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 January
Despite recent numerous sightings at festivals and on multi-band tours it had been a goodly long while since I last saw Girlschool perform as a headline act; from memory it may even have been as long ago as The Garage back in 2013 (on a bill with Raven). Ulp! Last night at the Camden Underworld in London, Motörhead’s little sisters proved that they still have what has always made them so darned loveable: an endearingly scatty joie de vivre, a true sense of character and, most important of all, a repertoire of amazingly durable songs.
Thursday 30th January
Throwback Thursday: Sharon Chevin recently sent these excellent photos taken last October at the 25th anniversary soiree of her PR company, The Publicity Connection.
Malcolm Dome and I in conversation with two of the event's many muso guests, Martin Turner and Laurie Wisefield.
How exciting! An advance CDr of Testament's brand new studio album, 'Titans Of Creation', is here. You won't believe how good it is. Check it out on April 3.
Well, that was slightly surreal, a phone interview with Charles 'Chip' Esten, AKA Deacon Claybourne from the TV series Nashville, ahead of his spot at the Country To Country festival. How strange to hear that familiar voice at the other end of the receiver. No, sadly. there's little likelihood of a return for Nashville, even as some kind of spin-off or sequel. "I would be surprised if somebody didn’t try; they brought back Dallas for a while, didn’t they?" he told me. "But having said that the cast are all doing different things, and what would be the point of borrowing from the bank account of love for the previous show instead of adding to it?" Nice guy, though...
Wednesday 29th January
I have spent the morning listening to the cream of the new AOR releases. Now I'm about to make the most of the sunshine with a run along the beach, followed by a spot of lunch. Missing life in London? Er... no way!
Saturday 26th January
Phone and email are off, it’s time to concentrate and avoid distraction. 'Tis a day of interview transcript and editing, also poring over my files of old press cuttings.
I used to adore Krokus... still do, in fact. Looking forward to seeing them again as guests of Saxon in the not too distant future.
Friday 25th January
Friday night is Monster Magnet night, baby! Amanda and I took the opportunity of not only witnessing a great gig - Dave Wyndorf and company revisiting their 1998 album 'Powertrip' - but catching up with a gang of mates at the Forum in Kentish Town, including Andy Beare and his missus Tracey. From where we were seated at the front of the balcony Wyndorf's voice sounded slightly muffled, which rather took the edge off my enjoyment, but it was great to exchange news and goss with the London posse.
Wednesday 22nd January
I’ve just conducted a 10am phoner with Fish, who greeted me with the words: "Hello, this is the Crystal Palace Supporters' Condolence Society." After last night's shambles of a game against Southampton, which saw the visitors leave with all three points, how near to the truth he was. The Saint leapfrog above Palace into ninth place. FFS... what's going on?!
Monday 20th January
Oh my goodness... lead singer Phil Campbell has left the Temperance Movement after a stay of eight years. I didn't see that coming. It's an amicable split. Given Phil's exceptional voice and the way it was ingrained to the bands music, I'm struggling to comprehend how they can continue without him. An emotional statement released by the group in which Campbell says: "I have however taken [things] as far as I can" gives no hint of whether or not they intend to try. In my book that represents very sad news.
Sunday 19th January
Our good friends Neil and Louise Pudney were house guests for the weekend. Like myself, Neil and Lou are Palace mad, and the news of the Eagles' equaliser at the Etihad caused mad scenes of celebration! In the evening we visited the Aquarius International Club, a rock night held at the White Rock Hotel in Hastings. Much fun was had. After bacon sarnies and lots of tea we took the Pudneys for a look at the local beach. The tide was out and the weather was bright. They understand why we are loving this place. Now they've headed back to Oxford the place seems terribly quiet without them.
Friday 17th January
How about this for a photo taken during today's coastal run? I've been doing this for around a fortnight now. A more sensible diet is kicking in and I've doubled my original track but I seem to have hit a wall. My legs are strong enough but I get short of breath; I can only hope that'll diminish as the weight drops off. The Hastings Fun Run in February is my first realistic goal.
Wednesday 15th January
For the second consecutive year, Judas Priest have missed out on being inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. It speaks volumes of the organsiation's priorities that Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails and Biggie Smalls are made the final cut. Like current guitarist Richie Faulkner, who sums up the situation here, I am left speechless by the stupidity of it all.
Tuesday 14th January
I'm really liking Myke Gray's new song, released under the pseudonym of Shades Of Gray. All together now, let's party like it's 1988!
Monday 13th January
I’ve been looking forward to hearing this. 'The Other Side', the newie from prog-rockers Nektar, much beloved of Steve Harris (who convinced Iron Maiden to cover 'King Of Twilight' as a B-side in 1984). Can they carry it off without guitarist/lead vocalist Roye Albrighton, who died in 2016? In my own humble view... that’s a big YEAH! There are some amazing songs here, including 'Devil's Door', a track that had existed in unfinished form since 1974 and which features guitar work from Albrighton pulled from its original demo. I really hope that the US-based band will play some gigs this side of the pond, though a little birdie tells me that it's a pretty unlikely scenario.
Sunday 12th January
On the way home from a very enjoyable weekend in The Smoke. Lots of boxes ticked: a rousing London derby, night in a posh hotel, a couple of hours spent with Dad and a catch up with Mr and Mrs Beare. Last leg of the journey. Sunset in St Leonards. No doubt about it, I will sleep well tonight.
Saturday 11th January
I was just about to eat my supper when the news broke - Neil Peart of Rush dies of brain cancer at 67. HOLY FUCK! I had no idea he was ill, though it transpires the band's organisation managed to keep it secret for three-and-a-half-years. What a terrible, terrible loss. I wasn't fortunate enough to meet Neil but that never bothered me. He was one of those guys that didn’t do small-talk and he had a brain the size of a whale. It was probably best to admire Peart's immeasurable talents from afar. As Amanda will testify, I spent the evening in a daze, constantly checking for tributes and updates on my phone.
So here I am a, up at stupid o'clock (5am) to go to football and listening - truly listening - to this obscenely brilliant piece of music. The mood, the playing, the lyrics, the sheer scale of ambition and attention to detail. It's strange how we absorb and accept what we hear; after several thousand spins it becomes 'the norm'. For the very first time since being exposed to 'Xanadu' as a teenager I'm sitting here at my desk blown away by its ingenuity. It's truly remarkable. Finding myself on the verge of tears. Might have to put a cherry brandy into this tea before the journey to Selhurst. RIP, The Professor.
[Edit: Crystal Palace 1 Arsenal 1. The Eagles start the game and finish it above the Gooners. How far we've come. A very useful point. COYP]
Friday 10th January
There's a brand new Wishbone Ash single called 'We Stand As One', taken from their forthcoming 50th anniversary set 'Coat Of Arms' (due at the end of next month). It's a bit of a protest song, hence the fists raised in the air. I was in the crowd at the Islington Academy when it was filmed, so I've heard the song a few times but it hits the spot with me. Look out for a guest spot from my pal Robert Corich at the 1.30 mark. I was next to him, but you can't see me. :-(
By the way, fellow Bowie fans should check out this inspirational story from Rolling Stone on David's last few years.
Wednesday 8th January
Are there any other fans of the programme Peep Show out there? David Mitchell and Robert Webb are brilliant funny in it... Olivia Coleman, too. All of the episodes are now running on UK Gold - truly side-splitting comedy. Series link set!
Tuesday 7th January
I've been working on a top secret project throughout the festive break, will pass on the details as soon as I'm allowed, but it's back to the grindstone in terms of my duties at Classic Rock. When you've been writing obituaries for almost two days only a blast of euphoric, crystalline AOR will elevate the mood. I 'kin love this album. After I reviewed it at the back end of last year for CR I received an email from Pat Cash (yes, *that* Pat Cash!) who said: "Just a quick note to say brilliant job at recommending Work of Art! What an album!! Perfectly cheesy and happy. Damn, those Swedes keep making good stuff." Pat loves his AOR, hahaha!
Monday 6th January
I was up at dawn for yesterday's FA Cup Third Round game vs Grannyshagger Rooney and Derby County. Once again, a very disappointing result (0-1 to the Championship side) but at least I got to spend time with my sports bud. Let's just concentrate on the league...
Friday 3rd January
Fitness update: Day #3 of four (I couldn't walk, let alone run, after my indulgent New Year's Eve). Shortened the track just a jot. Each time I go out I'm a little faster and stopping less (from four breaks to one, and today, zero).
Thursday 2nd January
Very disappointed by the result of yesterday's game vis Norwich. Fair play to my eldest lad Eddie who made the trip for the game in Norfolk which saw the home side take the lead. Palace equalised just before the end thanks to a VAR offside decision. So many areas of weakness to address - Luka Milivojević really must improve his dead-ball deliveries. Palace have not scored a goal from a corner at almost 100 attempts which, frankly, is a complete joke. Still, at least we didn't lose this one. Poor old Norwich now look Championship-bound, which is a shame as they kept faith with the players that got them promoted and have played some very decent football... but the league table doesn’t lie.
Just back from my first run in maybe 18 months, a simple one for starters - down to the beach huts at Grosvenor Crescent and home again. It's gonna take a while to get back into shape but I shall relish the challenge in 2020, it's one of the reasons I wanted to move to the seaside. #freshair #exercise
Wednesday 1st January
Happy New Year everybody. I saw in 2020 with a 'disco' at the Hastings & St Leonards Angling Club... yeah, really! Amanda and I had her 16-year-old lad Ewan with us, which meant exclusion from the local pubs, but a good time was had by all (our friends Jeff and Philippa joined us, and Cliff Evans from Tank dropped in for one drink and stayed till past Auld Lang Syne). I was drinking Somersby strawberry and rhubarb-flavoured cider which was 'kin delicious. The night ended with just about all of our gang out on the dance floor jigging around to the strains of 'The Ballroom Blitz' by The Sweet. Start as you mean to go on, eh?