Americanah by Chimamander Ngozi Adichie

imageimageThe Daily Telegraph in association with WHSmith newagents is offering the novel Americanah by award winning author  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author who also wrote Half of a Yellow Sun. Readers can claim the book for just £2.99 (RRP £8.99) between Thursday, March 6, 2014 and Wednesday, March 12, 2014, or bring in one of the printed vouchers published in the paper on Thursday, March 6, or Saturday, March 8.

Americanah is a powerful story of love, race and identity which features two  teenagers named Ifemelu and Obinze who, live in Lagos and fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face? Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, ‘Americanah’ is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world. The voucher is valid until Wednesday, March 12 at WHSmith High Street and Travel stores and at selected hospital stores. Excludes motorway service stores, outlet stores, Online, ‘Books by WHSmith’ at Selfridges, Harrods, Arnotts and Fenwick’s stores and WHSmith ‘Local’.

Roland “boon” Gould

Roland Gould, English Guitarist with  English pop rock and jazz-funk band Level 42 was Born MArch 4 1955. The band had a number of worldwide and UK hits during the 1980s and 1990s & gained fame for their high-calibre musicianship—in particular that of Mark King, whose percussive slap-bass guitar technique provided the driving groove of many of the band’s hits. The band are also known for the combination of King’s lead vocals and keyboard player Mike Lindup’s falsetto backing vocals and were formed after Mark King and the Gould brothers (Phil and Rowland) played together in various bands during their teenage years. Phil Gould went on to study at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he met keyboard player Mike Lindup in a percussion course. Both musicians found that they shared musical heroes: Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Keith Jarrett and Jan Hammer. Boon Gould also playing bass guitar and saxophone and Lindup doubling on keyboards and drums. Mark King was primarily a drummer, but also played guitar.  The developing band (at this point, entirely an instrumental act) took the name Level 42 and settled on a working line-up of King (bass guitar, percussion), Lindup (keyboards, percussion), Boon Gould (guitar, saxophone) and Phil Gould (drums).In 1981 they released their first single, “Love Games”, which became a Top 40 hit. then cut their critically acclaimed, self-titled debut album, which was an immediate success throughout Europe. The band quickly established themselves as concert favourites, taking advantage of the high performance skills of all four members. Polydor capitalised on the band’s success by releasing a second album, The Early Tapes later in the same year.

This was a compilation of material and is also known by an alternate name, Strategy. In 1982 Level 42 released their third album The Pursuit of Accidents. This was a further development of the Level 42 formula, maintaining their instrumental jazz-funk skills and styling but also experimenting further with pop songs, singles from the album were “Weave Your Spell” and “The Chinese Way”.  A fourth album, Standing in the Light, was released in 1983 It was less experimental and jazzy than previous releases & provided them with their first UK Top Ten hit The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up). The 1984 album True Colours veered stylistically between funk, power pop, mid-tempo rock and moody ballads & yielded the singles “The Chant Has Begun” and “Hot Water”.

During the same year, Mark King released his first solo album Influences on which he played the majority of the instruments (with a guest appearance by Aswad’s Drummie Zeb, and with Lindup guesting on additional keyboards).The next studio album, World Machine, was released in 1985 gaining positive reviews from critics. By this time, the band had moved on from their original pure jazz-funk sound towards a much more mainstream pop/R’n’B sound, with King’s bass and Lindup and Badarou’s chugging keyboards serving as templates for smart pop songs such as “Something About You” and “Leaving Me Now”. The “Lessons in Love” single arrived in early 1986—a song that would soon appear on 1987′s Running in the Family album. The song was a massive international hit and became the band’s biggest seller.Keeping up the momentum, the band played at the Prince’s Trust concert in July 1987, with Eric Clapton standing in on lead guitar for a performance of Running in the Family.

During 1987, both Phil Gould and Roland Gould left Level 42. The next album Staring at the Sun was released in 1988.  Sadly During 1989, Alan Murphy contracted pneumonia, which was complicated by the fact that he was already suffering from AIDS. His decline was rapid, and he died on 19 October 1989. This was a huge shock to the band, who had not known of Murphy’s condition and who had grown so fond of him that they stated at the time that they “could not replace Alan.”Devastated, Level 42 took a year off to regroup and rethink. In 1990 they released their next album, Guaranteed which was well received by American music critics, who appreciated the group’s musicianship and regarded it as Level 42′s most musically sophisticated work to date. In early 1993, Gary Husband left Level 42 and in 1994 it was announced that Level 42 would be disbanding permanently following their concert commitments.

Having been a very successful live and studio band in the 1980s, Level 42′s commercial profile diminished during the early 1990s following a series of personnel changes and musical shifts. After disbanding in 1994, the band reformed in 2001. Their most successful single was “Lessons in Love”, which reached number three on the UK Singles Chart, and number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, upon its release in 1986.

Chris Squire Yes, XYZ and Conspiracy

YFFHChris Squire, the current Guitarist with Progressive Rock BandsYES, XYZ ( ex Yes Zeppelin) AND CONSPIRACY was born 4 March 1948. Yes achieved worldwide success with their progressive music, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, live stage sets and symphonic style of rock music. They are regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre. They were Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford and released two albums together but began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album and Fragile,which featured new arrivals Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with the albums  Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans.

Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz, who played on Relayer (1974). Wakeman returned on Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978). Anderson and Wakeman left the group due to musical differences amongst the band in 1980, and both went on to pursue solo careers. Their replacements, Trevor Horn and Steve Downes, featured on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour before disbanding in 1981. Howe and Downes went to form Asia.

Yes reformed in 1982 after Squire and White were joined by the returning Jon Anderson and T0ny Kaye, with the addition of guitarist Trevor Rabin. They adopted a pop rock sound and released the number one single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and 90125 (1983), their best-selling album to date, followed by Big Generator (1987). Anderson left and co-formed the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with the named members in 1989. Following a legal battle amongst both Yes groups, they formed an eight-man band to perform on Union (1991) and its supporting tour. Rabin and Kaye featured on Talk (1994) before leaving, while Wakeman and Howe returned with Keys to Ascension (1996) and Keys to Ascension 2 (1997). Wakeman wasthen  replaced by Igor Khoroshev, who was featured on Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) along with guitarist Billy Sherwood. The release of Magnification (2001) marked the first album since 1970 to feature an orchestra.

In 2002, Wakeman returned for the band’s 35th anniversary tour. The band ceased to tour in 2004, partly due to health concerns regarding Anderson and Wakeman. Following a hiatus, Yes restarted in 2008 with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and singer Benoît David. After the release of Fly from Here (2011), which saw Downes returning on keyboards, David was replaced by Jon Davison, lead singer of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, on vocals. The band’s current line-up consists of singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire,guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes, and they continue to perform to this day, more than 40 years since their formation.