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Review: Mister Good Times by Norman Jay MBE

mister good times

I was lucky enough to be a warm up DJ for Norman Jay back in the 1990s in The Cross Nightclub, London and I think I was billed on a couple of other events with him. He was a great DJ, I remember him once, in Ministry of Sound, having a full glass of drink topple on the bar decks where he was spinning from the above balcony and Norman, lightning quick just kept the music rolling and not even a skip of the needle. The book is divided up into several unique sections. The first part covers Norman’s Good Times sound system at Notting Hill Carnival which is for what he has been most famous. The whole logistics of such an event is well detailed enough for the professional DJ to thoroughly enjoy and learn from and to any reader the whole politics and excitement and logistics of such a fun event must be enlightening. The book covers Norman’s childhood, whereby he was brought up in Ladbroke Grove, West London to Windrush Caribbean immigrant parents, both of whom seemed very hardworking and supportive and keen to give their family the best start to life. The book discusses a lot about how being a black DJ was defined during the early years of the deck revolution. For me, a highlight was Norman’s journey to New York, where he learnt the best of what would be culturally exported from the USA to British streets. Norman Jay’s love for Tottenham Hotspur football club is covered in detail and during the excitement of terraces and the emergence of the hooligan years it is great reading of times past and the fun and frolics of being a serious football fan. For me, as a Liverpool fan it was truly disturbing to read about racism at Anfield back in the 1970s. Growing up in the John Barnes era of Liverpool, for me I always felt that we were a progressive club when it came to racism which is still a fight in the beautiful game to this very day. I really wanted for the book to keep running once it hit the years of house music. The warehouse parties with Judge Jules thrown across London were particularly interesting, the funniest moment in the tale, when the Met Police tried robbing all the takings from the promoters and Judge Jules and Norman hid under raincoats, pretending…

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Review: The Cartel – The Inside Story of Britain’s Biggest Drugs Gang – by Graham Johnson

the cartel

When you see the title ‘The Cartel’ you might immediately imagine a book about Colombian or Mexican drug lords. Yet, this book covers a 30 year history of a homegrown cartel, based in Liverpool. Back in the 1970s a pioneering Fred the Rat grouped together his criminal comrades and they moved from bank robberies and burglaries into drug importation and reselling. At its height the Liverpool cartel was importing 60% of the UK’s narcotics. International expansion took cartel employees into Spain, Turkey, North Africa, The Netherlands and South America. Police were oblivious to much of what was going on and characters such as ‘The Analyst’ had their work cut out, only many years later getting serious results through the hard work of the MCU (Major Crime Unit). The story of notorious Scouse trafficker, Curtis Warren is a highlight of the book, most probably his ostentatiousness proving hiss downfall, after appearing in the Sunday Times Rich List, getting busted by Dutch police and serving a long prison sentence in Holland. The global matrix structure of the cartel meant it operated like a large multinational business. The book’s violence is astounding. From street gangs, doormen companies, professional hits, murders (including links to the Crimewatch presenter Jill Dando’s killing), internecine wars and revenge attacks plus the rip off and advantage-taking of gullible workers further down the chain of command, blood is almost always flowing. The murder of the Cream head doorman by a 20 strong gang in a pub with machetes and baseball bats was particularly gruesome. For me, the highlight of the well woven tale was the ongoing saga of the never caught division featuring Poncho, Kaiser, Scarface and Hector. Based mainly in Amsterdam, these renegades dealt directly with the Cali Cartel and were the first to import a metric ton of cocaine to the UK. I found the tandem ascent of the UK Rave scene and dance music culture to be particularly relevant. The author has done good research and knows how to captivate the reader’s attention. I shall certainly be checking out more of Graham Johnson’s books. This book is only short and is divided into 45 chapters of only a few pages long. Yet after each chapter it takes a polite pause of breath to work out what is going on and to let the information seep in. The tale is traumatic. Definitely a five star, truly entertaining and…

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Review: We All Dream Of A Team Of Carraghers: Tribute To A Liverpool Legend

We All Dream Of A Team Of Carraghers: Tribute To A Liverpool Legend by Matt Sproston My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a short book, a collection of essays on the career of Liverpool Football Club’s star defender, Jamie Carragher. It was good to reminisce about Carra’s early career, when he played a utility role across the defence and midfield. The stories of Istanbul are exceptional and take me back to the great match at the Ataturk Olympic stadium, where I was a spectator. It is good to hear other key professionals views on Carragher and the best part of the book was the lengthy interview taken in the aftermath of the 2005 EC victory. I thought the criticism of Carra’s new role at Sky Sports was a bit premature. He could very well go on to become the new Hansen and I think it is a noble calling for another LFC legend. I’d like to go on to read further about Jamie Carragher and I think his autobiography has been updated recently so may go out and buy that. Jamie Carragher is one of the finest footballers ever to have graced the game and he will be remembered in Liverpool folklore forever. View all my reviews

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¡Negrito! by Wesley Gerrard (Spanish Level F Coursework)

Suarez and Evra

¡Negrito!   Trabajo escrito 2. Advanced Spanish Stage F   Tendrás que escribir una noticia que haya tenido un carácter relevante en el último año. Puede ser de carácter social, político, económico, deportivo, artístico,… Redactarás la noticia en pasado, aunque puedes hablar de su repercusión en la actualidad, si es necesario. Puedes dar tu opinión (creo que…, no creo que…) , expresar la valoración de los hechos, o simplemente, expresar tus sentimientos; en cualquier caso usarás el subjuntivo. Escribirás unas 350 palabras como mínimo.   Luis Suárez, es un futbolista uruguayo. Juega como delantero en el Liverpool F.C. de la Premier League de Inglaterra y en la selección uruguaya de fútbol. Es uno de mis futbolistas preferidos porque soy aficionado de Liverpool. Suárez es muy dotado y marca muchos goles pero de vez en cuando es un jugador muy polémico y en varias ocasiones durante su carrera se ha metido en problemas.   Durante el clásico inglés entre Manchester United y Liverpool el 15 de octubre de 2011, había problemas entre Luis Suárez y un jugador francés del otro equipo, Patrice Evra . Evra se acusó a Luis Suárez de inferir insultos de índole racial a él. Los titulares de los periódicos estaban llenos de la palabra ‘Negrito’ que Suárez supuestamente había usado varias veces para Evra   Dos días después del partido Alex Ferguson, entrenador de Manchester United, comunicó oficialmente que Evra tenía deseos de continuar la demanda por el supuesto racismo. A raíz de esto Kenny Dalglish, entrenador de Liverpool, manifestó su total apoyo hacia el delantero uruguayo, al igual que toda la institución. La FA tomó la decisión de suspender a Suárez por 8 partidos y aplicarle una multa de 40.000 libras esterlinas. Esto demostraría ser muy perjudicial para la temporada del Liverpool y que ennegrecer el nombre de Luis Suárez.   A mi parece injusto que la FA suspenda Luis porque no creo que tenía la intención de ser racista. Negrito es una palabra en el idioma sudamericano sin connotaciones racistas. El padre de mi amigo colombiano, Alex le llama ‘Negrito’como una expresión de cariño, incluso si su piel es oscura. La abuela de la familia la cual llamaba a Suárez “mi negrito” para referirse a el de forma cariñosa, apoyó también a la familia la cual ahora estaba en la capital uruguaya. Como un último antecedente que, posteriormente, Liverpool ocuparía en defensa de Suárez, es que el abuelo de él,…

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Match Report: Liverpool vs Hull City (01.01.14) W 2-0

Steven Gerrard unfortunately didn’t make the starting lineup, but was present on the bench. Aly Cissokho was recalled at left back with Daniel Agger retaining his place in central defence alongside the stalwart Martin Skrtel. Iago Aspas was introduced to the starting XI. Raheem Sterling and the young Spaniard will be out on the wings, Jordan Henderson and Lucas Leiva in the central midfield and Philippe Coutinho sitting just behind Luis Suarez upfront. So, the injuries have forced a change in formation. All being well, the new-look side can crush Hull here at Anfield. Liverpool started the match positively and were pinging the ball around well. Hull closed down well and were very defensive. The play all seemed to get caught up in midfield with few breakthroughs for both sides in the final third. Some hefty challenges were going in. Hull started to get the odd chance after the first ten minutes. They scored 6 goals in their last outing so it is no surprise that they have confidence going forward. In the eighteenth minute it looked as though Liverpool had got the breakthrough. A nice free kick from Coutinho was floated in from the right and Luis Suarez got nicely on the end of it with an accurate header which skipped past the Tigers’ keeper. Unfortunately Luis was marginally offside when the kick was taken and the linesman had correctly flagged it. Hull escape….for now. Tom Huddlestone became the first player into the referee’s book with a hefty challenge on Suarez, shortly afterwards. Nice to have him on a caution so early on. Philippe Coutinho had a speculative long free kick comfortably sail into the keeper’s arms. The Reds started to dominate and get a few more breaks, though we were not building play up enough and shooting rashly when it might have been better to build up the play. Luis Suarez picked out a perfect pass for the accelerating Raheem Sterling to run onto. As he moved in on the Hull keeper, Allan McGregor, the goalie stepped up well and prevented Sterling from seizing the opportunity. The attacks were coming thick and fast now. Hull’s defence looked unable to cope with our forward force. There was a prolonged period, mid first-half where the game petered out and a midfield battle ensued. Suarez seemed to be the recipient of Hull’s hard-hitting tackles. In he 36th minuted Daniel Agger climbed…

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Match Preview: Liverpool vs Hull City (01.01.14)

gangland

              Well, we were all wondering what our two Christmas fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea would bring and unfortunately they brought nothing – well – in terms of points that is. We have slipped from top of the league at Christmas to out of the top four by New Year, the first team ever to record that achievement. Everyone knew Manchester City and Chelsea away would be tough nuts to crack. We need to reverse the slide and get three points today. On paper, Hull at home looks a perfect opportunity to do so. Anfield is a fortress once again. However, it was only the start of last month that saw us put is a dismal display at the KC Stadium and get thrashed 3-1 by Hull City (Gerrard The Red match report here: http://gerrardthered.com/match-report-hull-city-vs-liverpool-01-12-13-474 ). Steve Bruce won the battle of the managers that day and frustrated us defensively and took full advantage of our players not giving a 100% performance. Revenge is on the cards and our New Years Day fixture, the start of the New Year is a MUST-WIN at all costs. The injury crisis has deepened at Liverpool. The two losses unfortunately had an additional toll on our already depleted manpower. Joe Allen is out with a abductor strain and Mamadou Sakho has hamstring trouble. Added to those already missing we really are scraping the sides in terms of squad numbers. Jordan Henderson did take a heavy knock against Chelsea though it looks as though it was nothing too serious and he should be back today. The good news is that Steven Gerrard, who has been back in training, might be available should he pass a late fitness test. We are exceptionally thin on the ground in central midfield and should our captain return it would be a boost in terms of morale. Otherwise, we will be relying on youth team players stepping up in an area which was completely bossed by Tom Huddlestone for Hull back in December.  Daniel Agger should retain his position in central defence and hopefully he can consolidate his role there rather than move out on loan to Napoli during the transfer window. Aly Cissokho is likely to get a recall at left back and has to attempt to prove his doubters wrong. Is he up to the required level for high-class Premiership football? Victor…

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