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Roderick Keech (Australia)

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Burning Ashes
Burning Ashes
by H. Lewis-Foster
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Pulp Fiction - but not the Tarrantino variety, 12 Dec. 2015
This review is from: Burning Ashes (Paperback)
First up - I didn't purchase this book, but was given it on loan as it purportedly related to cricket.

The author's foreword states:

"Cricket is a strange and beautiful game. A match can last for five hours or five days, and the rules are near incomprehensible to those who have never played the game. The sport of gentlemen evokes heated passions around the world and none more so than when England play Australia. One of the oldest and keenest rivalries in sport, when the two countries do battle, the contest is known as the Ashes."

While that is a reasonable and completely accurate statement, the author sadly makes no attempt to even try to explain the game so that those not familiar with the sport will remain so, and what would have been a great opportunity to engage the reader is lost. The writer also fails to explain the origin of 'The Ashes' and its cultural significance. Add to this a plot that requires the complete suspension of disbelief, revoltingly frequent and sappy sex scenes and an apparent complete absence of editorial guidance, and you're left with 185 pages of pulp.

The characters are uniformly one dimensional and the English cricketer is portrayed as having the emotional and intellectual capacity of an eleven year old girl. Sorry, that's probably a slur against eleven year old girls. The Australian character is supposedly reading Jane Austin between matches (don't they all ?) and nothing is mentioned about what a top bowler actually does : he's able to bowl a 160 gram, hard cricket ball at speeds over 150 k/ph at a batsman. There is no detail at all to redeem this tawdry excuse for a novel.

Here's a quote to give you a further indication of what to expect:

"And when Scott eased Nat's head downward a little while later, he remembered how perfectly Scott filled his mouth, how he relished the taste of him when he came almost as much as he savoured his cooking." REALLY ???? I read that and didn't know whether to laugh at its stupidity or crassness.

Reading this is like overdosing on 'treacle-lite' : sickeningly sweet but with a nasty after-taste.

My recommendation to the author ? Write about what you know about - or place a warning on this book : Written by a woman, to be read only by women, particularly those with low or no expectations.

For everyone else - avoid.

Lucienne Delyle Mes dernières chansons
Lucienne Delyle Mes dernières chansons

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent songs and sound quality, 13 April 2014
This CD contains songs recorded on Barclay between 1959-1962, with the orchestras of Paul Mauriat, Richard Audrey and Aimé Barelli. It is a continuation of disc 4 of 'Le charme incarné', also released by Marianne Melodie. The sound quality is excellent and this disc is also notable for the first CD release of Delyle's celebrated version of 'J'attendrai'. Highly recommended for fans of, arguably, once of France's premiere singers.

Complete Opera Highlights - The Electrola Recordings 1960-1963
Complete Opera Highlights - The Electrola Recordings 1960-1963

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much to enjoy, 20 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The common practice of EMI-Electrola to record highlights LPs at the time means we are served up teasing parts of the operas included. Listening to Wunderlich and Lorengar sing Madame Butterfly makes me think it was criminally negligent of EMI not to have stumped up the cash for a complete recording, it is so ravishing. In fact, I'd buy this box for this single disc alone. Other operas don't fare quite as well : Onegin, for example, is so reduced its 'highlights' fit on the same disc as Pique Dame, with Wunderlich's contribution to Onegin lasting less time than Tatiana's Letter Scene aria. It's also a composite, made up of two 'non-Wunderlich' arias recorded in 1957 and the remaining snippets in 1962.

That being said, almost anything of Wunderlich's brilliant but short career is a treat and I recommend this box wholeheartedly. Excellent period sound, cardboard slipcases and a sturdy outer box - no notes, other than recording dates and venue.

Howards End [Blu-ray]
Howards End [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Vanessa Redgrave

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Australian Blu-Ray Release, 11 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Howards End [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This Blu-Ray is an Australian Region A & B release(C untested)from Shock Distribution that is identical to the Region A (locked) Criterion release is every way EXCEPT Shock decided to skimp on the soundtrack and instead of a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, there is only a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Given that Richard Robbins' excellent score is such an important element of the movie, it is a great pity. The French edition (Retour a Howards End) has the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack BUT has French subtitles that cannot be removed. If you want to see this film at its best on Blu-Ray, you'll need to purchase a Region A Criterion copy at a very expensive price, as Criterion no longer has the rights to this film. Naturally you'll also need a player capable of playing Region A discs.

The film is 5 star in every way so I won't go into that as Amazon's habit of copying reviews between media will inevitably mean this will be found under the VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray editions.

51 Original Soundtracks For 51 Films (volume 2)
51 Original Soundtracks For 51 Films (volume 2)
Price: £78.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Volume Two - the story continues, 18 July 2013
All song titles can be found under the MP3 link. Here is a list of the films from which they come, provided kindly by Larghetto Music :

CD 1

Bande originale du film "L'As des As" de Gérard Oury (1982)

Bande originale du film "L'animal" de Claude Zidi (1977)

CD 2

Bande originale du film "L'Etudiante" de Claude Pinoteau (1988)

Bande originale du film "Le plus beau métier du monde" de Gérad Lauzier (1996)

CD 3

Bande originale du film "Le Dîner de Cons "de Francis Veber (1998)

Bande originale du film "Les Compères" de Francis Veber (1983)

Bande originale du film "Les Fugitifs" de Francis Veber (1986)

CD 4

Bande Originale de la série télévisée "Châteauvallon" de Paul Planchon, Serge Friedman & Emmanuel Fonlladosa (1985)

Bande originale de la série TV "Le Tiroir secret" de Kevin Connor (1984)

Bande originale de la série télévisée "Billet doux" de Michel Berny (1984)

CD 5

Bande Originale du film "Le Bal" d'Ettore Scola (Ballando ballando - 1983), d'après le Spectacle du Théâtre du Campagnol

CD 6

Bande originale du film "Salut l'artiste" d' Yves Robert (1973)

Bande originale du film Courage fuyons d'Yves Robert (1976)

CD 7

Bande originale du film "La Boum 2" de Claude Pinoteau (1982)

CD 8

Bande originale du film "Dracula père et fils" d'Edouard Molinaro (1976)

Bande originale du film "Le téléphone rose" d'Edouard Molinaro (1975)

Bande originale du film "Cause toujours... tu m'intéresses!" d'Edouard Molinaro (1979)

Bande originale du film "Le souper" d'Edouard Molinaro (1992)

CD 9

Bande originale du film d'animation "Astérix et la surprise de César" de Paul et Gaëtan Brizzi d'après les albums de René Goscinny et Albert Uderzo (1985)

Bande originale du film d'animation "Astérix chez les Bretons" de Pino Van Lamsweerde d'après l'album de Goscinny et Uderzo (1986)

Bande originale de la série télévisée d'animation "Rahan" d'Alain Sion d'après la bande dessinée Rahan, le fils des âges farouches (1987)

CD 10

Bande originale de la série télévisée "Les Mystères de Paris" d'André Michel (1980)

Bande originale de la série télévisée "La Double vie de Théophraste Longuet" d' Yannick Andrei (1981)

CD 11

Bande originale du film "L'Aile ou la Cuisse" de Claude Zidi (1976)

Bande originale du film "La Zizanie" de Claude Zidi (1978)

CD 12

Bande originale du film "Maldonne" de Sergio Gobbi (1968)

Bande originale du film "Teresa" de Gérard Vergez (1970)

Bande originale du film "La Rivale" de Sergio Gobbi (1974)

Bande originale du film "A chacun son enfer" d'André Cayatte (1977)

Bande originale du film "Une affaire d'hommes" de Nicolas Ribowski (1981)

Bande originale du film "L'Affaire" de Sergio Gobbi (1994)

CD 13

Bande originale du film "Le Distrait" de Pierre Richard (1970)

Bande originale du film "Les Malheurs d'Alfred" de Pierre Richard (1972)

Bande originale du film "Je suis timide mais je me soigne" de Pierre Richard (1978)

CD 14

Bande originale du film "La neige et le feu" de Claude Pinoteau (1991)

Bande originale du film "Les Palmes de Monsieur Schutz" de Claude Pinoteau (1997)

Bande originale de la série télévisée "L'Été 36" d'Yves Robert (1986)

CD 15

Bande originale du film "Inspecteur la Bavure" de Claude Zidi (1980)

Bande originale du film "Les Rois du Gag" de Claude Zidi (1985)

Bande originale du film "La Totale !" de Claude Zidi (1991)

CD 16

Bande originale du film "Pleure pas la bouche pleine" de Pascal Thomas (1973)

Bande originale du film "Les Zozos" de Pascal Thomas (1973)

Bande originale du film "Le Chaud lapin" de Pascal Thomas (1974)

Bande originale du film "La Surprise du Chef" de Pascal Thomas (1976)

Bande originale du film "Confidences pour confidences" de Pascal Thomas (1979)

Bande originale du film "Un oursin dans la poche" de Pascal Thomas (1977)

Bande originale du film "Celles qu'on n'a pas eues" de Pascal Thomas (1981)

Bande originale du film "La Pagaille" de Pascal Thomas (1991)

CD 17

Bande originale du film "Le retour du grand blond" d'Yves Robert (1974)

Bande originale du film "La moutarde me monte au nez" de Claude Zidi (1974)

Bande originale du film "La course a l'échalote" de Claude Zidi (1975)

the Al Bowlly collection
the Al Bowlly collection

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much cheaper version, 20 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This title has been reissued under the Music For Pleasure label and retitled : Al Bowlly Centenary Celebratio. The selection is good, with only a few of the most common songs appearing. Additionally, the sound quality is like that of the Vocalion remasters. The only quibble I have is that the only information about each track is the year of release - no orchestra name provided, but as a budget CD it is an excellent bargain.

1. Love is the sweetest thing (1932)
2. Dark eyes (1939)
3. Careless (1940)
4. Goodnight sweetheart (1931)
5. Over the rainbow (1940)
6. Moon love (1939)
7. Close your eyes (1934)
8. When you wear your Sunday blue (1940)
9. A man and his dream (1939)
10. What do you know about love (1939)
11. Marie (1938)
12. You're pretty as a picture (1939)
13. Romany(1939)
14, Small town (1939)
15. Dreaming (1940)
16. A little rain must fall (1940)
17. Give me my ranch (1940)
18. I'm madly in love with you (1939)
19. I miss you in the morning (1939)
20. It was a lover and his lass (1940)
21. Blow blow thou winter wind (1940)
22. Au revoir but not goodbye (1939)
23. South of the border (1939)
24. Bella bambina (1940)
25. Ridin' home (1939)

For less that a quid, you can't go wrong !

Always ( Alle tijd ) ( Time to Spare )
Always ( Alle tijd ) ( Time to Spare )
Dvd ~ Paul de Leeuw
Offered by DaaVeeDee-uk
Price: £18.99

3.0 out of 5 stars If ony, 1 Feb. 2013
This 2011 film from the Netherlands has excellent production values, a great cast and a very promising start. Unfortunately, at about the 60 minute mark, things seem to lose focus and (my) emotional involvement dissipated leaving me feeling somewhat detached and deflated. Without giving away the plot, there were some incidents that appeared unlikely (without adequate explanation in the film) and it seemed the writer & director weren't quite sure where they should concentrate. It's a pity as the film could've been excellent and maintained it's initial momentum given a narrower and more focused plot-line. I still recommend it given the terrific performances, hence the 3 stars.
(Dutch language with optional English subtitles).

Meet the Misses
Meet the Misses
Price: £11.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Recreating the past perfectly, 15 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Meet the Misses (Audio CD)
Tracks :

1. Rule # 1
2. Safe as houses
3. Hang my head
4. Guitar boat
5. Versions of you
6. Nobody's an angel
7. Trade
8. Do that for you
9. Big star
10. False waltz
11. Wipe the floor

Lisa Miller, Australia's pre-eminent female singer/song-writer, has returned to her first two albums (1996's Quiet girl with a credit card & 1999's As far as life goes) and reworked four tracks from the first and seven from the second. It's a reasonable question to ask: why would an artist go back into the studio to replicate these songs ? In this case the answer is self-evident when you listen to this new CD. Unlike the original versions, these new recordings have been made at her now studio of choice, the acoustically atmospheric 'Yikesville', in Melbourne, this time in collaboration with the very talented Shane O'Mara. This was not an 'easy option for a new album' - LM had to create something substantially different and improved and I'm delighted to say that IMHO she has succeeded admirably.

I have to confess that I've always been a bit of a 'stalker' of Lisa, enjoying her live performances in Melbourne clubs and pubs and country venues and own all her CDs and EPs. Hers is a talent that just gets better all the time. Her lyrics, even in these early songs, are intelligent and insightful and her music is often simply gorgeous (a word not usually in my vocabulary!). The instrumentation on this album is always on an as-need basis, never intrusive, and the musicians and recording quality are equally excellent.

The Americans seem to want to call Lisa a 'country artist'. To my ears, there is nothing remotely 'Nashville' or 'country' about her but I'm at a loss to find an adequate label for her style, other than to say she is exquisite and her CDs should be in every home. It's a pity that at the time of writing this review there are no sound samples available for prospective purchasers. If you've not heard her, you're going to have to take my word that her voice is a thing of absolute beauty. Once heard you'll be hooked and want to track down all her award-winning recordings.

Currently on high-rotation in my CD player.
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Frida boccara les grandes annees (1972 – 1988)
Frida boccara les grandes annees (1972 – 1988)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "L'année où Piccoli" at last on CD, 19 May 2012
The following is a track listing taken from Marianne Melodie's website, together with my annotations of the source:

CD1 : Et si demain (inédit) - Partis de rien (inédit) - Oriundi - Tu me ressembles - Un homme de partout - Qui est Martin ? - Tristan - Ave la vita - La chanson de l'éléphant - Natacha, Maria, Frédérica - Le maximum de qualité - Mon dieu qui n'existe pas - La montagne et l'oiseau - Vivre libre - Une planète à l'aventure - Il n'y a qu'un soleil pour toute la Terre - Ce qu'ils veulent, c'est qu'on les aime - Oublier - Valdemosa - Pour lui je suis belle - Trouver mon père - La mariée - Du soleil au coeur - L'arbre d'amour - La ronde aux chansons.

Tracks 1-2 are previously unreleased, from 1972, tracks 3-17 are from the 1975 album "Oriundi" and tracks 18-25 are from the 1976 album "Valdemosa".

CD2 : Le roman de ma vie - Les quatre jeunesse de ma vie - Alors dis-moi - L'année où Piccoli jouait "Les choses de la vie" - Et je suis seule - Les enfants de Mozart - Le dernier rendez-vous - Ma rivière - La chanson du veileur - La nuit - Aria Cantilena - Un sourire au delà du ciel - Un monde en sarabande - La prière (Je vous salue Marie) - Le temps ne viellit pas pour nous - Tourterelle - Le soleil tremble - La chanson que j'aime entendre - Cent mille chansons - Un enfant de France - Ecrit dans la pierre.

Tracks 1-3 are also from the 1976 album "Valdemosa", tracks 4-12 are from the 1978 album "L'année où Piccoli", tracks 13-19 are from the 1979 album "Frida Boccara & De Mastreechter Staar", while the final 2 tracks are from a 1980 45prm.

CD3 : Témoin de mon amour - On sera les plus forts - Dis-leur - J'ai traversé la pluie - Aime-moi - Introduction : Waltzing Matilda - L'enfant aux cymbales - Un pays pour nous - Prison song - Pour vivre ensemble - I think it's going to rain today - Maids when you're young never wed an old man - Ne me quitte pas - Johnny jambe de bois - Cent mille chansons - Amsterdam - Send in the clowns - Le whisky de Papa - Brother, Can you spare A Dime ? - Emmenez-moi - La Mamma - John Brown's Body - Clap hands, Here comes Charley - La ronde aux chansons.

Tracks 1-5 are from the 1988 album "Témoin de mon amour", tracks 6-24 from the 1978 album "An evening with Frida Bocara".

I purchased this 3CD set purely because of "L'année où Piccoli", an album I'd always loved. On it Frida Boccara introduced vocal interpretations of works by Telemann, Granados, Mozart, Beethoven, Smetana, JS Bach, Corelli, Villa-Lobos and Grieg. It is great to have it in such pristine form, courtesy of the mastering by Arnaud Ralite. The tracks with De Mastreechter Staar male choir are tremendous too, making for a beautiful accompaniment to Ms Boccara's beautifully clear voice.

Sadly, Marianne Melodie decided to make this a 3CD set and included what can only be laughingly called 19 bonus tracks on the last disc. They are clearly not from the masters, but are transferred from an old LP. The concert album they were taken from was recorded at the Dallas Brooks Hall in Melbourne, Australia - a concert I attended. Unfortunately the venue had the acoustic and ambience of a meat locker and the lack of a master tape only compounds the dubious sound. Never mind, at this price you can afford not to play the last disc and concentrate on the gems on the first two.

Whole-heartedly recommended for discs 1 & 2.

The set comes with an essay in French (only) and many photos of the original album and single covers.

Offered by positivenoise
Price: £8.48

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lazy Teddy ?, 17 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bella (Audio CD)
As a long-time fan of Teddy Thompson, I can't help but have a great sense of expectation with every new release.

I've had this CD since the week of its release but have held off posting a comment until now, in case my opinion changed. I'm afraid it hasn't.

While it is a most competent album, the phrase 'I've heard it all before' still springs to mind. The themes of the songs have been used by him previously and I wondered if he was a one-trick-pony or just lazy (or contractually obligated). Given his obvious talent, I'm opting for either of the latter options. While other reviewers have seen it as a change in direction, I see it as thematically stuck in the same groove.

For anyone coming to Teddy for the first time, this album will no doubt be most satisfying and enjoyable. For fans, maybe not so. Buy it and make up your own mind. When I'm in the mood, I'll be turning to earlier releases to play. Let's hope he finds some new inspiration for his next outing.

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