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CJA (London. UK)

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Smiffy's Doughboy US Sailor Hat - White
Smiffy's Doughboy US Sailor Hat - White
Price: £2.18

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Far from shipshape, 30 July 2010
As the Miss above states, what we see isn't quite what you get. I needed a new hat as I was returning to my ship after a heavy week of partying in which my standard issue Navy hat may have been given to a young lady round the back of the Hope And Anchor near Tindel Street. Anyway, returning to duty with this on my head, the skipper pulled me up right away. Wasn't worth money - or the lashes.

Go For Broke Board Game
Go For Broke Board Game
Offered by All We Ever Look For
Price: £49.56

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Teach your kids about Labour policies and the deficit, 26 May 2010
This review is from: Go For Broke Board Game (Toy)
If your child is keen of mind and inquisitive then he or she will have questions about the 'deficit', a word we keep hearing in the media in 2010 - and with good reason. After all, the departing chief secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, did leave a wonderful note for the new chap: 'Dear chief secretary, I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.' The antithesis to Monopoly, this classic board game, which I enjoyed greatly as a child, is every spendthrift's dream: what can be more fun in our consumer society than spending like there's no tomorrow?!

West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Price: £3.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On form and pushing (their own) boundaries, 13 July 2009
If you're a fan of Kasabian then this is a must-buy, of course - but don't let my saying this put you off. The band is on-form and making some of the best music of their (hopefully long) career.

If you were wondering what the BBC used as the signature theme for its Glastonbury coverage this year, then it's to be found of course on the chorus of Fire, the excellent first single from ...Asylum (sorry - it's too long to write in full, I'm afraid).

If you have previously written off the band as having cynically engineered a sound that is 60 per cent Oasis and 40 per cent Primal Scream - something I did at first, I readily admit - the opening tracks of this mouthful-of-an-album would appear to confirm such allegations.

You get the feeling that Kasabian can churn out dance beat-laden, quality and addictive Oasis-esque anthems all day long. Kasabian are brilliant at what they do best - no question about that. But can they push their own boundaries?

Well, yes, they can. The wonderful title (or silly title - depending on your view) instantly suggests 'concept album', which in turn either excites you or sets alarm bells ringing. (I'm sure the latter at the record company.)

But fear not, the Leicester boys clearly have as much talent as bravado: the strange turns, new more subdued sounds and echoes of classic 70s rock are very welcome but are balanced by the usual catchy hooks and melodies.

Be warned, it's a bit of a grower - stick with it and you'll be rewarded. They clearly have an appetite to evolve and explore - both of which they do on this album, and with relative success.

As to whether it hangs together well is another matter: it's far from neat and not all the songs work. In fact, it's a bit of a pizza of an album, but then, when the subject matter is madness who's to say the mildly schizo, all-over-the-place feel isn't intended? The production is certainly interesting, often spot-on. And besides, given the great tunes and a welcome, more-subdued and darker sound, we'll forgive them.

WRPLA shows Kasabian to have outgrown the title of princes to the Oasis crown - something that has hindered them as much as helped in terms of critical success. I still doubt it will see them being taken seriously by the more snobbish music fan, but with this album Kasabian should markedly increase their fanbase.

Thinking About the Good Times
Thinking About the Good Times

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six years on, this album sounds as good, fresh and relevant, 14 Sept. 2008
I bought Reno's debut album in 2002 upon release (it's now 2008); a lucky pick rather than a recommendation. Perhaps it's the name that I liked. Anyway, this album is brilliant - every song's great. It's subtle, understated, got great sounds and vocals and will not disappoint. It reminds me a bit of the Air debut Moon Safari in some ways, but while that became a word-of-mouth hit and is now considered a classic, I fear that Reno's album will never receive the acclaim it deserves. I'm not suggesting that this album explores new musical territory or is particularly ground-breaking - it's not. Rather, it covers these various sub-genres with confidence and aplomb by introducing sublime vocals, melodies and acoustic guitar etc to bring an organic/classic feel to proceedings. This album is one of the best unsung musical heroes of the decade.

No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blister-free half marathon thanks to these, 30 April 2008
I was suffering blisters until I switched in desperation to these 1000 mile running socks and never looked back. I have not once suffered a blister in them, though I was irritated by rubbing in the instep of one Saucony trainer (but this was a stitching issue with the trainer, and a piece of duct tape solved that). A twin 'skin' to the sock means there is the slightest of 'give' or movement when your foot hits the ground resulting in less friction against your own skin. It's simple, it's effective, it works. I don't suppose one should get overly excited about socks, bit these are very highly recommended. I dunno if I've run 1000 miles. I doubt I've run 200 to be honest, but I wouldn't run in anything else now (except shorts and tshirt - I do also wear those!)

Canon IXUS 60 Digital Camera - Silver (6.0MP, 3x Optical Zoom) 2.5" LCD
Canon IXUS 60 Digital Camera - Silver (6.0MP, 3x Optical Zoom) 2.5" LCD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canon's Little Beauty: the ultimate pocket party camera, 28 Mar. 2008
"Is that a Canon in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?" is not something an owner of a Canon Ixus 60 is ever likely to hear due to this beauty's sleek, diminutive dimensions.

I bought the IXUS 60 while on holiday in Australia in November 2006 because my Nikon D80 SLR was just too big (and precious) to take out partying in the evenings. I was wary of small digital cameras because I'd had two Nikon digital compacts and both had died on me within months (seemingly minutes) so buying this Canon was for me a gamble. I needn't have worried.

This camera has proven to be a most faithful companion; it has never let me down (not once has it 'acted up'/crashed/refused to work), has found many admirers, takes great shots, has perfect build quality (robust, metal), great battery life (I haven't needed to buy a second back-up battery as I usually do), and is the best camera (aside from the Nikon 80) that I've owned.

The IXUS 60 is pretty old now (there are more recent Ixus models which offer better resolution), but for printing at 5x7 inch this does just fine. Sure, it's not going to produce the quality images associated with SLRs, but given its size (smaller than a cigarette box), I believe this model sets the standard. A review below goes into more detail on this, but believe me, the casual observer will be impressed rather than find fault with this camera's images.

(It may also possibly explain why it's still so dear when compared to the prices of more recent Canon models.)

Sony MDR-EX71SLB Fontopia Headphones - Black
Sony MDR-EX71SLB Fontopia Headphones - Black

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wires let the Sony side down, 4 July 2007
To corroborate other reviews here, this is a great product. Perhaps I am a glutton for punishment, or perhaps I had too much faith in Sony and thought the disintegration of the wire on the first set was a one-off, but I have owned 3 sets of these particular headphones (actually, it's because they look so great and I've more money than sense). Every time, the wires have become sticky and soft as if experiencing some sort of chemical breakdown or change. The result is not only quite unpleasant to the touch (remember those novelty rubber spiders that would crawl down walls and windows - just like that), but they also tend to fall apart, leaving wires exposed and eventually they cease to work. When I first bought them, the product was more expensive and there were far fewer cheaper versions of the 'in-ear/bud' type headphones on the market. While I'm sure the sound on these Fontopia phones is up there with the best (and remains so), unless they have fixed what is ultitamely a pretty basic but fundamental fault, then I would suggest buyers avoid this product.

Vanishing Point
Vanishing Point
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.96

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gimme Medication, 15 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Vanishing Point (Audio CD)
If it's really for sale for less than £2, then you can't afford to not own this album. Somewhat undervalued, I bet that in 5 to 10 years time, bands will be namedropping this album as a must-mention major influence.

Brilliant, dark, druggy and unlike anything anyone else was doing (the others were flogging the exhausted pony that was Brit Pop, probably), Vanishing Point was new territory for Primal Scream and for British rock. While the Brit Poppers were riding a cocaine wave of increasingly banal, mainstream success, our then Brighton-based heroes Primal Scream (increasingly seen as veteran rock n rollers even back then) appeared to be exploiting the anxieties, paranoia and 'strung-outness' of a speed/e/whatever comedown to move away from Stones wannabe territory and show their potential, find their voice, and begin mining a very dark and twisted seem indeed. Flashes (flashbacks?) of Screamadelica and Give Out are evident, as are nods to the drrty techno sounds they went on to produce. In this way, VP is something of a link in the Primal Scream evolutionary chain, but it's also much, much more - it's a trip, a dark and twisting road trip.

A Dictionary of British Place-Names (Oxford Paperback Reference)
A Dictionary of British Place-Names (Oxford Paperback Reference)
by A. D. Mills
Edition: Paperback

3 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Apparently the Republic of Ireland is once more under British rule, 6 Mar. 2007
I picked this up shortly after having been asked by my travelling companion where the name Weston Super Mare came from. I didn't know - hadn't really thought about it before. But I wanted to find out, and this book had the (with hindsight, easy) answer*.

While interesting for dipping into for a sample of some of our wonderfully unusual place names or to see how your town's name came about, the relatively mundane origins of even many of the most eccentric and bizarre sounding names makes this book a little disappointing.

The title is also misleading for two reasons. The first, a minor quibble perhaps, but if I bought an English dictionary I'd reasonably expect to find every word in current useage in the English language. But in this 'dictionary' there is only a selection of place names. That said, it's still a vast and exhaustive selection.

More worrying, however, is the inclusion of the settlement names of a whole other country!

Last time I looked, the Republic of Ireland wasn't part of the British Isles. To get something so basic so fundamentally wrong undermines what is a throughly researched book choc-full of otherwise reliable information. Perhaps the publisher might argue that some of these Irish place names are anglicised or British by origin. Whatever. It's still unacceptable for British books published in the 21st century to be making this 'mistake'. Thinking about it, it's laughable.

How ironic that a book about names should foul up with its own title.

*Weston, for those who care, means farm or village to the west. Super Mare is Latin for 'on sea' - easy when you know.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 12, 2011 8:17 AM GMT


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Greats, 26 April 2006
This review is from: OUCH THE TOUCH (Audio CD)
Apparently they're just blowing up in Oz (April 2005), where this Melbourne band have just released their debut album. As for the UK, we'll have to wait a little longer, despite several visits by the Grates, most recently to support the Go! Team. In essence, the Grates play uplifting, surging, catchy, scratchy indie pop songs sung by a lovely girl with boundless energy. Catch them live if you can. As for this tune, it's good, but there's more where this came from and the album is probably worth hanging on for.

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