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Amsterdam Russ

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    The Townsmen - Please don't say goodbye

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  1. Too late. Keith Fletcher's been organising a twice yearly soul cruise from Hull to Rotterdam (and back again) for some years.
  2. I have a Fitbit Charge 3, which I got as an unexpected Christmas present last year. It is very much a fitness tracker rather than a smart watch. Having had it for a bit over 12 months, I must say it's proved to be very useful as a general indicator of activity - specifically exercise, sleep, heart rate. It can do more – calorie count, for example – but that requires the wearer to continually input all food and drink everyday, which is way too much of a chore. At the same time, synching between the watch and the Fitbit app on my iPhone can take several attempts, and that's a bit annoying. Would I recommend it or any Fitbit device to anyone? No. Why? A quick trawl around Fitbit's user forums will show you that there are 1,000s of very unhappy and dissatisfied customers out there. A fitness tracker is absolutely not something I had any interest in, so I definitely wouldn't have bought it for myself. But I'm happy to have it, especially as mine, in spite of a few little annoyances - like the synching issues – actually seems to function properly. I'm one of the lucky ones! Additionally, Fitbit was recently bought out by Alphabet, Google's parent company. I see that as bringing greater intrusions regarding your personal health data.
  3. A very commonplace bird here in the Netherlands, but I thought this young heron worthy of a photo as it posed quite dramatically against a clear blue sky on the terracotta roof tiles of a house opposite. We've seen this particular heron on rooftops and street lamps several times in the last couple of weeks. It should be at ground level where it can catch food, so I think it must have had a recent scare. Possibly, as there's road and water side-by-side here, it was nearly hit by a car when hunting. Certainly it won't catch anything up there.
  4. Perhaps unfortunate in the context of its vinyl events, but I believe the name relates to the bar's prohibition theme.
  5. You're going to this? If so, with Lionel Earlysounds45s (better known as record collector/dealer Lionel Romano) among the DJs, you're in for a treat!
  6. Thanks, guys. As far as I’m concerned, 7:30 in the morning isn’t just a different time, it’s a completely different dimension! should have stayed under the duvet.
  7. Cold and misty in the Amsterdam woods at 7:30 in the morning!
  8. I use it to stay anonymous and prevent tracking when browsing on my iMac. On my iPad and iPhone, I have Disconnect’s Privacy Pro (, which provides tracker protection and uses a VPN.
  9. Hmm... A VPN promotion site that earns affiliate commission on VPN sales recommending that you use a VPN with a browser that they state is "very effective at hiding your location and preventing your traffic from being tracked. It’s almost impossible for your online activity to be traced through Tor’s network back to you." Say no more!
  10. Rather than pay for a potentially dubious VPN, check out the Tor browser. It’s free, it’s legitimate, and it works. Obviously, make sure you have a good read first and see if it’s for you.
  11. The difference between the two is that the first service requires a signature. If you're sending to someone abroad you're not 100% confident of - a first-time customer, for example – go for this. At the same time, records above a certain value sent from the UK by International Tracked (without a signature) and have never yet had a problem with a package go missing.
  12. Undoubtably played “first” by many, many radio stations stateside and wherever the track was issued around the world at the time of release in 1965. Oh, and don’t forget Cal would have performed it countless times on the innumerable jazz circuit venues he would have attended.
  13. I've now posted up the flip side - Watermelon man - at the request of Steve Fuchs. Steve's also said that just 100 copies of the 45 were pressed as giveaways for friends and family. They did this because they were concerned about how they might have to pay royalties to the composers of both songs - Clarence Carter and Herbie Hancock – bearing in mind that the band had produced and pressed the 45 themselves. This meant that neither of the two tracks ever got any radio airplay. The band was together for about two years and split when John Draws and Steve Fuchs were drafted into the army. Steve stayed in the Marine Corps for 28 years before settling in Honolulu where he still lives today.
  14. I'm guessing the now-dead link to the tune on YouTube was to my old channel, which I accidentally deleted some years back. I did re-upload all the tunes I'd posted, including this one. Just today, one of the band members – Steven Fuchs – commented on it as follows: I also received a comment from another member of the band – John Draws – four years ago: If anyone does have a copy for Steve Fuchs, let me know or get in touch with him via YouTube.

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