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im Terriano , ilove books ,music food and shopping ,i like to write and read and i am very very nosey Ciao !!

Reviews written

since 05/10/2006


A Dandy In Aspic (DVD) 27/02/2012

Oh! Those Russians !

A Dandy In Aspic (DVD) I first saw"A Dandy in Aspic"as a teenager in 1980 when the cold war premise and circumsatnce of this film still applied.It was made in 1967 and stars Lawrence Harvey,Tom Coutenay and Mia Farrow and was filmed in Swinging London and post war Berlin.Concisely the plot concerns double agent Harvey who is working for both MI5 and the KGB killing fellow spies liberally for both sides.No problem.Untill Harvey (Eberlin) is a given a contract to kill this KGB guy Krasnevin.Problem!!.Eberlin and Krasnevin are one and the same so Harvey plays the role of a man who must assasinate himself.A good plot and potential for a great film. If the Cold War/Spy thing is your genre then this is not without merit but what appealed to me as 13year old in 1980 has lost some of its bite.The casting of Lawrence Harvey and Mia Farrow would normally have assured some degree of success and although Harvey's upper class clipped English imposter is good its not clear what role Miss Farrow was intended to supply. However she looks fantastic and at her flowering best being kooky and coy whilst dressed in commisioned Pierre Cardin frocks..She turns up at unexpected moments during the film much to the annoyance of Harvey who as a cold blooded killer is supposed to be cold and unfeeling.Fine actor Tom Coutenay play an MI5 agent Gatiss who for an unexplained reasons takes a strong dislike to Eberlin .Possibly out of suspicion and even class.Overall the film is still watchable and there is a degree of sympathy ...

The Bedford Hotel, Dartmoor 21/02/2012

Money Well Spent!

The Bedford Hotel, Dartmoor This superb hotel is situiated in the centre of Tavistock about 17 miles from Plymouth.At first glance it would appear nothing has changed in Tavistock since the 1950,s .Look again and you would be exactly right.It hasnt. So this quite suits the Bedford Hotel just fine .It has a large extravagant front facing entrance which looms large over the small town square.It suggest grandness and old fashioned good service.Inside on ground level is a luxurious foyer that harks back to the 1930,s.There is a bar and a lounge with a coal fire and lots of books and games and portraits and still room for a piano. The Bedford offers a range of rooms including family,double and single .I can only really talk about the single room which cost me just over £60 for one night just before Christmas .The room was well lit and very clean and contained all the features and extras you would expect from a hotel much more expensive than this one.These include free Wi-Fi,tea and coffee making gubbins compimentary toiletries ,a working telephone ,televsion and best of all a desk which i found most useful. The bathroom and toilet had an air of luxury which belied the price of the room .Im sure i remember a splash of marble and a lovely easy to use modern shower .On closer inspection i found an hairdryer which i alas had no need for but it was a nice touch. I dined in the hotel twice during my stay and was more than satisfied with the food .I dont recall having to wait very long for either breakfast or ...

Eat Natural Cranberry, Macadamia and Dark Chocolate Bar 15/02/2012

The Nutty Bars!!

Eat Natural Cranberry, Macadamia and Dark Chocolate Bar A recent discovery for me are these delightful bars of nuts ,berries and chocolate fused together in a quite unique way. There are several more varieties which all adhere to the natural ingredient philosophy but this one is my favourite. The ingredients which usually consist of a nut,a berry and something pleasant to fix them together are clustered and clearly visible as you take each bite.Their function and practicality should not reduce this product to anything less than a treat Some of the EAT NATURAL philosophy and process is explained in small but informative print on the wrapper and goes to some pains to explain that not everything is entirely "Natural" but that it makes a large effort to produce the product as naturally as possible .The price is reasonable on an occasional level but could become expensive on a regular basis .From my own experience they seem to retail somewhere between 89p and £1.10 The main advantage however is the bars size and constitution .Its bigger than say a Tracker and is very convenient to eat anywhere because its not sticky or crumbly. If eaten at a certain time of the day it can easily stave off hunger and take the place of a conventional snack. Its also gluten free and suitable for "Veggies" it states on the same wrapper . This particular flavour combines the bitterness of cranberry with the sweeter cashew nut and the minimum of chocolate to produce an experience where every mouthful tastes different than the last. It comes in packaging that ...

Don't Stand Me Down - Dexys Midnight Runners 10/02/2012

Make a Stand

Don't Stand Me Down - Dexys Midnight Runners From a consumer's point of view its a blessing that music isnt priced according to its merit or status unless you are an All Saints fan or something.Unfortunately thats exactly what seems to have happened to "Dont Stand Me Down".which was the very last Dexys Midnight Runners album produced and conceived in 1985 and destined for obscurity.A quick browse of Amazon or even E bay will see this album change hands for anything up to £100 .This will probably mystify the average music fan who remember the laddish "Geno" or the wedding reception staple "Come on Eileen".The myth of this album has grown steadily over the last 25 years after numerous re issues and music press coverage including a place in the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book. So,what does it sound like.The tracks all follow a soul,blues ,country blueprint but all performed and exucuted with the unpredictable temperament of front man Kevin Rowland .Opening salvo "The Occasional Flicker" sets the tone with its bouncing ,rousing piano driven soul this segues into the albums master piece "This is What she's Like"a 12 minute epic that sounds like three seperate tracks.An acapella intro explodes into an epic driving beat boosted by familiar horns and violins seperated by a laid back almost West Coast middle eight.From here on in any stragglers would lose their grip,The lyrics are spiteful and sincere and critical..The track "My National Pride " has the same great playing with the intense anti British thread that ...

Histoire de Melody Nelson - Serge Gainsbourg 09/02/2012

Vive Le Differnce!

Histoire de Melody Nelson - Serge Gainsbourg Often cited as a Orchestral/Rock masterpiece by luminaries such as Beck and Jarvis Cocker.Ill begin by telling you its WEIRD but not to the detriment of its musical content.None of Gainsbourgs work is what you might call conventional again dont let that put you off .This classic record is 40 years old and in its original form clocks in at a economic 29 minutes. It cant be approached as a normal album ,its 8 tracks are mostly instrumenatal with Gainsbourgs lazy ,ashtray vocals half sung half sighed layered over the top.However the real beauty lies in the sound .Its a benign almost repetitive experience that repeats over a central musical theme and supposedly tell the story of a middle aged man who accidentally knocks a young girl off her bicycle and in typical Gainsbourg fashion embarks on an affair with her.Its the lust and passion of this concept that inform the individual tracks and their mood .Ulimately the girl who comes from Sunderland (NO IDEA!) dies in a plane crash .This tragedy also provided the melancholic arrangements howver the specifics of the narrative make little difference to its brilliance . "Melodie " is another world ,a soundscape filled with funky bass ,sweeps of strings,and psychedelic guitar which all move along at about the same tempo as your beating heart .At times on a organic level it can sound like a soft porn soundtrack (which it was a bit?) but on repeated listenings all of Gainsbourgs intended emotions transfer perfectly to musical moods. There ...

Should welfare benefits be capped at £26,000? 07/02/2012

If The Cap Fits

Should welfare benefits be capped at £26,000? The welfare state which flourished after the hardship of the second world war and the deprivation of the 1920,s and 30,s was a long overdue concession to the working class.In its original form it glowed with equality and fairness,qualities long assiciated with Great Britain.The popular masses who had progressed very little since the industrial revolution now had a chance to experience the security the well off had taken for granted .The bigger picture not only included financial assistance but also played a major part in health and housing and education.In short a bloody marvellous idea that no right thinking christian man could dispute . That was then but this is now and if the issue at play was "where did it all go wrong then i could write all day.Somewhere along the way however it did go wrong ,badly wrong. I have worked almost non stop since i left school in 1982 .This is not a boast but simply a working class boy being told by his dad that he had to get a job .The alternative to this was no money ,no where to live and the stigma of being known as a lazy bastard which worried me more than anything else .When i got my first pay packet ,a paltry £25 from a YTS scheme my mum let me keep it all ,just the once and i felt like i had a years pocket money to spend ,The week after i got another £25 and so on.The point being that my upbringing and social boundaries gave me a sense of pride at earning a few quid.i didnt want to sign on or borrow a few quid off my brother .The jobs ...

In Your Mind (Digitally Remastered) - Bryan Ferry 07/02/2012

Making you Mind Up!

In Your Mind (Digitally Remastered) - Bryan Ferry Probably the least known of Ferry's solo records .In Your Mind seemed to come and go and slipped off the radar soon after its release in 1977.Of course we know that dossnt make it a bad album,far from it in fact .This is a quiet,workman like album that maintains all the style and quality you would expect from a Bryan Ferry album.All the songs on here are original as opposed to his previous albums which contained mostly covers ,though very quirky and original covers. "This is Tomorrow "opens the album with an artistic statement and a little swagger and may be familiar to some after reaching the top 30 as the lead in single .The soul pastiche of "All Night Operator" harks back to the days of Stax and Sam and Dave and could almost be a cover version .The outstanding track and possibly one of Ferry's best ever songs is"Love me Madly Again" which begins life as a loud metal rock riff before tranforming into an orchestral ,romantic ,cool epic . The jaunty "Tokyo Joe" lends the album some light hearted class and was also a sizable hit coming across like a less frantic version of "Lets Stick Togerther,stylish and humorous at the same time .At this point there is the predictable mid album lull in the form of the pleasant but unremarkable "Party Doll" and "Rock of Ages".However its these tracks that give the album its consistency and wholeness allowing the record to end on a high note with the title track "In Your Mind".Not as instant as the hit singles but this track grows steadily ...

Philips GoGear SA2RGA04SN/02 4 GB 05/02/2012

Smal Object of DESIRE

Philips GoGear SA2RGA04SN/02 4 GB I bought this to replace my I Pod shuffle which gave up the ghost after just two unsatifactory years .Keen for continuity i looked for something cheap and easy to use .The display screen is a petite 1 inch but adequate for its purpose and well lit and clear .The device does not need any additional software but this is available form Phillips if you feel the need .There is a 2GB version which is cheaper but obviously hold less songs .The model ipurchased is 4GB and can hold up to 2000 songs which i doubt i will ever reach before wiping and starting again.Tracks are added by a simple drag and drop procedure and songs can be sorted by artist ,album or song and all of these functions can be "shuffled". The headphones which come with the device are more than adeqaute and the addition of superior headphones has the potential to send this player into the realms of exceptional .The sound is bright though a little compressed and the volume is far superior to my previous player..It has a modern clean looking exterior and is virtually weightless and will fit into any size pocket,The battery life seems to be of no concern to potential buyers either .I have had to recharge just once whe i first bought it . Its appeal should cross all age groups due to its ease of use and will be ideal for a childs first player or as an introduction for an older user(careful not be too ageist there.)it does not have a radio but does have a voice recorder which may of use to some customers .Overall its a ...

Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Coffee & Walnut Cake 05/02/2012

Have your cake and eat it

Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Coffee & Walnut Cake Firstly can i begin by saying this is not my normal prefered coffee cake but on a recent visit to Sainsbury,s in Plymouth i bought one for half the normal price having reached it sell by date that very day.still never one to look a gift horse in the mouth i bought two and took them home .The cake comes in attractive if rather obvious purple and coffee brown box with a circular window leaving you in no doubt as to what you are buying.There is a fairly adequate description of the product on the box which uses luxurious adjectives like rich,authentic,delicious . The cake itself before tasting proclaims to made from genuine Columbian coffee,i presonally wouldnt be able to vouch for that but its a nice touch.Anyway tea,s on the brew and the cake is on the plate sliced into a generous 6 portions (not all for me obviously ).The immediate taste was very pleasing and not unlike the spiel on the package it was rich and authentic.consisting of two layers of lightly flavoured sponge but with a stronger flavour coffee buttercream,the two degrees of flavour complimented each other perfectly .Whilst well into my second slice i realised i had struck gold and despite the crumbliness caused by the cake being a little too dry it was indeed a tatsy bargain even at the full price of about £2.35. My wife who is much more seasoned in the ways of cake eating than me says its one of the best she has ever tasted but the joy of cake can be a little transient.Without comparing it too anything else at ...

A Kind Of Loving - The Complete Series (DVD) 03/02/2012

Granada Greats

A Kind Of Loving - The Complete Series (DVD) This series form 1982 was adapted form a triology of of novels by Stan Barstow and takes its title from the inital book.It loosely covers the life of Vic Brown ,a young Northern lad as he grows and matures and tries to escaoe his small town roots.It was first shown in the spring of 82 in ten weekly parts and was fondly remembered for its realism .A quarter of a century later and i get the opportunity to see it again. The same ten parts are there over three discs and its this length that gives the series its appeal.The lives of Vic Brown and the central charachters unfold at an almost organic pace and allow the viewer to find the charachter .Vic essentially feels suffocated by the idea of marriage and convention and moves South in search of something better.The time frame covers the late 1950,s untill the early seventies with as much accuracy and attention to detail as was possible in 1982. Looking back now some of the scenes seem a little wooden or overlong and lack the pace and urgency of todays fast moving dramas.There are no explosions or car crashes and very few deaths .The core of the series is to portray real lives and the minds of real people which it does admirably.This DVD is not that cheap but well worth the price if you are a fan of the "Kitchen Sink" genre of which this is a prime example .The overall feel is of a televised version of a very good stage play with no obvious prompts or points of action to insult the viewers intelligence and if we apply the maxim ...

Comic Strip - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) 02/02/2012

How many discs! Comic Strip Heaven

Comic Strip - Complete (Box Set) (DVD) A recent christmas present and a real blast from the past.The entire output from this maverick comic unit is beautifully presented in a 9 disc box with flaps and fold a plenty.if you are certain age and came home from the pub on a friday night (they did close at 11.00pm in 1988) then you would have witnessed the Comic Strip presents! at some consisted of half hour segments of sometime comic genius or at times comic suicide depending on your sense of humour.The team consisted of "alternative "comic alumini Dawn Fench ,Jennifer Saunders ,Ade Edmondson,Rik Mayall,Peter Richardson,Robbie Coltrane ,Nigel Planner and occasional members Keith Allen,Daniel Peacock and Alexi Sayle . The subject of each episode varied quite wildly as one would expect with such a diverse team .The very first shows were made up a Famous Fve spoof (Five go mad in Dorset and Five go Mad on Mescaline).There was also a brilliant send up of ITV,s The Professionals (The Bullshitters) featuring Bonehead and Foyle (Bodie and Doyle??).In terms of parody no one was spared and references run throughout the series on anyone from Daphne Dumarier to Deep Purple and from Spaghetti Westerns to Ken Livingstone(GLC).The collection even includes the movie length "Supergrass" which saw the writing and indeed acting of the Comic strip team vastly improve. The benefit of hindsight allows the viewer to see the progress and at times lack of it when presented with this extensive body of work .If however you were already ...

Present Indicative - Noel Coward 01/02/2012

Present Indicative by Noel Coward

Present Indicative - Noel Coward The only person qualified to write a Noel Coward biography was the man himself and that is exactly what this is .Present Indicative covers the first part of his life from birth to 1937 when he was at the height of his fame .Its written with an abundance of humour and surprising modesty and reveals more than just Cowards life .it describes an England before and between the wars and is a valuable document for any body interested in history ,politics and the theatre.Each chapter progresses at the pace of a novel and avoids the chronilogical blandness associated with many biographies .Several times id found myself spurting out tea as i laughed uncontrolably .At other times i found myself putting the book down to reflect on some insight or pearl of wisdom . At all times Coward gives the impression of a man in control of his own destiny ,not through fanciful fate but hard work and making the most of (by his own admission ) an adequate talent .The outstanding quality is the style and verve of the writing ,as ive said paced like a novel and leaving you wanting more .if i stated that the biography was disadvantaged by being split into two parts on reflection this could also be a plus .The opportunity to read another volume as good as this fill one with a lovely sense of anticipation . However this is the place to start if you have any interest in the Coward myth.A few pages in will confirm the wonderful choice you have made in buying this book. ...

Hang on to a Dream (The Verve Recordings) - Tim Hardin 01/02/2012

Hang on to A Dream(The Verve Recordings ) Tim Hardin

Hang on to a Dream (The Verve Recordings) - Tim Hardin This collection rounds up the best of Tim Hardins 60,s output for the Verve label.Hardin was a singer/songwriter in the vain of Tim Buckley or Nick Drake .Like Dylan before him he wasnt always the best person to sing his own songs .there are sublime versions of his "Reason to Believe by Rod Stewart and "Misty Roses" by Colin Blunstone and most famously "If I Were a Carpenter"by The Four Tops .The original versions of all these songs are featured here as well as brace of wonderful melancholy tunes which feature Hardins achingly sad voice .The second disc features material recorded before he really got going and are for completist only but not without interest..The man himself was a unreliable heroin addict and Vietnam veteran all of which make the tenderness on display that much more remarkable .Tim Hardin died of an overdose in 1980 but has enjoyed a rennaisance and rediscovery in recent years.If you fancy some beautiful songs as they where meant to be sung this collection is ideal and well well and easily avilable from internet shops . The more discerning may be brave enough to try something different in which case this would be ideal for a dinner party and /or something fresh after an I pod purge .Money well spent as far as i was concerned and its nice to get your hands on a c.d after all those downloads

Rhythm of Life - Paul Haig 12/01/2009

Rhythm of Life

Rhythm of Life - Paul Haig The name Paul Haig is almost always absent from any eighties hall of fame ,certainly from the electro pop perspective which prevailed at the time of this release in July 83,but for those in the know who might have spent some of their hard squandered student grant on the perennial and seemingly eternal N>M>E the name Paul Haig held a god like status for fans of Scottish indie legends Josef .K of whom Paul Haig was lead singer and founding member,this unique and groundbreaking record was Haigs first solo release, a full two years after the demise of Josef K. To the untrained or indeed uninterested ear "Rhythm of Life" on first listen sounds standard fayre for its time ,with nothing to distinguish it from its then comtemporaries,the references and similarities abound,from Heaven 17 to the Associates from Gang of Four to the Thompson Twins ,Howard Jones,Grace Jones ,Blancmange and yes ,many many more . The songs are almost entirely syntheticand programmed,and what today could sound very old hat or even cliched ,was, in 1983 ,way ahead of the crowd(many of which ive just mentioned),it was obvious from the off set that Haig was not after instant commercial success although many of the tracks such as" Never Give Up(party party)"could ealy have been sizeable hits if the stage had been less crowded,it would seem some of Haigs indie ethos remained and prevailed in his new sound which was aimed at the dance floor as most pop at that time was,funk and soul had permeated the ...

Platinum Collection - Mari Wilson 26/04/2008

Mari Wilson -The Platinum Collection

Platinum Collection - Mari Wilson Slightly more worthy than her solitary hit "Just What i Always Wanted "suggests,provided its approached and enjoyed as pure pastiche and indulgent nostalgic enjoyment,even in 1982 Mari Wilson was portrayed as nostalgic ,her 15 minuteds of fame arriving at the tail end of a post punk mod revival,the whole concept relied on and evoked an age that never quite was,stylish lyrics ,glamorous outfits and a showband mentality that recalled the glory days of The Supremes ,Lulu and Sandie Shaw all put together on a shoestring budget inSouth London at the turn of the eighties initially as a very appealing live draw along the lines of Paul Youngs Q-Tips with a little less sweat. The aforementioned hit single is fairly representative of the rest of this fantastically priced collection and its a minor mystery how she didnt achieve at least half a dozen top tenners ,the unheard of but unforgettabe "Baby its you" sounding like a note perfect cover version of a song thet never existed provided the agenda for most of the first album included here ,and the nearly hit "Wonderful"with its flutes and strings still sounds fresh and innocent,and innocent being a perfect adjective to describe this enjoyable experience . Mostly remembered for her bee hive hair do and cod glamour ,"The Platinum Collection" offers a opportunity to show Mari Wilson in a more complimentary light ,being at least as entertaining as her contemporaries of the time like The Belle Stars and the Paul Weller sponsored ...
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