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since 18/07/2005


Not Accepted Anywhere - The Automatci 11/07/2006

Can i accept not accepted anywhere?

Not Accepted Anywhere - The Automatci Well the simple answer, is yes. I was very impressed with The Automatic's performance on the bbc music show Jool's holland, having heard of the band previously but not being particularly enamoured with them. However the pure energy that their performance was strung with, especially while singing the first track of this album tahts what she said really impressed me, especially as many bands do not posses this energy when performing in television studio surroundings. I will quickly sum up all of the tracks before continuing with this review... 1. Thats what she said- Certainly sets the town for the album. Straight into quick and pointed vocals, coupled with a funk type bass and disco style synth accompany a very raw guitar sound. A short and energetic track. My rating: 4/5 2. Raoul- carries on the pointed and up front tone of the album. I believe this was the 1st single, and it is very catchy: My rating: 4/5 3. You shout You shout You shout- the bass and synth are almost faded in together in this track to good effect, and good vocal harmonys are used to write yet another catchy track. Does not have the all strength of the previous 2 however, and can lack a small amount of depth of the sound in places. My rating : 3/5 4. Recover- Screaming is used much more prominently in this song, and to good effect. The song is carried by a very simple guitar riff, and is overall a simple song, but is once again catchy and energetic. My rating: 3.5/5 5. Monster- The current ...

Fightstar - Grand Unification 13/05/2006


Fightstar - Grand Unification After recieving a small amount of free itunes credit a couple of months ago i decided to sample fightstar. I had heard none of their music, and was only aware of them through the fact that Charlie from busted was in it, and even then, only vaguely. I bought 3 tracks from the ep, They liked you better when you were dead. And i was stunned. It is so atmospheric and dark, i could not stop listening. I have now got this album, 5 of the tracks are in my top 25 played in itunes, and im seeing them in concert twice over the next couple of months. However, the problem that fightstar have was emphasized by a conversation i had with a friend a couple of weeks ago::: friend: "I hate fighstar they are so rubbish" me: "But they are amazing" friend: "well i've never actually heard any of their music, but i just know they are going to be rubbish". The fact that Charlie Simpson was im busted, has been, certainly a double edged sword for fightstar. Although the exposure that this has given them has been helpful, they suffer with an image problem. This is a real shame, as if people can get over their predjudices, i feel they would discover one of the best albums made in years. I will now go through the tracks one by one:: 1. To sleep- a very short and eery 1 1/2 mins of deep and haunting music, it is a perfect intro to this album. my rating: 4/5 2. Grand unfication part 1- Half of the title track, the heavy guitars building up gain run into a thrashing of almost heavy metal ...

X&Y - Coldplay 27/01/2006

X and Y, Coldplay's 3rd album

X&Y - Coldplay Some say, that many bands fail to capture the creative brilliance of their debuts, with 2005 seeing so many debuts, we may well see this over the next year. Coldplay's second album, in my opinion, simply failed to catch the brilliance of Parachutes, with Rush of Blood to the head featuring less attention grabbing songs. X and Y, the band's third album is certainly not short of incredible, euphoric moments, and is jam packed with fantastic songs. 1. Square one is one of the more rockier songs on the album, with a light techno style beginning, chris martin's voice on his lower voice comes in before a superbly though up drumbeat enters. The chorus has a very catchy bass and guitar riff. Rating:8/10. 2. What if is not one of my favourites. It starts with a piano and a voice, progressing into a second verse with violins added. The drums only begin 1:40 into the song. This is what lifts this song, but it is still to soft for me, but generally a good listen. Rating: 6/10 3. White shadows-A guitar, violin and drum beat carry this song, and i feel that it is a superb. The backing vocals lift the choruses, and key changes keep the song moving. This i feel is a really, REALLY good song. 8/10 4. Fix you- You must have been on Mars if you havent heard this song if you havnt experienced this song yet. It is carried, very slowly by an organ, gently until after the 2nd choruses, at which point the song explodes in guitar, drum, and piano. The moment when the drums build up and ...

Stars of CCTV - Hard-Fi 15/09/2005

Stars of staines

Stars of CCTV - Hard-Fi A few guys from staines spent very little money putting this album together. And considering this, this is a superb compilation of tracks. However, personally, i feel the interesting cash machine and middle eastern holiday are not the strongest way to kick off this album. They are certainly are for acquired tastes, and personally, i am not too keen on them. However, i feel the album picks up with the thrashing tied up too tight, and continues too for the couple of tracks after that, gotta reason and probably their most famous song; hard to beat. It then slows up with until track 10, with songs such as the superb piano backed move on now and unesscasery trouble. Then, the incredible living for the weekend kicks in, it sums up my view on friday evenings, and combines superb drums gutiar and violin to create an anthemic style track. By far and away my favourite on the album, and certainly worth buying as a single as i think it is due for release soon. The music is very unlike i have ever heard before, combining influences from almost all types of music. The variety on the album is superb, however this is always going to lead to some tracks being better than others in different people's opinions. Lyrics are good, and lots of different instruments are used. An album worth listening too, as i think everyone could get something out of listening to it.

Flybe 29/08/2005

Flybe from soton

Flybe I have just returned from an 8 day holiday from malaga and we used the flybe services between malaga and southampton both times. On the way out, we arrived for our 08:05 flight at around 06:45, it was around 5 minutes to check in, and we went and had a coffee in the aura coffee shop. From the viewing area, you can see out on the tarmac, and all the flybe planes sitting at their stands. Overall, the experience is an awful lot less stressful, and because the flight is not charter you can arrive up to 60 mins before as opposed to 2 hours. We boarded at 07:40, and taxied down the runway as the cabin crew did their safety briefing. Although the planes look small there is a suprising amount of room, and the seats, i would go as far to say are more comfortable than all their low cost rivals. The only pain is when you try and stand up as the roof is quite low over you. The take off is many times more exciting than a on a boeing aircraft, with the pilot accelerating the 146's engines to full before accelerating down the runway and out of southampton. The climb was smooth, and the cabin crew were soon serving hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and sweets at prices that were, although high, in line with the industry standards. The flight was all smooth, and the landings are so smooth in the smaller bae 146 aircraft you can hardly feel them. When we got to malaga we were on a remote stand, and the bus ride to the terminal took about 10 minutes, but it was not a big inconvenience. On ...

Southampton 07/08/2005

The life of a soton supporter.

Southampton A few years ago one of my mates took me to see my first ever football game, Southampton versus Middlesborough, and from the first kick, i was hooked. I have to say, having previously supported Manchester United, it was hard to pull myself away from my childhood allegiances, but i knew i was going to be a Saint for life. Southampton football club, nickname saints, lived at the Dell, in the centre of Southampton. It was not exactly a lovely ground, but atmosphere was fantastic. In 2001, next to a very large gas tower, and the banks of the sea, the club moved to Saint Mary's stadium. It is often referred to be fans as SMS, and many, including me were worried that it would lose the great atmosphere, but despite being almost double the size, it hasnt. The stadium looks fantastic and holds 32,500. Everything was on the up for Saints, with an excellent youth setup and we even got up to 4th in the premiership in 2002/3, with an excellent manager in Gordan Strachan. But now Southampton are in the championship having being relegated, we have lost two star strikers in 7 months. However, this isnt going to dominate my review of Southampton football club, because the essence of the club is still the same. As a day out, the club is still a good option. There are 4 stands, the Northam is for the hardcore fans, while in Kingsland there is a family enclosure. Sitting in the stands for a football match is enthralling, exciting and fun. The shop is good and in general tickets come through ...

Digital Dream enigma - digital camera 05/08/2005

A digital dream or a digital nightmare?

Digital Dream enigma - digital camera My first foray into digital photography came just over a year ago, when i bought this camera at tesco in camberley for a penny under £20. I expected a catch on first look, however the item did look very genuine, with 1.3 megapixels, double that of the typical small cameras that it competes with. I also bought it safe in the knowledge that tesco were likely to issue a refund if it was faulty or stopped working. So as you see, i bought this camera with much trepidation and didnt really know what to expect. I was very pleasantly suprised, and i will now analyse some key features of the camera. Picture quality: Pictures can be taken on 4 different picture qualitys, 3 star 1.3 mega pix, 1 star 1.3 mega pix, 3 star 0.6 megapix, 1 star 0.6 megapix. These give you a picture capacity on the camera of 20, 40, around 80 and 120 respectively, with the opportunity of expanding the memory with and SD card if you wish. I use the 1 star 1.3 mega pixel because i feel it carrys good picture quality and a decent 40 picture capacity, ample for a typical holiday. This setting gives clear pictures up to around A5 size easily. I have taken some of my best pictures on this camera over the past year, although it is more hit and miss than more traditional digital cameras, because of the lack of a screen. Usability: The camera is incredibly easy to use, with just a power button, which is used to turn the camera on and off. A shutter button which takes the pictures and one menu button which ...

Hilton Rhodes, Rhodes 01/08/2005

10 days in Greece.

Hilton Rhodes, Rhodes I have just returned from a very pleasant stay in the Hilton Rhodes resort, and i found it all round a very pleasant experience. Well first, the hotel's surroundings. It is situated in Ixia, between the Diagoras airport and the main rhodes town. Due to it's location, the resort, as well as the one next door, Ialyssos can seem cramped and busy. One of the main contributers to this feeling is the main road, its busy from early in the morning to around 3am at night, and can take up to 5 minutes to cross. This is, of course intensely irritating. However, a 10 minute drive, or six euro(7 if you call the taxi), is rhodes town. This, I believe is a fantastic place and is shrouded in history and myth. Shopping is fantastic as well, with rip off designer gear circulating very cheaply all around, and the wide choice of restaurants is refreshing and pleasant. Ixia itself, also has many tavernas, the one i found very pleasant was the Ialysion centre, which is a short walk from the Hilton in the direction of Rhodes, the pizzas where the best I have ever tasted. Shops are also in abundence, where 500ml of cola can be brought for around 1 euro, and water for around 50 cents. The refreshment will be needed, the heat there is amazing. The Hilton building is not incredibly attractive, although it has been creatively designed with lots of different edges and contours, the building is entirely concrete. It has been painted various colours, and is lit cleverly at night. The grounds are ...

Gran Turismo 4 (PS2) 31/07/2005

Is this possibly the best playstation game ever?

Gran Turismo 4 (PS2) Gran Turismo 4 is the simulator where you get behind the wheel of many hundreds of types of cars, and race them round loads of different circuits in hundreds of different scenarios. The game's astonishing graphics of realistic panoramic sunsets and effects of snow and dirt being thrown from the car's tires are simply breathtaking. I simply use a 20" television Daewoo television to bring these effects to life, however i wouldn't hesitate to connect the game to a larger television and allow it to take your breath away yet further. The Japenese designers have really hit the spot with the graphics in a way i have seen no-one else acheive on a console. The games diversity is massive, and would take weeks of non stop play to complete, with the Nordschliefe nurburgring being the highlight, i managed to get my VX220 Turbo round in 8 minutes!!!The games includes 50 tracks, then those in reverse as well, from all over the way round the world. Old GT classics that have been passed down through the game like Tahiti road and Midfield raceway do , of course, still remain. The games potential is massive, with endless upgrade you can add to your car, making them faster and more competitive. You start with just 30,000 credits and work your way up from Ford Ka's and Vauxhall Corsas to GT40s, Aston Martins, Rally cars and even Le man cars. You can even drive hippy vans and the Ford Model T from the early 20th century. The only complaint with the game would be the one i have with all ...

South West Trains 20/07/2005

Is South West trains improving?

South West Trains The short answer is yes. The company operates in and around the London to Southampton/weymouth and the London-Portsmouth lines. They run express and suburban services and have now almost phased out the old slam door trains. But don't think this means its all rosy at SWT now. The new white trains door's are too small, meaning at rush hour the train has to wait for around 5 minutes at the station while everyone gets on. But thats not a problem as they have built these in, meaning now, although it only takes 40 minutes from Guildford to London, the train times are the slowest in 50 years. The suburban services between Ascot and Guildford always run a couple of minutes late in my experience but are very rarely later than that. These trains(blue 450s) are much better suited to the job they do as the doors are wider. Also with the new timetables smaller stations get far fewer trains, i recently had to travel from Portsmouth to Godalming, a journey which used to be direct and easy. I however, had to change at Haslemere and wait there for 40mins before the next train to Godalming. SO just check times before you travel! However, despite all these problems, i do no want to seem harsh on South West trains. Until 2 years ago almost all their trains were slam doors and they have invested huge amounts in bringing their fleet up to date. The idiocy still remains of last minute platform changes, short notice cancellations and big delays when the slightest thing goes wrong, but it does ...

Mahon airport (Menorca - Spain), Menorca 19/07/2005

Welcome to a delay in the sunshine

Mahon airport (Menorca - Spain), Menorca Menorca, is, in my opinion the nicest of the balearics. Its a really nice little place, especially the west of the island away from mahon where it is much quieter. The towns of Ciutadella and Mahon are great places to visit, but to get to this island you are most likely to fly. And this is your problem. Menorca has seen something like a 5 fold increase of passengers since the airport terminal was built, so simply there is not enough check in desks, gates, room in departure lounge or places on the tarmac. I have flown from this airport twice and i have entertained 7 hour delays both times, the flight in the gate next to ours(to stanstead) was delayed for 13 hours. Good thing the place is air conditioned and has some nice boutiques, but still, this airport needs to expand to cope with summer season demand. In fact the airport has a Bureau de Change, ATMs(24hr), banking facilities, a tourist info office, jewellers, car hire outlets including alamo, Hertz and Avis. Car parking is available and the airport should satisfy all those who are disabled with facilities built for them. Travel is fairly limited, but a bus service to Mahon operates on a limited service and it is fairly easy to get a taxi to wherever you want on the island Airlines fly regularly in summer season, and flights are easy to find with First Choice, Monarch, Thomson and Thomas Cook flying regularly. You may have a bit more trouble out of season, but you should find flights with these operators fairly easily. ...

London Underground 19/07/2005

The LU in rush hour-the story in short.(Zone 1)

London Underground Ok, here is a simple short review of the London underground in rush hour----dont do it!!!!!!!! I did work experience in London a couple of weeks ago and i have come to the simple solution that you should take a bus.....or a taxi. After experimenting on various ways to reach london victoria from London Waterloo i came to the conclusion to get the bus instead. First, to reach the lower lines you have to take at least 2 escalators and walk around a variety of tunnels to reach the train in the first place, then the same when you get to your destination. On short journeys it is not worth the money either, with a zone 1 travelcard or single journey in zone 1 rising in price regularly. Trains run incredibly frequently-around every three minutes in peak times, but they are always packed. Here we run into our problem. Too many people use the tubes, creating a rushed, packed, and incredibly hot atmosphere around. Trains are very varied, with picadilly line trains being impressively modern, but older district line ones depressingly out of date. So, the long and short of it is, for me. That the LU is acceptable in non-peak times, when it is fairly pleasant, seats are comfy and trains are fairly cool. However, we do face being pushed into a hole, with the congestion charge we cant drive without facing a big charge, and we cant walk because it would tire us out before we got to walk. Those who work in london all know what its like, and people who dont try it one day and see what i ...

EasyJet - EZU 19/07/2005

As EZ as pie

EasyJet - EZU Easyjet is very easy. Luton airport was pleasant and quiet, with a good selection of shops and restaurants. We got on the plane without much of a problem. I wouldnt recommend the airline to families however as no seat allocation can prove irritating. We arrived at schonefeld, a tiny airport with only two baggage carousels, and picked up our luggage easily. The nature of the airline does mean that the airports are often a way out of town, so our taxi to the hilton in Berlin cost around 40euros. However, i hear they are not as bad as Ryanair on this count. But apart from that, all good. Helpful cabin crew, pleasant airplane, comfy seats and good inflight magazine. I find it is often not that cheap however, we managed to get seats on a Southampton flight to Malaga this summer with allocated seating(Flybe) for almost £50 less a seat than the equivalent flight from Luton. Bargain fares can be found but at quiet times of the year at very unsociable hours. For example, a simple LGW to Milan return from the 19th to 22nd of september can be booked for under £60. The airline's main hub is at London Luton, with flights to: Aberdeen Alicante Amsterdam Athens Barcelona Basle Belfast Berlin Bratislava Budapest Cagliari(sardinia) Dortmund Edinburgh Faro Geneva glasgow Grenoble Inverness Krakow Madrid Malaga Nice Parma(Majorca0 Paris Turin Warsaw. The airline was majorly boosted by the success of the airline program on ITV, and has grown into one of the ...

Open Water (DVD) 19/07/2005

Warning-dont be open to open water.

Open Water (DVD) This, is one of the few DVDs i have purchased. Seeing the reviews Jonny Vaughn gave it as "An intense, terryfying true story. One not be missed", i thought, sounds good. Splashed out nigh on £15, to be bored to kingdom come. They float in the sea for pretty much all the movie, with the occasional bit of excitement just trying to compensate for what is an incredibly boring experience. The plot is based on true life and follows Daniel and Susan(Daniel Travis and Blanchard Ryan) to their idealic holiday, and decide to take a diving excursion. However, their plans unravel, and they are left, through a series of miscommunications, stranded in the middle of the ocean. The main part of the story is following what they do while stuck and their battle against hunger, thirst, fatigue and ultimatly, the sharks below them. The film is directed by Chris Kentis, who also directed the film Grind in 1997. Laura Lau works alongside him as a producer just as she did in Grind. It runs for 79 minutes and has a rating of 15 in the UK. However, ifeel all this is irrelevant as it is, overall, not a good film. It is filmed in a strange style that i cannot put my finger on, sort of documentry style, which personally i feel just adds to the boredom. Acting was however very impressive, and it must have been a pain to film being in water all that time. But i did not like Open water one bit, and i feel it was wasted money. Im selling it, ASAP.

T-Mobile Relax Pay As You Go 19/07/2005

AVOID T-Mobile.

T-Mobile Relax Pay As You Go Their plan is simple, use under £10 a month and calls are 30p a min to everyone. over £10 its 20p and over £20 its 10p per minute. I never use my mobile very often, so it turns out expensive to me. Texts are standard at 10p, 2p cheaper than Orange's equivalent. However, i live in the south east of England, and my coverage is terrible. I lose signal all the time, and im fed up of not being able to make calls. I dont understand it, my mother is on Tesco, which uses T-Mobile transmitters and she always has better signal than i do. This is something i would like to point out with T-mobile, they sell their network usage to people like Virgin mobile, easymobile, tesco mobile and Carphone Warehouse's fresh network. These all charge under 20p a minute for calls inbetween other customers. The cheapest of these being Fresh, where i believe their calls are just 15p a minute to everyone with 5p texts. Customer service is good, with a friendly call centre based, i think, in Scotland. So thumbs up for that, but not much else. Im going straight back to orange after i have finished with my current mobile. I have to say though, i have been very impressed with the mobile i use, the Sagem MyC4. ...
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