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littledove "honeysuckle" (south London,England)

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Infatuation Singles and Demos 1966-68
Infatuation Singles and Demos 1966-68
Price: £15.77

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Clifford T Ward Material Is Very Worthwhile, 20 Nov. 2015
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The Secrets were an English Midlands band fronted by Clifford T Ward , one of the finest songwriters of the seventies and eighties before his solo career began in 1969. What is evidenced here are strong mid sixties beat songs with occasional eccentric asides. The first ten tracks consist of five 45s released on the CBS label between 1967 and 68. The standard is pretty high with 'Infatuation', 'Keeping My Head Above Water', 'Sympathy' and 'I Intend To Please' all scoring highly on my aural radar. Most of the rest of this compilation consists of private Ward demos. They vary in quality and in style but there are undeniably highlights. The trippy 'Path Through The Forest' was later recorded by The Factory becoming something of a psychedelic classic. No way is Ward's version better but it's good to hear the original idea. There's a fun piece of English whimsy in 'The Gloria Bosom Show' alongside strong melodies as represented by 'I'll Keep Closing My Eyes', 'Coathanger' and 'Naughty Boy'. Generally speaking the sound quality of the demos is good . In all you get twenty five songs from a songwriter gaining momentum as he writes. I'm not sure why additional demos of three songs are included since none add anything . However this proved an enjoyable listen enhanced by some excellent accompanying sleeve notes by Cherry Red's David Wells.


ABOUT TIME
ABOUT TIME
Price: £13.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Fine Soul Album, 21 Aug. 2015
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This review is from: ABOUT TIME (Audio CD)
Reuben James Richards, then known as Reuben James, was responsible for arguably the finest soul record released only in the UK. ‘Hold On My Heart’ from 1992 passed without much mainstream comment thus making those CD singles that did appear, highly prized pieces amongst those lucky enough to have one. There’s been much speculation as to what happened to Richards. A derivative Otis Redding styled EP appeared about ten years ago to coincide with his appearance on a TV talent show called ‘Stars In Their Eyes’ but mostly Richards seems to have been gigging around his home city of London.
His sophomore (he recorded an album back in the late 80s for Orbitone) release ‘About Time’ come out of the blue and first impressions are very positive. ‘Hold On To My Heart’ has been remixed for the occasion and remains a stirring highlight. There are a number of other good ballads including the country-slanted ‘Your Broken Promises’ and the finale ‘Let Me Be The One’, with Reuben accompanied principally by just piano. It’s stunning if a tad short. The contrast is provided by some rousing uptempo dance cuts starting with the opener ‘We’ll Always Be Together’ and followed by the Stax /Atlantic influence ‘Taking a Chance’, (check those horns!) ‘Who’s Foolin’ Who’ and especially ‘A.S.A.P.’ Another highlight ‘ Sugar Cane’ introduces some neat guitar frets and fair powers through the grooves.This is a fabulous album from Reuben James Richards. It’s soulfully and powerfully sung and the songs mostly written by Dave Williams are generally a cut above the average. Richards may be a lot older but this could be Britain’s answer to Leon Bridges.


Edmond Briottet Tres Vieux Marc de Bourgogne Other Grape Brandy
Edmond Briottet Tres Vieux Marc de Bourgogne Other Grape Brandy
Offered by Dram Good Drinks
Price: £34.93

4.0 out of 5 stars A Quality Young Marc Brandy, 17 Aug. 2015
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Possesses the earthiness that is characteristic of Marc brandy but has been aged longer (min five years) than most other marc giving it a mellower more rounded taste than some others that I have tried. Treat this like an after meal brandy on it's own or mix as I did with Crème de Cassis for a powerful fruity liqueur. This young marc was a delightful drink and one to which I will return from time to time.


Nardini Acqua de Cedro Liqueur 70cl
Nardini Acqua de Cedro Liqueur 70cl
Price: £34.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Strong and Intense Flavoured Liqueur, 17 Aug. 2015
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A strong liqueur with an intense flavour. It has a clean fresh taste in the mouth and I think is best served straight from the fridge or slightly warmer to allow the subtler citrus aromas to become apparent. My wife likes to drink this as a substitute for limoncello although an analogy with a fruit schnapps is applicable. I've not done it but it would work as a base for adding lemonade. Definitely a class act.


Nettles Grappa 70 cl. - Villa Laviosa
Nettles Grappa 70 cl. - Villa Laviosa
Offered by h-h-shop - Qualität aus Südtirol
Price: £23.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Strength Grappa With Fine Flavour., 17 Aug. 2015
Good strength Grappa (40%) that is well presented in a stylish bottle. The taste is fiery and this one reminds me of slivovitz so I prefer to drink it in a brandy glass that allows the aromas to escape. It worked for me as a hand warmed digestive after a heavy meal and before an afternoon nap! Nevertheless I found it quite versatile and enjoyed it chilled from the fridge and as a shot when it first arrived. The company do different herbal infusions that colour the grappa. I can't say there is a strong taste of nettles so conclude the sprig is just for effect. All in all a very enjoyable grappa that I would seek out again.


The Bay Tree Food Co. Piccalilli (300g)
The Bay Tree Food Co. Piccalilli (300g)
Offered by Cooking Marvellous
Price: £8.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Thick with plenty of vegetables but far too sweet for a piccalilli, 17 July 2015
Thick with plenty of vegetables but far too sweet for a piccalilli. I notice that the label says 'new slant' so maybe the extra sweetness is what is favoured. I'm left with an unpleasant cloying taste in my mouth. I will return to my preferred sharper brand.


PME Large Shaped Sugar Sprinkles Fish 68 g
PME Large Shaped Sugar Sprinkles Fish 68 g
Offered by Cake and Cookie Central
Price: £3.37

4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Product, 17 July 2015
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Fun item, just a little bit different. Candy is quite hard but small enough to digest.


Live It to Know It
Live It to Know It
Price: £13.24

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Of Jimmy Riley's Finest recordings Contained Within., 16 July 2015
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This review is from: Live It to Know It (Audio CD)
Possessing of a sublime David Ruffin-esque voice and a tall stylish presence it is one of life's minor mysteries that Jimmy Riley isn't better known beyond his many fans in the reggae genre. His pedigree is long starting back in the day with Duke Reid's Sensations with whom he recorded several big sides in Jamaica, he then joined the Uniques but rarely got to sing out front because they had arguably the finest Jamaican singer of them all Slim Smith as their frontman. He's sung with Cornell Campbell and been produced by Bunny lee and Lee Perry. In short he has been operating in the premiere league and since the 60s has recorded dozens of singles and possibly one dozen albums. However he remains relatively unknown to a wider audience possibly because most of his recordings were made in Jamaica for different labels and producers and to date few have been transfered to a silver disc. These recordings appear to be owned and produced by Riley and come from athe period 1975-85. They are outstanding examples from the period being a mixture of politically orientated songs and versions with Sly & Robbie evident in the playing. In fact a real bonus is that all the cuts I think are played by musicians with relatively little programming evident. Highlights include the powerful 'In The Ghetto' and 'Gunman Of Jamaica' - a please stop protest that includes a great King Tubby Dub plate - and the touching 'Tell The Youth The Truth'. There are seventeen tracks and it all ended a tad quickly. It's superb life affirming reggae.


Time Hasn't Changed Us: The Complete CBS Recordings 1967-1971
Time Hasn't Changed Us: The Complete CBS Recordings 1967-1971
Price: £14.21

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bringing On Back The Good Times', 15 July 2015
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This is certainly the most definitive of retrospectives containing no less than sixty three (gulp) cuts from the Love Affair and a solo Steve Ellis. Easy to dismiss as a lightweight sixties pop combo the evidence here is that they were much more than that experimenting in turns with guitar led rock, British R&B, M-o-R covers of American soul and pop records and even London music hall on the Small Faces-influenced 'Tale of Two Bitters'. Clearly there was a dichotomy between what they were perceived to be by those that bought the glorious singles such as 'Bringing On Back The Good Times', 'Lincoln County' and 'Rainbow Valley' to how they wanted to be when they performed live with 'Handbags & Galdrags', 'Gimme Shelter', 'Tobacco Road' and even Dr John's 'Walk On Gilded Splinters' featuring in their playing set. Ultimately the timeless quality of heavily orchestrated cuts such as 'A Day Without Love' and 'Everlasting Love' defined and destroyed the Love Affair. Session musicians were used behind Steve Ellis' vocals on the hits creating the impression of a manufactured Monkee-esque group and whilst they did perform their own album tracks they were poor song writers and most of the self-penned tracks lack interest. The third disc consists of Steve Ellis solo cuts. It is the weakest of the three CDs in this package featuring uninspiring covers of the likes of Stones 'Gimme Shelter', Neil Diamond's 'Holly Holly' (awful song anyway) and Tony Joe White's 'Rainy Night In Georgia'. A nadir is reached with a piece of nonsense called 'Goody Goody Dancing Shoes' which I mention because it is memorable for being so bad. Only rarely does the much admired voice let rip to good effect with Jimmy Webb's 'Evie', Bob Dylan's 'All Along The Watchtower' (a surprising trippy version) and 'Can't Stop Worryin' Can't Stop Lovin' ,where the Ellis - Steve Marriott comparison is obvious, working particularly well. This set I think gathers everything Ellis and the Love Affair recorded between '67 and '71 adding three BBC sessions to the mix so its great value for the price. The long lost title track 'Time Hasn't Changed Us' comes courtesy of an acetate from guitarist Caleb Quaye. Undoubtedly it's up there with their best moments.


Nyc 1961-1966
Nyc 1961-1966
Price: £16.93

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr Excitement At His Considerable Best., 30 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Nyc 1961-1966 (Audio CD)
Forty eight tracks including a stack of unreleased items many of which are from original master tapes and from one of the greatest vocalists of the last century. You're onto a winner from the moment the laser hits the silver disc.I suppose half of the tracks will be familiar to Wilson's legion of fans but when they are as good as 'No Pity (In the Naked City)', 'I'm So Lonely', 'Watch Out' or 'New Breed' its good hear them again. Some of the unissued cuts are every bit as good as material issued at the time. I especially liked the strong ballad 'Change Me,' 'Expressions', 'I Just Can't Help It' and the dramatic 'Test Of Time'.
Until now I've given the impression that this selection is all rose garden but there are one or two briars clinging to the rose stems. The inclusion of alternative takes of some Wilson's bigger hits including 'Baby Workout' (with an awful false start incidentally) and 'Soul Galore' doesn't work. They are rarely any different from the chosen releases and some are presented with the dreaded studio chit-chat. I wish that superfluous conversation hadn't been included since once you've heard it the next time it becomes tedious and annoying . The other reason why this compilation doesn't deserve the highest star accolade is that as often happens with ACE compilations the music isn't presented in a chronological order although the comprehensive and interesting sleeve notes are written presenting the music in a chronological order. It makes following the music and the notes a tad difficult. These gripes aside Wilson aka 'Mr Excitement' was at his vocal peak in the early sixties and throughout the CD I find myself wondering at how good Wilson was and how unique was his talent.


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