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DAVE'S DIARY

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.

 

 

Dave Ling OnlineTuesday 30th June
It had been a truly crap day. I was awoken at 4am by Bob barking at a fox in the garden and unable to get back to sleep, so there was no option: crap TV till sunrise. Bob must've eaten summat nasty as the poor hound soiled himself in the living room... badly. So I took him to the park for a swim in the river at 6am, only to stumble on wet, dewy grass and twist an ankle. Very painful indeed! I was feeling extremely sorry for myself, and then... a listening link to Motörhead's new album 'Bad Magic' pinged in the 'received' box!! As if by magic, all was right again with the world!!!!
Still in upbeat mode: Palace are being linked with the signing of former Newcastle man Yohan Cabaye from PSG. A French international with Champions League experience, that would be fuggin' great. It's certainly in stark contrast to the scabby, three-legged donkeys that were always linked with during the close season. And being French, there would be no need to renovate the changing room toilets. A simple hole in the ground would do.

 

Dave Ling OnlineMonday 29th June
Last night Eddie and I stayed up late to watch England's ladies against Canada... with cider! I was glad that we did so, it was a thrilling game. In a hostile environment England silenced the home crowd by racing into a 2-0 lead, only to concede an embarrassingly amateur-hour goal at the worst possible moment – just before the break. However, they stayed strong to close out a 2-1 win. Ed and I shall watch again in the early hours of Thursday when the ladies play World Cup holders Japan. For all of my nitpicking about the skill levels it's been hugely entertaining. The drinking was fun, too. At one point Eddie sat upright and said: "Dad I need to ask you a question, and it's serious". I thought, ulp. And the lad fired back: "Do you think that Strongbow is the greatest drink ever made?" Hahahaha!
Anyway, it's late afternoon and I've just pressed 'send' on a detailed obit / tribute to Mr Squire for the pages of Classic Rock, enhanced by a couple of interviews with band-mates past and present and some new quotes from Jon Anderson. Emotions were raw and it was saddening to write but I hope that I did him justice. It's time for a glass of something cold and a blast of the postie's latest delivery: 'Crooked Doors', the newie from Royal Thunder on double-gatefold vinyl. Such a great album!

 

Dave Ling OnlineSunday 28th June
I'm really, really upset at the passing of Yes bass player Chris Squire, who has lost a short battle with a rare and virulent form of leukaemia, aged 67. I'm a long-term fan, having seen Yes on the 'Drama' tour at Lewisham Odeon, and over the past decade I'd got to know Chris fairly well. As well as being a pioneer of rock bass guitar, with a style all of his own, he was a true gentle giant of a man with a great sense of humour. At the inaugural Classic Rock Roll Of Honour in 2006, I drew the short straw and was asked to shadow Chris and preserve sobriety until he presented an award to Deep Purple, a task that became Herculean when he suggested we meet in an adjacent public house. The rock world has lost yet another of its true greats. If you don't know what the fuss was about, click here.

 

Saturday 27th June
Ho hum. I was at the computer by 9.30am. Two big stories are due by Monday morning. It comes to something when the highlight of what's set to be a gorgeously sun-baked weekend will be staying up to watch England's ladies against tournament hosts Canada in tonight's World Cup quarter-final. Oh well, onwards and upwards…
Here's a fantastic vintage interview with Ritchie Blackmore at the Guardian website. I *so* miss Ritchie in full-on Man In Black mode. It's well worth a read.
Having heard and read mixed reports, I cracked open some pear cider to watch Motörhead at Glasto on the Beeb's iPlayer. It's nowhere near as bad as the haters will have you believe – head and shoulders above the disappointment of Sonisphere 2011 and Hyde Park 2014. Lemmy will keep on playing till he drops, that is becoming clear… and he has earned the right. You won't be hearing any complaints from me.

 

Dave Ling OnlineFriday 26th June
It's an absolute scorchio of a Friday afternoon. Dunno why, but I fancy a bit of this as I work on my Classic Rock news pages. I'm playing a compilation as I can't be arsed to keep walking across the room to flip or change the vinyl. Must admit, I'm a fairly recent convert to the music of Sir Reg. It all began during an interview with Zakk Wylde, who was singing Elton's praises and asked whether I owned any of his records. After I replied sheepishly in the negative Wylde said, "Well, it's about fucking time you did" and recommended I pick up a copy of 'Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy' or 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'. I did so, with not a trace of regret. 'Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player', 'Honky Château', 'Tumbleweed Connection' and 'Madman Across The Water' all followed into the collection and at the last count I had more than 40 of EJ's studio albums, live discs and anthologies of varying quality, plus the rather good one that he made with Leon Russell in 2010. I am not a raging kleptomaniac and I will fight anyone that tries to imply differently!

 

Wednesday 24th June
This evening there will be no ZZ Top and Thunder at Wembley for me, sadly. I've just returned from a slightly strange day spent in my former stomping ground of London's East End for the funeral of a relative of one of my all-time fave peeps on Planet Earth (he's godfather of my two lads). I wasn't really acquainted with Harj Kallah's mum but she was responsible for making probably the nicest human that being I know. For that alone she deserves immense credit. May she rest in peace.

 

Dave Ling OnlineTuesday 23rd June
Just heard the news and I'm seated at my desk grinning the like proverbial Cheshire cat. Glenn Hughes & Doug Aldrich in a power-trio (completed by drummer Pontus Enborg) playing the music of Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Country Communion, California Breed and Glenneth's solo material? Yes please. (presumably there will be a little Hughes-Thrall thrown in for good measure, too). I shall be at the Electric Ballroom in London on November 1... with bells, whistles and knobs on.
Funnily enough, I've just been playing a promo of 'Old Glory And The Wild Revival', an album by the tour's Wisconsin-born opening act, Jared James Nichols. It kicks serious ass… no wonder Glenn has offered the support slot.

 

Dave Ling OnlineMonday 22nd June
The full line-up of the inaugural Rockingham Festival is out at last. New additions include Jim Peterik!!!!!! Dokken, too!! I really dug the Ammunition album as well. Throw in regular Ling Towers faves the Dan Reed Network, Tom Keifer, Eclipse, Vega, Romeo's Daughter and Gotthard and that's a bloody strong bill. Kudos to the event's organiser David Heron. I may have to get myself up to Nottingham Rock City on Oct 23-25… especially as the fixture computer has been unusually kind (Palace are away to Leicester on the Saturday).

 

Sunday 21st June
There are no words to describe my latest hangover… it's simply one of the worst ever. Yesterday was spent in central London taking the 50th birthday celebrations of my good friend and fellow scribe Jerry Ewing. Early-birds were treated to a tasty barbecue which soaked up the already escalating booze levels. Things were already getting out of control by the time the fashionable latecomers started to put in an appearance… if I tell you there was a Sambuca fountain you'll probably get the idea. I seem to recall some dreadful dad-dancing and air guitar playing, and I almost literally crawled through Ladywell Fields on the way back home.
Anyway, life must go on and I'm here at my desk in a brave attempt to work. I've just spotted this incredible interview with Edward Van Halen. Wow.... just wow. No wonder Hagar is so utterly fucked off on Michael Anthony's behalf: "Fuck you, Eddie Van Han Halen, you're a liar" – check out this astonishing YouTube clip.
At lunchtime I had a nice Father's Day meal with Dad and the Linglets. Their cards were magnificent. It's nice to know Arnie thinks I am "annoying for [only] 50 per cent of the time". Hahaha! And I love that Eddie would write: "You are one of a kind, so do not change for anyone. I cannot believe how much you do for me." #choked

 

Saturday 20th June
36 years ago my life was changed forever during a family holiday to Canada when I learned that Rush were to play a hometown show at Toronto's Varsity Stadium. What incredible timing – the band even debuted a new, as-yet unreleased song, 'The Spirit Of Radio'!! So I pressured my cousins into taking me, and they eventually gave in. Ever since I have searched in vain for a recording of that show - only the second concert that I ever witnessed.
Dave Ling OnlineAnd then last week during chit-chat over beers at the Oval, my friend and all-round Rush loony Paul Berry happened to raise my hopes: "I can probably find that for you. I know of a few good websites". And check out what's just arrived in the post! Thanks *so* much, Bez!!!! I can't wait to play it! It's an audience recording, a bit muffled in places but just look at the fuggin' set-list!!!!

DISC 1
'2112' (17:42)
'A Passage To Bangkok' (4:13)
'By-Tor And The Snow Dog' (5:39)
'Xanadu' (13:24)
'The Spirit Of Radio' (5:33)
'The Trees' (5:03)

DISC 2
'Cygnus X-1' (10:20)
'Hemispheres' (17:34)
'Closer To The Heart' (3:32)
'Freewill' (5:58)
'Working Man' Medley / Drum Solo (16:08)
'La Villa Strangiato' (10:16)

 

Friday 19th June
Yessssssssss! Iron Maiden have announced the details of their new studio record. 'The Book Of Souls' will be unveiled on September 4th. Set to be a double-CD (triple vinyl!!!), it contains an unfeasible amount of music. Fucking hell! The final track 'Empire Of The Clouds' (penned by Bruce Dickinson) lasts for 18:01! Not unreasonably, this has caused speculation that 'TBOS' will be the über-proggy record that the band have always threatened to make. Indeed, my friend Jerry Ewing, the editor or Prog magazine, just posted on my Facebook page that the spoke to Steve Harris at Download. "He reckoned if you like prog then you'll enjoy this," says Mr Spewing. How exciting!!!
What a fantastic, rib-tickling interview with Biff Byford, who was just telling me about Saxon's recent spot on the Rock On The Range Festival in Columbus, Ohio. He couldn't quite recall the name of the stage that they'd played on. "Was it the Jägermiester stage? It might've been the fucking... Big Tits stage, I dunno?" That's food for thought for Andy Copping at Download next year, maybe?
Oh, and have a look at these moving scenes at the Royal Albert Hall from a few nights ago as Walter Trout returned to the stage for the first time following the illness that almost took his life. It's great to see him looking so well as during our last interview from a hospital bed, during which he broke down and wept, Walter had expressed uncertainty over the return of his voice and the strength with which to grip a guitar. I really wish I could've been there!

 

Dave Ling OnlineThursday 18th June
Eddie was up nice 'n' early yesterday and sat before Sky Sports News as the fixtures for the new footie campaign were announced. Palace are set to play the Arse, Chelksi and Man Shitty in the first half a dozen games… that's a very tough start. But you know what? Results in the last third of the previous term were such that I'm entering the 2015/'16 season with a renewed sense of optimism. I do hope that I can get some tix for the opening game, at newly promoted Norwich on August 8. That one's always a bloody good awayday!
There's fantastic news for fellow Nazareth fans. We've a London gig at last for the new line-up (now fronted by Carl Sentance of Persian Risk, Krokus, Don Airey Band, Uli Roth fame) – and it's a mere bus ride away! They play the Brooklyn Bowl (located inside the O2 Arena) on September 2. I'll be there!

 

Wednesday 17th June
So you might've been wondering what had happened to St Jude, the Ronnie Wood-approved, female fronted band who made so many new friends at the High Voltage Festival in 2011? The bad news is that they fell apart during the recording of their widely praised debut album, 'Diary Of A Soul Fiend'. However, frontwoman Lynne Jackaman is returning to the fray with a project that carries her surname. Last night, to celebrate the release of a second EP, 'No Halo', Jackaman and band – including the Quireboys duo of guitarist Guy Griffin and bass player Nick Mailing – played at the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, an intimate, rather pleasant North London venue.
Dave Ling OnlineThe place was packed, and it didn't take long for the band to find its groove. Later repeated as an encore, 'Wasted' was bold, immediate and fulsome, though the slower, quieter 'So Cruel' provided a more superior still platform for Jackaman's exquisite voice. Revised with just acoustic guitar and keys, her performance of St Jude's 'Angel' was simply breathtaking. It could be argued that she depended a little too much on the cover versions that filled the latter part of the show, including Blind Faith's 'Can't Find My Way Home' and an encore of Aretha Franklin's '(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman' but she's become a better, more confident frontperson, conducting both sides of the crowd against one another during '(I Know) I'm Losing You' by The Temptations and getting visibly carried away by the reaction to the music.
Yes, this was a hugely encouraging start for Jackaman (the band). Oh, and can we have more gigs at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen please?!

 

Dave Ling OnlineTuesday 16th June
I'm just about to make a start on the transcription of last week's face to face chat with Mick Mars, guitarist of the Crüe. How's this for a cool 'before' and 'after' shot? Together at Monsters Of Rock in 1984, and in London 31 years later?
In case you wondered, here's the story of pic #1: I interviewed Mars in London before Donington and requested he autograph my vinyl bootleg of the band's show at the US Festival. Mick wanted a couple of copies for himself and pressed £50 into my palm with the instructions to return to my source at Notting Hill Gate. A week later, when I found him backstage he couldn't believe I did so instead of simply pocketing the dough. ‪#‎trustworthy

 

Monday 15th June
There's some interesting news via the Classic Rock website; Van Halen's first four albums are being re-mastered in July… or should that be re-re-re-mastered, as the process has now been undertaken on a number of occasions. I've only got the CD re-masters from 2010, but I don't think I will ever be replacing these little vinyl treasures, though! Each one is signed by the four original members.
Dave Ling OnlineI'm *really* digging 'Legacy', the fantastic new studio album from Praying Mantis, out via Frontiers on August 21. What a majestic, melodic, hard rocking beauty from the new line-up, which now features two Dutchmen; vocalist John 'Jaycee' Cuijpers and drummer Hans in't Zandt. It even sports a Rodney Matthews-drawn sleeve… quality!

Sunday 14th June
Well, that was a little strange. Immediately before the Euro Qualifier between Slovenia and England I conducted a phone interview with an American band that had just played a set in the rain at Drownload… er… Download – him on a mobile phone in a backstage Portacabin in Derbyshire and me here in my office in South London. All rather surreal.
Though Hodgson's men fell behind against the run of play, the England game was extremely entertaining. The vile grannyshagger Rooney claimed what turned out to be the winner with four minutes to go. As usual, I leapt in the air until realising the identity of the goalscorer. However, the win maintained England's unblemished record in the group stages, something their appalling defending had done its best to undermine. England have now gone through an entire season unbeaten for the first time in 24 years, and Wilshere's two goals were just fucking magnificent.

 

Dave Ling OnlineSaturday 13th June
For a variety of reasons – though it's due to childcare, mostly – I couldn't make it up to Donington Park for this weekend's Download Festival, but it's been great to sit in my office read everybody's Facebook posts from the site. It sounds like Thunder went down a treat... and given the torrential conditions their name was pretty apt!
Given my newly financially challenged status, the offer of doing a little extra work here in London was most welcome. So, defying a post-Oval hangover, this morning my alarm went off at 6.30am and I trundled off to Islington for a breakfast-time interview with two groups (one of whom had played at Donington Park only the day before).
Off the back of several epic working days – 7am until 9pm or 10pm – I literally dragged my carcass back across London, seved up some lich for the Linglets and prompty went back to bed for an extended catnap. Crikey, I must be getting old… or something.
As afternoon subsides to evening I'm *really* enjoying Spike's new album '100% Pure Frankie Miller' on glorious, sexy white vinyl... accompanied by a tall glass of something strong! The songs are great, and there's an impressive guest list that includes Ronnie Wood, Ian Hunter, Andy Fraser (RIP), Simon Kirke, Luke Morley, Mark Stanway, several members of the Quireboys, Tyla, Pat McManus, Cherry Lee Mewis and Bonnie Tyler, who duets on 'Fortune'.

 

Dave Ling OnlineFriday 12th June
Oh no, how very sad. Horror icon Christopher Lee died yesterday at the grand old age of 93. I once had the immense privilege of a short interview when he attended Metal Hammer's Golden Gods ceremony (some may not know that during his later years Lee recorded several heavy metal albums). When I asked why he liked the genre so much he fixed me with *those eyes* and replied in *that voice*, "It's the power! THE POWER!" This was an encounter that I shall never forget. RIP to a true legend.
Anyway… I'm at my 'other office' today. No calls unless they're super-urgent pls!

 

Dave Ling OnlineThursday 11th June
As a favour to a work colleague I agreed to spend yesterday afternoon at a hotel in Kensington, conducting interviews with all four members of Mötley Crüe. It's a tough life, eh?
Though we had spoken by phone a few times during the intervening years, I hadn't met bass player Nikki Sixx in person since the days of John Corabi fronting the band back in the 1990s. Sheesh – what a pleasure. Back in their golden era, I once spent an afternoon at the Geffen Records office in LA waiting for him to turn up circa 'Girls Girl Girls'. Night and day when compared with now! The guy is a human quote machine, and so easy to deal with. During the course of our conversation Nikki said that Mötley Crüe will never agree to be inducted into the R&R Hall Of Fame, before correcting himself – if they did so they'd smuggle Deep Purple into the hall and as the curtain went up Purple would stun everyone by bursting into 'Burn'. Genius!

 

Dave Ling OnlineWednesday 10th June
Yesterday morning was spent in a soave central London location chairing a 'round table'-style discussion about the state of Britain's rock music scene with the lead singers of four very different home-grown acts. It was a lot of fun and along the way some extremely interesting comments were made. I won't spoil the surprise by naming them here, but look out for it in the next issue of Classic Rock.
Before heading back at Catford I decided to have a quick root around bargain basement of the Record & Tape Exchange in nearby Berwick Street. It had been quite a while since I had last bought any LPs of CDs. So how upsetting to discover the place closed. I had scoured the racks in the place for many, many years. It had traded for almost two decades but moved out due to plans to build of an up-market 100-bedroom hotel. Following the closure of the R&TA up the road in Camden, this is yet another bitter blow for all connoisseurs of the second-hand music trade.

 

Tuesday 9th June
Last night was spent all alone, the Linglets having gone to Essex for their mother's wedding. I don't love her anymore – quite the opposite! – but in the silence it was quite hard not to look back at the two decades that we shared. For the sake of the good times (and there were quite a few) I tried to avoid dwelling on the ugliness of four years of enforced cohabitation 'for the sake of the kids' that, mercifully, are coming to an end. Her new start is just beginning while mine still awaits. Err… can it hurry up get here fairly soon please?! It could've been a depressing evening, but I had bought in a big fuck-off pizza and some nice crisps, and the Sky+ box was full of programmes I'd been saving till a rainy day, so to speak. Oh, and I stayed off the ale!
Ooooooh look, The Edgar Winter Band are playing at London's Koko on December 1st. I've never seen him/them before. Might have a bit o'that!


Dave Ling OnlineMonday 8th June
Setting the seal on a fabulous weekend last night I joined those gathered at the Borderline for Spike's Free House, the Quireboys frontman's tribute to the music of one of this country's best ever vocalists and songwriters, Frankie Miller. What a line-up… Thunder's Luke Morley on guitar, Magnum keyboardist Mark Stanway and one-half of the classic Free rhythm section, Simon Kirke on drums. Of course, Andy Fraser had originally been slated to play bass, and following his untimely demise in March, and after an ill fated attempt to induce Dukk McKagan on board, Spike brought in his QBs colleague Nick Mailing to plug the gap. And he did a very tidy job.
What followed as a really great 75-minute mix of tunes from the excellent album '100% Pure Frankie Miller' and Free perennials, delivered with all of Spike's usual boozy bonhomie. Following Frankie's 'Cocaine' (not to be confused with the JJ Cale alternative) he deadpanned: "I tried it once but it's so expensive… so I didn't do it again." And later on, to much laughter: "I deliberately sang the wrong words to 'All Right Now' so that Classic Rock will have something to moan about!"
Highlights were numerous, notably those interpretations of Free standards such as 'Mr Big' and 'The Hunter' though Miller's contagious boogie shuffle caused Spike to remark: "When did you last hear Mark Stanway play piano like that?" before adding: "We do that round his house every night!"
There are plans for further gigs by Spike's Free House towards the year's end, so don't miss them. Meanwhile, here's the set-list: 'Be Good To Yourself', 'Wishing Well', 'Cocaine', 'My Brother Jake', 'A Bottle Of Whisky', 'Intensive Care', 'Fortune', 'Mr Big', 'The Other Side Of Town', 'Living In A Cheap Hotel', 'The Hunter', 'Cold Cold Nights', 'The Brooklyn Bridge' and 'All Right Now', with an encore of the 1979 hit single 'Darlin''.

 

Dave Ling OnlineSunday 7th June
What an utterly amazing night at yesterday's Spider 'Meet & Greet' event over at The Grange in Ealing, West London. Though rhythm guitarist/frontman Colin Harkness and lead axeman Dave 'Sniffa' Bryce still reside in Britain the band are now spread out all over the globe, but Brian Burrows (vocals and bass… though this time he stuck to singing) and his now moustache-less drumming sibling Rob E had flown in from France and Australia respectively. Likewise, fans had travelled from all over Britain. Though the band called it a day back in 1986, Jezza Locke regularly adds new members to his Facebook website page, the Spider Boogie Fanwagon. Jezza had done a fantastic job of organising the event over several months and many of the group's backroom team were also present, including original road crew, manager Maggi Farran and producer Tony Wilson. Nostalgia hung heavy in the air as the pint tally began to escalate. With Col being an Evertonian and Brian a staunch Red, there was plenty of footie banter – when it threatened to get out of control I reminded the pair how many points the mighty Eagles had taken this season from both of the teams across Stanley Park.
Dave Ling OnlineThe band *did* get up play a few numbers together at the end of an acoustic set from Sniffa's current group Sniffa's Web, and what a reaction! Towards the end of the night Harkness joined in for 'Feel Like A Man' (B-side of 'All The Time' and a bit of a cult classic) before the announcement that we'd all been waiting for: "It's time to bring up the other two." And up stepped the Burrows brothers. Just like the old days, some crowd participation took place during 'Did You Like It Baby', encouraged as ever by Brian's offer of a sweetie, though all these years later he issued the tongue in cheek disclaimer: "[We'll do this] as long as I don't end up on some register… Operation Yewtree."
Col reclaimed the mic for 'Rock 'N' Roll Forever Will Last' and 'Here We Go Rock 'N' Roll', and the impromptu set ended with a rousing 'All The Time'. The crowd wouldn't allow anyone to leave the stage without an additional number, 'Rock 'N' Roll Gypsies'. What can I say? It was a thrill and a privilege to have been in the room. And having spoken to all four members, I'm happy to report that the band shared the audience's delight. Don't be too surprised if a slightly more official reunion of Spider takes place before too long, though exactly what sort of a form it might take remains to be seen.
All the same… wow. What a fucking great night. And to make matters complete, in the raffle I won a couple of bottles of Trooper Ale (one of which was polished off by Monsewer Beare on board the night bus back into central London) and a terrific Iron Maiden fridge magnet…

 

Dave Ling OnlineSaturday 6th June
A fairly tough week lies ahead so I am *really* looking forward to this evening's invite-only fan evening for my ol' mates Colin Harkness, Dave Sniffa Bryce, Rob E Burrows and Brian Burrows – AKA the eight-legged boogie machine Spider. Will they take to the stage together again? We can only hope so. But being the birthday of Andy Beare, one thing's for sure: A few medium-sweet sherries will be supped. Here's a nice pic of me and the lads and their producer Tony Wilson at a gig at Hackney Stadium way back in '82 (headline act was the Brian Robertson-era Motörhead).

 

Dave Ling OnlineFriday 5th June
Check out this piccie of the Asylum in Peckham – what a fantastic location for the first official worldwide playback of 'Meliora', the new album from the Dave Grohl-approved Swedish Satanic metal band Ghost. Satanism in Peckham? Who knew??!! I was among approximately 25 media hounds prepared to face up to warm wine, exploding beers and spooky surroundings in the name of metaaaaaal!
Out via Spinefarm on August 21, 'Meliora' is a big improvement upon ghost's previous album, 'Infestissumam'. At times it was quite Alice Cooper-ish, and my friend Mark Taylor reckoned that it reminded him of the amazing Blue Öyster Cult… a rather fine compliment to be sure. I was really impressed by track #3, 'Cirice', and, no surprise, learned later that it's to be the album's first single. Of course, the biggest test will be hearing 'Meliora' in the usual surroundings of my office, as opposed to a dilapidated Georgian chapel built in 1827, but I'm sure it'll stand up okay.
Before I forget… I was asked to write one of those Thursday Death Match thingamajigs for the Classic Rock website, flying the flag for the Mk III line-up of Deep Purple against its Gillan-fronted predecessor. Which incarnation did *you* prefer?

 

Dave Ling OnlineThursday 4th June
Though they were mostly positive, my feelings over last night's gig by The Angels were mixed. With a reconfigured line-up with Dave Gleeson of the Screaming Jets, whose birthday it was, taking the place of the late Doc Neeson on vocals, and Sam Brewster (son of guitarist John) succeeding bass player Chris Bailey, who died in 2013, the veteran Aussies leapt out of the traps to hold me almost spellbound for the show's first half, revealing why they were an influence upon Guns N' Roses, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Great White.
A little surprisingly, there was plenty of elbow room within The Garage – the place was maybe half full – but those that turned up sang along with gusto. Before asking the audience to raise a glass to Neeson and Bailey whilst introducing 'Be With You', John Brewster reminisced of having written said song on acoustic guitars by himself and Neeson in the piano room of Alberts Studios while Angus Young and company were next door laying down 'Let There Be Rock', revealing a mutual appreciation society that had existed between the Angels and AC/DC back in the 1970s ("We'd be hanging out with them while they were recording, and they'd be in with us when it was our turn to record – wonderful days").
The Angels had me gripped until 'Face The Day', a huge US hit for Great White in 1984, and then for some reason things kinda dropped off a bit. For the life of me I couldn't understand why they threw in a cover of ZZ Top's 'La Grange' at such a crucial moment in the set, and it wasn't until the room shook to 'Will I Ever See Your Face Again' – complete with its legendary audience participation cry of: "No way, get fucked, fuck off!" that things really got back on track. Would I go and see them again? Undoubtedly, though given the turnout for this show and the distances and expense involved, it's gotta be pretty unlikely that they'll return for a third visit.
Here's the set-list: 'After The Rain', 'Shadow Boxer', 'Comin' Down', 'Fashion And Fame', 'We've Gotta Get Out of This Place', 'I Ain't The One', 'No Secrets', 'Be With You', 'Face The Day', 'La Grange', 'After Dark', 'No Exit', 'Talk The Talk', 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again', 'Take A Long Line' and 'Marseilles', with an encore of 'Can't Shake It'.

 

Wednesday 3rd June
Nnnnoooooooooooooooooo! Please say it ain't so. Sweet have announced what's being reported as their last tour, topping a bill that includes Mud 2 (original members? Zero…) and the Rubettes. Andy Scott commented: "For Sweet to be going back out on tour in the UK on such a big scale for what will probably be the last time is a real thrill"... I can only hope that he means this'll be their final jaunt as headliners in venues as large as Edinburgh Playhouse, Bournemouth Pavilion and Oxford New Theatre, etc. A brand new studio album is being completed as I type, so a complete farewell would be rather strange. If they *are* bowing out for good, I demand that they sign off with full-blown rock set in a packed, sweaty club. No 'Poppa Jo', 'Wigam Bam' or 'Little Willy' this time. Let's have 'Windy City', 'Set Me Free', 'Rock And Roll Disgrace' and 'Burn On The Flame' et al.
What joy! The odious Sepp Blatter has finally stepped down after 17 years in charge of Fifa, though the bad news is that his reign will continue till a successor if appointed. Here's hoping it's only a matter of time before he's sharing a cell with a seven-foot muscleman sadist who bats for the other side, with a passion for 79-year-old conmen.
This evening I'm off to see Aussie legends The Angels perform their first UK show in 35 years. Hope it lives up to the expectations. Here's my recent interview with the Brewster brothers.

 

Tuesday 2nd June
Oh my gawwwwwwddd… this new YouTube clip of Whitesnake playing the Deep Purple classic 'Mistreated' is unbelievably ghastly. To make matters worse, it's just been announced that ex-Whitesnake Doug Aldrich has joined Glenn Hughes for this autumn's world tour dates. DC and GH will have discussed this, I'm sure, but it's hard to imagine Coverdale being completely, 100% cool with it. The air is probably rather blue in Lake Tahoe right about now.
The estimable Sir Peter of Way has posted a snippet of a new song on his FB page, complete with Slash on guitar. It has a line that goes: "Wish I had some Peruvian cocaine". So he's still a reformed character, then! Hahaha!

 

Monday 1st June
Is anyone else enjoying the return of the brilliant, riotous comedy Man Down on C4? We've lost Rik Mayall since series #1, which of course is tragic, but Greg Davies is such a funny dude... there were several belly laughs in last night's episode. I might even watch it again at lunchtime.
For those that are interested, the Playlist and YouTube pages have received their monthly updates.

 

 

 

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Classic Rock Magazine


Metal Hammer Magazine

Classic Rock AOR Magazine

Classic Rock PROG Magazine