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Profile for S. H. Parry > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
S. H. Parry "Basil Huish" (UK)

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The Crimson Chalice Trilogy: "The Crimson Chalice", "The Circle of the Gods" and "The Immortal Wound"
The Crimson Chalice Trilogy: "The Crimson Chalice", "The Circle of the Gods" and "The Immortal Wound"
by Victor Canning
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better Arthurian re-tellings, 1 May 2014
Arthur, if he existed bless his cotton socks, has been the subject of so many stories and portrayed in so many ways and doubtless will be for years to come. For those like me who were weaned on books rather than TV there is nothing like a story teller who can give you a sense of place and realistic characters. You are there amongst the sights and sounds and hear the voices and your imagination is developed and expanded.
I read these series when they first came out in the 1970s and for me, although not reaching the sublime heights of Rosemary Sutcliffes single volume Sword at Sunset, they portray a feasible set of events but lose none of the drama and magic that is the heart of the Arturian myth.
No dragons, dungeons here but a worthy attempt to take you what Britain may have been like once 400 years of Roman rule disintegrated.

Ragged Kingdom
Ragged Kingdom
Price: £5.99

12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grown up and grown serious - Rise above!, 12 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Ragged Kingdom (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of the Oysterband for many years now and appreciate June Tabors fine vocal abilities but confess that I find much of her material a bit sombre. The previous collaboration was magic and remains one of my favourite albums. The songs were irreverent, lyrically interesting and generally accompanied with jolly rock along up beat melodies that rode roughshod over life's trials and tribulations leaving you feeling great and in no doubt that the band enjoyed every minute of the experience.
This time round I sense that all involved are taking themselves too serious. The musicianship and singing are the high standard you expect and there is the usual high energy level but there is an absence of fun, jollity and levity for the soul here. I have long been aware that the Oysters have a fondness for traditional songs and I recognise that the lyrics for these are usually tales of woe. However such songs selected by the Oysters in the past have been presented in a style that allows you to inhabit the lyrics but at the same time lifting your soul with the music.
The too often repetetive lyrics here are accompanied by staccato rhythms which made me feel as I was being force fed a diet of healthy but dull food. "This is seriously good music by accomplished musicians and you will smile while you listen to it".
A number of the songs are highly derivative of past and loved favourites. As a bands output builds such repetion is not unusual but has so far generally been avoided by the Oysters.
I see that this release has been well received by the professional critics but it does not get my vote. Growing older does not mean you have to be serious. More fun next time please - Rise Above!

Shouting End of Life
Shouting End of Life
Offered by teriyaki-store-JAPAN@UK
Price: £14.37

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oyster band in Levellers Mood, 6 July 2010
This review is from: Shouting End of Life (Audio CD)
Great album this - buy it if you have not already got it. Much harder than than their other, all excellent, albums. Super songs with audible lyrics. Sometimes angry, sometimes humouress and sometimes arcane. Makes you want to jump around,get involved, sing out loud and play air fiddle. John Jones as ever in fine voice and the rest of the band are musically superb. If anyone out there has the live version let me know as I would love to add it to my Oysterband collection.

You Can Kick (Digipack)
You Can Kick (Digipack)
Offered by collectorsheaven
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not at all bad., 6 July 2010
This review is from: You Can Kick (Digipack) (Audio CD)
I have listened to all 3 Hey Negrita albums. Despite reviews to the contrary the first is lack lustre middle of the road Musack. The second is better and includes some good tunes and lyrics but remains overall just a pleasant play. This is better still. Altogether more earthy. It is highly derivative. You will have heard bits elsewhere before but the musicianship is good and the album hangs together well. A bit 60's/70's swampy blues/folky with gravelly vocals. The band line up is different from the first two albums and the songs are not bouncey and throw away but you get more long term enjoyment from them. Worth consideration if you pay less than full price and want to try a different band

The Secrets of the Lazarus Club
The Secrets of the Lazarus Club
by Tony Pollard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 6 July 2010
Like another reviewer I was greatly disappointed by this book. It is Victorian London in comic book style. The characters although in the main taken from History are unconvincing. The dialogue is not credible. No atmosphere is created. The basis for the story line is absurd. There are series of events which in themselves lack drama and together do not imply any underlying thread of mystery or generate any mounting crescendo of excitement. Had I not have taken it on holiday as my prime book I would have given up and binned it. If you are bored by page 50 do not bother to read on. It gets no better.

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