Friday 24 November 2023

That's Food and Drink: Munch Lunch & Dinner, Your New Kitchen Essential

That's Food and Drink: Munch Lunch & Dinner, Your New Kitchen Essential: Munch Lunch & Dinner will help you gain more confidence in the kitchen. It’s a new cook book that's packed with easy-to-follow, deli...

Thursday 16 November 2023

Indie "Susie Q" Breaks Top 5000 Streaming Movies in UK

Now included with Amazon Prime subscriptions in the UK, "Susie Q" finds itself amongst big budget hits on the list of top streaming movies.

Susie Q is now available to view in the UK included with a subscription to Amazon Prime. The indie movie about two brothers who fight over a girl they plan to rob is now trending amongst the top 5000 streaming movies in the UK, sandwiched by big-budget hits including Natural Born Killers, Flashdance, and Wonka.

View Susie Q on Amazon Prime here:

Susie Q is a comedy/crime film that originally saw a release during the NYC Indie Film Festival, but was re-edited by filmmaker Vilan Trub during COVID and re-released to much greater success and currently holds a 7.0 rating on IMDb. The production was inspired by the French New Wave and films from the 90's indie movement such as Clerks.

"I grew up during September 11 and saw a drastic change in society following that day. It was my generation's Kennedy moment and I always remembered how American Graffiti captured the feeling of community problems superseding world events in importance before the Kennedy assassination. That's what I wanted this movie to be, a time capsule with the Summer of 2001." - Vilan Trub, Director/Writer

Vilan Trub also directed The Dirty Kind from Executive Producer Michael Madsen.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Gypsy Queens releases new album

The Gypsy Queens, the iconic original strolling band, has announced the release of its third studio album on 17th November 2023.

The Gypsy Queens, the original strolling band, releases its third studio album featuring Lulu, Tony Danza and Peter Noone.

"The Gypsy Queens; The most famous band you have never heard of"

The Gypsy Queens, the iconic original strolling band, has announced the release of its third studio album on 17th November 2023. With a repertoire that spans an eclectic mix of musical favourites, the album features many of the bands long time collaborators and musical legends, combining to create a record sure to be a household favourite. 

Following the success of two previous albums, the first of which hit the number one spot on Amazon, the band’s third record is truly exemplary of The Gypsy Queens’ entertaining sound and vivacious energy.

Founded by Didier "Didi" Casnati and Phil Jones, The Gypsy Queens began their journey as buskers in the streets of Nice, evolving to stunning global stardom. Covering an impressive 66 countries, playing to 57 heads of states and with over 100 million views on YouTube, the band’s staggering experience and awesome performances speak for themselves.

At the start, cafes, bars and restaurants were The Gypsy Queens’ stage, before an experience at La Petite Maison, owned by celebrated restaurateur Nicole Rubi, changed their trajectory forever. 

One evening, mid-performance, Bono joined the band for a jam. Little did they know that Nick Raphael of London Records was in the audience. He would go on to sign them to Universal Music in 2012, recognising their incredible talents for entertaining an audience with rigour, which ultimately led to their first stage performance at world-famous Glastonbury Festival, worlds away from the past stages of cafes and bars. 

This impressive skill and the ability to interact with their crowds to ensure the most memorable of experiences has led them to perform at the most exclusive parties across the globe. A far cry from busking on the streets of Nice, The Gypsy Queens are sure never to forget their beginnings, and perform regularly at high-profile charity events.

Today, The Gypsy Queens consists of Didi (Didier Casnati) lead singer, guitarist and manager; Liam Hornsby (drummer and singer); Tyler Gasek (saxophonist and singer); Joan Chavez (contrabass player); and Geronimo Ribas (guitarist and singer). Throughout their new album and their global performances, The Gypsy Queens draw from an extensive catalogue of classic songs (such as California Dreaming, Volare, Satisfaction, Aisha, Tutti Frutti) as well as new favourites, including Pharrell William’s Happy, Enrique Iglesias’s Bailando, and Miley Cyrus’ Flowers guaranteeing their entertainment spans generations.

The band’s riotously entertaining performances have found them shoulder to shoulder with high-profile fans like Robert De Niro, Chris Martin, Elton John, Beyonce, David Beckham and Quincy Jones. The Gypsy Queens are an incredible force and talent whose success is visible through their jam-packed schedules and intricate travel agenda.

Released in 2012, the first studio album was produced by the celebrated four-time Grammy winner Larry Klein, and had guest appearances from an array of talent including Madeleine Peyroux, Booker T (of Booker T and the MG’s), “America” and Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills, Young & Nash). In 2014, their second album “Lost in the Music” was released and the Gypsy Queens were awarded “La Estrella de Oro”, a Spanish distinction for professional excellence.

‘Reminiscing with Friends’ is due for release in November 2023. Produced again by the legendary Larry Klein with guest performances from music and acting greats, it is a perfect example of the exceptional performances The Gypsy Queens give their audiences around the world. The band benefited from some of Los Angeles’ best recording musicians to complete the five piece band. James Gadson, drummer on the infamous ‘I Will Survive’ track, lends his beats to the album, and Kirk Whalum of ‘I Will Always Love You’ fame plays saxophone on ‘Oh Me Oh My’ with Lulu, whose hits include ‘To Sir With Love’ and ‘Shout’.' 

Dean Parks on guitar throughout the record creates the musical backing for Didi’s recognisable vocal talents. Surprise guests include Tony Danza, who features on "Buona Sera Signorina". The single is available from 13th October, with a beautiful video shot in New York and Nice: the original idea was given to them by Oscar winning writer John Patrick Shanley. 

The single ‘Oh Me Oh My’ with Lulu will be released 3rd November. The first track on the album, which has been released, is the old favourite ‘I’m into Something Good’ featuring none other than Peter Noone, of the original Herman’s Hermits, alongside Didi’s vocals. The entire album will be available to pre-order from 13th October and released for general sale on 17thNovember.

Didi Casnati comments on the release: “It is unbelievable that we have been able to do a record with these incredible musicians and brilliant producer, and share the singing with some of my all time greatest heroes, Lulu, Tony and Peter. I can't thank them enough! We are so excited to be able to share the sound of The Gypsy Queens with the world through this record, and we hope it brings listeners as much joy as it gave us to create it.”


The band has performed publicly at:

Glastonbury Festival, Isle of Wight Festival, International Harrogate Festival (2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2021, 2022). Proms in the Park”


The Gypsy Queens, released Nov. 2nd 2012

Lost in the Music, released June 23rd, 2014

Making Memories, Paul Anka Guests, Background vocals, 2021

Reminiscing with Friends, available to pre-order October 2023, release 17th November


Love at the Villa, 2022, performers, “L’Americano”

Weekend, 2014, Guest on the talkshow

Sunday Brunch, 2012, “Let It Snow” Performance

A Worthwhile Error. The Story of Francis House Children’s Hospice

A Worthwhile Error is the intriguing title of a fascinating new book about the history of Francis House Children’s Hospice.

The phrase was coined by co-founder Sister Aloysius FMSJ to describe the decision to build the hospice with hardly any money.

Her gamble paid off thanks to the overwhelming generosity of donors and the first children’s hospice in the north-west was duly built from a convent in Didsbury, south Manchester.

Some 16 religious Sisters sacrificed their home so that much-needed respite care could be provided for youngsters with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.

More than 1,500 families have received help since the charity first opened its doors late in 1991, when Princess Diana performed the official opening.

One of the chapters in the book features her visit and that of her eldest son William, accompanied by wife Kate, to open a new wing of hospice for young people over the age of 16 in 2016.

The book explains how brave youngster Kirsty Howard put the hospice on the map by raising more than £5m to ensure the charity’s survival when it was struggling financially.

Kirsty, born with a rare heart condition, starred alongside David Beckham when handing the baton to Queen Elizabeth II at the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Endless stories of dedicated volunteers include the amazing sacrifices made by Pauline Armitage MBE who spent 26 years working a 40-hour week as a bookkeeper without pay. It was her way of giving to the hospice.

Kyle Wells has lived at the charity’s specialist residential unit since 2014 after beginning respite stays nearly 30 years ago.

Kyle, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, said: “When I first came here as a child, I was in tears and wanted to go home. The next time I cried it was because I wanted to stay. My mum was a heavy drinker and had an abusive partner. By coming here, I went from domestic chaos to complete calmness and feeling cared for.”

CEO David Ireland has been with the hospice since the start. His first involvement was as an architect, designing the building.

He said: “The book is an in-depth look at the rich history of Francis House. It shares the stories of the many personalities involved including, most importantly, the wonderful families who have passed through our doors.”

The glossy hardback book, written by author, broadcaster and journalist Andy Buckley who is from Sale, also details how Francis House has helped sick children across the world.

It has helped several countries establish hospice facilities, including Japan, Australia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Belarus, Canada, USA, Czech Republic and Latvia.

A Worthwhile Error – The History of Francis House Children’s Hospice is available for £19.95 (plus postage and packing) by calling the hospice on 0161 434 4118 or from All proceeds will be donated to the care of children, young people and their families.

(PICTURED: Princess Diana signing the visitor book at Francis House, watched by Sister Aloysius FMSJ –the front cover of a Francis House history book. Image: Murray Ludwig)

Friday 3 November 2023

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Horror Classics Reimagined: Dead & Read Merges Literature with Heavy Metal Culture

The music industry really knows how to give their fans covetable and collectible memorabilia, which is just not something you usually associate with books.

Dead & Read launches a unique fusion of classic literature with a heavy metal twist.

Max Minerva’s Co-Founder, Sam Taylor, brings his expertise from both the music and book industries to the forefront.

Literature lovers can now express their passion with exclusive merchandise including posters, t-shirts, and collectibles.

Limited Edition Collections: Only 666 copies featuring classics like Frankenstein, The Turn Of The Screw, and In A Glass Darkly.

World-Renowned Artwork: Illustrations by Dan Mumford, known for his work with Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Queens Of The Stone Age.

Dead & Read, a trailblazing literary venture, is excited to announce its Kickstarter launch, aiming to revolutionise the world of classic literature. With the infusion of heavy metal aesthetics, Dead & Read bridges the gap between literary enthusiasts and rock culture, epitomising the innovative spirit of its founder, Sam Taylor.

Reviving the Classics with a Roaring Beat

Bookish fans have pondered over the absence of merchandise for classic literature in the same way the music industry celebrates its artists. Recognising this unfortunate void, Sam Taylor, whose career has crossed over from music to books, was inspired to provide literature fans with high quality, collectible art. With Dead & Read, Taylor seamlessly blends the reverence for classic literature with the edgy, rebellious spirit of heavy metal.

Merchandising the Classics 

Key Features of Dead & Read's offerings:

 Reimagined book covers combining the charm of classic tales with heavy metal designs.

Exclusive apparel including t-shirts showcasing iconic literary figures in heavy metal renditions.

“As a live music fan, I love the ability to collect posters and other merchandise that keeps the memory of the moment alive. The music industry really knows how to give their fans covetable and collectible memorabilia, which is just not something you find with books. So we’re launching our first collection of Classics - three Horror titles with a Heavy Metal twist,” says founder Sam Taylor.

Beyond The Books: Dead & Read’s Authentic Merchandise

The artistic elements extends beyond the pages. Every book is complemented by screen-printed t-shirts and signed posters, turning each piece into a collector's dream. The horror-heavy metal blend is visually represented by the spellbinding illustrations of Dan Mumford, who has a rich history of creating for rock legends like Metallica and Iron Maiden.

This is Dead & Read’s first Kickstarter, inviting readers and music lovers to wear their passions, quite literally, and proclaim their love for age-old tales with a contemporary twist.

Horror x Heavy Metal: An Unparalleled Edition

With just 666 copies of each horror classic, these collections are exclusive masterpieces. This iconic number pays homage to the horror genre and the brilliant imagery that goes with it.

Dead & Read’s collections are the future for literature and music lovers Dive into the tales, wear the stories, and embrace the rhythm. Visit Dead & Read's Kickstarter page to secure your limited edition collection.

About Dead & Read

Dead & Read is a literary initiative by Sam Taylor, co-founder of Max Minerva’s Books, an independent bookshop with locations in Bristol and Portishead. With a history in both the music industry and book trade, Taylor envisioned a platform where literature and music collide, resulting in collectibles that fans across both realms would treasure. Dead & Read is more than a brand; it's a revolution in the world of literature and music.

For press inquiries, please contact: Sam Taylor Founder, Dead & Read

Phone: +44 7901 042 165


Website: Their Kickstarter Page is at

Social Media Handles: @deadandread on Instagram

Monday 30 October 2023