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Chippy Minton (Gloucestershire)

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Shadows
Shadows
Price: £12.95

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Farewell Fond Fannies..., 11 May 2011
This review is from: Shadows (Audio CD)
Well here we are with a very late review of the latest Fannies album, as I sit at work with not much to do for a lunch break. I actually bought this upon release, as with most of their output, and having read through the other reviews attached to this album have a somewhat wry smirk on my face.

Teenage Fanclub, blah, blah, blah, Big Star, blah, blah, blah, harmonies, blah, Byrds, blah ,blah, Crosby, Stills & Nash (aargh!).Read it all before several times over the years. Look, I love 'em as much as the rest, but the simple facts are that they appear to have donned carpet slippers and smoking jackets years ago, and this album has come and gone as per their previous 3 or 4 efforts. Where the hell has the fun gone? I'm not ready yet to delve into early 70's Calfornian boredom anytime soon, and would describe this latest offering as, pretty, but pretty boring, really.

As a veteran of over three dozen live shows, the chaos and energy that they used to generate live has also gone. I remember a couple of really standout shows on the Bandwagonesque and especially the Thirteen tour with support from The Posies and Superchunk that were a wall of glorious guitar noise. Nah, it's all gone bandy, and lo, the Fannies have slipped into the mists of time, and a band once truly exciting appear to run out of ideas and volume.

Thanks for the memories, chaps, this album won't be high amongst them though, as it highlights a band that is a shadow (no pun intended, but I'll take it!) of its former self. If this is what it's come to, knock it on the head fellas...


Chocolate Soup For Diabetics
Chocolate Soup For Diabetics
Price: £43.24

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We're not what we appear to be..., 21 Nov. 2010
Having bought all three of the original vinyl versions of this series when they were first issued during the 80's I certainly knew what to expect. As has been mentioned in other reviews, in many cases the mastering of the tracks was terrible with bits attached to the beginning of tracks (good ole Arthur certainly didn't grace the original Mercury 1966 single from The Voice, Fire didn't see the light of day until '68!), with others ruined by being sped up (The Hush), and The Nuchez single being from the USA (Rembrandt label) and not the UK, but at the time there was simply nothing else collecting these singles together.

I also knew the persons responsible for their creation and while some of them were also involved in putting together similar creation for an American label, I'm not aware that they were responsible for the dreadful volumes 4 & 5 which, given the track listing, would suggest to me that the title was hijacked by others. There was a companion volume issued at the same time entitled Demention of Sound, that collected raw R&B, and what would eventually be tagged freakbeat singles from the UK, and the addition of this album (presumably the compilers didn't have one to copy from)would have made this a more authentic package.

It's ok, and to be honest I've only bought it for nostalgic value as I still have the originals. Yes, the quality is poor and much of it has absolutely nothing to do with the original series, and as long as anyone looking for a copy clearly understands that, they'll be fine. That the series was copied by Funhouse Records for their Perfumed Garden series, which was, in turn, completely bettered by Phil's Rubble series in terms of quality, still marks out this collection as the flag bearer for UK Psych comps.


The Passage
The Passage
by Justin Cronin
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bloated over hyped drivel..., 10 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Passage (Hardcover)
Andrex Toilet Tissue Rolls White (10 x 4pack)...of the very highest order.

I've already wasted far too much time on this book to compile a full critique, so please read the reviews of others that felt the need to break it down into far more details than I.

However, if you do manage to read these other reviews, I can honestly say that they are absolutely correct. Once you get past the first 200 or so pages, this book is as dull as very old dishwater. Flyers, Justin, this is just plain old rubbish - please don't feel the need for the obvious follow up!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 11, 2010 10:53 PM GMT


Infinite Arms
Infinite Arms
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £8.46

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Band of Horses in 'bland third album shocker', 26 May 2010
This review is from: Infinite Arms (Audio CD)
I've been looking forward to this release ever since discovering the band via their second outing and then retrospectively buying their fabulous debut.

Initially, the signs were good, with a superb appearance on Later which highlighted 'Compliments', the first single to be lifted, along with 'NW Apt' and 'Factory', all appeared to be on track and whetted the appetite even more for the album.All of which makes the disappointment a little heavier to bear, really. The highlight of the album is undoubtably 'Laredo', which I guess will make an appearance on the airwaves as a single at some point over the summer, with it's fabulous West Coast vibe and, yes, as pointed out by other reviewers, more that a hint of Teenage Fanclub at their glorious best circa Grand Prix.

The problem lies in the over reliance of extremely syrupy ballads with For Annabelle, particularly toe-curling. In many cases it isn't that they're bad songs, they aren't. Individually they're not too bad, with the vocals, as usual, especially strong, but context is all in some cases, and it's a shame that we couldn't have had a couple more in the vain of Laredo to make this an ideal summer album.

So, disappointingly, it's a case of third time unlucky for Band of Horses. When it's good, it's very good, but when it's bland there's just too much syrup on the songs for me. Anyone new to the band based on the Compliments single will need to beware, it's definately a case of the Blue Peter, 'here's one I made earlier' syndrome, and buy their first two straight away, otherwise they may be totally put off.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 10, 2012 12:56 PM BST


Bureau, The (Expanded And Remastered)
Bureau, The (Expanded And Remastered)

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable, 29 Sept. 2009
I was lucky enough to see this band on a few occasion back in the day, but the very first time sticks in the mind clearest as they weren't even a band at the time!

Let me explain.

Dexys were on tour just as Geno was beginning to break on the radio and, as the tour was rolling into (relatively nearby)Swindon at The Brunel Rooms, a coach trip was hastily arranged from my local boozer in Gloucester. The tour was a three band bill featuring funk band The Black Arabs, still cashing in on their albeit brief connection with the Pistols Rock and Roll Swindle film, and a totally unheard of band called The Upset.

The Black Arabs were dreadful, but The Upset came on and absolutely blew evryone away. Their sound was pure Stax, with the greasiest sounding horn section that even put the headliners to shame. They only played for around 30 minutes but that was enough.

Fast foward to Rowland's petulant split from the original incarnation of Dexys towards the rubbish that involved violins instead of saxophones, and an announcement in the music press the The Bureau would shorly be issuing a debut single along with dates to follow.

Imagine the surprise at Only For Sheep, it put Dexys to shame. The live dates confirmed that the band had formed from the ashes of Dexys and The Upset, and their live shows were truly astonishing. I was fortunate enough to get to know the band and was truly blessed to have an advance copy of the original release of this album. The legal wranglings that eventually scuppered the release, and indeed, that of the bands career was an absolute travesty.

Great to see this available again, but a shame that the band couldn't bask in its undoubted glory when it was originally conceived.


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