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Mark Nelson

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The Motown 7s Box Set: Rare And Unused [7" VINYL]
The Motown 7s Box Set: Rare And Unused [7" VINYL]

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just great music, 4 Dec. 2013
Was shocked to see all the one star reviews for this box as the music is sublime but then realised that I am one of the lucky ones with a complete set of vinyls, none of which skip or jump. I can only review what I have and from that point of view this is a wonderful box. Just glad to have these songs on vinyl

Robin Redbreast (DVD)
Robin Redbreast (DVD)
Dvd ~ James McTaggart
Price: £15.89

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still packs a punch, 1 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Robin Redbreast (DVD) (DVD)
My chosen viewing for Halloween and whilst not scary in the traditional sense Robin Redbreast is still wonderfully unsettling. Sadly the original colour broadcast is lost, wiped by the BBC, and the black and white seems at odds with the (for the time) thoroughly modern woman at the centre of the drama. Television script editor Norah, wonderfully played by Anna Cropper, has a long-term failed relationship behind her (though not married), uses contraception and freely talks about it, and knows the difference between 'making love' as the naive Rob puts it and having sex. The film is not of good quality but the drama draws you slowly in. Whilst the tropes are familiar - city outsidr falls foul of country ways - they were perhaps done here first in 1970 for Play for Today. Marvelously creepy supporting turns by Bernard Hepton and Freda Bamford as Mrs Vigo - the cleaner/housekeeper who knows 'everything that happens in the village' and can pull the guts out of a chicken at a moment's notice (and just what is she doing with the waste disposal?). Modern audiences may find it slow but if you like subtle chills and to be unsettled, not to mention the fact that the real victim of the piece is not as obvious as you may think, Robin Redbreast is a classic piece of British television that stands proudly with the Ghost Stories For Christmas that followed it.

If You Leave
If You Leave
Price: £7.99

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising and beautiful, 1 Aug. 2013
This review is from: If You Leave (Audio CD)
I am too old for this. Definitely. I first stumbled across Daughter via the two EPs and was instantly smitten. This led to me driving through the snow in January to see them in the intimate surroundings of St Peter's Church Salford where they quite simply blew me away. To say I have been looking forward to this album would be an understatement and at the tender age of 45 that is unsual. Initially I was upset that a couple of my favourites were not deemed album worthy - Candles and Landfill - but then at the same time happy that they confounded this expectation. I grew up on The Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil and this puts me in mind of both but again not exactly. The musicianship is superb, the voice haunting, the subjects unviersal. Some may yell 'depressing' but they are wrong. This is just pure, wonderful music. Enraptured.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2013 10:33 AM BST

Presents The 8th [CD + DVD]
Presents The 8th [CD + DVD]
Price: £9.98

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, political and polemical, 11 July 2012
I don't usually write Amazon reviews, this is only my second, but felt I needed to add something after the two poor reviews this album has garnered so far. Up front I will say that I think The 8th is a stone-cold masterpiece. If you approach it expecting a typical Paul Heaton album then you may be disappointed, but I would urge you to lose the blinkers and discover one of the best albums of 2012. This is an album that MUST be listened to in one sitting and in the right order - no shuffling here. As a continuous piece or a song cycle it works beautifully. Taking the Seven deadly sins as its starting point the album moves towards revealing a possible 8th. A deadly sin for our craven, modern times. There is a linking story between Heaton's songs that to this reviewer works beautifully and eventually builds to something and is powerful, moving and redemptive. Indeed you could argue that it is the linking narration by American actor Reg E Cathey (from The Wire), channelling Gil Scott-Heron, that is the real star here. Yes, Heaton himself only leads on one song, but the other vocal performances including King Creosote and Jacqui Abbott are excellent and prove that Heaton can still craft a tune even when stepping out of the limelight. Political, polemical, moving (I blubbed at the end) and unlike anything he has done before this is an album that will grow in stature.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 15, 2012 10:19 PM BST

Empire State (Angry Robot)
Empire State (Angry Robot)
by Adam Christopher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It shouldn't work but it does, 21 Dec. 2011
I really enjoyed Adam Christopher's début novel and have been looking forward to reading it for a while. I was worried about how he would manage to juggle so many genres - science fiction, steam punk, hard-boiled noire, alternate history - but he manages to pull it off with some élan. As a first novel I found it assured, fast-paced, exciting and funny whilst still managing to hold its own as something unique and interesting (although it does wear its many influences heavily yet proudly). To go into plot details would spoil it but lets just say that duelling rocket-powered superheroes in prohibition-era New York cause the formation of a pocket universe (the Empire State of the title) in which private dick Rad Bradley tries to solve a Chandleresque murder mystery whilst being helped/hindered by a dead superhero, gas-masked hired goons, religious fanatics, an old-school adventurer and robots (did I mention the robots) whilst losing his hat. A lot. It's a real page-turner and rattles along at a furious pace, yet at the same time requires some level of concentration as the multiple plot strands mesh together. After such an assured début I am interested to see where Christopher goes next, particularly if the Empire State universe is developed further. My only criticism is that after enjoying the journey so much I felt the ending was a little rushed but this is a minor quibble. An assured début and highly recommended.

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