Dave Ling Online

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.

Thursday 31st March
Despite the possibility of its contents having been a little beige I can recommend Cowboy Song, the officially sanctioned biography of Thin Lizzy leader Philip Lynott. Here's my review.
I really enjoyed this afternoon's phone interview with Donovan Leitch, the singer, songwriter and guitarist best known for 'Sunshine Superman', Hurdy Gurdy Man', 'Mellow Yellow', 'Catch The Wind' and many more besides. It's not every day that one gets the chance of interact with somebody who played such a big part in rock music's birth; asking him about ignoring producer Mickie Most's advice - not to play 'Sunshine Superman' to Paul McCartney – was a little more interesting than some of the previous chinwags I've found myself doing.
As I type, I'm winding down for the day and finally lending an ear to Ritchie Blackmore's new singer, Ronnie Romero, on the Lords Of Black album. Knee-jerk reaction? Sheeesh, he didn't pick the guy for his songwriting ability, did he?!

Dave Ling OnlineWednesday 30th March
Gotta admit, I didn't see that coming when Afghanistan were whuppin' our asses in game #2, but largely due to the attacking flair Jason Roy, who scored 78 off 44 balls in today's Semi Final, we managed to beat New Zealand. Still a little shellshocked, but I'll take that every day of the goddamned week. (I'm not going to comment on last night's footie friendly between England Holland which, predictably, saw the wheels come off in double-quick time, though the the Ditchmen's victory was assisted by a couple of very poor reffing decisions.
And meanwhile, back in the world of music, I really enjoyed talking to Zakk Wylde for the TeamRock website about his favourite Elton songs... especially the following part of the conversation:
Zakk: "So the next one is going to be 'Tiny Dancer'."
Me: "I thought I knew Elton quite well, but I don't know 'Tiny Dancer'. Which album is it from?"
Zakk (having problems with my British accident): "Hahahahahaha, I thought you just said 'Tiny Danzig'."
Me (guffawing): "Aaaah, 'Tiny Danzig' I *do* know."
Zakk: "Oh my God. That's hilarious, brother. I like 'Tiny Danzig' better than I like 'Tiny Dancer'."

Tuesday 29th March
What a brilliant dream I had last night - A NWOBHM night at the 'old' Marquee Club. Queuing to buy a ticket. A bit of goss with Mike Shannon in Shades Records. Some pre-show beers in The Ship. Sticky floors inside the venue - everything in fairly graphic detail… except the identity of the bloody band I was there to see! I was quite sorry to wake up from it all, especially before heading across the road to the St Moritz Club to complete the famous Wardour Street Triangle!
When I posted this on Facebook, 'Krusher' Joule replied: "I remember going into The Ship and Robbo was holding court in his pink hot pants at one end of the bar and Lemmy was at the other end not happy with the pink hot pants, but fuck me, what a great performance they united for. 'Another Perfect Day' is still one of my favourite Motorhead albums!" I couldn't agree more. In fact, I went off in search of a cassette of Motörhead's gig at the Marquee on 5th July, 1983. Aaaaah, memories.
And back in the present day: I just cannot get enough of 'Folklore', the new album from Big Big Train. I'm three tracks from the end, and I know darned well that as soon as 'Telling The Bees' finishes I will hit 'play' again. Pure prog rock genius!!!! Start saving your pennies until it's released on May 27(pre-orders begin in a couple of days on April 1).

Dave Ling OnlineMonday 28th March
One of my longest lasting and most cherished friendships is with a wonderful Californian lady named Charrie Foglio. A few days ago we were FB Messaging about the bewildering death toll of the last six months, and how lucky we have been to work in the world of rock music for so long. This morning my in box contained a series of video clips filmed in a beautifully maintained cemetery, the first of which began with the words: "Hi Dave, Happy Easter… I know you haven't seen this as you are far away. I wanted to show you where Ronnie, Lemmy and Jimmy [Bain] are". Charrie was kind enough to leave a single flower for me before Lemmy's final resting spot. Much, much better than an Easter Egg, doncha think? Wow… that really means a lot.
Meanwhile, here's a nice little interview-ette I did a few weeks ago with Scott Gorham to mark the 40th anniversary of Thin Lizzy's all time classic 'Jailbreak' album (which was two days ago).

Dave Ling OnlineSunday 27th March
Yesterday was a long 'un. I was up at 7am to finish as much work as possible, including the final chapters of Cowboy Song, the rather excellent official book on Philip Lynott, followed by a park run to burn off the calories I was due to consume over the next few hours in front of the telly. The proverbial vat of booze was consumed during England's must-win T20 world cup game against Sri Lanka, and win it they did. Amid dramatic scenes scraped over the line by ten runs to claim a precious place in the Semi Finals. Incredible, thrilling stuff – the reason I love sports so much!
Next up? The evening's alleged 'friendly' with Germany. Don't be ridiculous! How could there even be such a thing??!! Ed and I zoomed off Catford Shopping centre to replenish alcohol supplies, stopping off for a couple of pints in the Black Cat - a bit of a dive, but beggars can't be choosers... and they had Sweet's 'Turn It Down' on the jukebox. Inevitably, the Krauts took the lead, and quickly doubled it... things looked bleak. And then during the game's second half England really took a grip on things. Three goals later, the last of which hit the back of the net in stoppage time, a famous victory was confirmed. A wonderful display from the Young Lions - wouldn't it be a shame if grannyshagger Rooney missed the plane to the Euros?!
What to do but empty the fridge and watch the highlights of the game again, with Eddie as beer roadie. Throughout the day and evening I'd been drinking a delicious wine called Echo Falls Fruit Fusion (with real berries... 9% vol), but soon it was time to move onto something different. One of my final memories of the night was hooting with laughter when Ed came into the living room with the immortal words: "Sorry dad, we ran out of strawberry dacquiri, so I topped it up with cider".

Dave Ling OnlineSaturday 26th March
With no Premier League games this weekend due to tonight's game between Germany and England, this is a fairly relaxed Saturday morning. There's no need to make a mad dash for Selhurst, so I'm in my office, feet up on the desk, a listening link to the newie from Vardis ('Red Eye', due May 20) blaring out at top volume. Cheap Trick's 'Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello' is gonna be up next, and I think I may even knock off early. I've just booked the FA Cup Semi-Final tickets for Wembley, too.
What fine work from the team behind the new-look Fireworks magazine, with Black Stone Cherry on the cover. I was extremely flattered to be asked by editor Bruce Mee to select the inaugural Take Five – a series in which a guest writer, industry figure or artist cherry picks albums that should have found a far wider appreciation (think Kerrang!'s late, great Striktly For Konnoisseurs). I ended up choosing the iconic self-titled debuts from Unruly Child and China Sky, 'Armageddon' by Prism, Lionheart's 'Hot Tonight' and 'Hit The Right Button' by the Heavy Metal Kids.

Friday 25th March
Back to central London again yesterday for a bit of a one-two punch. My friend Mark Taylor had wangled me onto the guest list for a launch party at The Gibson Guitar Studio to announce the bill of this year's Maverick Festival, a roots and Americana event that takes place in Suffolk from July 1-3. There was live music Wizz Jones and Woody Pines and refreshments and food courtesy of the show's local producers, including delicious Aspall cider. I'm not usually a Bourbon man, it tends to being out the worst in me, but Mr Taylor and I paid several visits to a stand at the back of the venue that was dishing out gratis tumblers of Michter's Whiskey from Kentucky. Needless to say, it all got out of control quite quickly.
From there Mark and I caught up with the main posse at the Sartaj Indian restaurant in Earlham Street for the return of Terri Weston's near-legendary Curry & Beer evening. Naan breads the size of dustbin lids, superb nosebag - I can heartily recommend their chicken tikka vindaloo! - and wonderfully entertaining conversation was the recipe for a first class night.

Dave Ling OnlineThursday 24th March
Yesterday evening was spent in London's West End for an entertaining interview with Jem Godfrey and John Mitchell for Prog magazine about 'Falling Satellites', the terrific newie from Frost* (due for release on May 27). Lots and lots of laughs ensued over the course of an hour spent sat around the tape recorder - the fellas were impressed that I still do things the old school way! What a double act those guys are, no prizes are on offer for guessing which of them had a gin 'n' tonic secreted about their person upon arrival!
Oh look, the excellent Cats In Space have been added to the line-up of the Stone Free Festival, an indoor event that takes place at the O2 Arena in South London over the weekend of June 18/19 - a mere bus ride away from Ling Towers... Purrrr-fect! Knifeworld and The Virginmarys will be there, too, as well as the previously announced Alice Cooper, Rick Wakeman, Marillion, Steve Hackett and Blackberry Smoke.

Dave Ling OnlineWednesday 23rd March
I really enjoyed yesterday's first sighting of Colour Of Noise, the new band of former Little Angels/b.l.o.w. guitarist Bruce John Dickinson, at the Borderline. It was interesting to note that Dickinson still plays the same old scuffed and battered Gibson with 'Eat My Dust' scratched onto its face, but CON represent a vastly different proposition than those Little Angels days. I could hear elements of The Cult, AC/DC, Zeppelin, Queens Of The Stone Age and good ol' ZZ Top in the mix, which also includes the occasional falsetto-flavoured contribution from ex-Furyon man Matt Mitchell, though not to the point of annoyance (unlike another band that we probably don't even need to name). Besides a brand new tune ('Lucky Number Seven') their groove-laden ten-song support set offered a few right ol' corkers, including 'Can You Hear Me?', 'You Only Call Me', 'Can't Take It With You', 'Drive It Like You Stole It' and 'Rock Bottom' (no relation). I hope to catch a headline set before too long. If you've not yet heard Colour Of Noise check out a rather fine self-titled debut or take a look around their site.
Phew! England got themselves out of jail in game#2 of the T20 World Cup. In an astonishing collapse, they stood at 57-6 after 9 overs against Afghanistan. Defeat would have spelled elimination. Dumbfounded and a rather pissed off, I posted on Facebook: "Morgan et al, hang your heads in shame." Our total, 142 for 7, looked miserly but somehow, incredibly, and largely thanks to Moen Ali, a shock defeat was avoided.

Tuesday 22nd March
This is a wee bit after the event, I know, but time is in such short supply here at Chateau Ling it slimmed my mind till now. I've been thinking a lot about the death of Keith Emerson. There were rumours that Keith had taken his own life, now substantiated, and according to his girlfriend the 71-year-old may have shot himself due to on-line criticism from so-called 'fans'. What a truly disgusting thought. In the aftermath, Billy Sheehan stated his was "disappointed" about Emerson's apparent suicide, certain fans interpreting his comments as mean-spirited. This air-clearing follow-up sets things straight and is perhaps worth a read. So is this really great interview with Keith by the journalist Anil Prasad. It's detailed and covers a distinguished career with the insight and affection it deserves.
Yay! I'm very happy to have been invited to contribute to the official programme of the Download Festival – especially as I hope to make it up to Donington Park on June 12, the final day, which is of course headlined by the one and only Iron Maiden.

Dave Ling OnlineMonday 21st March
I awoke to an inspirational interview with Eddie Izzard on BBC 5Live. The comedian has just completed 27 marathons in 27 days – two on the final day! – in blistering South African heat, for the charity Sport Relief. Asked about the mental toughness he drew upon to achieve such a superhuman feat, Izzard – who ran with painted fingernails and often wearing a Crystal Palace shirt – replied that much of his inner strength had to do with having come out as transgender during the 1990s. "It was a slightly crazy thing to do", he said of the fundraiser, with vast understatement. The saddest thing is that Izzard is probably fitter than the Eagles' first team!
Quo's final electric dates in Britain have been announced. And what a nice choice of special guest act – REO Speedwagon! In all honesty I had been umming and aahing about going, but December 11 is now in the diary. Hmmm... I wonder if there will be any 'special guests'?! in London at the O2 Arena?

Sunday 20th March
This is starting to sound like a monologue of misery. Palace really didn't deserve to have lost yesterday's home game with unlikely title challengers Leicester – but that's exactly what happened. A clinical 34th minute goal from Mahrez was enough to claim the points. The Eagles, whose Damien Delaney rattled the woodwork in stoppage time, have now gone 13 games without a win in the league. Yep... 19 hours of footie how elapsed since CPFC's last triumph in the Premiership, away to Stoke last December. Some fans are calling for Pardew's head, which is entirely reasonable save for the fact that Lady Lucky really has done her best to fuck things up over the last three months. Having been on the verge of a European qualification not too long ago Palace are now fifth from bottom, and this sixth-straight home league defeat only enhances relegation concerns. Thank Christ for those early season victories.

Saturday 19th March
It's 2am and I'm just back from seeing The Von Hertzen Bros at Brooklyn Bowl. Hmmm.... now let me see. What's not to like? An excellent gig taking place a bus ride away from Ling Towers (my first outing in almost a fortnight). A wonderful set in nice venue with great company, quite literally awash with cider, and a nice shout-out of 'Let Thy Will Be Done' to yours truly ("This one is dedicated to Dave Ling, what an amazing person - he comes to see us every time we play London"). And last but not least, a kebab on way home to Catford. I make that 'job done', don't you?
Dave Ling OnlineAs usual, the evening began with a few pre-show sherberts. I had arranged to meet my Guinness guzzling pal Andy Beare in a bar inside the O2 Arena and was surprised to find the complex, and said establishment, full to bursting point. It seemed that Adele was also set to perform on the same night, and our arrival was timed to coincide with every part time drinker in town having "just the one" before the lights dimmed. Oh bollocks. I texted Beare with the bad news that our imbibing would be affected by the clash. His response - "Adele? She's that fat bird, isn't she?" - provided instant reminder of the tiny bubble that we both inhabit. Together we would later work out that, yes, we do indeed know one of Adele's songs... but that doesn't really 'count cos it was a James Bond theme.
Attendance inside the Brooklyn Bowl was respectable, I guess. Though I'm rather fond of the place, it seems that non-South Londoners are far less willing to journey to the other side of the Thames. However, since debuting here in the UK at the Jazz Café five years ago the VH siblings have built a strong following. "This is our eighth time in London, I think," calculated frontman/guitarist Mikko von Hertzen, before musing upon the evening's chronology. Adele had gone onstage at 8pm, the Von Hertzens at 9.15pm. "Ah well, give it a couple of years," he chuckled. Joking aside, nobody who saw this 14-song performance is very likely to forget it (a final track from the proposed running order, 'I Came For You', was omitted). Over their last couple of albums the band has really found its niche. For me, 'Flowers And Rust', which scooped the Best Anthem category at a recent Prog Magazine Awards, figured among the very best rock songs of 2013. I'm really looking forward to hearing whatever they do next.

Dave Ling OnlineFriday 18th March
Hmmmm.... assuming that I can arrange Linglet care for the weekend in question, and so long as the fixture list is kind to be beloved Eagles, I may have to get my ass up to Sheffield for a slice of this NWOBHM-themed festival in December. Girlschool, Rock Goddess, Vardis, Chariot, Tytan, Demon, Venom Inc, Trespass, etc etc... that's a heck of a bill! The thought of seeing them all together in one fell swoop is pretty exciting.
Hooooray, it's melodic hard rock/AOR Friday once again. And what a list of potential candidates for the April 20 issue of Classic Rock... newies from Treat, The Defiants, AOR, Tainted Nation, Shiraz Lane, Chris Ousey, Human Zoo, Billy Satellite and last but by no means least Drive, She Said... plus a re-issue of Fierce Heart's cult classic debut from 1985. ‪#‎lickslips
During the afternoon I curtailed my trawl through AORsville to keep tabs on England's second game of the T20 Cricket World Cup. Having been set a total of 230 by South Africa the outcome had seemed a lost cause, but with the scoreboard ticking over nicely the longer the innings went on those odds gradually diminished and, incredibly, Morgan's men went to pull off the second-highest run chase in Twenty20 international history, getting their campaign back on track in the process. Despite losing two wickets during the final over and with the scores tied, Moeen Ali pushed his side over the line with two balls to spare... what thrilling stuff.

Thursday 17th March
I've spent this afternoon digging the living shit out of the self-titled debut album from a new-ish Aussie progressive rock group called Southern Empire, formed by the creative force behind Unitopia, Sean Timms. Think Transatlantic wishing they were an AOR band. They're bloody fantastic, and the album is out now via Giant Electric Pea. Check out this link to 'How Long', its third track.

Dave Ling OnlineWednesday 16th March
Last night I dreamt that Angus was the next one to depart, quite probably because I'd ended the working day with the 'If You Want Blood... You Got It' album and had been reading those scurrilous tales of Jonno being "kicked to the kerb". What a relief that it was all a horrible nightmare. And then the radio informs me that Sylvia Anderson, the voice of Thunderbirds' posh totty Lady Penelope, was gone, and another cherished piece of my childhood died. Very sad indeed.
Well, that's an afternoon of my life I won't get back. England were just blown away by West Indies in their first game of the T20 World Cup. What a fuggin' awful display, though (perhaps inevitably) Gayle was immense and pretty much decided the result by himself.
Still in the world of sport, my heart bleeds for Tiny Penis… er, Tony Pulis, who now owes Steve Parish and CPFC the sum of £3.5M.... that £2m so-called 'loyalty' bonus to be repaid in full, £1m damages and £500K costs! Some belt tightening might be in order there, methinks. Thank the Lord he seems to have an unlimited supply of baseball caps.

Dave Ling OnlineTuesday 15th March
I've just defied the aching limbs to indulge myself in another park run. The same track as yesterday but completed more quickly, I'll bet, and I'm a lot less puffed out. I was even happier still to find a band new digipack edition of the Kansas album 'Always Never The Same', made with London Symphony Orchestra, lurking on the doormat... embarrassing to admit that I've never owned it before. Glad that it's been re-issued by a company called The Store Of Music – saved me a quid or two!
Dave Ling OnlineWow... magnificent as they were on the night concerned, I didn't foresee this whilst stood at the Camden Underworld on the 'Blackwater Park' tour back in 2001. Opeth are to headline London's Wembley Arena for the first time on November 19. Gotta say, I'm *really* happy for one of the best and most deserving bands out there.
Ooh, and okay, let's not forget another fine Swedish group. Joey... it's a date! Let's celebrate the 30th anniversary of 'The Final Countdown', it would be rude not to. I was at the band's original gig for 'TFC' in February 1987, a gig that both began and ended with the band's signature tune. Great days indeed!
Amazing scenes - home nation India are being utterly, remorselessly spanked by New Zealand in the opening game of the T20 World Cup. Their fans, a comically overexcited bunch at the best of times, simply cannot believe it and are already heading for the exits. ‪#‎whatadramaticstart

Dave Ling OnlineMonday 14th March
A day at the PC beckons. I've been saving these two, recently purchased on CD for the first time, for such an occasion, also my two-disc anniversary edition of The Zombies' 'Odessy And Oracle' ... plus some more thorough exploration of a couple of rather good brand new 'uns, 'Over The Top' by Jump and The Dowling Poole's 'One Hyde Park'.
Palace have just been drawn against Twatford in the FA Cup Semi-Final. I'm pretty happy with that. Though we lost to the newly promoted side recently it was a very narrow defeat, and at Wembley the stakes are raised so high… it's a one-off clash, it almost does become a Cup Final.

Sunday 13th March
Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris turned 60 yesterday. It's hard to believe that I've known the guy for this long. 'Appy belated birthday 'Arry! Here's an interview I did with him a few years ago. It contains some nice Crystal Palace, Wet Sham and footie references.

Dave Ling OnlineSaturday 12th March
I'm in my office and going through my emails after the epic return journey from Catford to Reading via Oxford, still simmering in a saucepan of mixed emotions after yesterday's game, which was won by the Eagles by two goals to nil. How valid was the penalty that turned the result in Palace's favour? Hand on heart, I'm still not clear. The defender put his arm across Bolasie's chest... that's asking for trouble. But after last week's travesty against Liverpool, and those frequent requests declined in previous games, it was nice to get some friggin' luck at last. And stats-wise, there was only one team in it. Bottom line: seeing Eddie this thrilled makes it all worthwhile. The Eagles are Wembley Stadium-bound again! COYP!!
Now that I'm home the awful news of Keith Emerson's death, which I became aware of just before the game kicked off, is starting to sink in. The epic track 'Pirates' is among my all-time faves by ELP and it's helping... just a little.

Friday 11th March
I was up at stupid o'clock to research and conduct a breakfast phoner with Ian Anderson. Why the early start? Well, Eddie and I are off shortly to tonight's FA Cup quarter final in Reading, staying overnight with friends in Oxford. Gotta admit... I'm more excited than a man of my age should be! COYP! Cay sera sera, whatever will be will be...

Thursday 10th March
Here's a little interview-ette I did with Pete Way this afternoon about UFO's George Martin-helmed 'No Place To Run' album from 1980. Sir George, who has a better claim than just about anybody to be considered the Fifth Beatle, died a couple of days ago. He was out of his comfort zone with UFO, but personally speaking I consider 'No Place To Run' a very decent album.
It was lovely to hear Pete's voice. He asked about "the missus"... wow, had it been that long since we last spoke??!! The phone call was dead on time and he was extremely lucid. I was impressed.
The interview came out pretty well. I love the bit about George quizzing the band over Phil Mogg's missing lyrics: "We'd have to placate him, 'Oh, don't worry, they're done', when we all knew very well that Phil was down at the beach waterskiing."

Dave Ling OnlineWednesday 9th March
I had worried that the Forum might be too large for Avantasia, but in the end they sold out the 2,300-capacity hall venue and managed to make it feel like a club. "Welcome to three hours of manly, bombastic rock and metal - our indoor debut in the UK and you are here to witness it!" grinned the ever-excitable Tobias Sammet at the start of last night's show. In fact, it felt a bit like a privilege to be in attendance. Nine lead singers, including Bob Catley of Magnum, the now shaven-head former Helloween frontman Michael Kiske, Mr Big's Eric Martin, Amanda Somerville, Ronnie Atkins of Pretty Maids and Jørn Lande. 28 songs in the main set and three more as part of an encore cheese board, the last two of which ('Sign Of The Cross' and 'The Seven Angels') featured the entire cast.
Performers and audience were left quivering with the emotion of it all.
Understandably given the project's magnitude, Sammet won't promise further live performances, but neither will he rule out the idea. "If there's another Avantasia tour, we will definitely return to the UK," promised the Germany before the band took its leave. This was a marathon of marauding, melodic metal. Exhausting... but exhilarating.

Tuesday 8th March
Like the rest of the rock music world I'm stunned by this morning's shock AC/DC news. frontman Brian Johnson has been ordered to stop touring immediately or face "total hearing loss." Following an ultimatum from a doctor, the 68-year-old singer is now effectively retired from the road. The band's North American shows are to be re-scheduled for "later in the year", more than likely with a guest vocalist standing in for Johnson. I'm not a ticketholder for their upcoming London gig and I also decided to opt out of last summer's sold out gig at Wembley Stadium - it could never be the same without Malcolm Young. Frankly, this latest development convinces me that Angus young should pack it all in. The guitarist turns 61 on March 31. The time surely come to consign the schoolboy outfit to the closet.
When there's yet more bad news, a bit of Cheap Trick will always start the day with a smile. Here's their new single, 'When I Wake Up Tomorrow', lifted from an album called 'Bang Zoom Crazy... Hello' that's due on April 1.

Monday 7th March
On Friday night's visit to the Crobar my friend Jerry Ewing, the editor of Prog magazine, had bent my ear about 'Affinity', the newie from London-based progressives Haken. A promo CDr of said album, due on due April 29, had been lurking in my 'to play' pile for almost a week, but given Mr Spewing's praise - he sold it to me as a slice of '90125'-style commercial prog, with a unique, modern twist - I've just given it a blast. Wow... 'Affinity' is a complete blinder. I am dumbstruck. Frankly, I'm embarrassed that it took four albums for me to join the club, so to speak, but it's good to be on board and I shall definitely head over to take a peek at Haken at London's Garage on May 26.

Sunday 6th March
Dave Ling OnlineSo… how the fuck did we lose that game? Another shit ref at Selhurst Park, what a surprise. And he's bought along two of his friends, both armed with flags. I'm seriously pissed off. Palace deservedly took the lead shortly after the interlude thanks to a powerful strike from Joe Ledley and following the sending off of the Reds' James Milner appeared to be coasting to victory until 20 minutes till the end when stand-in goalie Alex McCarthy slipped over and presented the ball to Roberto Firmino who slotted home gratefully from close range. It was an awful error, and following such an injustice you could almost feel the belied drain out of the team.
Dave Ling OnlineSure enough, come injury time, Benteke went down in the box as though taken out by an anti-tank gun. At first the referee waved away the penalty appeals but for some reason changed his mind following the intervention of a lino bitch whose view was worse than that of the official. Was there contact between the striker and defender Damian Delaney? I say no, none at all. This photo proves it. It was a shameful dive, now wonder Supa Al lost his rag being interviewed on the telly, declaring the Liverpool man "a cheat". I was quite tempted to go out buy a howitzer, but decided instead to go back to the Albert Tavern for more cider, plus cocktails and shots. Christ, this season's second half has been among the most painful in living memory.

Saturday 5th March
*Emits pathetic wheezing sound*... I'm regaining composure after my first park run in more than two weeks. Fine drizzle and the cold didn't help, and it'll take a while to regain anything like my original fitness but I'm back in business and it feels great. It was nice that Eddie joined me. And finding new albums from Vega, Ted Poley, Phantom 5 (Michael Voss/Claus Lessmann) and Joe Lynn Turner's Sunstorm lurking in my 'in' box represents a darned fine start to the weekend!
That pesky cold seems to be on the wane and I've not been out in a fortnight. Hmmm... I make that Spontaneous Crobar Visit O'Clock. Don't wait up!!!

Dave Ling OnlineFriday 4th March
Oh shit, 'Big' John Thomas of Budgie has died. The guitarist had three spells with the Welsh group - 1979–1988, 1995–1996, 1999–2002 - and was also a member of the George Hatcher Band. He was with Budgie when I first began following them circa 'Power Supply' in 1980. Always rated him (and them) highly. Oh, and blimey... whilst Googling around for info on Thomas, it looks like the George Hatcher Band are still going. Respect!
The monthly Playlist  and YouTube updates have been posted.

Thursday 3rd March
Though I appreciate that mine is a minority viewpoint, the Foo Fighters are hugely overrated. However, this video is hilarious. I love that they would go to such huge amounts of effort to deny a rumour that they are about to call it a day, and do so with such wit and clarity. Take note W Axl Rose.
And while we are in YouTube mode, I'm impressed by the new video from Anthrax, 'Blood Eagle Wings'. The song is really memorable and the video... *shudders*... well, not for the faint hearted. "I think it's our masterpiece," says guitarist Scott Ian. "It's the biggest, coolest thing that we've ever written." I can't wait to hear the full album, 'For All Kings', which has been picking up some stellar reviews over the last few days.

Wednesday 2nd March
Good and bad news on waking up: Wonder of wonders, I managed to sleep for nine entire hours! But, Goddamit, Sunderland's 90th minute equaliser wasn't a bad dream after all. How much longer must we endure this misery??!! It's doing my head in...
Dave Ling OnlineIt's evening and Eddie Lemmy Selhurst Ling and I are rolling around the floor with laughter at The World's End, Simon Pegg's ale-tastic, violent and expletive-charged comedy about five childhood friends who reunite to go on the lash in 12 boozers along the so called "Golden Mile" of Newton Haven, a small provincial town populated by malicious robots from outer space. It's a right ol' corker of a movie. Someday I will take you on a pub crawl, son. But be warned: It won't be pretty and your hangover will exceed the CPFC Beer Fest.

Tuesday 1st March
Well, the inhaler did its job - eight hours of sleep. Thank Gawd for that!!! Before heading out to the office to begin a day's work I'm catching up on some telly. Another great episode of The Walking Dead. The series flatlined for a while but I'm so glad that I stuck with it.

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