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Brit Boy (England)

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Dave Cameron's Schooldays
Dave Cameron's Schooldays
by William Coles
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A delight!, 24 Aug. 2016
I should first probably say that if you were a supporter of the recently resigned British prime minister David Cameron, then you might not like this fictional book, as it basically goes out of it's way to poke fun at his college-days in late 1970s Eton. However, if you have a broad sense of humour, and don't mind a bit of Dave ridiculing, then you might enjoy reading it.

Acclaimed author (whose other books I do plan to read), produced a fictionalised diary of the young Cameron, and his cheeky book was published in 2010, before the general election. In it, we are able to read about the supposed antics that he got up to during those days, often with the help of his old chum BJ (you work it out!), most of which make 'pig gate' look rather tame in comparison. It's all very well-written, never dull, and just as much about Eton college as it is about David Cameron.

I can't help but wonder what the man himself thought about this book, or if he's even took the time to read it?. Whatever the case, 'David Cameron's Schooldays' made me raise more than just a few cheeky, childish grins. This was clearly only ever meant to be taken very light-heartily. Delightful, and refreshing.

The Ryan Gosling Handbook - Everything You Need to Know About Ryan Gosling
The Ryan Gosling Handbook - Everything You Need to Know About Ryan Gosling

1.0 out of 5 stars Get this book instantly for free - type 'Ryan Gosling' into Wikipedia, 20 Aug. 2016
A few years ago, there was quite a phase when a 'someone' (in this case an 'Emily Smith') would take all of the information regarding a famous person on Wikipedia, keep the same format (including the pictures) of those articles, put them all together in a book, and sell it off under the title of 'The (Insert Name) Handbook' for a pretty hefty price.

Ryan Gosling is one of my favourite modern actors, the star of some of my all-time favourite movies, and as a major Hollywood name, there have already been many proper (unauthorised) books written about him (including a standard, but fairly unrevealing biography: Ryan Gosling: Hollywood's Finest), so you might like to buy one of those instead, and do not line the pockets of lazy people who will do anything for a quick buck. What you have here is Ryan's Wikipedia page as of some day in 2012, and all of the separate articles which were on there regarding his many movies.

Don't be fooled by this cheeky con, and read all of the information in here for free on Wikipedia instead.

Dirty Grandpa [DVD] [2016]
Dirty Grandpa [DVD] [2016]
Dvd ~ Robert De Niro
Price: £6.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Trashy rubbish, 20 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Dirty Grandpa [DVD] [2016] (DVD)
An actor of Robert De Niro's calibre really has hit rock bottom with his plum role in this trashy American, so-called 'comedy'. I'd heard very little in the way of positivity about 'Dirty Grandpa', but was still determined to find as good in it as I could, after all, I'm not adversed to bit of smut myself. Unfortunately, aside from a few wry grins at the start of it, I have to agree that this is a very unfunny film, the cliché jokes failed to amuse, the crudeness became over-the-top and boring, many of the scenes were drawn out too long, and basically, it belongs in the bargain bins, where it will be homed in a very short length of time.

Although hardly on par with De Niro, the other main star Zac Efron is no bad actor either, so it amazes me as to why he decided to take part in this film, it's not one I'd imagine that either of them would want to have on their CVs. They do have surprisingly good chemistry together on the screen granted, but it's a real shame that they couldn't have worked on something better than this.

Before his wedding, Jason Kelly (Zac Effron) is tricked into driving his eccentric, foul-mouthed grandfather (played by De Niro), of whom he hasn't seen in years, to Florida for a spring break. From there on, the character lives up to the film's title, but there is little in the way of a plot, and as I've already mentioned, the string of cons surrounding the 'Dirty Grandpa' weigh down the very few pros of watching it.

If you like really trashy films that don't require you to think, then 'Dirty Grandpa' will no doubt amuse, and maybe might even gain some kind of cult status in that field, but to the casual movie fan, I'd advise wasting your time and money.

Tim Burgess Presents Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco
Tim Burgess Presents Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest single compilations of recent times, 20 Aug. 2016
Compilations can be samey things can't they? But this single, 18 track album is something fresh and interesting, not because it offers anything brand new, but because it's basically one man's playlist, which isn't restricted to any particular genre (have Joy Division, Willie Nelson, and Tchaikovsky ever appeared together on the same playlist?), and consists mostly, of much more obscure material.

The man in question is Tim Burgess, the front man of The Charlatans, who has recently become a best-selling author with two very entertaining books. This is the soundtrack to his most recent publication, Tim Book Two: Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco, which beautifully describes his real life venture of a few years ago, which consisted him of getting in touch with some of people he admired, to suggest an album to him, and then attempting to go and try locate it in an old fashioned vinyl shop on his travels. With Tim's passionate love for the format, this album is also naturally available to buy on a double vinyl.

Here we have a wonderful collection of truly great songs, most of which were new to me outside the instantly familiar Paul Simon hit 'You Can Call Me Al, Love's 'A House Is Not A Motel', and 'She's Lost Control' by Joy Division. I now have many new favourites, and plan to look into the work of some of these artists further.

'Tim Burgess Presents Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco' is like a mini goldmine, and I'd like to say thank you Tim, not only for the book, but for compiling an exciting compilation album of this quality. Both of these really are ideal presents for a keen music lover, but if you want to have each of them for yourself, then both of these do go very well together.

Little Touch Of Schmilsson In
Little Touch Of Schmilsson In
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £6.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Late night listening music, designed to relax, 20 Aug. 2016
This classic album from 1973 saw the late American singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson do something which has since been experimented with by many artists including Rod Stewart and Bob Dylan. 'A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night' is a covers album of American standards, all of which showcase Nilsson's great skill of interpreting a song with his very appealing, easy-to-listen-to voice. Of course, Harry's biggest hit single, 'Everybody's Talkin' was also a cover, so it should come as no surprise that he was able to effortlessly make the majority of the numbers on this record his own.

Normally, this type of music wouldn't really appeal a great deal to me, but the beautiful arrangements and smoothly sincere delivery on each of these classic tracks, which all date back to pre-war, makes them sound appealing to contemporary to a more modern day listener, and this is more than enough to win me over.

The 'Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night' is a late-night listening record designed to relax, and to be enjoyed in the background with a few glasses of wine. Let the charm of such tracks as 'It Had to Be You', 'What'll I Do', 'As Time Goes By' (often included on Nilsson 'best of' retrospectives), and his sublime 'Over the Rainbow', which fades things out', take you away to a much nicer place.

NOW 94
NOW 94
Price: £13.00

2.0 out of 5 stars The state of the UK singles chart today, 20 Aug. 2016
This review is from: NOW 94 (Audio CD)
Great artists are still releasing studio albums every month, and they do well in the charts, but unfortunately, their singles do very little in terms of commercial success. Because of this, here we have yet another 'Now' album, the 94th entry in this long-running series, which is loaded with absolute rubbish. Even some of the better songs spread across it's two CDs sound just as abysmal after a few listens, the kind of tunes that you think are 'okay', but will be forgotten about within a very short space of time once they leave the UK charts. I do have a diverse taste in music, but almost every song on here sounds virtually the same to me, and that's not a good thing for several reasons.

I am giving 'Now 94' two stars because there's Bastille, Viola Beach, and Coldplay at the end of the first disc, and a few decent choices on the second, but if it wasn't for these few tracks, then I'd have had no trouble in rating it a one.

Unless you're very young, or extremely easy pleased with music, I'd avoid this awful collection, and buy something like the recently released charity album Oxfam Presents: Stand As One - Live At Glastonbury 2016, for not only will you be supporting a great cause, you'll be able to hear real musicians at work.

Oxfam Presents: Stand As One  - Live At Glastonbury 2016
Oxfam Presents: Stand As One - Live At Glastonbury 2016
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent project, 20 Aug. 2016
Here we have a first-of-it's-kind live album, where mainstream, mostly big-named artists have contributed a song from their Glastonbury Festival set for a special live record, released in support of Oxfam’s work with refugees worldwide. These unique performances were recorded especially for the release, titled 'Oxfam Presents: Stand As One - Live At Glastonbury 2016', and dedicated to the memory of the much-loved MP Jo Cox, who recently met her tragic death.

There's some excellent talent on showcase here, and although I do have others, a few of my 'stand-outs' include the winning duo of Alex Turner and Miles Kane as The Last Shadow Puppets, the electronica trio Years & Years with their song 'Eyes Shut', Richard Hawley, and a rousing performance of Muse's 'Starlight'. Once more, the sound quality on each of these performances is masterful.

The CD version has 16 tracks, but please be aware that if you should decide to download it here Oxfam Presents: Stand As One - Live At Glastonbury 2016, then you'll also get another three from Editors, Jack Garratt, and Jamie Lawson. Listening to this excellent project will make you wish that you stood there in the field listening to, and watching these real musicians on the stage for yourself.

I would encourage any fan of indie/live music to 'Stand As One' and buy this album. Most importantly, you'll be supporting a great cause, and also, if the sales are good enough, we might even get further volumes.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2016 8:47 PM BST

Tim Book Two: Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco
Tim Book Two: Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco
by Tim Burgess
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A book from one music lover to another, 20 Aug. 2016
After reading The Charlatans' front man Tim Burgess first book 'Tellin' Stories', I was eager to lay my hands on his second memoir, the recently released 'Tim Book Two: Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco'. The man has a great way of being able to put his thoughts down on paper, and he writes with such wit and flair, which makes him a very easy author to read.

Here we have an enthusiastic account of Tim's lifelong love for old-fashioned vinyl records, and the shops which sell them. He takes us through a real-life road trip he made to track down records from his long, and diverse list of artists. He had set himself a task a couple of years after writing his first book, which was to get in touch with some of those people he admired greatly (we're talking greats such as Iggy Pop, Paul Weller, and Johnny Marr), suggest an album to him, and then attempt to go and try locate it on his journey.

If you have already read 'Tellin' Stories', then you'd already know that his passion for music is unquestionable, as that debut book was just peppered with tributes to his favourite musicians. As well as providing a funny, entertaining, and enthusiastic read, 'Tim Book Two: Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco' will also encourage fellow music lovers to expand their own tastes, and go and have a listen to the songs, albums, and artists who are mentioned on virtually everyone of it's pages. As well as this, it provides an insight into how record stores, which are vividly described, are holding up in this day and age of the MP3 download reigning supreme. This is a wholly unique, and very refreshing read from a supreme music fanatic, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The acclaimed Scottish crime author Ian Rankin, who also recommend a vinyl to Tim, provides a forward.

If you want to have something to listen to whilst reading, then you might very well wish to purchase the companion CD (though naturally also available on vinyl) album: Tim Burgess Presents Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco.

Take It Out On Me
Take It Out On Me
Price: £0.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Instantly infectious, 20 Aug. 2016
This review is from: Take It Out On Me (MP3 Download)
I first heard this track on the radio at work, and wrote down some of the lyrics so I'd be able to download it, and check out the artist behind it when I got home. in fact, 'Take It Out On Me' is, as I was too quickly discover, the new single from White Lies, an indie-punk band who I liked at the start of their careers about seven years ago, but subsequently forgot about overtime.

If the current UK singles charts were any good, then this would already be a hit, for here we have an instantly engaging, infectious feel-good song that had me hooked from the first listen, 'Take It Out On Me' is self-produced by the band, and with engineering from James Brown, who has worked with bands such as Foo Fighters, and Arctic Monkeys, it was in safe hands.

If the rest of White Lies' new material is anything as good as this single, then their upcoming studio album 'Friends' is going to be a killer.

La Selection Bonnie Tyler
La Selection Bonnie Tyler
Price: £15.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's all been done before, 19 Aug. 2016
Here we are again, for what seems like a hundred times over, 2016 has dropped the latest Bonnie Tyler compilation. Now, I am a real Bonnie fan, and as well as the delights of power-ballads like 'Total Eclipse of the Heart', I am also just as familiar with her equally appealing albums which came after her 1980s chart hey-day, including 'Free Spirit' (1995), 'All in One Voice' (1998), and 2013's excellent 'Rocks and Honey', which proved that she hadn't lost her ability to belt out a song with passion, and sincerity.

This French compilation is spread across three CDs, although with just 14 songs per album, it doesn't offer as much value as you might initially believe. This one, like countless others, is riding heavy on those 1980s recordings, such as 'Eclipse', 'Holding Out For A Hero', 'Faster Than the Speed of Night', the Bryan Adams' penned 'Straight from the Heart, and her epic duet with Todd Rundrgren, 'Loving You's A Dirty Job (But Somebody's Gotta Do It'), all of which were produced by Meatloaf's producer Jim Steinman. Indeed, even the album's first cover uses a classic image taken from the decade.

There are also tracks taken from the multi-producer affair, the 1988 'Hide Your Heart' album which contained such belters as the Paul Stanley written title track, 'Notes From America', and 'The Best', which was later recorded by Tina Turner and became an international hit. This would have been a lovely bonus but, as so many compilations that have been issued in recent years also contain these numbers, their inclusion here, as well as the B side which Bonnie co-wrote, 'Under Suspicion', offers nothing in the way of a surprise.

The remaining tracks will still be fairly new to most people outside of Bonnie's loyalist fans in the UK, as they were recorded for the European record label Hansa in the early 1990s, and were never released in Bonnie's own country. Although they are now rather easy to find on CD retrospective. The songs in question include the huge Germany hit 'Bitterblue', sentimental power-ballad 'Angel Heart', and 'Race to the Fire'. Some of this material throughout this successful, but patchy period in Bonnie's career was poor at best, notably tracks such as 'I'm Only A Lonely Child', and 'Daytime Friends'.

There are no selections on here from Bonnie's earliest days as a recording artist on the RCA label in the mid '70s to early '80s, so there is no 'Lost in France', or 'It's A Heartache' to be found, although it's now almost impossible to list all of the other greatest hits CDs which they are featured on.

On a whole, 'La Selection' isn't a bad selection of songs, although I still don't think that anything has yet surfaced to even come close to bettering the much more interesting and comprehensive two disc set of 2002: Total Eclipse - The Bonnie Tyler Anthology. But unless your a completist, or still don't have a Bonnie Tyler album in your collection, there really was no need for this boxed set's release. Bonnie is a excellent artist, but it's a shame that she can't be marketed in a more interesting way.

Note: Five years ago, another three CD collection was released in France: Best of -Digi-, this nicely put together package focuses very heavily on Tyler's work between 2003-2005, as well as more recent, and previously unreleased material. If you want to hear a wealth of treasure from Bonnie away from the big '1980s perm and shoulder pads, then this is a much better buy.

Disc One:

1. Total Eclipse of the Heart
2. Holding Out for a Hero
3. A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall In Love)
4. Faster Than the Speed of Night
5. No Way to Treat a Lady
6. Lovers Again
7. Under Suspicion
8. To Love Somebody
9. Streets of Little Italy
10. Take a Chance
11. Hide Your Heart
12. Call Me
13. Here She Comes
14. God Gave Love to You

Disc Two:

1. Straight from the Heart
2. Loving You's a Dirty Job (But Somebody's Gotta Do It)
3. Take Me Back
4. Getting So Excited
5. Fools Lullaby
6. Ravishing
7. Before This Night Is Through
8. Race to the Fire
9. Take Another Look at Your Heart
10. Turtle Blues
11. Angel Heart
12. Going Through the Motions
13. Don't Turn Around
14. All We Have Is Tonight

Disc Three:

1. Bitterblue
2. Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
3. If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man)
4. Band of Gold
5. It's a Jungle Out There
6. Sending Me Angels
7. Save Up All Your Tears
8. Notes from America
9. Daytime Friends
10. Tears
11. Shy With You
12. Rebel Without a Clue
13. The Best
14. I'm Only a Lonely Child

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