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Profile for Marcus Tickner > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Marcus Tickner "marctick" (Salisbury, England)
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Killer Funk
Killer Funk

5.0 out of 5 stars The tracks on this album are as good as the cover is bad, 7 Dec. 2015
This review is from: Killer Funk (Audio CD)
The tracks on this album are as good as the cover is bad. If you can't afford the 'Return of Jazz Funk: Killer Jazz Funk from the ... Vault' discs which are hitting some silly prices these days, this is a cracking place to start. The tracks are all from the best period of jazz funk, 1969 - 1974 and really are great examples of the coolest jazzy funk. The tracks take their time and groove.

If you're new to all this and not familiar with labels like Mainstream, Groove Merchant and Perception, or artist names like Jimmy McGriff, Richard 'Groove' Holmes, Reuben Wilson and Ramon Morris, imagine those early seventies cop and gangster films and their funky jazzy tunes. If you like Kool and the Gang's Jungle Boogie from Pulp Fiction or you've heard 'Express Yourself' by Charles Wright and his band, this where you need to go next to discover other names and labels of the time.

There's some tight funk, but their are also examples of it's far cooler cousin, loose-limbed, extended instrumental jams with chicken scratch guitars, stabbed and swirling organ and parping horns, and all are underpinned by nodding, weaving bass lines and a funky, funky drummer. With so many lame compilations out there, this is a great place to start your exploration into some of the best names and the labels of jazz funk.


MAKE ME ARMORED
MAKE ME ARMORED
Offered by steelwheels
Price: £0.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Delicious secrets, 1 April 2013
This review is from: MAKE ME ARMORED (Audio CD)
For fans of Sparklehorse, Mazzy Star, even Mojave 3 and other bands which play doe-eyed, spangly-guitar sounds. Scourge of the Sea are not afraid to play music that is at times strummy, with skiffly drums and the occasional tambourine while quiet guitar sounds twang and burn in the background.

While always threatening to break free and explode in indie noise 'Make Me Armoured' remains melodic, alternative and expressive of those precious, painful moments we all experience.

This one is well worth the effort.


THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER (1996) [IMPORT]
THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER (1996) [IMPORT]
Dvd ~ John Bowe
Offered by ____THE_BEST_ON_DVD____
Price: £5.98

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best adaptation!, 25 Jan. 2013
I've seen four versions of The Prince and the Pauper and this is my favourite by some way. Unlike a number of other versions, this one combines very good acting with sound production. Directed by Julian Fellows, this was first shown as a six part series on BBC1. The street scenes are realistic, the action engaging and the retelling truest to the book.

This version, being six half-hour episodes is great to show schoolchildren and a good way to introduce them to both Mark Twain (the story's writer) and aspects of Tudor history.

I spent a number of years searching for this version of the story and, when I found it, it was only available in Germany at a cost of 17 pounds. It was worth it! Now it is cheaperand much more easy to find. I highly recommend this DVD for anyone who wishes their children to see British drama at its best.


Pencaitland
Pencaitland
Price: £11.57

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Folky Scottish sounds, 1 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Pencaitland (Audio CD)
Apart from the occasional bluegrassy tune, this album has a very Scottish feel, with its acoustic instrumentation of guitar, violin and mandolin. If this band hasn't played a folk festival like Green Man, Jo and Danny, its folky organisers, should put them on the roster. At times they have a certain Fence Collective feel about them and at other times they remind of King Creosote doing an impression of the Proclaimers. If that sounds pejorative, it certainly isn't intended to be.

If you like Scottish folk music, give this a go. It's authentic tunes and evocation of times now gone, make you yearn to drop it all and go off in search of a cottage in the Highlands. At its best, Pencaitland is really,very good!


Why Is Bear Billowing?
Why Is Bear Billowing?
Price: £12.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Singer-songwriter singing songs he's written, 11 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Why Is Bear Billowing? (Audio CD)
Dusty, strummed guitar (and playful piano as on the beautiful, lullabying "All With Golden Locks"), as Lesser sings these engaging eleven tracks of folky, campfire Americana.

Vocally somewhat similar to Mason Jenninngs (but without his occasional irritating white-boy funkiness) this is also a little Devendra Banhart, minus the Bolanisms and the kookiness. In-fact rather like Jennings or Banhart when they're in the business of getting on with singing simple, guitar-based acoustica.

One or two tracks are pleasant enough but rather ordinary, but the majority have a simple beauty to them. You'll no-doubt hear many a troubadour in "Why is Bear Billowing" but essentially, this is one man singing timeless songs. Just the ticket for the lover of the guitar-cradling singer-songwriter.


Loveless Unbeliever
Loveless Unbeliever
Price: £12.80

4.0 out of 5 stars School Report, 28 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Loveless Unbeliever (Audio CD)
This album is perhaps not dissimilar in spirit to the eponymous, Sarah-Records-influenced debut by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, though, with their 60s sensibility, The School are more Ronettes than C86. It should surprise no-one, then, to read in the album notes that "Loveless Unbeliever" was produced by Ian Catt, who has worked with the likes of The Field Mice.

The School's closest cousins are Spectorish, 6os-referencing girl groups. You'll be filing "Loveless Unbeliever" next to Camera Obscura, California Snow Story and early Belle & Sebastian.


Aint Nobodys Business
Aint Nobodys Business
Price: £6.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Blues in Folk's clothing, 17 July 2010
This review is from: Aint Nobodys Business (Audio CD)
For reviews of this album it may be worth reading those for 'Make Me A Pallet', as the track listing is identical and thus I suspect the albums are one and the same.

If you're approaching this album from a Folk interest as I did, this album is fantastic. Mississippi John Hurt finger-picks his guitar like Dylan in the early 60's. Also appealing is the fact that Hurt doesn't bore the listener with repetitive lines and Blues cliches. Mississippi John Hurt is an artist accessible to those who appreciate smokey vocals, delicate guitar picking and a desire to trace back.

Dylan fans will find interest in Hurt's versions of 'Corrina, Corrina' and 'Candy Man' and if your first taste of 'Salty Dog' was on Cat Power's 'Covers' album, you've a wonderful opportunity to check out Hurt's version here. It won't disappoint!

In short, a Blues album for lovers of Folk music. Or perhaps just lovers of good music.


Water for a Day
Water for a Day
Price: £17.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Americana-folk songstress, 7 Dec. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Water for a Day (Audio CD)
This is another beautiful album by Shelley. Like her previous two it showcases her sweet, folky vocals and is mostly her on acoustic guitar, here with additional, understated instrumentation from Raymond Richards on occasional banjo and pedal steel and Norfolk and Western's drummer, Rachel Blumberg.
If like your female vocalists singing Americana-folk, I think you'll like this and indeed her others - if can only track them down!


A Fool Such As I
A Fool Such As I

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dylan covering others, 7 Oct. 2008
This review is from: A Fool Such As I (Audio CD)
Quite why the album is so expensive here is beyond my meager ken unless the good man himself intends to sign, bless and deliver it. You can and should buy it for a-least 1/10th of this price.
As for a review, my understanding is that Dylan recorded this album to fulfill a record contract which was set to pay him big bucks and which in typically contrary attitude he produced as all cover versions and with minimum creative artistic outlay. CBS might have been bemused or even angered by his dismissiveness towards them, for they were expecting... a "Bob Dylan" experience. But that should not preclude your interest in it. This is by no means Dylan's worst - let's not blindly eulogise, he has turned out some excruciating material. I am, however, rather fond of this one and it fits rather well into his early '70's cannon.
If you are new to Dyl' go for a folky album like Freewheelin, a classic album like Blonde on Blonde, or a compilation like Greatest Hits 2, Biograph, or my favourite: Bootleg Series 1-3. If you know something about the great man and are wondering whether this is worth bothering with, go for it. It's a relaxed album that is great because it provides an insight into some of the music that he liked at the time of the recording.
If you can find this album for less than ten English pounds, have a pop - it's worth a go to expand your knowledge of the genius that is Bob Dylan. This is where the early 70's and Bob Dylan get together and it's an enjoyable exercise - not deep, just good fun, and you're allowed to have fun with Dylan you know! Have a punt...
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 3, 2013 5:56 PM BST


Days of Splendor, Nights of Horror
Days of Splendor, Nights of Horror
Price: £10.64

5.0 out of 5 stars After the Goldrush, 31 May 2008
This band is lead singer with indie pop, and Truck Records outfit, Goldrush. If you like Goldrush you'll love this disc. It's a mellow album with a conscience and has a tuneful, strummy feel.

At various times it's Dylan-era Donovan; "Sky Blue Sky" style Wilco; Neil Young and of-course Goldrush.

Days of Splendour... drips with beautiful indie melodies and is sustained throughout by Bennett's reedy, Neil Young-ish vocals.

Goldrush fans can't go wrong... and neither can anyone else!


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