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johndglynn "Classic Porsche Blogger" (Banbury, UK)

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AA Road Atlas Ireland
AA Road Atlas Ireland
by AA Road Atlas Ireland Edition: First
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, BUY IT!, 13 Oct. 2004
This review is from: AA Road Atlas Ireland (Paperback)
Great maps, lots of detail and a great help to us on our recent tour of NW Eire and Northern Ireland. This is one for the motorhome map drawer for sure - BUY IT!


The Delivery Man
The Delivery Man

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A serious grower, 13 Oct. 2004
This review is from: The Delivery Man (Audio CD)
Got very excited when I heard about the new Elvis album, pre-ordered it and waited patiently, eventually it arrived and went straight into the CD player, and...
Elvis, what in God's name have you done?! I hated it, it seemed to be all noise, distortion, screaming and some old bag lady pub singer he had dragged in to back him up on vocals on one track, I just couldn't believe it could be that bad.
Left it overnight, and that's the thing that kept going round in my head - I could NOT believe it was that bad. So maybe it wasn't. Time to do some extended listening.
I have been an EC fan since the mid 80's and have to say I have liked most of his stuff (not all). Nothing is as it seems with Elvis and you have to let his best material work it's way into the grey cells and see where it ends up before you really start to get a real return from it. It didn't take long for the work of genius that is Delivery Man get hold of areas of my brain that hadn't been so well rattled since EC released Blood and Chocolate. WOW!
For my money, this album is the closest EC has yet got to perfecting his massive wall of sound and love/hate/joy/pain. I could fill this page with things I like about it, from the concealed harmonics and double-tracked chorus vocals on tracks like Country Darkness, to that rocking guitar line and wailing banshee of a bag lady pub singer (the rabble-rousing Lucinda Williams) on There's a Story in Your Voice to the whacking great thump rock rhythms on Bedlam to the little laugh of Emmylou Harris at the start of the fabulous final track Scarlet Tide.
I have to say that I love this kind of melange, love the overriding American-ness of the music (sort of like King of America in places with the 50's influences and the diner-like feel to parts of it), as always I really love the rawness of Elvis's voice. We should hold him up as one of the world's truest and most honest songwriters and thank him for treating music with such absolute respect and writing songs that so deserve our undivided attention in a world of pop pap.
This is my kind of record, music to live life to, all shades and all colours are here. Definitely one for EC fans who date back to Punch the Clock, definitely one for fans of Almost Blue and a must have for anyone who enjoyed Blood and Chocolate as previously mentioned. Oh, and DEFINITELY one for the dogwalking MP3 player, it's Grrrrreat!


RV in UK: A Guide to the British Operation of an American Motorhome
RV in UK: A Guide to the British Operation of an American Motorhome
by David Berry
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for the UK RV enthusiast!, 17 Jun. 2004
Great book from David Berry on running an american motorhome here in the UK. We bought our camper a year ago next month and have enjoyed it immensely. David's book calmed our nerves before picking the van up and gave us an idea of what to expect with appliances, gas/water tanks and fittings, roller awning etc, things that the UK vans just don't have. I really enjoyed reading it.
If there is anything that lets it down slightly from my point of view, it's that I was hoping for a bit more on the technical side. The oily bits are not really David's cup of tea, he would rather get the dealer to do it, whereas I like to do it myself. John Wickersham's books are excellent in this respect but I think I will eventually start a section on my website ([...]) about the whole business of buying in the USA, importing your purchase and converting vans to UK electrical and mechanical spec.
There's more than enough info in here for me to recommend this book, whether you've bought your RV or are just thinking about it, it's indispensable.


The Recreational Nomad: A Motorcaravanning Miscellany to Inform, Inspire and Entertain
The Recreational Nomad: A Motorcaravanning Miscellany to Inform, Inspire and Entertain
by David Berry
Edition: Paperback

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting!, 16 Oct. 2003
I bought this item having read David Berry's excellent book on RV'ing in the UK. Much of that information and some of the photographs are duplicated in this book, but it still manages to give enough new advice to be worth the effort involved in holding it up - it's heavy!
The format will not be to everyone's taste as it is basically 4 books running alongside each other across quite a wide page layout, not great for bedtime as all that page turning will earn you a swift elbow in the ribs! I did read the original review of the book in MMM, which complained about this aspect slightly and thought that the reviewer was being a bit of a fogie about it, but unfortunately I have to agree! However, the review is reproduced on David Berry's Keyham Books website, so all credit to him for leaving the slightly negative comments in.
Anyway, as I say, most of the rest of the text is interesting and Mr. Berry's 'motorcaravanning logs' are very educational, with some great site reviews along the way. There are also some excellent contributions from Mrs. Berry. Indeed, a few more would not have gone amiss!
One of the sections is on choosing and getting started in a camper. This is all so basic that if you already have a 'van you will probably steer clear of it. Though if you don't, it's a big bonus to the book's value. On the subject of which, I have marked it down one star as in my honest opinion, it's very expensive once the reproduced RV stuff and the buyer's guide material is taken out of the equation. But then, as I said, you may not have the RV book or the 'van as yet.
Whatever you decide about value for money, it's interesting and informative and should certainly be part of every motorcaravanner's library. Just don't expect it to fit on your bookshelves!


Andromeda Heights
Andromeda Heights
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £12.71

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time is all that matters, 22 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Andromeda Heights (Audio CD)
I bought this album many moons ago off the back of some great reviews, had a listen and shelved it as not for me at the time. I have recently come back to it and after a few more listens, well, what a difference!
As a big Sprout fan (only the musical variety mind), I rate 'Steve McQueen' as top three material alongside the Oscar Peterson Trio's 'Night Train' and '1984' by Van Halen, all incredibly well-crafted albums. However, the one thing that is different about this PS album to all others before it, is that Paddy built his own high-end studio at home before working on it (the album & studio share the name Andromeda Heights), and doesn't this new-found proximity show in the detail.
From the opening number, the easy rising tide of 'Electric Guitars', through to that wonderful sax part on 'Life's a Miracle' to the 'Ice Maiden'-esque 'Anne Marie' and on to an end of the evening, slow dance finish with the title track, this album has had care and attention lavished upon it by one of Britain's best kept secrets. Time is the key to this record, stick with it and it pays you back in spades with listening pleasures rarely experienced - McAloon works from a set of rules no-one else was given. And sometimes that's just about perfect.


All For You : A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio
All For You : A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effortless Perfection, 13 Jan. 2003
Diana and her incredible band reproduce all the magic of Nat on this instant classic. We need new verbs to describe her style - 'she smoothes her way through a timeless collection of songs' will do for now. Every single track is an invitation to listen to the epitome of performance. Don't wait another minute to overdose on pleasure, mellow out to the sound of a truly great jazz artist paying tribute to another. Get this in your CD player ASAP!


Faith of Our Fathers 1
Faith of Our Fathers 1
Price: £24.91

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll take you home again Kathleen..............., 18 Dec. 2002
This review is from: Faith of Our Fathers 1 (Audio CD)
Whether you grew up in Ireland, or even in the church, you will find this CD absolutely beautiful. It's a mix of male and female voices, choral and orchestral music. The songs on this inspiring collection cut to the chase - life is good, we're happy to be here! Whoever you pray to, this music will feed your heart and soul. Frank Patterson was a wonderful, and wonderfully Irish talent - he is shown to his greatest effect here, and you really do get the feeling that he was enjoying himself the whole time, just as he knew we the listeners would. Thanks Frank, well done!


Bellybutton
Bellybutton
Offered by westworld-
Price: £9.65

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a classic!, 1 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Bellybutton (Audio CD)
The songs of Jellyfish are fabulously written, undulating wonderfully throughout. Each tells a story in a very modern way -the band are like a Californian Crowded House or '(Beach)Boys to Men' - wonderfully melodic, seriously slick production but not overly-stage-managed. There is space aplenty for dramatic lyrics to burst through - "this vodka does a memory clear, though it's too hard to imagine what these tears are for", and all in an upbeat pop song - great juxtaposition, high class.
I saw Jellyfish play live at the Town and Country Club in London in late Summer 1991 - what a gig. 4 guys standing in a line in front of the curtain, the drummer played standing up with just hihats, snare, floor tom and bass drum, and then proceeded to sing everything - blew my mind and they were incredibly tight. It was all over too soon, but thankfully 'this stubborn memory hadn't faded' when I wrote this and so I'm off to have another listen - buy it NOW!
I recently bought the edition with the 5 live tracks - hear their version of Paul McCartney's 'Someone's knocking at the door' into 'That is why' to know just how good they were.


Human Conditions
Human Conditions
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £10.46

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music worth listening to......, 1 Nov. 2002
This review is from: Human Conditions (Audio CD)
Yes, I read the 1-star Amazon review, and also some terrible slatings in the British press, but I got so much in the way of connection from 'Urban Hymns' and 'Alone with Everybody' that I had to listen for myself. So, one filthy Friday afternoon, I slid 'Human Conditions' into the CD changer and drove onto the M25 in monsoon conditions for the 3-hour drive home.
My initial impression was 'good job it was only a tenner'. But more miles followed and the sounds began to find their place. What starts off seeming as crowded as that wet motorway actually has a lot of space around it. Others have said that excessive running times and plodding tempos are the order of the day, but not to my 34-year-old-ears. All the songs are interesting and the album works comfortably as a package, though I agree with the Sunday Times' opinion that some of it sounds like a demo version - the intro to 'Sounds of Silence' in particular. I would also have preferred an acoustic version of 'Nature is the Law' to wind-down the running order, rather than the pseudo-Elvis number that made the final cut.
My only real problem is with the drums. Pete Salisbury is a lovely player, but he's too low in the mix and why did they need someone to programme alongside him? What a waste of time - what's so wrong with setting up the kit, engineeering the sound and getting on with it?! Certain frustratingly ordinary and repetitive rhythms loses them a point and a half, but I can't vote 3.5 stars!
Whatever, when one's favourite track changes with every listen you know you're on to a winner. 'Human Conditions' matches every thinking thirty-something's frame of reference. Check the message - imagine the songs in a live context and open your mind to what is being said. Ashcroft hasn't yet made a gap you want in your music collection, so spend your tenner and give the man some of your time.


The Girl From Ipanema: The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook
The Girl From Ipanema: The Antonio Carlos Jobim Songbook
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £11.92

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simple smooth sunshine sounds, 24 April 2002
Magico! Jobim is treated with rightful respect in this compilation of marvellous melody. The rhythms are as nature intended and every track paints a picture - well worth adding to the collection, makes the case for the annihilation of every modern-day-sickly-hispanic crooner, After all, if it ain't broke, why fix it?!


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