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oldhasbeen (England)
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THEA GILMORE / AVALANCHE
THEA GILMORE / AVALANCHE
Offered by Mattpuss
Price: £10.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Her best album, 3 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A gem of an album, not a bad track on it. Moody, great lyrics, fine vocals, sympathetic backing - this album has it all.

Highlights, for me, are "Razor Valentine", a song that always features in her live shows, and the rocky "Heads Will Roll" but there are many more great songs here.

If you haven't heard Thea Gilmore before, I can't provide a better description than a previous reviewer's description: "Somewhere between a female Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello, but with the voice of an angel (albeit a seriously pissed-off one)"

"Razor Valentine", in particular, exhibits a strong Tom Waits influence, using a scratchy sound rather like an old 78 to great effect.

Well worth your money. And catch her live too, she's excellent and thoroughly unpredictable


Off the Floor Live
Off the Floor Live

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific live album by guitar genius, 27 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Off the Floor Live (Audio CD)
For lovers of blues, blues/rock, soulful vocals and 1930s music, this album is a must. Amos Garrett is, rightly, renowned as a guitarist but his voice is great too - a smokey baritone, at its best on slower songs like "That's What a Little Dream Can Do" and "Maybe It's Because of Love." Pianist Ronnie Casat also provides great soulful lead vocals on "Looking for a Sight of You".

"Sleepwalk" is simply one of the best guitar instrumentals ever. Needs to be heard to be believed. There are several versions on YouTube, but Amos's is definitely the best

His backing band, including a brass section, give the material a real lift.

It only misses out on being given 5 starts due to a long, self-indulgent track about a meeting with John L Hooker


Immigrant Nations
Immigrant Nations
by Paul Scheffer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking book, 26 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Immigrant Nations (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I can't add a huge amount to what's been said by other reviewers already, but I'd recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand the big issues around immigration & multiculturalism in Europe, especially Holland and Britain. It isn't always an easy read but is worth the effort.

It's particularly strong on the dilemmas of the "in-between generation" i.e. those born to immigrant parents and in the analysis of the various stands of Islam and their implications for the future of the immigrant community

If you find the thought of a 335 pages on immigration heavy going, you could do worse that just select a few chapters. IMO the strongest chapters : C1 - "A Suitcase in the Hall"; C4 "The Netherlands - a Culture of Avoidance"; C5 "European Contrast"; and C8 "The Divided House of Islam"

My only gripes with it are (a) that its arguments would sometimes be clearer if the author presented statistics in tables / graphs rather than embedding selected stats in text and (b) some chapters could benefit from some judicious pruning, particularly "The Great Migration" & "The Rediscovery of America"


Irish Tour
Irish Tour

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best live albums of the 70s, 15 July 2011
This review is from: Irish Tour (Audio CD)
The 1970s produced some truly awful albums in the 70s - long self-indulgent soloing, terrible sound quality, pretentious waffling song intros, musicians showing off by playing too quickly ... horrible memories.

This is a rare exception, and a great reminder of the man at the peak of his powers, with his best band. Tracks 3-6 are just awesome, most other are pretty good; Rory fans could, I'm sure, debate the merits of the version of "A Million Miles Away" on this album with the studio version - both are great IMO.

There are a few negatives - the mix doesn't always sound right to me, "Walk on Hot Coals" goes on rather too long and I've never much liked "Cradle Rock" - but these are far outweighed by the positives.

Far superior to "Live In Europe", IMO.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 25, 2011 5:04 PM BST


All of These People: A Memoir
All of These People: A Memoir
by Fergal Keane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Autobiography, 15 July 2011
This is easily the best autobiography I've ever read. The writing is superb throughout, and the content outstanding. It covers the writer's early life, his career in journalism starting at a local paper in Limerick, then moving to a National in Dublin and then the BBC, initially in Belfast. As an Englishman who has been a frequent visitor to Ireland, I found his writings on Ireland north & south very illuminating, covering aspects of Irish life that you don't see as a tourist or business visitor.

The chapters on his work as a BBC Foreign Correspondent are also excellent, bringing to life South Africa in the Apartheid era and the Rwandan genocide. These chapters are sometimes harrowing, but always compulsive reading.

What raises this book above other excellent autobiographies, however, is the personal content, about himself, his family and the alcoholism suffered by himself, his father and his father's great friends Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O'Brien. He links this to the Irish drinking culture very persuasively. His writing about the drinking culture at the Irish Press in the 80s is hilarious, describing a long-gone (I hope!) world in which the local saloon bar is regarded as an extension of the office.

All in all a must-read.


Right By Me
Right By Me
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £33.06

5.0 out of 5 stars Alt-country masterpiece!, 3 July 2011
This review is from: Right By Me (Audio CD)
One great song after another, superbly sung & played (Ms Thompson is a very fine finger picker)with some great lyrics, a million miles from the sentimentality of most mainstream country. All originals except for a superb rendition of "When I'm 64". Highly recommended - buy it now!


The Strange Death of Liberal England
The Strange Death of Liberal England
by George Dangerfield
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very, very wordy, 4 Jun. 2011
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I too read this book following a review on the BBC Radio 4 programme "A Good Read" but was very disappointed with it.

Unlike the reviewers on "A Good Read", I found the writing style tiresome - his wordy, ornate prose might be entertaining for a short article but I found it was very grating after a while and got in the way of the history. I learned a bit about the difficulties of the pre WW1 Liberal government and something about how these led to the decline of the Liberal party but a lot of the writing was all words and very little content.


Rory: Wheels Within Wheels
Rory: Wheels Within Wheels
Price: £6.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His best album?, 23 April 2011
I approached this with trepidation - most posthumous CDs are pretty wretched affairs, usually second-rate versions of songs already recorded, demos and other such scrapings from the barrel. This, however, is different. From the beautiful opening track to the end, there's scarcely a duff moment, including superb collaborations with Juan Martin, Bela Fleck, The Dubliners, Lonnie Donnigan and others. Many thanks to Donal Gallagher for his long hard slog to compile and release this.


San Patricio
San Patricio
Price: £10.23

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me - the vocals are the problem, 23 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: San Patricio (Audio CD)
A collaboration between two of recent times' most prolific collaborators, Ry Cooder & the Chieftains - I was looking forward to this one, but was disappointed. The main problem for me was the squawky high-pitched vocals, which grated on me horribly. A few good tunes & songs between tracks 6 & 10, but this isn't one I'll keep


I Speak Because I Can
I Speak Because I Can
Price: £6.30

4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Underwhelmed, 24 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I Speak Because I Can (Audio CD)
After listening to this album a few time, I can't understand all the hype about Laura Marling. To my ears, most of the songs sound very ordinary, the lyrics often don't fit well with the tunes, and her voice is often weak and flat. However, lots of others love her .....


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