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.
Friday 31st August
Blimey, it feels good to be at a gig again. LA Guns are tearing it up at the Islington Academy! A nice l'il cameo from opening act Jared James Nichols too!
As the band had been kind enough to dole out a pair of AAA passes, Amanda and I watched from the balcony... plenty of elbow room and a great view, and who else but Gerry Laffy, Phil Lewis' partner in Girl, standing to my left. The weekend is here!
Wednesday 29th August
The UK and Ireland dates for UFO's farewell tour are out. Regrettably, this all feels very real. God willing, I'll be at quite a few of these. I just hoping that they'll mix up the set-list one final time.
Tuesday 28th August
Swansea 0 Palace 1... A nice, professional job and into the hat for round #3 of the League Cup. COYP
Monday 27th August
Bank holiday Monday and I'm wearing my reviewer from Prog magazine hat: Five advance CDr discs of It Bites recorded Live In London (the Marquee Club in July '86, the Astoria in August '88 and the Hammersmith Odeon in April '90). The middle show, promoting 'Once Around The World', is jaw-droppingly awesome. Has there ever been a more underrated band? I think not...
Sunday 26th August
Twatford 2 Palace 1. If you saw CatPoo's outrageous studs-up tackle on Wilf in only the fourth minute of the match then you'll know the home side thought we were playing Australian rules - and the ref just let them get on with it. Twatford indeed.
Wednesday 22nd August
Going through a filing cabinet of documents in search of my decree absolute I was amused to stumble upon this cool drawing of the Air Raid Siren and myself circa our feud over the 'Tattooed Millionaire' album. Why isn't Bruce holding a jar of Branson chutney for authenticity's sake? For those that might not know, it was a case of mistaken identity. I went to do an interview at Harry's house in Essex and band were rehearsing there. Bruce collared me over a preview of 'Tattooed Millionaire' that had appeared in RAW before its release (I didn't write it!!), threatening to "punch my glasses down my fucking throat." He had been making a cheese & pickle sarnie in the kitchen before seeing me. I ended up wearing it! Harry gave me safe passage to Tony Mottram's car, trying - and failing - to calm things down. Still kinda surreal to think about it, and all is good again now (I think).
Tuesday 21st August
Cheating Scouse cunts - again. No apologies for that statement. Salah dived for the penalty that turned last night's game. I thought better of him. I was wrong.
Monday 20th August
How suitable to be transcribing an interview with Brian Downey on the occasion of Philip Lynott' birthday. Rest in peace one of the all-time greats. Downey was lovely, incidentally. I'd never spoken to him before but he seemed very since and likeable.
Sunday 19th August
Things I like about my job, part 3,669. People send you cool stuff. 'Stormbringer' is my all-time fave Deep Purple album and now, like the rest of the set, I own it on purple vinyl. I already had 'Machine Head' on purple (French import) but these look and indeed sound - they are re-mastered - bloody amazing!! Last night I spent best part of an hour sniffing them whilst watching MOTD, as my good lady will attest!
BTW...congrats to my youngest lad Arnie who after two years of study has just picked up his CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card, which means he can work on a building site, accrue some much needed cash and maybe even buy his dad the occasional pint or three. Need a wall building? Arnie is your man!
Saturday 18th August
Awoke early and as the house slept I finally got around to watching the last ever episode of Nashville. What a brilliant show. Errr... I think I have got summat in my eye.
Friday 17th August
Take a look at this morning's office, lol! An open doors training session at Selhurst Park. Very cool that the club would do this. COYP!
Thursday 16th August
Transcribing my interview with Brian and Michael D’Addario (AKA US power-poppers The Lemon Twigs) whose forthcoming second album, ‘Go To School’, is a rock musical telling the tale of the thwarted actors/musicians Bill (played by Todd Rundgren) and Carol (voiced by the brothers’ mum) who adopt a chimpanzee called Shane as their son and send him to school where he learns to interact with humans.
My first question was obvious: Do you mind if I say the album is utterly, utterly bonkers?
“Sure,” Brian replies casually. “Go right ahead.”
Tuesday 14th August
Classic Rock want to know whether I'd like to review the Steve Perry album. It's real. It's coming out. No, I'm not kidding. I will have the music within 24 hours! Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!
Monday 13th August
A truly fabulous Saturday night spent at the Rockers Bar in Cambridge as Airrace threw a party to launch their excellent new album, 'Untold Stories'. Besides the band members it was great to natter about old times with FM's Jem Davis, and Reuben Archer was there too. Fellow scribe Rob Evans was in fine form and had *two* lemonade shandies before calling it a night. Seriously, it was a MAJOR celebration/piss-up. I lost count of the expression Martinis that Laurie Mansworth kept putting in my hand (not that there were any objections!) Two mornings afterwards, I'm *still* feeling hung over. Before the madness began I did a nice l'il interview with Dhani Mansworth and Tagore Grey of The Treatment in their local hostelry. No punches were pulled in the questions or responses... that's the way it should be.
Steve Perry has activated his website and social media pages. There are rumours of him having completed an album at last. Look... I've seen those YouTube horror clips, but I cannot help myself - I'm excited!
Saturday 11th August
Off the scale. The greatest heavy metal band of them all. (No, Metallica, I'm not talking about you). If you're a fan you'll know that Iron Maiden's current L:egacy Of The Beats tour represents the band at their very peak. You'll have seen the set-list and marvelled at the photos. So I'm not going to go over it all again. Last night's show was simply among the very best I've ever witnessed.
It was great to share some drinks and footie banter with the Gers brothers after the show. Before Janick joined Maiden he and Chris ("Our Kid") often used to stand behind me at shows and, because they knew that I was recording, talk very loudly about me. I still have a tape of a gig by Bernie Marsden's Alaska at The Bell in Islington which is peppered by all manner of insults: "Crystal Palace wanker". "Never fookin' liked 'im, and I told 'im to his face." "What a ginger-haired twat." They were like the Beavis & Butt-head of Hartlepool. It was wonderful to see them again. [Edit, Chris Gers would like it to be known that he had no part in said abuse: "For the record it was Jan who said all those nasty things!!" So now we know... lol].
As I type, the mighty Crystal Palace have just won their first league game of the season. Fulham may have spent £100 million updating their squad, but after soaking the early pressure the Eagles took the lead and scored a second. Three points on the board after one game - what a great feeling!
Thursday 9th August
Yet another transfer deadline day comes and goes - this one was extremely un-Palace. I was so unconcerned over key outgoings that I went swimming, returning to find another loanee has strengthened the squad. Can't say I approve of Jordan Ayew's method of forcing an exit from Swansea (he simply refused to train for the club anymore); it makes me worry that he'll be a bit of a handful in a discliplinary sense, but hey ho... we have another striker at last. And should it fail to work out as hoped - the Ghanian has been relegated twice before - we can just send him back.
Monday 6th August
An enjoyable day spent on the rock 'n' roll telephone quizzing the current members of Nazareth about their new album 'Tattooed On My Brain', the first post-Dan McCafferty studio release (due October 12). Coming from a solid gold no-win situation - how do you replace a voice like that?! - I've gotta say that I really like what they've done. It's enough of a Nazareth record to validate its existence, but the introduction of Carl Sentance has taken the band to some different places. Here's the first single.
Saturday 4th August
What a lovely day out at Selhurst for a pre-season friendly in the company of both Linglets, the first time Arnie has attended a game in a decade. The result? A comfortable 4-1 win for Roy's Eagles against a disappointing Toulouse side. Besides Wilf Zaha's wonder goal the highlight was the hapless former Gooner and CPFC loanee Sonogo(als) coming on as a late sub for the visitors and the entire ground erupting with laughter.
Friday 3rd August
How cool to stand feet away from a boyhood hero, Carl Palmer, during last night's ELP Legacy gig at Under The Bridge. Backed by Paul Bielatowicz, an extraordinary guitarist who recreates – or more accurately ‘reimagines’ – Keith Emerson’s keyboard parts, and Simon Fitzpatrick, a skilled exponent of the six-string bass and Chapman Stick, the Prog God drummer delivered an hour and 45 minutes of prog-rock instrumental metal. The set-list was pleasingly familiar though the same couldn't always be said for the power-trio's interpretation of the songs, though that isn’t to say they were treated disrespectfully. Who needs a jukebox, right? Even at 68, Carl’s passion for music remains obvious. His dramatic, cymbal-tapping, gong-bashing solo during an encore of Nutrocker left us spellbound.
It's no secret that ELP were not exactly friendly away from the stage, and we chuckled when Palmer remarked: “The band didn’t break up; we just stopped working together and, er… talking!” In the past Carl was perhaps guilty of taking himself a bit seriously, but he seems to be in a good place right now. That's very pleasing.
"I was worried about coming to see a band without keyboards or vocals but I'm so glad that I came," a fellow fan told me on the way back to the tube station. "Who knows, it may be the last time we see the guy."
Aw Jeez, let's hope not!
BTW, welcome to Selhurst Park, Max Meyer. The highly rated German international has signed a three-year deal. I'm very happy with this excellent signing, also of Cheikhou Kouyaté. Roy will bring out the best in them both. Bring on the new season!
Thursday 2nd August
After a full week since the fault was reported, my email and office phone line have been restored. Ever tried closing a set of news pages, writing reviews and sending text with just a BlackBerry as a window to the world wide web? I've been incandescent with rage and frustration; it's been like working with hands tied behind my back, wading through treacle. And then the operative at Sky dares to inform me that my level of inconvenience has been calculated at £4.52, which will be rounded up to a Tesco voucher for a fiver. I told 'em to shove it up their wotsit. Will be seeking a new provider the moment my deal ends.
Wednesday 1st August
The new Playlist is up, folks.