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Philip Denning (Edinburgh, Scotland)
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Lit Up Inside: Selected Lyrics
Lit Up Inside: Selected Lyrics
Price: £7.47

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The poetry of Van Morrison, 30 Oct. 2014
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This is a great book if you enjoy the themes that Van Morrison revists in his songs and art. There are two good reflections on Van's work and then its straight into the lyrics as they are, with no commentary by Van Morrison. What is interesting is the selection of lyrics which covers his career but also what's been left out.

I bought the Kindle edition and it's great to dip in and just read the lyrics as you would a poem while you are travelling. Some of the images and meditations resonate so strongly and make you look at the world anew.

Van Morrison is now clearly thinking deeply about his legacy as an artist, whether it's in this book of lyrics (on City Lights no less) or in the recent opened Belfast community trail. It made me wonder if Van has ever had the artistic biographer he deserves?

Maybe the interesting tie-up would have been to link this book to the trail...


Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland (Open Scotland Series)
Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland (Open Scotland Series)
by Gerry Hassan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Gerry Hassan explores the possibilities of and the opportunities facing ..., 22 Oct. 2014
Gerry Hassan explores the possibilities of and the opportunities facing Scotland and the UK in the year of the Referendum and beyond. It's a clear-eyed and well written exploration of the many myths of Scotland and the UK and he encourages readers to look anew at the country and imagine the possibilities. It's not a history of Scotland in a convential sense, nor is it a politics primer but its an attempt to explore a country by looking closely at the public narratives with all their inbuilt (and often uncontested) assumptions. Hassan attempts to begin a process of contesting and replacing these dominant narratives. Given the result on 18 September, the book remains timely and the quest continues


Down the Road
Down the Road
Offered by \/\/ WORLD WIDE MEDIA MARKET /\/\
Price: £23.94

4.0 out of 5 stars A grower..., 21 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Down the Road (Audio CD)
A grower but love Chopping Wood and Whatever Happened to P J Proby?


Keep It Simple
Keep It Simple
Offered by VIERA10
Price: £12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars You make me holler..., 21 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Keep It Simple (Audio CD)
An amazing album, with three tracks ' That's Entrainment', 'Soul' and 'Behind the Ritual' being incredible, showing Van stretching time effortlessly


Back on Top
Back on Top
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £22.61

5.0 out of 5 stars Listening to Chet Baker in the sand..., 21 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Back on Top (Audio CD)
A stunning, inventive album, showcasing all Van's incredible abilities as a performer, singer and songwriter. From the blues of ' Goin' Down Geneva' with its generous namechecking of Vince Taylor (who Van clearly remembers) to the standstill beauty of ' The Philosophers Stone', 'Golden Autumn Day' and 'When the Leaves Come Falling Down' (which references Chet Baker). Van may be getting older, but he still challenges the musicians of today as well as of his own generation


Live at the grand Opera House Belfast
Live at the grand Opera House Belfast

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great live set, 21 Oct. 2014
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Superb set, great band and Van Morrison on top form


Hendra
Hendra
Price: £6.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long time coming, 5 May 2014
This review is from: Hendra (Audio CD)
It's been a long time since there's been any release by Ben Watt and then in early 2014, he's delivered a well-written book about his parents marriage and decline into old age (Romany and Tom) and this set of songs. That book and the lyrical approach of Mark Kozelek focusing on memories and associated minutiae informs a number of the tracks here - scattering his father's ashes in Matthew Arnold's Field and the recent passing of his half-sister informs both the title track and The Levels. The songs are all well structured and delivered with great assistance from Bernard Butler and David Gilmour on guitar, and Watt's voice, while not the strongest you'll ever hear, has aged well. The album has a good twilight/evening feel but there are a few tracks like 'Nathaniel' that shows Ben can still make a noise if he wants to. If you're looking for tracks similar to Watts' Buzzin' Fly imprint or later Everything But The Girl, there's very little here but there are nods and links to Watt's 'outspoken' project (that spread across Buzzin' Fly 1-3 with Jennifer Valone and which Watt should have made more of) in 'Forget' and a regretful goodbye to the DJ world in 'Young Man's Game'. It's a hopeful album despite its sad subject matter which is not easy to pull off. Welcome back Ben


Solea (Marseilles Trilogy)
Solea (Marseilles Trilogy)
by Jean-Claude Izzo
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars The final part of the trilogy, 5 Nov. 2013
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The last and darkest part of the trilogy, the characters have grown in depth and their confusion. Some people die for a reason, others just because they get in the way...


Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
Price: £6.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb history, 31 July 2013
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This book brilliantly describes the rise and fall of Comancheria, the empire of the Comanche people. Gwynne analyses the role of the horse in making the Comanches the horse lords of modern day Texas and Oklahoma. The Comanches held off the Spanish empire, but could not resist the white European settlers of the 19th century, although they went down fighting. Gwynne does not portray the Comanches as noble savages, but as fearsome warriors who gave no quarter to the farmer-settlers they encountered on their territory. There is a focus on the Parker family from Cynthia Anne Parker, whose abduction as a child is the kernel of the western novel and film, The Searchers and her son Quannah Parker, who met Teddy Roosevelt. The saddest factor for me was the loss of so many Comanche and other native peoples to disease and the destruction of the buffalo as much the warfare with the European settlers. If you love The Searchers as a film, then this book fills in many of the gaps and silences of that film, and it's a great read.


The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend
The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend
Price: £6.02

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb exploration of western history, 31 July 2013
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If you know The Searchers only as the John Ford film, but always wondered about the central story of a white European girl kidnapped and adopted by the Comanches, then this book fills the gaps. It's really four books. Firstly, the story of Cynthia Parker, the abducted child whose story was the kernel of the western novel, screenplay and film. Next, it's the story of her son, the war chief Quannah Parker, whose story takes us into the early 20th century. The next part of the book focuses on the creation of the western novel, The Searchers by Alan Le May and then on to the making of the John Ford film. All the four stories are superbly told by Frankel, who doesn't pull his punches, particularly on John Ford. It's worth reading this book in conjunction with SC Gwynne's Empire of the Summer Moon, which tells the full story about the Comanches and Comancheria - absolutely brilliant.


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