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Reviews Written by
Julie D (Lancashire, England)
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Electric Warrior
Electric Warrior
Price: £3.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, original and a very good listen, 17 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Electric Warrior (Audio CD)
I have a couple of T. Rex compilation albums and an early album which was very much elf-based and will stand only an occasional listen - though in the right mood even that can be okay. In deciding to purchase Electric Warrior, what I wanted to track down was an album that reflected T.Rex at the peak of their powers with a track order that was authentic to the mores of the time as opposed to a contemporary compiler's take on how the tracks should be ordered. With a bottomless pocket I'd have gone like a shot for the 2014 Box Set Complete Studio Albums which is very reasonably priced for the ten CDs it contains but I simply couldn't run to it. Electric Warrior is an interesting album as it appears to have a foot both in the early mystical/pre-electric stuff at the same time as establishing the driving guitar sound that is so evocative of T.Rex when their star was highest in the firmament.
There are two songs from the main album - Jeepster and Get It On - which feature on many compilations plus Hot Love in the Bonus Tracks. I was perhaps a little too young to experience Bolan at his peak as anything other than a highly attractive pop idol. When I grew up a little and started immersing myself in NME, Bolan's star was in the descendent and I recall some very unpleasant stuff being written about him much of which appeared to focus on his appearance once more. His prettiness was in a sense a curse; it somehow encouraged accusations of shallowness. At around the same time Elvis was being vilified for much the same reason. There is certainly a part of Bolan who was the dandy and who loved being the prettiest star but there was much more to the man than this. It's evident from Bolan's embracing of the embryonic punk and new wave culture which burgeoned shortly before his tragic death.
What Bolan and T.Rex really deserve is that we listen without prejudice. The years have been kind to Marc's music - it sounds fresh and undated - and there is increasingly more quality product for fans to buy into. Perhaps what elevates Bolan to pop god status may be the sheer number of elements he got right - the dandyism fitting him ideally for glam rock, the roots which suggested he had come up through blues, through pre-electric, indeed through being an early favourite of John Peel's - so there is a real credibility and seriousness - along with the trashy and ephemeral elements and an ability to make a perfect three minute pop single which is frankly so much more truly poppy, less studied and more immediately loveable than Bowie in spite of my utter devotion to DB for the past three decades or so. There is too the fact that when Marc died he was only thirty years of age. I guess Bowie has had the time to coast through many different musical landscapes, to make the transition from pop idol to serious musician but in the short time allotted to Marc he made a very creditable mark on the history of popular music and there's an argument to say he was actually more original than Bowie who constantly has drawn from other musical forms and made them his own. Worth tracking down some of the interviews Marc did as his personality is very engaging. In common with most purchasers of this album I imagine, I wish Marc had stayed around; it would have been so interesting to watch where his creativity took him.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 21, 2015 9:34 AM GMT


Sistema Microwave Breakfast Bowl - 850 ml, Red/Clear
Sistema Microwave Breakfast Bowl - 850 ml, Red/Clear
Price: £4.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Leaks from top vent, 17 Mar. 2015
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This bowl was purchased for my partner. I was a little uncertain whether to buy this porridge bowl or the deeper Sistema Noodle Bowl. With hindsight, I wish I'd got the noodle bowl! As a number of other reviewers have noted, the porridge bowl does leak a little from the top vent which is disappointing. My partner uses sachet type instant porridge; he tells me the porridge bowl is better than just using a plastic bowl with no lid as he was doing but judging by the way he was looking longingly at the noodle bowls on a recent visit to a cookshop, I suspect he's already craving a more user-friendly alternative.


Very Best of Cat Stevens
Very Best of Cat Stevens
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £8.23

5.0 out of 5 stars This 'Best Of' won't be enough..., 17 Mar. 2015
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I'd been looking for a while for a good introduction to Cat Stevens and this album is a great starting point. In recent years I've dipped my toe in to lots of music with which I'd only previously had a passing acquaintance by virtue of Amazon's huge range of music and great prices but I have to say that 80% of the time when I buy an album there are a number of very skippable tracks. The Very Best Of Cat Stevens contains no less than 24 tracks so you'd imagine there'd be quite a few fillers. Not so - every track is great and very much worth listening to. There are some songs with real power here and if - like me - you're not too familiar with Cat Stevens beyond the stuff most often heard on the radio, there are a number of songs you may recognise anyway as other singers have covered them down the years. Cat's voice is superb ranging from gentle to powerful in the space of a song but what I like most is the depth of many of these songs which hint at a future perhaps in a rather less shifting and superficial world than that of '60s/'70s pop music. The real test of a 'best of' collection comes after a few listens when you ask yourself the question 'Do I want to hear more?' With Yusuf/Cat Stevens, my answer is an enthusiastic 'Yes!'


Clarks Kaz Blues, Women Boots, Black (Black Combi Lea), 6 UK (39.5 EU)
Clarks Kaz Blues, Women Boots, Black (Black Combi Lea), 6 UK (39.5 EU)

5.0 out of 5 stars A new favourite boot..., 17 Mar. 2015
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I live in ankle boots but I prefer them to be a little higher up the leg - purely a style thing. It is very hard to track down my ideal boot as many ankle boots seem to stop just on the ankle or only slightly above it. Kaz Blues from Clarks are just right. I venture into boots by other manufacturers but for sheer quality and comfort Clarks are the best. With Kaz Blues the comfort is there despite the height - as usual. The most significant feature here though is the style which is enhanced by the use of two different but complementary leathers - a grain leather and a beautiful high shine leather - which add interest. These boots are versatile too - go smart or casual with them - they'll adapt to skirts or trousers. It goes without saying that they'll last on two counts - classically stylish plus very well made. Clarks own website had sold out of these so it was good to find them for a great price on Amazon. As soon as I took them out of the box I knew I had a new favourite boot!


The Keith Floyd Cookery Collection (TV Chef, Travel) [DVD]
The Keith Floyd Cookery Collection (TV Chef, Travel) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Keith Floyd
Offered by becksdvds-co-uk
Price: £89.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Urbane, very British and fabulous Floyd, 29 Jan. 2015
A good value way of introducing some fabulous Floyd into your life - but do shop around. I found this boxed set for well under a tenner at a local garden centre twelve months ago. That said, boxed sets do appear to fluctuate wildly in terms of price and you are getting no fewer than fourteen DVDs. As others have noted, the sound and particularly the picture quality is inconsistent across the set with some series suffering more than others. This is perhaps especially apparent in an age where we appear to expect technical excellence as standard but all the discs are watchable; you soon get used to the - at times - rather poor quality and are able to see past it. As a vegetarian and frankly not very experienced cook, I invested in this boxed set more out of love of Floyd the man than Floyd the chef. He had a laid back, urbane sort of air and an on-screen personality which was very easy to like. There is little to interest the vegetarian here, it must be said, should you be in search of recipes - though Floyd's flourish and ever-present plonk would be simple to emulate. Television chefs nowadays appear to be pre-packaged as one of a handful of different personality types - the expletive deleted chef, the cheeky chappie, the ethnic, the glamour queen and so on. Should you find yourself yearning for an alternative, Floyd could be for you. The main focus never comes off the food yet this unassuming and very British chap is most engaging to watch. There is a pleasingly offbeat, even anarchic side to Floyd which I love and which is gently in evidence in the Cookery Collection. Does Floyd have anything to impart to a longstanding vegetarian such as me? Certainly - he demystifies and debunks the notion of cooking to a point where I'm forced to believe even I could have fun with it. Food becomes a rich, sensory journey - sexy and creative. Floyd's style is the important and influential thing for me, not so much what he chooses to cook - although he always cooks food native to the regions he visits and in season. Here is a chef who I suspect meant many different things to many different people. And here is a boxed set essential if - for whichever of those reasons - you loved Keith Floyd.


Just William
Just William
by Richmal Crompton
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just magical..., 29 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Just William (Paperback)
Certain books for children - irrespective of when they were written - simply soar above the competition. The William books are a fine example of this. It is now nearly a hundred years ago since the earlier stories were crafted but William Brown is still regarded as one of the most humorous creations in literature. Not just children's literature because of course the best literature will stand being read by anyone of any age. William is as appealing to girls and women as to small boys and men. Though the main protagonist is a small boy, William Brown is universal; he could be you. In particular, William's keen logic - the firm, black and white logic of youth - is familiar to all of us and is a logic that is very hard to argue with. What William does is what we would like to do. In William's presence, pomposity shrinks and shuffles quietly away, adult silliness is exposed and sound qualities - such as loyalty, bravery, even public spirit - are allowed to flourish. William is very human so other perhaps less admirable strengths are evident too - supreme egotism, a dubious attitude towards small girls unless of the adoring and compliant variety, a total disregard for authority...Hang on a minute - that has to be good! You know William is on course to turn out okay despite his endless scrapes, despite his reputation as the most feared maker of mischief in the district. The characterisations, the story lines, the sheer chutzpah of our hero - all these aspects contribute to very amusing and eminently readable stories but the real beauty here is, as with all good books, in the quality of Richmal Crompton's writing. Crompton and William Brown are a magical pairing and I can imagine once the scruffy little character found her, it must have been pleasure all the way; the prolific nature of the William books certainly suggest this. There is really not a single low note in the books included within this set; everything turns out all right in the end. If you enjoy these books you owe it to yourself to track down Martin Jarvis' renditions of the William stories - Jarvis is the voice I hear in my head these days when I read these excellent tales.


Australian Bodycare Skin Wash
Australian Bodycare Skin Wash
Price: £10.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visible results, 29 Jan. 2015
ABC Skin Wash is excellent. It is available - sometimes for a very keen price - on QVC but if you're new to the product and would simply like to give it a try without investing too much money, this 250ml version would be a good choice. My partner who has oily skin prone to breakouts decided to try it and since then we've both used this Skin Wash. His skin became visibly clearer in a short amount of time especially on his face. My skin's pretty good anyway but I have had annoying patches of dry skin on my elbows for years which I'd ascribed to too much time spent leaning on desks pondering the meaning of life. It was years since I'd seen soft, unblemished skin there and in fact I never expected to see it again. However, after three or four uses of ABC Skin Wash, the skin on both elbows was like that of a ten year old! The fragrance is an acquired taste. Personally on first use I wasn't keen as I found it rather antiseptic and I almost stopped using it there and then. I'm very glad I didn't as this product must be one of the best body washes to use if you care about your skin that may be obtained for a relatively reasonable cost. Concerned it may be a little drying given how it smells? - Don't be. ABC Skin Wash appears to be good for all types of skin from very oily to very dry and is likely to improve whatever skin you possess. And it seems to deter mosquitoes! The plastic pump dispenser is simple and practical and will merge into the background in most bathrooms. We are both hooked and won't be switching brands again - why bother when you've found the best?


Daily Mail: The Big Book of Quick Crosswords 2 (The Daily Mail Puzzle Books)
Daily Mail: The Big Book of Quick Crosswords 2 (The Daily Mail Puzzle Books)
by Daily Mail
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Faster than a speeding bullet!, 29 Jan. 2015
Still in the honeymoon period with Daily Mail Crossword books - this is the second volume I've sampled. I am not a fan of the newspaper so haven't ever done them direct from the paper and the Daily Mail imprint had rather deterred me from buying them. I have been hooked on Times 2 crosswords - and would recommend these to anyone who is a little fed up at how easy the Daily Mail ones are as the clues are rather stiffer but not too hard. Looking for an alternative as I'd worked my way through most of the T2 books, I began with Daily Mail Book 4. Book 2 is very similar in terms of the style but I think there are more repeated words so far than in Book 4. Practice - as with most crosswords - makes perfect and I find myself rattling through the Book 2 crosswords in, at best, less than the time the ads on terrestrial TV take to run. This makes me feel - albeit briefly - pretty good about the state of the old grey matter. These really are the quickest crosswords I've ever completed - but they aren't hugely challenging. Great to pick up and put down through the day, I've bought two more Daily Mail crossword books since acquiring Book 2 and will very likely work my way through all the books in time.


Times 2 Jumbo Crossword Book 5
Times 2 Jumbo Crossword Book 5
by John Grimshaw
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Rolls Royce of General Knowledge Crosswords, 29 Jan. 2015
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These Times 2 Jumbo Crosswords are excellent. Each one is very large and relies on a fairly extensive general knowledge. They're not quick crosswords but they are most enjoyable and do make you scour the remotest regions of your brain for obscure facts. As with some of the other Times 2 crossword books, I've found myself buying this title twice over. With a few years between, you're unlikely to recall any of the clues! I have tried The Daily Telegraph General Knowledge Crossword books as an alternative but not nearly as keen on those - the regular paperback sized format is perhaps easier to tote around but the print is very tiny, the grid numbers barely discernible and the paper is very low grade. Times 2 Jumbo Crosswords really are the Rolls Royce of the general knowledge crossword book - quite simply better than the rest.


Jeeves 'n' Chums [Boxed Set 10 Volumes]
Jeeves 'n' Chums [Boxed Set 10 Volumes]
by P G Wodehouse
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humourist par excellence, 29 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you can pick up this boxed set for a bargain price via Amazon then don't hesitate! Ten full length Jeeves n' Chums' novels, the listing is as follows - Ring for Jeeves, Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, Aunts Aren't Gentlemen, The Girl in Blue, Jeeves in the Offing, Big Money, Right Ho, Jeeves, The Clicking of Cuthbert, The Inimitable Jeeves and Piccadilly Jim. These titles as separate paperbacks are currently being sold on Amazon for an average £6 - £7 so this collection represents superb value if you're not too bothered that the covers are last year's model. There is another very similar set of ten paperbacks available which lists five alternative titles - Mating Season, Code of the Woosters, Carry On, Jeeves, Much Obliged, Jeeves and Thank You Jeeves - though at time of writing this was considerably more expensive and some reviewers noted that alternative titles had been substituted. New to Wodehouse? I'd suggest shimmying in via any of the Omnibus editions of short stories - tightly written and very funny, they're likely to see you hooked for life on this exceptional and most entertaining of authors. But if you find Jeeves n' Chums for a great price why not pick it up now and take a chance? Even if you're not so keen - a very remote possibility - its sheer size would make for a novel and highly literary doorstop!


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