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Reviews Written by
M. G. Chisholm "chiefengineer3" (UK)

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Double Live Assassins
Double Live Assassins
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars WASP Rock Hard, 7 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Double Live Assassins (Audio CD)
Like most rock fans I often prefer a live album over the studio efforts because it often captures some of the raw energy that a decent band has that makes it special. And this CD certainly capture it well.

WASP have been a hugely underrated band possibly because they used a bit too much 'shock and awe,' early on. It might have grabbed the headlines but it probably unfairly pigeon holed them, ignoring the fact that they knocked out some first class heavy metal anthems that still sound fresh and great. Blackie himself has an excellent voice and having heard him play the small venue The Waterfront in Norwich where you can't hide behind a bank of electronic help without being caught out I can definitely say the man has it.

The album itself covers WASPs biggest years with some aplomb. The sound is superb and the entire band rock hard all the way through. Put simply this is a great live album by any standards and one of WASPs best records full stop.

Live Insurrection
Live Insurrection
Price: £11.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Proper Heavy Metal Album, 7 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Live Insurrection (MP3 Download)
Simply great traditional live metal album. First half is essentially the Halford stuff and the second half Halford era Judas Priest. To all intents pretty much the same in overall tone and direction. It's clear that Halford is pure metal all the way through because in Priest or out, he likes a good headbanging tune.

Sound is extremely good and Halford's voice is in tip top condition. There might be a bit of a studio cleanup here but not done with a heavy hand. Bottom line is that the Metal God does have a supreme voice for this type of music.

Overall, a fantastic addition to the record collection for any Judas Priest/Halford listening fan.

King of Thieves (Odyssey One: Star Rogue)
King of Thieves (Odyssey One: Star Rogue)
Price: £3.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Space Adventure, 5 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Seems that I'm alone here thinking that Evan Currie has created yet another superb science- fiction blockbuster. Now, mostly I tend to give lower than average star ratings so I do not generally over egg someone or something so I genuinely feel that five stars is deserved. This is a fast paced space adventure filled with action, great characters and excellently written. Currie easily maintains his very high standard displayed in the Odyssey series.

This time we have a ship and crew sent into deep space to investigate potential anomalies in the hunt for the bad guys who directed the attack on Earth in the Odyssey books. What they find spools up into a story that loosely resembles the second Alien film but more in line with the spirit of the earlier books. Its seat of the pants stuff.

So, if you read and enjoyed the previous Currie books then you will enjoy this one too.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 23, 2015 2:31 PM BST

Samsung S-View Window Flip Premium Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy A5 - Black
Samsung S-View Window Flip Premium Case Cover for Samsung Galaxy A5 - Black
Offered by Kikatek
Price: £23.84

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for the A5, 4 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I couldn't be more pleased with this cover. I am a little bit 'precious' with my mobiles and like them to remain in the same condition as the day I got them, hence buying a genuine product. This is the 3rd Samsung I have owned and the 3rd genuine cover. I've not been disappointed with any of them and this one certainly is of the same standard.

Fits perfectly as you would expect from the manufacturer of the phone itself, so all the buttons are accessible and there is no interference with the camera lens. The pictures are perfectly clear and as lovely as if there was no case fitted.

The phone becomes active once you open the cover and has a feature to select a picture which is seen through the window on closure - yes I'm easily pleased!
Comment Comment | Permalink

Panasonic ALL8 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Panasonic ALL8 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Offered by ASK
Price: £284.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb - As Long as You Use a PC or Tablet., 3 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Okay, this is the second speaker-system in the Panasonic ALL offerings that I'm reviewing, the first being the ALL3. That was given a full checking out by my son-in-law who is probably the target audience for this sort of gear. My generation of blokes still get misty eye'd over an LP let alone a streaming service. And this is the oddity of this Panasonic music system. My wife - a delightful lady of mid-century years found this speaker much more user friendly and easy to deal with than the younger generation. And that (apart from the fact she is surprisingly adept at network tech and computers despite having never looked at one when young) is probably because she falls between the old fart camp where I lie and the yoof who are not really interested in proper hifi and simply stream from the internet.

My wife does not stream from the net, but tends to use the music on our server and her various tablets, phones and computers. Because of the way she listened to this speaker the problem my son-in-law had which was the simple fact that you need Spotify Premium to use it if you are streaming and the likes of Deezer (no idea - generation thing) isn't supported hacked him off. Pretty dumb considering that he is way more likely to be the target of this thing than my wife. So the ALL3 got a 3 start rating as he did the legwork and this has got a 5 star because my wife set it up.

So here is her review.

Okay, I plugged it in, found it within settings on my Lenovo, connected, downloaded the Panasonic app to the Lenovo, which then found the songs I'd previously transferred to it, then played them. Simples. And if you think about it that is how it should be, unlike some alternatives which will not even connect if you are using a BT Home Hub - step forward Pure.

Sound quality is seriously good for the size of the speaker. Plenty of weight and clarity. And loud. Much, much louder than I'm ever likely to use. Despite his deafness, when I cranked it up I think Angus (our 16 year old terrier) heard it as he scurried off - or that may have been my dancing!

Unlike other items we have, it's attractive and not brick like at all. The finish is tactile and gives a real impression of quality, which it has in abundance.

Okay - me taking over again. So, it's an interesting take here. If you are the kind of person who has their music actually on a house server etc. and want a well made, loud but physically unobtrusive speaker that was easy to set up (and you are happy to use the Panasonic app) then this could be a great option. Bearing in mind of course that you have to have your music in a format that it likes. I use WMA Lossless but for this baby you need MP3 or Flac. Bummer.

However if you are of the generation that simply streams from the net then this could be a problem unless you have Spotify Premium service.

Overall though the sound quality and ease of use makes a convincing case if this is the kind of thing you are after.

BISSELL Multi-Reach 2-in-1 Light Weight Cordless Vacuum with 18 V Lithium-Ion, 90 Watt, Orange
BISSELL Multi-Reach 2-in-1 Light Weight Cordless Vacuum with 18 V Lithium-Ion, 90 Watt, Orange
Price: £189.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Standby Vacuum, 3 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm going to pass the words over to my better half for this review as I did one for the Vax battery vacuum cleaner which in my estimation was a near replacement for a middling mains powered one. This vacuum is a slightly different propostion but nevertheless a really good bit of kit. So, without further ado, over to the vacuum expert.

Very impressed!

Incredibly easy to assemble from the box and for that matter just as easy to take apart for cleaning.

Although this is described as light weight, it's 'no light weight cleaner'. It feels very solid and offers quite a remarkable clean for a cordless hoover.

The 'docking station' is brilliant as it keeps everything neatly together and it means that the hoover is always fully charged and ready to go.

The unit itself is very manoeuvrable with it's swivel head and the 2 way folding handle makes it easy to get under furniture etc. If it could go totally flat this would be an improvement, but that is probably my only criticism of the hoover.

The removable hand vacuum is perfect for a quick pick up of crumbs etc,

I don't think this hoover would be very good on carpets with a deep pile, purely because the size of the head would make it quite difficult to push. But for wooden flooring and short pile carpets it is just perfect.

It's probably not a full on replacement for my corded hoover but as a standby ready for immediate use - such as when my grandchildren manage to cover the floor under their high chairs with crumbs, this is perfect.

Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System (Black)
Price: £221.45

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Sounds and Look But Lacks Flexible Connectivity, 1 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was very impressed with the build quality of the Panasonic ALL3 Wireless Speaker System with its touch sensitive buttons and minimalistic appearance. I received the almost black version that ditches the typical gloss of many alternatives and replaces it with a dark grey, attractive matt finish. It should be noted that the speaker, although short, is rather chunky and therefore I was unable to tuck it away within my TV cabinet alongside my sound bar, Sky box and PS4. However it’s a pretty box and looks good out on display, particular in the upright position that I favoured in terms of saving desk space.

Setup was a doddle and the box updated without any hiccups. Sound quality is excellent, vastly superior to my OrbitSound and Phillips speakers.

My only niggle, which for me is a big one, is that I use Deezer for all of my music streaming and this app is not compatible with the Panasonic app. I can only assume Spotify works well and from reading the reviews of others seem to work flawlessly, although you can't use the free version as only the premium will allow you to connect to the speaker. A trial Spotify subscription included with the speaker would have been nice, especially with the premium price tag of the speaker.

Not being able to connect my music streaming service to the speaker has hampered its use. Additionally the speaker does not allow for Bluetooth streaming, a serious flaw which I hadn't anticipated. At present I have to connect my phone directly via the 3.5mm audio jack, both inconvenient and something you would not expected in this day and age.

So, overall the speaker is well built, has excellent sound clarity but, is let down by connectivity. Those who use Spotify routinely or generally stream their music collection via the computer may find this product more useful. However being locked into the Panasonic app in my opinion has let this speaker down.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 6, 2015 5:47 PM BST

Earth Vs. Aliens (Aliens Series Book 1)
Earth Vs. Aliens (Aliens Series Book 1)
Price: £0.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Utter Bilge, 31 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I actually paid 99p for this tripe. And I mean tripe. Yes, we know that space opera isn't likely to be challenging for the Booker prize, but God in heaven it should be better than this.

What really hacks me off is that I was sucked in by some favourable review ignoring the first review which was highly negative - and right on the button. Trust me the bloke who wrote that review knows what he is talking about.

Why two stars? The author can at least string a sentence together which is mostly grammatically correct and easily read without grind one's teeth.

Anyway, I have to confess that I simply could not plough through this book all the way - and that is saying something given some of the rubbish I have read in desperation whilst at sea. However in this near child-like book our intrepid hero somehow manages to cobble a space craft together and using his incredible insight though anthropology defeat aliens who have technology hundreds of years in advance of ours.

Its risible garbage.

Tokyo Dome In Concert
Tokyo Dome In Concert
Price: £15.44

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Actually Live, 31 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tokyo Dome In Concert (Audio CD)
Hmmm. Pondering in some ways as to how to review this, primarily because of the sound mix. The songs are not going to surprise anyone and are the classics we all hope to hear. But - the sound appears to be as played....

And that's where it becomes a bit difficult. Old Diamond Dave could never be accused of being a superb singer. He is however the man for the job fronting Van Halen who have the image of being polished and slick. Hence, the surprise that this album actually sounds live. When I ordered it I figured that it would have been 'helped' a bit to ensure that the Van Halen studio sound was more in evidence. In general I don't like this sort of approach but Van Halen are not ACDC who are meant to sound a bit raw.

So, finding that Dave was very much as was recorded was a bit of a curve ball. Not only that the rest of the band were not mixed to death either so also had a more honest sound than I was expecting.

Still, lets be fair. I wanted a live record and this appears to be it, warts and mix and all. Fair play to Van Halen. Eddie still has a guitar sound that sounds fresh and instantly you cannot help but think back to the fun times in the 80's, surfer dudes on a Californian beach and all. Even if you have never been there. And for that in my late 40's, thankyou Van Halen. The grey hairs and expanded waistline are forgotten for a couple of hours.

Philips GC1020/70 EasySpeed Steam Iron with 70 g Steam Boost, 0.2 Litre, 1800 W, Green
Philips GC1020/70 EasySpeed Steam Iron with 70 g Steam Boost, 0.2 Litre, 1800 W, Green
Price: £19.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Value for Money, 31 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Yes, I'm a bloke. But that does not mean I can't iron - or rather that I have to iron as I work overseas and have to do my own dhobi. So rather than give this to my wife to review I thought I'd give it a go myself from the blokes perspective.

Okay, it's a lightweight Earth Mother Green iron which isn't very manly. I mean, who needs an iron that weighs next to nothing and looks feminine? Us men need a large iron in matt black that weighs in the same as a barrel of beer. However, I can accept that for those who are not built like a Russian mud wrestler, a light tool may be just the ticket. There is a large water tank which is easy to fill via the flip open lid on top. I've been informed that this is to help the ironing process by She Who Must Be Obeyed. Good spray and steam function, especially the extra blast of steam for stubborn creases. The sole plate is good quality and very easy to clean with a non stick coating.

The controls are located in the right place making it very easy to use and access the steam and spray functions with your thumb whilst continuing to iron and they also act as the on/off control. The boss who has far more experience of these things than me informs me that most irons are on as soon as you plug them in.

According to the blurb there is a deep clean function to remove scale etc. Can't say if it works as this iron has not been in use long enough to scale up and as my missus only ever fills them up with de-ionized stuff with smellies in it at great expense from the big shop, I doubt that it will ever be a problem.

Of course I got this via Vine to review and we already have a jolly expensive powered pump action iron and this will eventually be given to my son as he is finally moving out and I can see that it is not aimed at the high end part of the market. However, for just under 18 quid I have to say it is remarkable. It's not much more than the arse basic jobs you get from the local Tesco's but is considerably higher in quality and ability. It is a proper quality item for not much cash. It makes buying the cheap and cheerful rubbish a pointless idea. Superb value for money.

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