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grimep

Rachel Flowers

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 - has totally reignited my love of music. Got two of her CDs in the post but they're stuck waiting for customs payment. That's £15.50 on top of the roughly £40 I paid (incl postage from the US) for two CDs, and the second album is possibly not even that much to my taste ..... Why? Just watch the Youtube clips and her Soundcloud page. She's a phenomena!

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11 hours ago, grimep said:

Got two of her CDs in the post but they're stuck waiting for customs payment.

That's unusual for CDs , I have always been hit for customs payment from the USA but never for CDs .

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9 minutes ago, Bazzer said:

That's unusual for CDs , I have always been hit for customs payment from the USA but never for CDs .

Yeah, it's not nice. Actually, all in, its costing £60 for 2 CDs (one was $20, one $15, with postage for both around £15. This translated to £45. Add the £15.50 for customs and that's £30 per cd. If I'd known it would be that much I'd have gone for a download, but nice to have a physical copy of a musician's work when it means something to you

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Super Wammer

If the item is over £15 you pay VAT tax, and if it is labeled a gift, and over £39 you pay VAT tax :(

Custom duty is charged on anything above £135 inc P&P

Edited by greybeard

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It's marked as "customs charge" on the card from Royal Mail.

I thought about contesting it but life's too short. Also, £8 of the total is a handling fee so I guess they're 'only' adding adding £3.75 per cd

Just have to hide this month's bank statement from the Mrs

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5 hours ago, grimep said:

Just have to hide this month's bank statement from the Mrs

Paperless billing is the way to go :D

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Check this out

love the smile on her face, bet Frank would approve.

Edited by Martin D
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On 28/02/2019 at 12:59, Martin D said:

Check this out

love the smile on her face, bet Frank would approve.

Yes Martin! I only discovered her about a month ago. After a week I'd seen mostly clips of her at an organ or piano, usually playing an ELP piece. Of course her story is moving, and its a miracle she's alive, but even without the backstory there was something in her playing and choice of pieces to play that connected with me. Perhaps because she learned to play from the sheer love of it from a very early age (unlike the kids who are schooled to have perfect technique and play like robots), and also being blind perhaps this was one way she could express herself... whatever it is, she's got that Ingredient X in her performances. What is music if it doesn't convey emotion? And its clear for her music is a real expression of emotion, usually joy. That is infectious, and why I said she'd reignited my love of music. You can get jaded after many decades after all. So I'd had a few days of finding clips of her at a keyboard, usually playing something ELP-ish, and then commuting home on the train one Friday evening, Youtube and headphones on I came across that clip of her with Dweezil and my jaw hit the floor. Wait? Guitar as well? And Zappa?! (there's even a clip on Youtube of her 1st encounter with dweezil at Namm) But the more you look the more you find of hers that knocks your socks off. I don't know if I should post a bunch of links here as half the fun is slowly discovering her stuff and progressively having your socks blown off, so if people don't want spoilers, have a search for yourselves, but here are some stand outs for me:

So you start off with the ELP stuff ... 

and

and then you find her playing one of your favourite Zappa tunes....  (10:15)

and then you discover she can play guitar, bass, flute...  and a whizz on the computer sequencer / production duties and she's single handedly covered many of your favourite tunes, like Peaches again

and

I mean, WTF??!! I'd actually forgotten about that tune - used to have the You Cant Do That On Stage albums on cassette in the 80s but hadnt been back since. Give me a break! and well, everything on her soundcloud page, barring 1 or 2. Even the Nirvana track is great

Her drumming on the keyboard is on its own an amazing skill, and I've never seen anyone emulate a full kit in the way she can, in real time. Anyone else would be pointing, clicking and lining it all up in a sequencer, or stitching samples together.

And then you discover her performance at the Keith Emerson tribute concert in Birmingham UK where she is in floods of tears - Keith was a friend and mentor and she obviously loved his music, and the manner of his passing was so tragic, but its obvious how much passion and emotion she has for the music.. its hard to watch 

and 

a hard watch but clear she has real star quality, and if you weren't in love with her already by this point, check your pulse because you might already be dead.

But beyond all this she's opened my ears to stuff I hadn't heard before, as well as liking music I've loved for a long time, such as the Jaco Pastorius album (amazing cover again) and Zappa of course, who I've loved for over 30 years, but also pieces like this:--

so for me its like discovering someone who likes a lot of the same stuff I do, but then being exposed to other works that are great but would possibly have passed me by.

But after the tragedy of Keith Emerson, the key thing that comes across from Rachel is joy - here she is having a laugh - and frankly just taking the piss with this amount of talent on show, with another great Zappa tune:

I guess when you can do anything its really hard to find a direction, but hopefully she's going to have a productive career - I just hope she carries on doing it just for the love of it. And if she ever plays in the UK again, I'll be in the front row :-)

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