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Davey (Dorset, United Kingdom)

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14 Tales of Mystery
14 Tales of Mystery
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £10.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty with a body count, 13 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: 14 Tales of Mystery (Audio CD)
A mix of traditional songs and instrumentals performed by the early music experts. Folk songs, perhaps, but definitely not folk instrumentation, and the music is a mix of traditional with some additions, "tweeking", and compositions by the group's leader, Nikolaus Newerkla. All this is reflected in the remarkable sound of this music. Parts are very dark and serious, such as Holland Handkerchief, The Unquiet Grave, and the "Owen Laments"; the latter have a beautiful melancholy and are tunes which you could imagine being played to accompany the plague wagons. Some are relatively well known, such as Geordie, and it's not all dark - there's the likes of the black humour of "The Rich Old Lady" - which I know as "Marrowbones" from an old Steeleye Span album.

Oh, and in terms of the body count, I made it to be 14!


BBC News
BBC News
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful. Deleted and a previous version restored!, 5 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: BBC News (App)
Awful.

Deleted and a previous version restored!


Other Side Of The Sky: A Collection
Other Side Of The Sky: A Collection
Price: £9.04

5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the best ofs., 12 Jan. 2015
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A great overview of one of the most eccentric bands ever. Octave doctors, pothead pixies and Steve Hillage - what's not to like? The two CDs have a mix of styles showing the range they exhibited in this classic period - personal faves are the longer spacy stuff like the multi-section "Thought For Nought/A P.H.P.'s Advice/Magick Mother Invocation/Master Builder", though that's not to disparage songs such as "And You Tried So Hard"; we even get a glimpse of the late unlamented Planet Gong ("Opium For The People" is endearingly awful - think of a bad Sex Pistols tribute band featuring Yoko Ono).

A slice of mid-seventies fun for but a few bob.


Just Kids
Just Kids
by Patti Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching memoir, 1 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Just Kids (Paperback)
This is not "The Autobiography Of Patti Smith"; it's a memoir of her friendship with the photographer/artist Robert Mapplethorpe in the New York of the late 60's/early 70's - it's autobiographical but not a full autobiography. I'll warn you that there's not a happy ending - Mapplethorpe had AIDS and died aged 42, and the book begins with his death - but it's not a sad book; it really is a celebration of their time, not a requiem; an elegy, not a tragedy. It's more about art than music, or even poetry, but I didn't have any problem with that even though I have little interest in, and even less knowledge of, modern art.

I read this shortly after Morrissey's "Autobiography" and the contrast with Steven Patrick's whingefest is striking; old Mozza has many virtues, of course, but I know who is the better writer!


In The Shadow Of The Moon [DVD]
In The Shadow Of The Moon [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Sington
Price: £6.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - I just wish it was longer!, 1 Jan. 2015
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A beautiful documentary combining archive footage with interviews with the surviving Apollo astronauts (as 0f , masterfully done such that they essentially tell their own story. This was made at a similar time to Andrew Smith's "Moondust", and they make an interesting pair. Not all of the astronauts were great communicators - sadly, but unsurprisingly, we don't hear from Neil Armstrong - but some do come across well, perhaps Mike Collins and Al Bean in particular, who both come over as warm and natural story-tellers. Make sure you watch all the extras as well, including Al Bean's discussion of his painting, where he hopes that if nothing else he'll be remembered as the world's best painter of dirt!


Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth
Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth
by Andrew Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Seeking the men who achieved everything, 1 Jan. 2015
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Andrew Smith is a near-contemporary who combines a memoir of growing up with "space" in the late 60's - he in the US, born there of English parents, me on a Midlands council estate - with a search for many of the surviving Apollo astronauts, ultimately to find out what it meant to them, and in doing so, find out what it meant, and still means, for the rest of us. I've read it twice now, and it has a great charm, bringing the astronauts to life, with their faults, in a way that more formal biographies and studies of Apollo don't. His encounters with Buzz Aldrin, Ed Mitchell, John Young, Al Bean and the Dukes (Charlie and Dotty, not of Hazzard!) are especially warm.

The DVD "in The Shadow Of The Moon" was made at much the same time as this book was written, and they complement each other, enabling us to see and hear a number of the people who are featured here, so worth a double purchase.


Jack Kerouac: King Of The Beats: King of the Beats - A Portrait
Jack Kerouac: King Of The Beats: King of the Beats - A Portrait
by Barry Miles
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait Of The Artist As A Creep, 28 Dec. 2014
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I read this as a follow-up to Miles' bio of Allan Ginsberg, so I knew much of the Kerouac biography as it applies generally to the Beats, and knew that fundamentally Kerouac was not Mr. Nice. It's to Miles' great credit that he doesn't shy away from this. The bizarre relationship with his mother is covered; my only niggle is that we get a bit too much psychology, which Miles admits is "amateur", on this relationship. He also notes something which struck me when I read "On The Road", which is that by the time the book was published, the America Kerouac describes and celebrates, that of the immediate post-war period, was already gone. Kerouac had little interest in, or support for, the world of the late fifties and (especially) sixties. He spent his last years as a reactionary drunk, finally succeeding in drinking himself death at 47; perhaps, as Miles hints, he always was a reactionary drunk, a spoiled mummy's boy who got lucky.


Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
Let No Man Steal Your Thyme

5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, the talent...., 13 Nov. 2014
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I bought this after hearing a couple of tracks on compilations - Liz's Song, Mirage - and wanted to hear more. An excellent guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, you hear the influence of Sandy Denny, Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake (via Richard Kirby, who arranged a number of tracks). At the time this was released, her whereabouts were unknown - at least we now know that she's alive, but was an acid-wrecked mess for a long while.

Some of the songs combine a great beauty with an youthful innocence that's painful - "Rod's Song" at the start of CD2 has a feel of "Chelsea Morning", and I've had to stop the track on a number of occasions because it's so good, so bright and joyful that it hurts!

The original company issuing this no longer exists - is there any way to get this re-released?


Chant Cistercien - Monodies of the 12th Century /Ensemble Organum · Péres
Chant Cistercien - Monodies of the 12th Century /Ensemble Organum · Péres
Price: £6.90

5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing sound, 13 Nov. 2014
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This music has it's origins in a 12th century "back to basics" approach to plainchant. It may not have achieved that - but what it did achieve was one of the most remarkable sounds to come from the unadorned human voice. No accompaniment, no polyphony - just the natural harmonics from echoes; the recording is in a Cistercian abbey whose acoustics were planned to give this effect. For me, this stands out especially when it's a single voice, and when we get the contrast between this and unison singing. The end result is music of surprising power and great beauty.


Fish Rising
Fish Rising
Price: £6.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Psychedelia's last great flowering, 11 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Fish Rising (Audio CD)
The link between Prog and Psychedelia is a strong one, but not much discussed (in evidence, M'Lud, I can give you Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and Procul Harum, to name but three) and this, to me, is the last and greatest flowering of Prog Psych.

Salmon Song and Solar Musick Suite are stand-outs for me; melodic, long but structured, and Steve's guitar is wonderful throughout - check out the closing section of Salmon song in particular.

Beautiful and great fun; even the cover and sleeve notes are good. King of the Fishes, indeed!


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