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D. Johnson (West Sussex)

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Word Of Mouth
Word Of Mouth
Price: 19.43

5.0 out of 5 stars At his peerless best, 14 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Word Of Mouth (Audio CD)
Seth Lakeman's love for his craft comes through in every track of this new CD, which finds him at his very best. Heartily recommend this latest volume in a truly well deserved and successful career thus far.

Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 11.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and peerless, 14 Mar 2014
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If anyone else had attempted the vocal antics that P J Proby undertook at his peak in the 1960s, they'd have been laughed off stage, and believe me, there are one or two tracks here that make you think "What the hell...", but stick with him, because this bloke had it all. Belting voice, bravery in making things his own, and a back catalogue that will be like nothing else in your collection. From rock'n'roll standards with a non-standard treatment, to lush ballads that boom at you from every corner of the room, the depth and quality of his style still shock and entertain all these years later. Much underappreciated.

1000 Volts Of Holt
1000 Volts Of Holt
Price: 8.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Volts of memory, 14 Mar 2014
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This review is from: 1000 Volts Of Holt (Audio CD)
Loved John Holt's big hit of the 70s ("Help me make it through the night"), and it's great to hear it again with great CD clarity rather than dig out my old Trojan single from time to time. This album is joyous, ideal for those who like their reggae to be fun. Buy it now!

The Colour Of My Love: THE PYE ANTHOLOGY
The Colour Of My Love: THE PYE ANTHOLOGY
Offered by DVDMAX-UK
Price: 32.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Jefferson - who he?, 14 Mar 2014
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Am loving this CD. Had no idea who the guy was, but heard "Baby take me in your arms" on Sounds of the 60s recently and felt the need to track him down. Glad I did, he has a Gary Puckett ("Young girl") sort of voice, and this is great, easy on the ear, driving music. Have played this old classic to death since it arrived. Recommend you all trace a copy and get some royalties out to the old boy!

The Real Kathy Kirby: No Secret Anymore
The Real Kathy Kirby: No Secret Anymore
by Mark Willerton
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shout this from the very highest hill!, 24 Mar 2013
OK, how many people under the age of fifty have heard of Kathy Kirby? Probably very few, but she should be as well known to us all as Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw or Lulu. Time and again, we hear of stars who burn oh! so brightly, and fall to earth through what appears to be an uncontrollable urge to self-destruct. Here's your chance to find out why and how this can happen. Rarely have the "pressures" of the business been so superbly laid out, and from this incredibly well written volume about a lady who should have merited the title "national treasure" and the accompanying legendary status, we get a thorough understanding of what can go wrong when a career falls into the wrong hands, and poor decisions are made. Couple that with a performer of massive intensity and mental frailty, who gave everything she had and more to performance, then you have the explosive story of Kathy Kirby.

Now for some direct feedback on this book, which was my ten pages-a-night bedtime read during January and February - I say ten pages, but there was more than one occasion when the oil burned way past midnight. This book is just beautiful, superbly crafted and written in all respects, quite obviously a labour of love, and Mark Willerton deserves ample credit for it. Here his attention to detail is phenomenal, and I'm amazed such an epic has been produced in so short a time since Kathy Kirby left us in May 2011. Does this herald the start of a wider writing career? This should certainly be given some thought, Willerton's turn of phrase will appeal so much to blokes like me who grew up during the period of the 60s and 70s in particular. By that, I don't mean this book is remotely old-fashioned, I just mean the author evokes such strong memories in the way he crafts his writing that on several occasions I was taken right back to events and places I thought I'd long forgotten. This is all about the feel of putting a 45rpm disc onto a dansette's spindle, it's about Saturday morning forays to Woolies to spend well earned pocket money on a record, and it evokes the sound of pop hits blaring from the speakers of a waltzer on a spring evening at a touring fairground. We can call it nostalgia, but I prefer to think of it as not dwelling in the past, but simply carrying the best bits of it with us on whatever road we take. Very similar in a way to the feeling of déjà vu I once had in the Jungle Room at Graceland, entirely unexpected, but suddenly the past comes crashing back into focus in a most welcome way, quite uplifting. That alone is worth the price of this book.

Getting a more complete picture of events, and learning about the characters of familiar names to this tragedy that began over seventy years ago in Ilford, was terrific entertainment for the reader. Whilst I'd got a pretty good idea about all that had gone on from being a fan (albeit belatedly) of Kathy Kirby's voice, and reading between the lines of (often sad) press coverage over the years, I consider that Willerton rowed superbly well through the very choppy waters of having to portray characters' actions without condemning anyone. The book is warmly candid, kind and understanding of all concerned, but never once does it leave us in any doubt what the author thinks about events and people without having to express it directly. That takes some skill. I don't think anyone could take offence at this book, and if they choose to, they should frankly look to their own actions, and then judge themselves, not this author who simply holds up a mirror.

It becomes clear in later sections of the work that Willerton, who came to know Kathy Kirby well as a close friend for almost thirty years, was a saint for putting up with what he'd had to deal with. Kathy, bless her, would have driven a lesser person to distraction, and selflessly, this fella appears to be have been the only person in her life who ever gave far more than he took. Poetic licence? Always a risk, but the levels of honesty in this book preclude that. I'm no fool and I believe every word. I hope that's some form of comfort to Mr. Willerton. I think it was cruel of Kathy's family to exclude him from the cremation at Mortlake, surely an exception should have been made in his case. His hurt is tangible from the page. That said, from the family's point of view, and given their "connections", I can readily understand the need to "take control" of Kathy Kirby's final days in the best interests of the family, but equally, a lady of her age and frailty was hardly in a position to create a major press stir, and closing her off in the way she did from those who had been close and loyal does seem unduly clinical. The only one character I find personally hard to take in the entire story was Bert Ambrose, the manager/guru/lover who used Kathy as a prototype cash point machine, but then there is our paradox - no Ambrose, no Kathy. Why couldn't she have stumbled across George Martin instead?

My personal sadness in all this is the lack of attention paid to the musical legacy by our current media. Willerton's endeavours over the years have brought us so much great material (he was apparently instrumental in the terrific Vocalion re-issues of Kathy Kirby's back catalogue on CD), but there is so little material, either audio or visual, out there compared to other notables of that era. I suppose it's true what the author deduces about any form of mental illness, it causes people to try to turn their back and pretend it's not there. Tapes were wiped, tracks apparently lost. So the illness, coupled with Ambrose's idiocy in career management (he apparently turned down "You're my world", made definitive by good old Cilla. Woeful decision...), saw so much legacy lost, and all those tempting additional titles mentioned throughout the book that Kathy sung over the years, either recorded or performed on TV, will now never see the light of day. Criminal.

Anyway, in case people think I've taken leave of my senses or am endeavouring to write my own book, I'll leave you with the hope that anyone reading this buys this book and discovers one of this country's best kept secrets. If you do, buy a couple of the CDs from this site too, and give yourself a treat by listening to "Will I never learn?", "Where in the world", and of course "Secret Love". I have noted that when someone unfamiliar with the Kirby voice hears it for the first time, the reaction is photo-worthy. This was a special talent.

Follyfoot Series 1  [DVD]
Follyfoot Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Arthur English
Offered by babsbargains *** WORLDWIDE SHIPPING ***
Price: 19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Follyfoot DVD, 29 Oct 2011
This review is from: Follyfoot Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Item was a present for my wife who'd been reminiscing about it. Must admit, it brings back many happy memories of the early Seventies, and the theme tune was fab. Bonus!

The Complete Singles Collection
The Complete Singles Collection

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars None better, 9 April 2010
Thanks to Michele Monro for all the renewed interest in Matt. Always sad that some of the real greats are appreciated much more years after their death, but at least the recognition can then be of comfort to their family. Matt's the best we've ever had in my opinion. This collection has it all, and I'm amazed how many absolute gems lurked as "B" sides. There's a good body of work here I'd not heard before, and tracks that I had heard before sound brighter and better with the correct placing and chronology. Have a listen to "What to do", "All of a sudden", "All that remains" and particulary "Till then my love", and if you're still on your feet, you must be emotionally repressed! This guy had it all - and thanks to carefully thought through packages like this one, so do we. A blessing.

Edith Piaf: Le Concert Ideal/Piaf - The Documentary [DVD]
Edith Piaf: Le Concert Ideal/Piaf - The Documentary [DVD]
Price: 11.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Piaf DVD, 9 April 2010
Yes, this ticks all the boxes. We had an old French video of the great lady that oxidised years ago, so the DVD is a suitable replacement. The documentary is great, but it's capturing those classic performances that matters. Would recommend.

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