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Steve Swift "Steve Swift" (Leeds)

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Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear Headphones - Brown
Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear Headphones - Brown
Price: £129.95

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice design but..., 1 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Love Sennheiser normally but they're going back I'm afraid. The bleed is just unacceptable, a person in the next room to me could hear every note even on just a moderate volume. The Iphone jack slips around and loses sound contact - my cheaper in-ear Boses have a better connection and it won't connect at all with a Sonos Play5. Shame, as they're beautiful and the sound IS amazing - just no good if EVERYONE else can hear it.


At The BBC
At The BBC
Price: £40.99

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar collection, 6 Sep 2013
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This review is from: At The BBC (Audio CD)
Compelled to respond to the idiotic and ill-informed review below I can confirm, after being in possession of this collection for a while now, that all six discs contain the original session recordings. Some of the later recordings are Bolan's vocal over the studio mix but that is the way things were done at the time, not some sleight of hand by the set's compliers. All sessions are comprehensively documented and dated and cross-referenced in the beautifully written liner notes.

The interviews with Bolan provide a wonderful context for the music to be listened to chronologically, and it's fascinating to trace his development as an artist and a person by starting at the beginning and finishing at the end. It's also wonderful to have all these in the same place and in a package that absolutely represents value for money.

Don't pay attention to knee-jerk Spotifiers out to spoil, without having the item in their hands to make an informed judgement.


Modern Standard
Modern Standard
Price: £13.19

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive sunshine pop, 12 Aug 2013
This review is from: Modern Standard (Audio CD)
Unpicking the influences of Kevin Tihista is like opening the encyclopedia of sunshine pop if such a book existed (which it should). His musical tweets point to a love of power pop, straight-ahead '70s soft rock and big ballads - basically anything with a yearning melody. This new album prostrates itself at the feet of these influences and embellishes the addictive melodies with lush guitar solos draped in gold-leaf arrangements and a mid-summer haze of feeling good/ feeling bad/ feeling jealous with lyrics that startle and surprise.

There is an undisguised confessional aspect to his songs, an inward-looking sense of under-achievement and frustration - if only the world would change then everything would be OK. But this disdainful world view is couched in a nonchalance and spontaneity that comfortably overrides any atmosphere of negativity. A very real sense of the person behind these songs begins to emerge - not all of it pleasant - but the naive romanticism, the lush pianos and the rich, golden hues of the production provide a gloss and a sheen which imbue a truly timeless quality to these songs. The arrangements build layer upon opulent layer to the point they seem ready to burst only to be punctured, for example, by Tihista's uncontrolled lust for his girlfriend. ('Sequisha Chiungade Picante').

Elsewhere, 'Happy People, Shut Your Mouths' is the finest lyric Morrissey has yet to write - a tirade of self pity but with a choral backing that elevates it to a song of infinite wisdom; 'You Don't Make Sense' begins with a murky guitar figure that gently gives way to a pulsing disco beat and then to an addictive electric guitar which screams 'SUN' and 'BEACH' - even though Tihista is in the process of dumping a girlfriend, maybe just because of her broken English; 'On My Way' could be straight out of the Fred Neil song book - a cheery optimistic closer in which Tihista appears to be finally taking responsibility - the synth hook emerges mid-song (and doesn't go away) like a carefully-crafted Richard Carpenter masterpiece, except it has a throwaway feel which had me listening repeatedly, in awe at how it could sound so immediate yet so rooted in conventional songwriting. I've since re-visited Matthew Sweet's 'Girlfriend' and experienced a similar feeling.

'Modern Standard' appears to be a collection of old songs which Tihista has been looking to release for some time. It's unlikely to make many end of year lists (except mine) which typically crave innovation and originality. I would argue that these songs stretch an already sophisticated songwriting template, revealing themselves as examples of perfectly crafted modern pop with a lyrical twist that absolutely sets them apart from and above anything of its kind I've heard for a very long time.


Voyage Of Purpose: Spiritual Wisdom on the Road Back to Life
Voyage Of Purpose: Spiritual Wisdom on the Road Back to Life
by David Bennett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.89

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fearless, 4 Jan 2012
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I've started and not finished quite a few books that claim to be the gateway to spirituality. I finished this inspiring book in no time at all probably because David Bennett does not make any such grand claims but actually succeeds in achieving that objective. He does this by just telling his story and passing on the wisdom he's acquired along the way.

It's quite a story and the account of his first Near Death Experience is gripping and graphic. Equally vivid is his account of his spiritual awakening and the tools he was able to draw on to overcome the cancer and other medical challenges that subsequently faced him. He passes on the visualisations and exercises in mindfulness that can be used by anyone to begin to put themselves in touch with their innate spiritual qualities. He offers hope and inspiration for anyone with fear in their lives but he also keeps it real and human - this isn't an esoteric exercise in detachment or denial, just a very personal account of what worked for him in the most extreme of circumstances.

As a result, it's a book which bleeds authenticity - a manual on how to move towards a better life by remembering that we have all we need - we just need to learn how to use it.


Who Cares Wins: Why Good Business is Better Business (Financial Times Series)
Who Cares Wins: Why Good Business is Better Business (Financial Times Series)
by David Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground Breaking, 23 Nov 2011
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This book achieves the impossible - it manages to be ahead of the game in an area of our lives that is changing by the second - the influence of social media and how we interract, behave and engage with others.

I picked up this book expecting a lot of theorising and conjecture. I know little about the author other than his reputation as someone determined to get us talking about social change. But this book is full of hard examples good, bad and very bad (B.P) of how businesses large and small are fastening on to the notion that ethical behaviour pays long-term dividends for their business, their customers and society in general and that embracing social media is the most effective way of getting this message across - in other words, that honesty pays and that "management's role isn't to control, it's to create value".

The book is beautifully written and Jones's personality really shines through. By the end I felt as if I knew him. It is full of real examples of brands and companies that we've all heard of and the 'Ten Lessons for and from Social Entrepreneurs' neatly dovetails the often bi-polar concepts of working ethically and making money.

A very timely book that anyone with a passing or a vested interest in how we conduct our indivdual and corporate lives in a way that brings profit with peace of mind should most definitely read.


How Leeds Changed the World
How Leeds Changed the World
by Mick McCann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every city should have one, 11 Nov 2010
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This is a great concept and brilliantly executed - a lively, opinionated, constantly surprising factotum about Leeds and its environs.

It's a book that weaves historical jaw-droppers with contemporary commentaries on popular culture to create a holistic picture of Leeds as the centre of the universe, which it was and still is in many critical areas of our lives, from medical discoveries, leisure innovations, great music and top-notch TV.

Mick McCann digs out some hidden gems here as well as providing an entertaining historical swoop across the city's big names like Louis Le Prince, Joseph Priestley, Chris Moyles and, er, the Kaiser Chiefs.

A perfect Christmas book, a perfect travel companion, a constant eye-opener.


Nailed - Digital Stalking In Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Nailed - Digital Stalking In Leeds, Yorkshire, England
by Mick McCann
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nailed it!, 27 Sep 2008
Nothing prepared me for reading this book, certainly not Mick McCann's first novel, `Coming Out As Bowie Fan In Leeds, Yorkshire, England'. Whereas that book was a nostalgic, rose-tinted look back at a misspent, misfit youth this, his second novel, is a contemporary journey of unremitting tension that raises big questions about the rights of innocent people when they are caught up in a very real nightmare of conspiracy, kidnapping and surveillance.

Based on real events that started when the McCann family was suspected of making malicious phone calls using a SIM card Mrs McCann had given ways years earlier, the story weaves fact and fiction.

At the centre of it is the McCann family, trying to make sense of the blur of events. The power of the book is in the ordinariness of its characters, reacting as you and I would (although I don't smoke!) speculating about the motives of others, piecing together bits of gossip and evidence with the hope of finding an answer.

The book has real onward momentum written in real time and with astute references to actual events in the outside world. For me, knowing the streets of Leeds where its set and being part of the One Mick Jones internet forum that tracked the developments that eventually led to the writing of the book lends an immediacy that is doubly compelling.

But the issues raised in the book go far wider than Leeds, Yorkshire, England and are unsettling for anyone who thinks that having a clean criminal record and leading an honest and decent life is enough to raise you above the risk of digital entrapment.

This book has a clear, focussed and unambiguous voice. Mick McCann writes from the heart and the words pour out with passion and vigour. When his head swims, so does yours; when he swears in disbelief, so do you; when he craves a fag, so do you (although I don't smoke!!).

This is the best book I've read in years. Buy it now.


Hammersmith Odeon, London '75 (2CD)
Hammersmith Odeon, London '75 (2CD)
Offered by hifi-media-store
Price: £8.36

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White Man in Hammersmith Odeon, 21 Feb 2006
30 years on, this sounds like yesterday and if you're not a Springsteen fan then this is your best chance of understanding his genius as a live performer.
1975 was his year zero with record company pressure to come up with "Born to Run". Not only did he do that but he pulled off a set of live performances that made the proverbial jaw drop. That one of these has been rescued from dusty, fragile master tapes is a great achievement.


Born To Run: 30th Anniversary Edition [2 DVD + 1 CD]
Born To Run: 30th Anniversary Edition [2 DVD + 1 CD]
Offered by The Music Warehouse
Price: £18.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, 27 Nov 2005
The DvD of Springsteen's debut UK performance at Hammersmith Odeon in 1975 included in this box set has to be seen to be believed.
Chuckle then ignore the 70's lapels and wide-brimmed hats - there is simply no better illustration of his live powers than this and its better than the more recent DvD issues of his shows in New York and Barcelona.
The sound quality is amazing and the performance is reminiscent of the legendary Whistle Test clip of "Roslalita" that broke Springsteen over here.
Probably the best music DvD yet.


Fiction Man
Fiction Man
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £11.73

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiction Man is the xxxxxxxx, 29 Dec 2004
This review is from: Fiction Man (Audio CD)
This is just a great album. Guided by Voices are no more but Bob Pollard's solo work will continue and this is a fantastic kick-start to his post-GBV life.
Bob wears his influences like a heart on a sleeve and this diverse, melodic, inspirational record references The Who, Beefheart, Ramones, early Bowie, Kinks, Mott the Hoople.
The lyrics and melodies perplex and grow with their wonderment.
Its time for the genius of Bob Pollard to be recognised by the wider world. This will never happen, of course, making many fans secretly gleeful that no one else knows of the wealth of music from this man that can be called on in times of trouble, happiness, or just sheer hedonism.


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