fi geeks everywhere weeping heavy tears of joy, wiped from the glistening wrap of their mint condition Star Trek top trumps pack with a limited edition wookie wipe.

Obsessive obsessions aside, is this book actually any good? In the immortal words of the tenth doctor "OH YES!" This is not just a gimmicky glueing together of two legends, this is a genuinely brilliant novel!

It's faithful to the Whoniverse and Michael Moorcock manages to beautifully capture the I'm-ever-so-slightly-channeling-Patrick-Troughton eleventh Doctor as played by Matt Smith as well as his companion Amy Pond. Unlike the 45 minute tv format, this book allows for an epic adventure taking in a huge cast of hilarious characters such as Captain Abberly and the Bubbly boys or Frank/Freddie Force and the antimatter men.

The story itself is a typical Russell T Davies style "the whole of reality is in danger" adventure but is still massively enjoyable. Moorcock fills the book with beautiful planets, spaceships and buildings all described in stunning detail. It's fast paced but also incorporates a bit of light relief. The completely jumbled and inaccurate way in which the characters try to recreate Old Earth style is inspired and really very funny.

Every inch of the book smells like Michael Moorcock. From the constant references to the multiverse to the occasional borrowed character (e.g. Captain Cornelius) Moorcock is able to make the story entirely his own whilst staying true to Who. In my own humble opinion, this book perfectly lives up to everything you would expect from this team up. Except, maybe,for the fact that this book is decidedly more family friendly (see less sex and gore) than Michael Moorcocks own work.

Best Doctor Who book I've ever read. And I've read a few. I can only hope that the BBC either request a sequel or find other, equally brilliant authors to continue producing this kind of quality Who.

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