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Backbeats: Soul Searchin - Finding Gold In Memphis 1968 - 1979
Backbeats: Soul Searchin - Finding Gold In Memphis 1968 - 1979
Price: £4.91

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memphis Gold, 20 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is another first class release from Backbeats' ongoing exploration of the US soul scene. Focussing solely on Memphis' Hi Records between 1968 and 1979, there is an overload of quality tracks from both established and lesser known artists.

Ann Peebles opens the album with 'I Didn't Take Your Man'. With it's extended spoken word intro, it finds the groove and stays on it (and it also features on the Backbeats 'I Get My Groove' compilation). 'What Made You Change Your Mind' by Eddie McGee is a mid-tempo gem with some gorgeous female backing vocals. The Memphians provide some solid funk with 'Slidin' In and Out (Of My Neigbours House)' and O.V. Wright's 'I Found Peace' is almost too smooth for words. The quality of the backing vocals and harmony arrangements is noticeable throughout.

With a couple of tracks apiece from Syl Johnson and Al Green and with a generous playing time of 74:29 this is, given the quality of the music and the almost give away price, essential listening and the Backbeats series continues to exceed expectations.


Anker® T300 Ultra-Slim Mini Bluetooth 3.0 Wireless Keyboard for iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini, iPad 4 / 3 / 2, Galaxy Tab and other Tablets - Black
Anker® T300 Ultra-Slim Mini Bluetooth 3.0 Wireless Keyboard for iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini, iPad 4 / 3 / 2, Galaxy Tab and other Tablets - Black
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quality Bluetooth keyboard, 20 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Powered by two AAA batteries, this keyboard connected seamlessly with my iPad. It doesn't double as case and therefore the overall shape and layout is similar to that of a standard keyboard, albeit smaller. However, the keys are the same size as those on my laptop and they are sensitive - you don't need to hit them when typing. It's raised at the top and the slight gradient makes typing comfortable.

It has volume control keys, including a Mute key, and keys to skip between photos and tracks, including those being streamed from my wireless server. There's a key to hide or show the on screen keypad and also Home and Search keys. The only (minor) downside is that the direction keys only seem to work in the iPad Note app - you can't scroll up and down web pages using them.

It's made of hard plastic and it's sturdy. It can be switched off when not in use and the battery life should last for up to seven months, but I suppose it depends on how often you use it.

In summary, if you use an iPad for typing at length this makes the job so much easier and my laptop is now almost redundant.

***This is review for the Anker Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard that does NOT double as a cover or has a built in lithium battery***


Anker® 24W Dual-Port Rapid USB Car Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 5S 5S 5 4S, iPad 5 4 3 2, Air, mini, Galaxy S5 S4 S3, Note 4 3 2, Tab 4 3 Pro, HTC One, PS Vita, Gopro, External Batteries and more [White]
Anker® 24W Dual-Port Rapid USB Car Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 5S 5S 5 4S, iPad 5 4 3 2, Air, mini, Galaxy S5 S4 S3, Note 4 3 2, Tab 4 3 Pro, HTC One, PS Vita, Gopro, External Batteries and more [White]
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £19.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works and it's fast!, 15 May 2013
I purcahsed a Belkin car USB charger last year but it was unable to power my iPad. However, this charger copes with no problems whatsoever. Moreover, I can charge my iPad and Samsung Galaxy MP3 player simultaneously and they both charge at more or less the same rate as if they were plugged into the mains at home. Connect your device(s) to the charger, start your car engine, plug the charger into the car lighter socket and you're good to go.

It's worth noting that if your lighter socket is fitted on the dashboard and in line with the gear stick the overall protrusion of this, including the USB heads on the charging cables, is about 90mm.

For the price at the time of writing, this is a bargain.


Leifheit Contour 72507 Medium Express Steam Generator Ironing Table
Leifheit Contour 72507 Medium Express Steam Generator Ironing Table
Offered by kitchen essentials
Price: £67.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Takes the back ache out of ironing, 14 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This ironing board is like a standard ironing board on steroids. It's bigger and stronger in every respect and when extended fully, it stands a couple of inches taller than any ironing board I've used in the past and this literally takes the back ache out of ironing - I can now iron for extended periods without my back aching.

The ironing area is wider and longer and a steam generator iron fits comfortably on the rest plate. It has a thick foam underlay and you can really press down hard when ironing without fear of the board collapsing or your clothes being left with an imprint of the mesh frame. The cable holder looks gimmicky and I didn't use it the first few times but when I did, I found it to be very useful - the cord from the steam generator to the iron hangs suspended in mid air and therefore doesn't knock your clothes out of position.

It is expensive, but this is an ironing board that is built to last for years and years and if coupled with a steam generator iron it will save hours on the amount of time spent ironing.


Philips Jamie Oliver 900w Steamer HD9132/01 with Bain Marie and Flavour Booster
Philips Jamie Oliver 900w Steamer HD9132/01 with Bain Marie and Flavour Booster
Price: £61.24

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for steam cooking vegetables but vastly over-priced, 8 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For its primary role in my kitchen - steam cooking vegetables - this steamer works very well. Using all three trays together with vegetables loaded in order of their tenderness, you're looking at about 20-25 minutes to cook them and, as with all steamers, most of the flavour is retained. It can also be used to steam cook fish, meat and boiled eggs (the bases of the stacks are designed so that eggs can be placed upright on them) but some things are just easier to cook using a pan and hob.

Its well made and looks the part and the racks are spacious and they stack inside each other to save on storage space. It has a retractable power cord that recoils inside the base. It also has a bowl for steam cooking rice, soups, etc. and melting chocolate but, once again, some things are easier and quicker to cook on a hob. The flavour booster is a totally ineffective sales gimmick because you can't fit anywhere near enough herbs or spices into the booster for it to make any real difference. When in operation it occasionally makes a noise not dissimilar to a coffee percolator.

The minimal instructions included are hopeless and are folded like a map (good luck re-folding them correctly!). There are also four large photo-card recipes and a photo of Jamie Oliver. In fairness, it's not difficult to use but it would be better if Philips just produced a well designed instruction booklet that included some recipes.

If you're likely to make use of the bowl and you'd prefer to steam cook your eggs, then this may be a worthwhile investment. However, if you just want something to steam your vegetables and the occasional salmon fillet then you can buy branded steam cookers for half the price of this - the extra layout for the bowl (and Jamie Oliver's endorsement) is not justified.

Top Tip: To reduce cooking time, fill it with boiling water poured straight from the kettle.


Comply S-400 Active Earphone Tips (Medium) - Charcoal Black 3 pairs
Comply S-400 Active Earphone Tips (Medium) - Charcoal Black 3 pairs
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and they stay in place, 3 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Made from soft but fairly durable memory foam, these tips are very comfortable. When inserted in your ears the tips gently expand and they really do stay in place and you don't need to constantly fiddle about re-adjusting your earphones. I've not noticed any big difference in sound quality but they do isolate more background noise than silicone tips.

Although not listed on the compatibility list - in the Amazon product description click on the 'Click Here' tab in the Compatible Earphones column - I'm using these with the earphones supplied with the Samsung Galaxy S 8GB Wi-Fi MP3 Player and they're a perfect fit.

With three pairs of tips provided, they're a winner in the comfort stakes but don't expect any massive improvement in sound quality


Backbeats: Detroit Gold - 70s Soul Grooves From The Motor City
Backbeats: Detroit Gold - 70s Soul Grooves From The Motor City
Price: £7.19

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding collection of Seventies soul, 16 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I own most of the Backbeats CDs that focus exclusively on the Seventies and this is the best yet and I must concur with the first reviewer - this is all killer and no filler. The quality of the music is outstanding and, unusually, there is not a single weak song to be found on this compilation.

Dance floor fillers, sweet soul, out-and-out belters and mid-tempo grooves - it's all here and so much more. And when you consider the price it really is jaw-dropping. Focussing primarily on Holland-Dozier-Holland's Invictus and Hot Wax labels, it's impossible to select highlights on a compilation this strong. If you're a fan of Seventies US soul then this really is essential listening.


Motown Funk
Motown Funk
Price: £6.88

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Seventies Motown Funk, 6 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Motown Funk (Audio CD)
Clocking in at an impressive 135 minutes and with most of the tracks sourced from the early Seventies, this is another quality budget Motown compilation. There's nothing here as funky as James Brown's work from the same period (how could there be?!) and a few of the songs are not, as funk goes, that funky. Nontheless, there's still much to enjoy here. Highlights include Gordon Stapes' Blaxploitation classic 'Strung Out' that feaures cool sweeping orchestrations drifting in and out of the mix. Undisputed Truth's cover of 'Ball of Confusion' is 10 minutes of tripped-out psychedelic soul and Odyssey's 'Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love' has a breezy West Coast vibe. 'T Plays it Cool' highlights how versatile a songwriter and composer Marvin Gaye was and Syreeta Wright's vocals on 'To Know You Is To Love You' are sublime as is the extended outro jam (and Stevie Wonder's synthesized vocals!). Recommended.


Philips PerfectCare Aqua ECO GC8635/02 Steam Generator Iron - One Perfect Temperature - 220g Pressurised Steam Boost
Philips PerfectCare Aqua ECO GC8635/02 Steam Generator Iron - One Perfect Temperature - 220g Pressurised Steam Boost
Price: £200.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best iron in the world ...ever, 28 Mar 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an awesome steam generator iron and its the future of ironing right here, right now. It's so much better than a conventional iron and is the next best thing to getting someone else to do your ironing for you. It has an impressive array of features but the big selling point is the optimal temperature function that does away with the need for a manually operated temperature control gauge. I don't know (or care) how it works, but it automatically and immediately adjusts the temperature to suit the material you're ironing, therefore doing away with the need to sort out your order of ironing and waiting for the iron to heat up or cool down. It's extremely clever and, most importantly, it really does work.

The combined water tank and stand is big, bulky and heavy but this is a worthwhile trade-off given the very impressive 2.2 litre capacity. It's like being connected to a reservoir and saves the hassle of having to keep re-filling the tank. Water is pumped from the tank to the iron every few minutes causing a rumbling sound that lasts for about five seconds.

You can use it without steam, produce short very powerful blasts of steam or, with two quick clicks of the trigger on the underside of the handle, have continuous steam. The steam output is seriously impressive and the iron just glides effortlessly over whatever material you're ironing. Weight wise, the iron itself is light but given the amount of steam generated it isn't a problem - if you want a sharp crease, you get one and when ironing out creases they disappear with minimal effort. A big bonus is that unlike a conventional iron it doesn't leak water onto whatever it is you're ironing.

Further features include the very straightforward de-scaling method which simply involves manually unscrewing a bolt and draining the tank. You're prompted to carry it out when the 'de-calc' light flashes. It automatically switches off if it hasn't been used for 10 minutes and you can rest the hot plate on the ironing board without fear of damaging or burning the board thanks to the optimal temperature feature. It also has an energy saving function - activate the 'ECO' switch and you save energy but still have sufficient steam to carry out your ironing but, as I discovered, not as much as if you don't activate it. There's also a carry-lock which locks the iron to the tank. The cable storage area built into the base of the tank could be better but it's a very minor issue.

In summary, this iron ultimately doesn't iron your clothes any better than a conventional iron but it does make this most loathsome of chores much faster and easier to complete and really does cut down on the amount of time you spend ironing.


Backbeats: Dance-Floor Revolution - 70's Modern Soul Stunners
Backbeats: Dance-Floor Revolution - 70's Modern Soul Stunners
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £4.37

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mid-seventies US Soul, 26 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Backbeats continue their themed exploration of the US black music scene with this compilation that features 23 soul tracks primarily sourced from the mid-seventies.

Highlights include Patti Austin's cover of the Northern Soul classic 'Didn't Say a Word' that is almost identical to Brenda Holloway's Motown version. Patti Jo's vocal delivery on 'Make Me Believe in You' is faultless and 'This Time Around' by S.O.U.L. is mid-tempo soul at its finest. Gwen McRae's 'Lead Me On' features a cool re-occurring piano riff and a guitar solo as she sings her heart out - it packs a mighty punch despite being a little over 2 minutes long and it's the best song here.

Unexpectedly, there are some fillers and also two songs that don't belong on a compilation with the sub-title '70s Modern Soul Stunners' - David Ruffin & Eddie Kendricks 'I Couldn't Believe It' is from 1988 and Damaris Carbaugh's 'What About My Love' is from 1984. The former is representative of the overall sound here but the Damaris track sounds totally out of place and how it found its way onto this album is a mystery.

With a generous playing time of 79 minutes, some of the songs are not as dance floor friendly as the 'Dance Floor Revolution' title implies. It is, however, mostly a very enjoyable listen and it offers outstanding value for money. It's worth noting that this CD contains 23 tracks, not the 25 tracks listed here - 'Cuz it's You Girl' by the James Walsh Gypsy Band and 'How Can I Be Sure' by Randy Jackson do NOT feature.


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