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Reviews Written by
Beartown Boy "Jero" (Cheshire, England.)

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Pioneer Flasks Rectangular Stainless Steel Lunch Sandwich Box Food Tub Air Tight Tupperware Container, Blue, 900 ml
Pioneer Flasks Rectangular Stainless Steel Lunch Sandwich Box Food Tub Air Tight Tupperware Container, Blue, 900 ml
Price: £8.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 19 Sept. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Looks cooler than Tupperware.

Messi (Ultimate Football Heroes) - Collect Them All!
Messi (Ultimate Football Heroes) - Collect Them All!
by Matt Oldfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My son loved it and my wife listened to me reading it ..., 19 Sept. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fascinating. What an interesting man. (Don't read the Rooney straight after, or you'll realise Rooney has no character or interesting elements to him at all). My son loved it and my wife listened to me reading it to him.

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate and Fitness Wristband
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate and Fitness Wristband

5.0 out of 5 stars However- I love my Fitbit, 19 Sept. 2017
Second one. I could moan that the first was shabby on a non-replaceable strap and the battery died but I used it every day for three years. However- I love my Fitbit. If you're thinking of getting one, they won't magic you to fitness in but they will make you leave the house and go for a walk to knock of that 10k steps, and that can only be good. They tell the time, too.

Truth & Fiction [Explicit]
Truth & Fiction [Explicit]
Price: £6.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly out there, but fun, 29 May 2017
The Undercover Hippy — his mum calls him Billy — is one mixed up dude: he sounds like he should have long hair but doesn’t; on record he sounds a bit of a crusty but he’s a smart young man (his mum must be proud); he raps like Eminem but to reggae. He’s certainly different.
Ben Marwood, reviewed elsewhere, philosophises about the life internal, encouraging listeners to review the meaning of life and rage against the night; Undercover Hippy is equally philosophical but about the wider world, and wants us to rage about those in charge.
Rise and Fall opens the album with: “We created the state in Iran/We created the Afghan Taliban,” and you don’t really have to listen to Truth and Fiction to guess what he’s on about (“I don’t know what to believe no more / Politicians play their games of war”). The same applies to Who’s In Debt to Who. He’s a fast rapper and neatly spits out his stream of thoughtful invective.
Musically, it’s rock/reggae, with the stress on the reggae. Rise and Fall opens with a dub beat, brass and reggae boings and while he can go poppy and vary the tempo, it’s pretty much solid reggae throughout.
His band is ridiculously good: tight, and all good musicians, given scope to show off their chops, particularly the keyboard/organ, which has some marvellous moments. The bass is Sly ‘n’ Robbie solid. Slightly out there, but enjoyable.

Get Found
Get Found
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent punky folk in the style of Mr Turner, 29 May 2017
This review is from: Get Found (MP3 Download)
There’s a raft of bands rotating around the daddy of this genre, Frank Turner: most recently I heard Beans On Toast, but there’s any number of singer-songwriters playing folk-based tunes with sincere and/or entertaining intelligent lyrics, and with links to Turner. Marwood is another.
After the first couple of plays, I’d have said his earthy sound was probably better live but I'm getting to like his honest, everyman delivery and slightly fragile voice.
He’s got an X Factor backstory, too. (As in “Here’s Sue: her parents died in a bizarre washing machine incident, her gran’s on death row for a crime she didn’t commit and her dog’s got distemper, so winning through to the next round would put a smile on her tear-stained little face”). Marwood was stricken with a condition that left him lying on his back, with an “inability to stand up, play guitar and sing” as he wrote on his blog at the time.
Clearly, he’s back on his feet and his new album is infused with an appreciation of life only serious illness can bring (as with Rob Richings, my favourite album of last year).
Opener Punched In The Mouth Pt1 reflects on the fact that life can, well, administer a backhanded slap. The stompy and cheery The Church of No Commandments — a song worthy of Mr Turner — seems to be about the lack of a need for organised religion: “Sing through every chorus as if we can stave off death/But it’s holy holy hopeless,” he yells tunefully.
Nights is about lying about at night worrying, in the same vein as Flaming Lips’ Do You Realize — “….you’re going to die?” being the question in both songs, but like the Lips, Marwood’s advice is to fill your glass and enjoy life (“You’ve never got to let this get you down”).
It’s lively and full of life, and full of humour; i assume his I’m Wide Awake It’s Boring references Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, while The Devil Makes Work for Jazz Hands is a contender for song title of the year.
In his blog he notes: “It’s the fear of many humans that they’ll be forgotten after they’re dead; it’s the egotistical fear of many artists that they’ll be forgotten while they’re still alive”.
On the strength of this, there’s not much chance of that.

Look at the Powerful People
Look at the Powerful People
Price: £8.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Play loud, 29 May 2017
Formation have had a good idea: James Murphy is putting LCD Soundsystem back together (an album is due later this year), so they can steal a march and fill a hole in the life of LCD fans.
They don’t do a bad job. The opener Drugs has it all: plenty of cowbell, a massive repeated bass line, spoken vocals slightly distorted, a big dash of nostalgia just before the real thing is served up later this year. You might find yourself playing this track over and over, just for the bass.
Pleasure is perhaps more Hot Chip. The title track is next, Powerful People a rockier song that’s less LCD and more, well something else; there’s a touch of Foals about it.
To be fair, while the initial reaction is LCD, there seems to be more to them than that: there’s something of the soul-tinged rock of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and even the eclectic pop/rock mix of Joe Jackson. Closer Ring is a stonker that suggests they can create their own sound. Perhaps not the most original but a good album for playing loud.

Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 1, 1st March of the Drums
Ein Totentanz zu Basel im Jahre 1943: No. 1, 1st March of the Drums
Price: £0.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising jolly thoughts on death, 3 Nov. 2016
I’ve been enjoying this varied and surprisingly light piece, considering it’s based on death (Amazon translates the title as dance macabre).
This is not the death of modern times. He’s more the DEATH of Terry Pratchett, a sympathetic person who takes people off to the next world with a grin, albeit skeletal.
The work is based on a series of 15th century murals from a Dominican monastery in Basel. Death is a benign figure, dancing with those about to die before leading them off to (hopefully) a better place.
It was composed as a dance and mime show at the height of the Second World War for Mariette von Meyenburg, a mime artist, who asked her Uncle Frank to write it. It apparently portrays a series of scenes; death dancing with people about to pop their clogs.
It had me from the moment it opens with the stirring sound of Basel drums, a military drum. The sleeve notes report that their playing is almost a mania in Basel and today they are restricted in use — anywhere that has to control its population’s mad urge to play the drums seems a dandy place to me.
He might be describing murals but it also sounds like the progress of war, opening as it does with the drums of men marching off, followed by a men’s choir singing a capella in a style that’s similar to Gregorian chant. Death is unavoidable and you can’t take your property with you, say the lyrics.
It’s a sombre if stirring start but then comes more optimistic music, when Death tells an old man his time has not yet come. The rest of the CD is pretty jolly too, matching the spirit of the old concept of death. There’s plenty of variation, from marches and chorales to music that variously sounds like Grieg (Peer Gynt), Stravinsky, Copland and Gershwin. Its varied sounds make it akin to a film score, though it’s more internally coherent than music composed to follow a film.
It features The ARMAB orchestra from Portugal, the Breda Sacrament Choir, the Hineni String Orchestra, Geoffrey Madge, Bastiaan Blomhert and Edith Habroken playing those drums.

Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Talented musician, average album, 1 Nov. 2016
This review is from: Undercurrents (MP3 Download)
This is a gentle and refined pop/folk album that seems to go on too long. If you like her voice, you may find it caressing your ear throughout and never tire, but otherwise the good moments are left stranded between the overly saccharine or bland.
She’s a talented musician: she plays guitar, piano and double bass and writes music that includes harp, violin, viola and cello. Musically, it’s rich and almost chamber in places. In the good songs, she sounds like Carole King or even Kate Bush.
Opener is The Good Life, one of the more saccharine numbers though if you love this, the rest of the album will have you hooked. Things pick up a little with Fragile From The Storm, with her voice a little sharper and some nice harp. No Harvest is good too, her distinctive voice being joined by drums for the first time, after two more acoustic songs. Different Dimensions is a bit psychedelic, in a gentle folk way. Complicated Human is just nice and sets the tone for the rest. Even folk fans might find this drags a little, as tempo and her voice offer little variation, but if her voice hits your sweet spot it might be a different story.

Haçienda Classiçal
Haçienda Classiçal
Price: £8.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Madchester with cocoa and slippers, 1 Nov. 2016
Hooked On Classics was the album that gave the rock/classical crossover a bad name, classical hits over a lame dance beat. It didn’t deter people from mixing rock and orchestras; Metallica’s S&M (Symphony and Metallica) sold lots but was divisive. It always seems a bit of a flawed idea (unless you’re Jeff Lynne, in which case: genius).
This new album sees the Manchester Camerata team up with Hooky (who owns The Haçienda name) and DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering to present what is admittedly a pretty cool take on the old Haçienda dance classics.
It’s very dressing gown and slippers: the old Madchester crowd are now married with kids, and with people carriers parked in the drive. Much as they like the idea of popping some pills and dancing all night, it’s more realistic to slap on this and have a mug of cocoa.
Park and Pickering mixed the tunes, which combine the electronic bits with strings. There are 20 tracks on here, from Blue Monday to Ride On Time and from Pacific State to Good Life.
Probably of no interest if you don’t remember Madchester but a sedately uplifting stroll through your memories if you do.

Hohler Fels: New Works for Flute
Hohler Fels: New Works for Flute
Price: £7.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Avant-garde flutery, 1 Nov. 2016
This experimental flute music is for those who like the flute and want to hear some technical playing but care little for melody (or pleasure, if I'm being harsh).
The opening song is Rolf Gehlhaar’s Grand Unified Theory of Everything, which stems from a lecture Gehlhaar attended. It opens with a lone piano key and a flute sound resembling bees — perhaps primordial chaos — before it develops into a sound more like plasma, with fundamental particles flying off. The early section, sticking with the microscopic (it gradually moves to macroscopic) is even jolly.
Christopher Fox’s Stone, Wind, Rain and Sun opens with the sound of rain falling (impressive, on a flute — it’s an amplified alto flute). Fox says one’s imagery of choice should be a wander through the limestone caves and tunnels of the Pennines, so this must be water falling from a roof. However, that’s the entirety: a flute making a sound like water dripping onto a damp cave floor.
The title track is named after the Hohle Fels caves in Germany, in which have been found the oldest flutes ever discovered. Paul Goodey’s concerto is for orchestra and no less than four flutes. This was recorded live, and de Fleyt is accompanied by the RNCM wind orchestra conducted by Mark Heron, professor of conducting.
It opens slowly with Venus: bass flute, and capturing the mood of someone advancing into the unknown, the music of a 50s sci-fi movie in deep space before it goes all dramatic; the Venus of Hohle Fels, dated to about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago, is the earliest undisputed example of expressly human figurative art. It’s an atmospheric piece, descriptive of being in a dark cave, an experience that may indeed be unsettling and demanding as the music suggests.
It’s demanding, there’s no doubt about it. I've had it for some time and kept playing it; it deserves at least to be listened to: it’s brave, it takes risks and it’s pushing the boundaries.

Out on Metier, MSV 28555.

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