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Ten great vinyl only albums – The Beatles, Velvet Underground, The Cleaners From Venus and more

Not long to wait now. Record Store Day is coming a week on Saturday and I’ll be spending that day hunting down  obscure 80s indie singles and long lost psych albums. And to celebrate – well we have got in a tad early – here is a list of ten of the greatest albums that have are vinyl only and …

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AshleyTen great vinyl only albums – The Beatles, Velvet Underground, The Cleaners From Venus and more
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The Stones at Glasto. The Roses on tour. Is rock and roll now an old man’s game?

Well it wasn’t me who said it. The words actually came from the lips of one Robyn Hitchcock. But then again he has a new album to promote – which is very, very good – and it is his 60th birthday. But it does strike me that there might be a grain of truth in his words, what with those …

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AshleyThe Stones at Glasto. The Roses on tour. Is rock and roll now an old man’s game?
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Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon – masterpiece or over-rated prog rock noodlings?

Simon Poulter of What Would David Bowie Do puts the case for the Floyd album which is 40 years old this week. Along with the ubiquity of fast food drive-throughs, questionable road surfaces and sparring with trucks large enough to have their own electorate, the essence of the American road trip lies in wading through the alphabet soup of radio …

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AshleyPink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon – masterpiece or over-rated prog rock noodlings?
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The return of the Stripey Jumper – and our favourites

It’s usually around this time of year when we see the high street desperately trying to shift from gloomy winter warmers, to a lighter and brighter spring look. And typically this is usually cue for the humble stripe to make an entrance, often manifesting itself in the form of the classic nautical stripe, and not-forgetting the obligatory Breton stripy jumper …

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AshleyThe return of the Stripey Jumper – and our favourites
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Fantastic images from the golden age of Airships – graceful, modern and doomed

These days we associate Airships with football matches as the smooth flight of the ship enables camera crews to take long and steady overhead shots of stadiums. But there was a time in the 1930s when they were state of the art travel ships. If you wanted to get from Europe to the Americas you could either get a boat …

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AshleyFantastic images from the golden age of Airships – graceful, modern and doomed
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Review: David Bowie is, Victoria and Albert Museum (March 23rd to August 11 2013)

I’ve always loved David Bowie. From Ziggy Stardust via the Thin White Duke to the smartly dressed Hamlet-inspired creations of the Serious Moonlight Tour. Even the movie roles in The Man Who Fell To Earth and (very differently), Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence.  These ‘characters’ shaped the style and attitude of my teenage years, while Bowie’s music of the period touched …

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shinychrisReview: David Bowie is, Victoria and Albert Museum (March 23rd to August 11 2013)
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Early demos from The Smiths show up on YouTube

Now this is amazing. Some early demo tapes of The Smiths, noted by Slicing Up Eyeballs, have just popped up on YouTube. They are called “The Pablo Cuckoo Tape” run for forty minutes and feature work in progress versions of songs that would eventually grace the band’s first album and early singles. The track to listen to first is Reel …

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AshleyEarly demos from The Smiths show up on YouTube
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Why the Samsung Galaxy S 4 leaves the Apple iPhone 5 eating dust?

It is a huge night for Samsung as the Korean maker has unveiled what it hopes will become the hottest phone on the planet  - the Galaxy S4. The last few years have been an incredible ride for Samsung. It was one of the first makers to respond to the seismic sea change in the industry caused by the arrival …

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AshleyWhy the Samsung Galaxy S 4 leaves the Apple iPhone 5 eating dust?
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Airships, Hovercraft, Amphibious Caravans, Batmobiles – the weirdest vehicles for sale

There is a fantastic story that dates from the turn of the century. Back then aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont would parade his new fangled Airship by hovering at roof level along the boulevards of Paris. Then when he’d utterly freaked the passing Parisians out he would tie the ship up and pop into his favourite restaurant for lunch. Hopefully one …

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AshleyAirships, Hovercraft, Amphibious Caravans, Batmobiles – the weirdest vehicles for sale

The 10 best psych pop albums of 2013 (and a couple from last year)

It might only be March, but already it has been a vintage year for lovers of wonky sixties influenced pop aka psych. Last year’s great hope, Jacco Gardner, has already treated us to a very fine album that delivers on the promise of his exceptional early singles. While Robyn Hitchcock, the spiritual godfather of British psych has turned out an album that …

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AshleyThe 10 best psych pop albums of 2013 (and a couple from last year)
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Dress like Steve McQueen – Barbour unveils new range

It is incredible to think that almost 35 years after his sad and premature death that Steve McQueen remains one of the most recognisable and iconic Hollywood stars. Barbour certainly thinks McQueen is a legend. The British brand has been adding to its McQueen inspired range. In keeping with McQueen’s on (and off) screen persona it is tough clothing that …

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AshleyDress like Steve McQueen – Barbour unveils new range
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Banana Republic launches Mad Men range (US only for now though)

Ever wanted to dress like Don Draper and his dapper Madison Avenue chums? Well now you can – sort of. Banana Republic has just launched a range of Mad Men inspired clothing in the US for both men and women which was created by the series costume designer Janie Bryant. Given fashion’s current yen for all things black and white …

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AshleyBanana Republic launches Mad Men range (US only for now though)
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Style – Harringtons – a round up of this year’s best Spring casual jackets

I checked an hour or so ago and it appears that the temperature, in the south east at least, is heading for double figures tomorrow. Spring might not be here, but it is certainly on its way. And that means it is time to ditch that heavy wool coat that kept you warm all winter for something a little flexible …

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AshleyStyle – Harringtons – a round up of this year’s best Spring casual jackets

Arsenal’s top transfer targets – How Arsene Wenger should spend that £70 plus million

Yesterday Arsenal issued its latest financial update – and guess what, the club is in pretty rude health. Profits might have dropped a little, but just look at that whopping £123 million reserve in the bank. And there’s also sponsorship money to be added, plus season ticket cash and maybe even Stan’s idle millions (dream on…). So the money clearly …

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AshleyArsenal’s top transfer targets – How Arsene Wenger should spend that £70 plus million
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Apple’s iWatch – take a look at the gallery of prototypes

I have already written loads about Apple ‘s iWatch, so if you want the most recent update go here and if you want the background and to take a peek at some of its rivals then check here. Even though it hasn’t been confirmed the iWatch already exists, well in the minds of some very clever designers and Photoshoppers. Here …

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AshleyApple’s iWatch – take a look at the gallery of prototypes
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Retro gadgets: ten vintage style record players

I don’t think it is just me but these days I find that I am increasing playing more vinyl than CDs. Spotify is my main source of music, but every now and then I fancy something that isn’t on the online music service and go and get a record out. There is something wonderful about spinning vinyl again. It demands …

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AshleyRetro gadgets: ten vintage style record players
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Why Chelsea have the best celebrity fans – but Arsenal get the Hollywood A List

Simon Poulter of the always excellent What Would David Bowie Do? on football’s oddest celebrity fans – not that Noel is odd… Good Evening…er….Molineux Shortly before referee Massimo Busacca got the final Group B match of the 2006 World Cup underway – pitching Sweden against Sven Goran Eriksson’s England – I suddenly became aware of having my photograph taken. Quite …

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AshleyWhy Chelsea have the best celebrity fans – but Arsenal get the Hollywood A List
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H&M’s Cycling range is back – including some great retro tops

Last year H&M became one of the biggest clothing retailers (though Levi’s got there first) to start to take cycling seriously. Spurred on by the growth in the number of cyclists and also a little by our success at The Olympics the company teamed up with Brick Lane Cycles and launched a capsule range of jackets, retro jerseys and more …

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AshleyH&M’s Cycling range is back – including some great retro tops
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Our survey says Arsenal are the most popular team among Britain’s biggest rock stars

Top tip. If you are starting a band now try choosing a name that begins with the letter B. Think about it. From The Beatles to Blondie via The Bee Gees, Blur and Beach Boys, so many of the greatest bands ever starts with that letter. You might also consider investing in a season ticket at The Emirates too. For …

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AshleyOur survey says Arsenal are the most popular team among Britain’s biggest rock stars
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The British films that inspired The Smiths’ record sleeves

It is incredible to think that The Smiths were together for just five short years. In that time they managed to release four official albums, a few compilations of sessions, singles and oddities and of course, a run of some of the most amazing and unique 45s ever. And one of the things that made The Smiths’ singles and albums …

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AshleyThe British films that inspired The Smiths’ record sleeves