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Bm Ballin "Dr Rat" (Birmingham, UK)
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CHILDRENS KIDS GIRLS WEDDING DIAMANTE STRAP LOW MID HEEL SHOES SANDALS SIZE (UK 13, Silver Glitter)
CHILDRENS KIDS GIRLS WEDDING DIAMANTE STRAP LOW MID HEEL SHOES SANDALS SIZE (UK 13, Silver Glitter)
Offered by Fashion Thirsty
Price: £13.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great thanks, 24 Nov. 2014
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Just the ticket


Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard
Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard
by Kiran Desai
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feast of storytelling, 10 Jun. 2013
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Often moving, frequently hilarious, this charming story of a dysfunctional family in rural India is a real winner: a face that deepens as the family's son takes to the trees as a sort-of-guru. Since reading it, I have been pushing it mercilessly on to friends and family. To say that is is a parable about the power and value of literature and the imagination, when confronted by utilitarian values, is to miss its humanity and readability. A great read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 11, 2014 3:46 PM GMT


Hillsborough [DVD] [1996]
Hillsborough [DVD] [1996]
Dvd ~ Christopher Eccleston
Price: £7.35

4.0 out of 5 stars A powerful tale, 10 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Hillsborough [DVD] [1996] (DVD)
Jimmy McGovern's powerful telling of the Hillsborough tale is mind-numbing and compelling. The story has been told many times since, and has moved several steps closer to justice for the families, but this humane account - drawing directly on narratives from the families themselves - can not fail to both move a viewer, and instil a string sense of the profound injustices involved. Not easy viewing, but highly recommended.


Mia's Story
Mia's Story
by Michael Foreman
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story, a great stimulus, 26 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Mia's Story (Paperback)
This great children's book tells a simple and engaging story, but is so jam packed with information, snippets and Foreman's wonderful images that it proves a tremendous teaching resource. I have used it at numerous courses for primary teachers of Geography, and they always warm to it - and find dozens of interesting ways to use it with their children. I have written some of these up for the Geographical Association's publication 'Primary Geography', and a Bologna-based primary teacher has also produced some nice little clips of children of different ages retelling the story with the aid of simple props. I would thoroughly recommend the story as an educational resource, but that makes it sound dry: it is also a pleasure to read, independently or aloud, and I hope that many children get the chance to do so.


The Last Holiday: A Memoir (Canons)
The Last Holiday: A Memoir (Canons)
Price: £5.03

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gil - warts and all, 14 May 2012
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This is such a warts-and-all account of Gil Scott-Heron's life that it is hard to be objective about it. Coming so soon after his untimely death, it still feels raw and uncensored. That is partly, perhaps, because it still feels like a good early draft of something, rather than a final version: fresh from the word processor, but without the sort of smoothing-out of style and story that might come from a more refined draft.
We all know what a huge figure Gil Scott-Heron was, his huge strengths and his considerable human failings. Because the story is largely an account of his career up to and including the successful campaign to establish Martin Luther-King Day [spearheaded by Stevie Wonder, but in which GSH played no small role] it tends to play up his strengths and achievements, and glosses over the huge problems of his later years: drink, drugs, relationship conflicts, prison. Those, of course, were accounted for in his final, visceral album.
What is there is an inspiring account of a young man who, brought up by his mother and grandmother, went on to be a trailblazer: a Black student in a mostly-white educational world, a leading campus activist, a published poet and novelist before he was 20, a key cross-genre figure in music who embraced jazz, funk, soul, and - in his early fusion of poetry and music - became the male midwife of rap.
There is self-mythologising here, and self-justification, but also self-criticism, some silly macho moments [involving drink, cars, guns], some strangely ambiguous attitudes to women [revering women in his family, sometimes dismissive of many others], and an odd mix of styles - from stoned consciousness-streaming to brief moments of semi-fiction to poetry to almost journalistic verite. It seems that the book was cobbled together from many disparate memoirs, and that often shows, but what emerges in the end is a relatively frank account of someone whose achievements, commitment to speaking truth to power, Black activism flashes of insight and - above all - human-ness [with all the warmth, bitterness, strengths and weaknesses that the word entails] remain frankly inspirational, and will remain so for a long time to come.


The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2012 (Writers' and Artists')
The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2012 (Writers' and Artists')
by Joanna Herbert
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential item, 2 Nov. 2011
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This latest edition of the 'bible' for those seeking publication is as informative as ever. The key information - contact details and background on agents, publishers etc - is supported by some informative articles by established writers and those in the industry - and including some sensible advice and 'tips'. Essential for any wannabe writer.


I'm New Here
I'm New Here
Price: £9.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two bookends and mighty storm music, 15 May 2010
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This review is from: I'm New Here (Audio CD)
The two bookends on this album are 'on coming from a broken home', a poignant and reflective tribute to Gil's Grandmother, which set the tone for this most personal of his albums. There is no 'The Revolution ...', 'B-Movies' or 'H2O gate blues', but the LP is no less political for that ... in a society where young black men are more likely to go to prison than to university, and where conservative rhetoric about 'broken homes' [or 'broken Britain' for that matter] crudely pathologises a complex mixture of economics, social pressure, continuing racism, existential striving, resistance and gender politics. The second bookend of the two defiantly reframes that situation as a struggle for survival: a pursuit of happiness, even.

In the 80s, Gil Scott-Heron was a lodestar in a fairly fluffy musical world, articulating with great humour and precision the concerns that many of us had in trying to make our way through life in the Reagan and Thatcher era. His voice is more battered now, more cracked in every way, but the insight and humour is still there - only ploughing a more visceral furrow.

The other pivotal track on this album is the exceptional 'Me and the Devil', where Gill channels the crossroads spirit of Robert Johnson and describes his own pact with the devil. It is this tornado which whirls through the rest of the album, magnificently underpinned by a wholly appropriate blend of deep blues and techno dramatics: hair-raising stuff on the track itself. Whether gently introspective, defiant, chaotically cut-up, the CD is a meditation on that diabolic pact, and Gil's personal jihad to reclaim himself and find a sort of redemption.

The bookends balance out that human tornado, humanise, soften and contextualise and externalise it, take it beyond himself. The grandmother we met years ago in 'Grandma's Hands' [another great G S-H cover] is there as a loving, tough, presiding spirit. Mending what seemed to be broken. This is 28 minutes of powerful medicine: an album, and not just a collection of songs.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 14, 2013 4:26 PM GMT


WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES
WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure and almost perfect, 30 Sept. 2008
This is a truly beautiful rendering of an utterly beautiful song. Kate sings with her customary unpretentious clarity, and with that amazingly pure voice of hers. Andy Cutting's rhythmic accordion playing moves it along nicely, too. However, if you want to hear the definitive version of this great song, then I would recommend Sandy Denny's own version with an early incarnation of The Strawbs - which is just as beautiful but has that extra spark of passion. [And I say that as someone who does not usually believe in "definitive" versions of songs]. Having said that, this version brought a tear to my eye when I heard Kate sing it live recently - and it deserves to be widely heard.


Cumbia & Jazz Fusion
Cumbia & Jazz Fusion

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feeling good never felt better, 28 May 2008
This review is from: Cumbia & Jazz Fusion (Audio CD)
This is absolute high-octane feelgood music. The title track gets my five year old daughters dancing around the room with wild abandon [they call it 'bird jazz' because of the slow build up of whistles, drums and bass at the beginning]. It takes you on an amazing jazz journey from swing to latin to avant garde to blues and back again, with that characteristic Mingus stop-start element very much in evidence. The two piano pieces are a delight, too: Mingus is an under-rated pianist, and very much on percussive, creative form here.


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