This journal of the comings'n'goings and musings'n'enthusings of Dave Ling will be updated daily - except after days of stress and nights of excess.
Monday 8th August
Check out this very cool little web story on UFO. I hadn't seen it till a couple of hours ago but it contains some genuine laugh aloud moments. I never thought that I'd be quoted alongside a member of Rage Against The Machine (spit!).
My old mates Lionheart have just posted a new video for 'Don't Wake The Ferryman', a bloody great re-make of a song by Chris DeBurgh, taken from one of the albums of the year. Pomp-rock doesn't get much better and I can't wait till the UK tour with Airrace which hits London’s Underworld on December 2.
Sunday 7th August
I’d like to wish a very happy marriage to my good friends Paul and Rita Newcomb, two of the nicest people I know who yesterday tied the knot in the People’s Republic Of Croydonia. I first met Paul, who is also a massive fan of Crystal Palace, many, many moons ago through his involvement with Leslie West of Mountain. He set up an interview with Leslie and Corky Laing that ran over several pages of Classic Rock magazine in May 2003, and we stayed close friends ever since. Paul’s own music career began as a road crew member for Stray – I’m pictured here with the irrepressible Del Bromham, doing our best impressions of Harry Hill. The wedding with Rita and their subsequent reception was so stuffed with London music scene cognoscenti that it was rumoured that with half of its regular punters away the Crobar actually closed for the evening!! Sambuca shots with your meal, sir and madam? Oh go on, then. Amanda and I raised hell with Malcolm Dome, Jerry Ewing et al on the so-called 'naughty table'. Here’s a nice piccie before the madness began… don’t we scrub up well?
Anyway, I’m back at my desk and working on a melodic rock column for Classic Rock Sept 12. There’s yet another winner from Steve Newman ('Aerial' on AOR Heaven Records), and Boulevard's 'IV – Luminescence', the Canadian group's first studio album in 27 years is another frontrunner for the spot of 'lead review', but nobody is gonna top H.e.a.t's 'Into The Great Unknown' this month. It sees the Swedes adding some poppier elements to their sound yet returning with the distinction to which we are now long since accustomed. H.e.a.t. have just made the most complete album of their career. Watch their rise continue.
Saturday 5th August
What a fantastic day out at the Cambridge Rock Festival in its brand new location at Horseheath Lodge. A very homely, comfy spot and (shock, horror) dry weather – plus a wide variety of fermented apple juice beverages… absolute heaven. Proggers GHOST COMMUNITY were just finishing their set as we bowled up in the Noelmobile – regrettably, the last song was all that we heard so it’s hard to state an opinion except that the (male) singer had bloody great hair.
I’ve now seen quite a few shows by CHANTEL McGREGOR and she just keeps on getting better and better; not even some persistent tech gremlins and the fact that in a "blonde moment" she had foolishly left a favourite Stratocaster at home could derail a determined and thoroughly enjoyable display.
The TYGERS OF PAN TANG kicked major amounts of ass, revisiting vintage tunes such as 'Love Don't Stay', 'Gangland', 'Take It', 'Don't Stop By', 'Rock 'N' Roll Man', 'Raised On Rock', 'Suzie Smiled', 'Hellbound' and 'Euthanasia' and ramming home the quality of their current self-titled disc. From the latter, 'Glad Rags' got the entire place singing along... what a bloody wonderful chewn.
With the headliners in the preparation stages of a new album, FM decided to wheel out a collection of songs that were largely written when Steve Overland was four – or so he claimed (cough, splutter... shurely shome mishtake). There was a rare outing for ‘Shot In The Dark’, the track allegedly ‘misappropriated’ by Ozzy Osbourne, and Overland chose to end a rousing display with “a song by a proper band” – Bad Co’s ‘Can’t Get Enough’. I had managed to push my way right the way to the front, two rows back. Watching from such close proximity, it was lovely to behold the quintet’s sheer joy of playing. Shape throwing, smiles and laughs abounded and there was much piss-taking when Steve fluffed the lyrics to the golden oldie ‘Love Lies Dying’. Such genuine camaraderie is very rare, just like FM’s catalogue. They really are a very special band. Here's the set-list: ‘Digging Up The Dirt’, ‘I Belong To The Night’, ‘Life Is A Highway’, ‘Burning Down My Heart’, ‘Dangerous’, ‘Let Love Be The Leader’, ‘Someday (You’ll Come Running To Me)’, ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘All Or Nothing’, ‘Love Lies Dying’, ‘Shot In The Dark’, ‘Wild Side’, ‘American Girls’, ‘Bad Luck’, ‘Tough It Out’, ‘That Girl’ and ‘Can’t Get Enough’, followed by an encore of ‘The Other Side Of Midnight’. *Swoons*...
Friday 4th August
How fantastic... ahead of its release on September 22, I've just received a watermarked CDr promo of the album that I had feared would probably never be made; Black Country Communion's comeback opus, cunningly titled 'BCC IV'. I'm really, really enjoying this. There are some great chews here. I'm particularly enjoying 'The Cove;, which captures Messrs Hughes, Bonamassa, Sherinian and Bonham in melancholic through slightly groovy mood, offering distant echoes of The Voice Of Rock's former band, Trapeze.
In a short while I shall be heading off to the Cambridge Rock Festival with my pals Noel Buckley and Tyrina Gallagher. CRF is among my fave festivals; intimate and rather booze-fuelled. Hmmmm... I wonder how many different types of cider will be on sale this time?
I’ve no doubt that 'BCC IV' will be blasting on the stereo of Noel's car, and I daresay Cats In Space's awesome 'Scarecrow' will also receive an airing as we head up the M11.
Thursday 3rd August
How better a way to have spent the 30th anniversary of one of rock's all-time great albums, 'Hysteria' by Def Leppard, than being seated in the front row of a 250 person fan night Q&A with Joe Elliott at the Gibson showrooms just off Oxford Street? Honoured. Cajoled by host Paul Anthony, Joe was on top form throughout, revealing that some 'Hysteria'-themed tour dates are a possibility. “Watch this space,” was the singer’s unusually circumspect response, though Elliott did elaborate slightly by adding: “There are going to be shows next year , there’s probably going to be shows in the UK and they may well feature an iconic album in total… or they might not. We’ll have to wait and see!”
Thanks very much to Nick Workman from Vega for allowing me to be his +1 for the evening (PS No tongues were used).
Oh, and feel free to check out my own interview of the era from the pages of Metal Hammer with the band's Rick Savage.
Wednesday 2nd August
I decided to sit out Yngwie J Malmsteem’s return to the UK following his latest comments about the "self-absorbed" vocalists with whom he has worked in the past – check out this article entitled: “Why I Will Never Have Another Vocalist Sing My Music Again”. I wasn’t upset at The Yng laying into Joe Lynn Tunrer, Jeff Scott Soto, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens et al, more unwilling to listen to the guitarist's own notoriously lame efforts at singing. That's it for me, over and out.