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Og Oggilby "Og Oggilby" (North London)
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Don't All Thank Me At Once: The Lost Pop Genius of Scott Miller
Don't All Thank Me At Once: The Lost Pop Genius of Scott Miller
by Brett Milano
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.35

4.0 out of 5 stars Scott Miller RIP - His Life and Times, and most important of all, his Music., 27 Aug. 2016
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I give this slim tome a four-star rating as much for the subject matter as for the quality of the writing. Brett Milano has done a good job of talking to most of those close to the deceased singer songwriter Scott Miller, leader and composer-in-chief for the bands Game Theory and The Loud Family. I am an especial fan of Game Theory; I think they were one of the few things which kept the 1980s from being an utter washout for me in musical terms. Miller was an interesting and talented lyricist, with a great melodic gift and some frequently lovely music. Sadly, he committed suicide in 2013, a few days after his fifty-third birthday. Milano highlights the bad breaks, bad luck and bad timing that dogged Miller's career, but in truth, I don't think he was ever really equipped to deal with the kind of mega-stardom his music often deserved. The US record label Omnivore are currently reissuing Miller's Game Theory catalogue, and much of it is wonderful, and it is tempting to read between the lines of his music and look for hints of the depression that no doubt (it's not clear from the book) led to his suicide. Best of luck with that, because at its best there is such joy in the music that you'll struggle to find these markers.

Maybe Miller was a little too cerebral, maybe he at times over-thought his music. He was very particular, like, say, Elvis Costello, to choose the precise turn of phrase and arrangement touch, and perhaps this undermined his recordings. Having oblique lyricism didn't harm REM, of course, but it seems that events somehow conspired to leave Miller inhabiting that dreadful hinterland, the domain of 'The Cult Artist'.

Scott Miller also put together a fine little book of writing about his favourite music - entitled 'Music- What Happened?' Music: What Happened? that is worth checking out. Brett Milano's book celebrates Miller and his music itself, and it's good, but I don't feel that it really gets to the heart of what Scott Miller was about - but he does give it a damn good try, and anything that helps embellish just how good the late Scott Miller was, I heartily endorse.

I am deeply saddened that Miller took his own life - I feel for his family under such circumstances, and maybe the thought that Scott was a rare talent may be a comfort of sorts. I will listen to his music and cherish the sounds, the experience, informed by this knowledge, makes the experience all the more poignant.


Original Album Classics
Original Album Classics
Price: £14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Inexpensive intro to great Scots guitar band, 27 Aug. 2016
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This review is from: Original Album Classics (Audio CD)
This five album box set - comprising Teenage Fan Club's Creation Receords output housed in miniaturised single sleeves in a slipcase is a great way of acquiring their finest recordings at a decent price. The band explore a tuneful, guitar-led brand of power pop that owes a huge debt to Big Star, The Byrds and other bands beginning with 'B', with some country rock in the mix too. At it's best, the music is a melodic bliss-out, and at worse borders on the twee, but fortunately there's not too much of that. For some reason, I always hated the sleeve of 'Bandwagonesque', and they could reduce that to nothing and I wouldn't care! The music is largely inviolate, although I don't think they ever made an album as good as the first two Big Star albums or the first three Byrds albums. Still, like I said, there is enough great music in the set to get over my own puffed-up opinions!


LE 4.5W G45 B22 Bayonet LED Bulbs, 35W Incandescent Bulb Equivalent, 300lm, Warm White, 2700K, Golf Ball Bulbs, LED Light Bulbs, Pack of 5 Units
LE 4.5W G45 B22 Bayonet LED Bulbs, 35W Incandescent Bulb Equivalent, 300lm, Warm White, 2700K, Golf Ball Bulbs, LED Light Bulbs, Pack of 5 Units
Offered by Neon Mart
Price: £35.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Top Quality LED illumination, 27 Aug. 2016
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These LED light bulbs aren't cheap, but the quality and illumination provided is top-notch. They should last an age, too, and draw less power than regular bulbs, and don't get hot, either. I am a confirmed fan! I bought them in a bulk pack, and the price on Amazon was very competitive.


Loosen Up Naturally / The Sons / Follow Your Heart
Loosen Up Naturally / The Sons / Follow Your Heart
Price: £11.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling three album set on two CDs, 27 Aug. 2016
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One of the second division of San Francisco bands from the late 60's Psychedelic era, Sons of Champlin were also, for me at least, one of the most underrated. The band were funkier than their contemporaries, as much Funk and R&B as anything, and in Bill Champlin possessed a fine vocalist. This set - which yokes together three albums (the debut 'Loosen Up Naturally' was a double vinyl when first released) is a top value set, with decent notes and great sound. They debuted strongly, but by the third album they begin to tail off, but when they were good, they were incredibly good, with some real life-affirming lyricism and joyous playing. At their heart was the spirit of the free-wheeling, joyous sense of liberation and creativity that underscored the best music of the Psychedelic era, and it sounds supremely cool nearly half a century later. If you have a love for that era, and you've yet to explore beyond the Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service, that get this set and dig the flow of hippies in full flow.


Stingray
Stingray

4.0 out of 5 stars Sting Ray Stings Right!, 26 Aug. 2016
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This review is from: Stingray (Audio CD)
Joe Cocker has always been a master interpreter of good material. This album, originally released in 1976, is one of his finest collections, where some nicely-chosen material, performed by a fine crew of musicians behind an awesome singer brew up a stew that satisfies. The ache of romantic envy that Cocker imparts into the opening cut, 'The Jealous Kind', is no finer a place to start. Cocker was never a singer to merely go through the motions - he knows this is a great song, and pays it due respect with a tough but tender vocal that wrings every last drop of emotive juice from the lyric. Few people could better Donny Hathaway's magisterial version of the Leon Russell opus, 'A Song For You', but Cocker runs it to a near dead heat with his take, which closes 'Sting Ray'. In between, Cocker, ever the man to rely on when it comes to rendering a telling cover of a Bob Dylan song, takes on two relative obscurities from Dylan's catalogue, in 'Catfish' and 'The Man In Me', and puts his inimitable spin on them, truly making them his own.

There will be no more from Joe Cocker, sadly, but his career produced many, many high points, of which 'Sting Ray' is one of the best. Whatever you pay for this record, it is well worth it.


Christmas Island
Christmas Island

4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Seasonal Fare From a Unique musical talent., 26 Aug. 2016
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This review is from: Christmas Island (Audio CD)
Leon Redbone is a musical anachronism - a singer and musician who is fixated on pre-rock and roll era music - Dixieland Jazz, Blues, Folk and Country, Blackface Minstrelsy and a touch of Vaudeville. This collection of seasonal favourites is beautifully executed, Redbone's gruff vocals and some fine musical arrangements conspire to add his own bit of Seasonal spice to a great selection of Christmas songs that makes for a really satisfying audio alternative to the usual Slade / Wizzard / 'Last Christmas' style stuff. 'That Old Christmas Moon' even gives you a flavour of Christmas in Hawaii. A great addition to your Yuletide playlist that will make the Chritmas dinner chore go just as smooth as silk


Double Walled Cardboard Boxes - 380x280x288mm (15x11x11ins). Pack of 20 Strong Flatpacked Cardboard Cartons for Shipping/Packing, Moving & Storage. Crush-Resistant Brown Corrugated Board with Kraft Finish & Lid Flaps. Easy Assembly. Recyclable. Prompt Delivery
Double Walled Cardboard Boxes - 380x280x288mm (15x11x11ins). Pack of 20 Strong Flatpacked Cardboard Cartons for Shipping/Packing, Moving & Storage. Crush-Resistant Brown Corrugated Board with Kraft Finish & Lid Flaps. Easy Assembly. Recyclable. Prompt Delivery
Offered by Packaging2Buy
Price: £14.64

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent storage product, 26 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Excellent, sturdy, double walled cardboard box. I use it for storing CDs -works very well, but in truth would suit a wide range of storage needs.


The Hounding of David Oluwale
The Hounding of David Oluwale
by Kester Aspden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Book that Tells a Harrowing Tale, 24 Aug. 2016
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I recall the court trial of Kenneth Kitching and Geoffrey Ellerker, two Leeds police officers who were charged with the manslaughter of the Nigerian rough sleeper David Oluwale, back in 1971. I was thirteen at the time, and the violence meted out on Oluwale at the hands (and feet, and truncheons) of Kitching and Ellerker, was truly horrifying, so much so that, even now, some forty-five years later, it still elicits a shudder just thinking about it - Oluwale's fate is a story that has never left me. When I read the reviews of Kester Aspden's book, I bought a copy to learn more. Of Oluwale's sad, short life (he was thirty-nine when he met his end), the details were somewhat sketchy. He stowed away with a couple of other Nigerians, and ended up in Hull, then Armley jail, and then spent most of his time (when he was incarcerated in prison or the several years he spent in a mental institution) in Leeds. There's a strong reason to assume that Oluwale came out of the mental institution a good deal worse than he went in. He was unable to hold down a job, and was frequently to be seen around Leeds City Centre in a state of mental distress, shabbily dressed and often shouting unintelligbly. The Leeds of the late 1960s was trying to portray itself as a thrusting, contemporary, and most of all clean city anxious to shrug off its soot-stained industrial past. The presence of a shabby tramp soiled this perception. Kitching and Ellerker took a personal role in wanting to rid the city of Oluwale, and embarked on a sadistic, systematic and vicious vendetta against him, seeking him out for utterly unjustified punishment beatings, bullying and intimidation. In the end, there was not enough evidence to convict Kitching and Ellerker of Oluwale's manslaughter (his body was found floating in the River Aire in May 1969. It was thought that the police officers had chased Oluwale to the river, and threw him in) No-one mourned his passing - he was buried in a pauper's grave, and the undertakers had even lined his coffin with out-of-date telephone directories because they needed to dispose of them, only for them to be discovered when his body was exhumed for a post-mortem.

It took a police cadet to bring the case to light. The trial illuminated the undercurrent of racism and unchallenged level of police brutality in the Leeds Millgarth station. Kitching and Ellerker were convicted on GBH charges, and both were jailed.

Aspden's book is a thoroughly readable, lucid and sobering tome that carefully negotiates a path with a degree of sympathy and understanding towards the victim, without trying to make him a Saint. The individuals concerned in bringing about his death are also presented not necessarily as monsters, but as flawed characters who thought that their status as police officers made them inviolate. A superb book that sheds a lot of light on a tawdry case.


Just Contempo Textured Eyelet Lined Curtains, 66 x 90 inches - Cream
Just Contempo Textured Eyelet Lined Curtains, 66 x 90 inches - Cream
Offered by Just Contempo
Price: £45.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Value For Money, Good Quality Ready Made Curtains, 24 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'll start with a slight criticism; the photo of these curtains makes them appear somewhat whiter in colour than they are in reality - the colour is more of a pale, slightly green salad cream colour. Also, they have more of a (not unappealing) satin sheen to them. As others have said, the manufacturing standard, barring the odd loose thread, is overall pretty good. The materials are good quality, and they look good when they are hung up. They are lined, and although it's not a 'blackout' sort of lining - if the early morning light of summer sunrises wakes you up, these curtains won't change that. The large ring eyelets make hanging them on a pole an easy task, and they are machine washable at 30 degrees.

Overall I think these Just Contempo Textured Eyelet Lined Curtains represent good value for money, and I am very pleased with them.


PURINA PRO PLAN Dog Large Adult Robust with Sensitive Skin with OPTIDERMA rich in Salmon Dry Food 14kg
PURINA PRO PLAN Dog Large Adult Robust with Sensitive Skin with OPTIDERMA rich in Salmon Dry Food 14kg
Price: £47.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality dog food from an established and trusted brand, 20 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The proof of dog food is in the eating, and this Purina Pro Plan Kibbles has been eagerly consumed by my two dogs. Although the food is aimed at large dog breeds, I have a medium large Border Collie, and a Jack Russell / Lakeland Terrier Cross, a small medium, and the food - whether on its own or mixed with meat / fish - has gone down well. The smaller dog does appear to suffer from bouts of excema, and the gluten-free make up of these biscuits seems to be making a noticeable difference. The fish oils also help keep the Border's coat in particular looking glossy and healthy. The 16% Salmon content is reasonable, and the chicory helps keep the flatulence at bay (for the dogs, not me). Good digestion has been maintained, too. Good quality dog food from an established and trusted brand, to put it simply.


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