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.
Wednesday 31st May
I've been stuck in transcript hell for the last three days, only just had the chance to hear the two new karaoke-esque recordings by Ritchie Blackmore's so-called Rainbow. Check out the 2017 remake of 'I Surrender' if you dare. The word 'grim' is an understatement.
After I posted it on my Facebook page, the noted producer Chris Tsangarides really threw his toys out of the pram: "My Goodness! How to ruin the legacy of a once Amazing Rock band.....Rainbow in their heyday were the best bar none at their unique style of Rock, heavy yet melodic with virtuoso performances by all the members! To release these songs under that name is just plain wrong! I don't know what Ritchie is thinking, has he played any of his old recordings to see how far off piste he is with this recording? To fans of Rainbow this must seem like a proper piss take! I don't care whether Rainbow was brought back together for solely monetary gains, fans will gladly stump up to see the band, but even there we were short changed, no offense to the musicians who played all were more than capable, but why do that when so many past members were available? Then huddle onto the corner of a more than empty looking stage, looking like a small pub band with sweet FA in production values, again no offense to pub bands... where was the spectacle, the magic the rock and roll? It's not rocket science, this isn't a Rainbow reunion I'm sorry to say".
I couldn't have put it any better myself! Don't sit on the fence, Chris!
Monday 29th May
Work on the 30th anniversary book for Earache Records continues... slowly. Very slowly. How could it possibly be anything but with this gatefold vinyl beauty as today's soundtrack? A prime, quintessential slab o'doom-rock if ever there was one!
Sunday 28th May
Following last week's atrocity it felt very good to be at an arena concert. My faithful man-bag was searched no less tyan four times (metal detectors were also used going backstage to interview Brent Smith from Shinedown – it's not a 'punters only' precaution), and I queued for what seemed like ages to gain admission to the O2 but from now on if that's the price that must be paid then the inconvenience is worthwhile.
Counting the flags in the front rows, Iron Maiden frontman gave a nice speech: "We don't care what colour, religion, gender or race you are, and we don't give a shit about your sexual orientation." And later on, during the introduction of 'Blood Brothers', he reiterated: "My friends, wherever you're from in the world I appreciate your courage in coming out tonight and showing a bold face to those people who have destroyed joy. When we are together like this it sends a message of love and peace - you will not fuck us up."
Since seeing them at the Marquee Club back in 1980, before their debut album was released, Maiden have been a huge piece of my life. I feel like I've been with 'em pretty much every step of the way, and I've no doubt that they're the best heavy metal band of all time. Last night's renditions of 'Powerslave', 'Wasted Years' and the aforementioned 'Blood Brothers' sent chills down my spine.
I'm also a fan of Shinedown, the so-called modern rockers who performed special guest duties, but I had doubted their potential to be embraced by the notoriously hard to please Maiden crowd. Boy was I wrong? Before the show Brent Smith told me proudly that Steve Harris had stood side-stage and smiling for the tail end of the Florida band's set at last year's Download, a course of events that led to the all-important phone call, and if anyone knows the Maiden audience it's 'Arry. And, surprisingly, early-comers at the 02 lapped up Brent's shtick about reaching out and shaking hands and/or high fiving the folks that they were sitting or standing next to. Their songs connected, too, and 'A Second Chance', 'Unity' and 'The Sound Of Madness' were surely among the cream of the tunes performed all evening.
Rock music 1, terrorists 0.
Saturday 27th May
45 years on from the fabled Greasy Truckers Party, last night the mighty Hawkwind returned to the Roundhouse. If only the beer had still been sold at 1972 prices... but hey, it was Friday. The show began with an unplugged warm-up. There was no 'Master Of The Universe', 'Brainstorm' or 'The Golden Void', but the songs the band *did* play reminded us of their catalogue's immense depth and former Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell returned to the stage after an opening set from his new band The Bastard Sons for the encores of 'Brainbox Pollution' and - what else? - 'Silver Machine'.
[Edit: Oasis are down there in the 'beneath dogshit' category along with T*e S**ths and R*M but on the nightbus home from the Roundhouse if there's a free magazine featuring an interview with Liam Gallagher I will always read it. What an odious, imbecilic, deluded, egotistical waste of space... but I wish there were a few more rock stars like him.]
[Edit #2: It's 1am and I'm home from a magnificent gig by Iron Maiden and Shinedown. I'll talk about that tomorrow. During the intermission I learned that Gregg Allman had passed earlier today, aged 69. It made me really, really emotional. They rarely performed in Europe but I was lucky enough to have seen the Allman Brothers Band on US soil - I just happened to be in LA interviewing Blind Melon, and the Brothers were playing the Greek Theatre. My friend Caroline Gibbons drove me to the show and sat looking bored whilst I lost myself in one of the greatest gigs that I would ever experience. Those days will never come again. What sad times we live in. RIP, Gregg.
Friday 26th May
Just over a year ago on a night out in Camden a Southern rock outfit called Whiskey Myers delivered a dynamite set as openers for The Cadillac Three. Now capable of headlining that same venue - the Electric Ballroom - it was time for another look.
My first impression? Jeez, what an impressive turnout. Second impression? That there were 20 of the buggers up there on the stage; in fact it was just seven, doubling up on saxophone, additional percussion, harmonica, violin, etc. Third and most telling of all? Despite having released four albums ('Mud' being the latest), the Texans are not yet ready to play a two-hour set. There were some great tunes to be heard, I'm taking about 'Bar, Guitar And A Honky Tonky Crowd', 'Virginia', 'Wild Baby Shake Me', 'Ballad Of A Southern Man' and the incredible 'Stone', but the group's material lacks consistency and although they finished on a high from time to time my attention dipped massively. It was no coincidence that the audience thinned noticeably as the night drew to a close. Sure, 'Some Of Your Love' sent the Ballroom wild but how do Whiskey Myers live with its shameless pastiche of Bad Co's 'Can't Get Enough'? And what on earth was that cover of The White Stripes' 'Seven Nation Army' about? Though there's plenty to work with and the situation might well change right now these Texans fall a little short of the finished article.
Thursday 25th May
What a brilliant little phone interview with Wilko Johnson about his 70th birthday party celebration at the Royal Albert Hall on September 26. When I asked about any possible set-list or special guest plans he replied: "Don't be silly… it's 1-2-3-4 and off we go. It'll be the usual show, I won't be dressing up as a prawn or anything." Love the guy!
Arnie, my youngest lad, tells me that tonight he is going to see a band called The Growlers. Oh, and can he please borrow some money?! It's a new name on me but they sound pretty good. I'm very proud that both of my sons love their music... I guess it must be passed on in the blood.
Apart from that, what was the coolest thing to happen today? James 'JY' Young from Styx singing a snippet of 'Lords Of The Ring' to me down the phone during a lively debate over the pomp factor of the band's new album 'The Mission'.
P.S. I don't make too many trips north o' the border, but when that happens I usually leave my mark. Check out this collection of photos from the Cathouse in Glasgow during the 1990s.
Wednesday 24th May
I had been in need of cheering up and a night out at the Beaverwood with good friends the Crobeare and Marlene over a few ciders watching Sari Schorr And The Engine Room would prove just the ticket. New Yorker Schorr began her career backing Joe Louis Walker and Popa Chubby, releasing her own critically acclaimed Mike Vernon (Fleetwood Mac)-produced album, 'A Force Of Nature', last year.
Following a rather good one-man unplugged warm-up set from Adam Sweet which included a wonderful Peter Green medley, the headline act arrived. It was instantly obvious that Sari has a belting blues voice and an immensely likable stage presence. Innes Sibun, who played guitar with Robert Plant on the 'Fate Of Nations' tour in 1993, is an engaging foil for the singer; watchable in his own right and with an impressive box of musical tricks.
Song-wise, self-penned material such as 'Ain't Got No Money' and 'Damn The Reason' stood up well, the slightly jazzy 'Oklahoma' reminding me a little of Steely Dan, and her selection of covers - Zeppelin's 'Rock And Roll', 'Stormy Monday' by T Bone Walker, Willie Dixon's 'I Just Wanna Make Love To You' and a scarcely recognisable 'Black Betty' by The American Ram Jam Band - was well picked.
Afterwards we chatted a while to Sibun, who has willingly placed his solo career on hold thanks to The Engine Room's packed gig schedule. The preparation of a second album has already begun, it seems. I look forward to hearing it.
Next up for me at the Beaverwood: Marcus Malone on June 1.
Tuesday 23rd May
Last night some sick fucker blew himself up in the foyer of a pop gig in Manchester, killing dozens - including innocent kids. In the grand scheme of things it's a miniscule gesture, I know, but this evening I'm making a point of attending a concert, also on Thurs (Whiskey Myers), Fri (Hawkwind) and hopefully Maiden over the weekend. Don't let 'em win.
It seems that manager Sam Allardyce has quit Crystal Palace – apparently for retirement (hmm… we shall see). I've mixed feelings: didn't want him at the club but the fella did a fantastic job in keeping us up against the odds and I was looking forward to see what he could accomplish next season. So now we seek a new manager… yet again. Unlike when Tiny Penis left us in the lurch there's time to look around, but the talent pool is small and the instability factor will undermine possible transfers. As the late, great Brian Moore once observed: "Following Crystal Palace is never dull."
Hodgson and Coleman are the current bookies' favourites. I think I need a drink.
Monday 22nd May
Friendship. Where would we be without it? Last night I had a meal with a pal of mine since the 1980s who's over in London from LA for a few weeks. Afterwards we went to see the Slaves, the 'other' band of Merv Goldworthy from FM and Romeo's Daughter's Craig Joiner and Andy Wells at an Irish pub in Soho. Like myself and 'Funky' (her surname's Gibbons, okay?) those three guys have been buds for aeons; since their respective bands met on the 'Tough It Out' tour in 1989. It's hard to believe I've known Merv for more than three decades... WTF? A bottle of wine and five or more pints of cider and some classic chews - their first set included The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, The Cult, Teas For Fears, Eddie & The Hot Rods, Supertramp, the Police, Van Halen and Tom Petty - that I quickly forgot all about the football... gotta say, here's to friendship - isn't it a priceless thing?!
Sunday 21st May
With no relegation or promotion issues at hand the last day of the 2016/17 season feels rather odd. Palace are away at ManUre, already confirmed in sixth place and with Mourinho threatening to make as many as eight changes, he has asked Sam to "tell [Wilfried] Zaha to go slow, leave [Christian] Benteke at home," adding: "I hope he goes soft on us."
Bugger that. I don't care if ManUre field their ladies' side. There's £10m prize money to play for depending on where we finish in the table and the Eagles must go for the win. COYP.
[Edit: It kills me to say this but well played ManUre. Their fringe players accepted the chance and really stepped up. Palace were nondescript and a well taken first goal pretty much ended things as a contest. Thank feck we were safe, that's all I can say. The Eagles drop a place to finish 14th thanks to a combination of very poor home form, too many late goals conceded, general sloppy defending and a toothless midfield until the arrival of Luka Milivojevic (just about all of these things were Pardew's fault). Ahead of an unprecedented fifth consecutive season in the top flight some upgrades and ship-outs are due in the summertime. Bye bye Calamity Hennessey - you were a really, really shit goalie.]
Saturday 20th May
Steve Hackett at the London Palladium: In the fifth row of such an imposing and picturesque theatre, directly in front of a childhood hero who was playing a mix of solo tracks and Genesis greats - notably tunes from the now 40-year-old 'Wind And Wuthering'... what a truly perfect way to spend a Friday night.
I was struck by Hackett's declaration that what he plays is "music from a gentler time," offered whilst introducing a beautiful version of 'Serpentine Song' that featured his brother John on flute - a quaint and surprisingly moving piece about their late father who sold his paintings in Hyde Park. Contrasting that, bass-playing, kilt-wearing loony Nick Beggs sat cross-legged on the floor and pounded the pedals by hand during a version of 'Shadow Of The Hierophant' that escalated into something pretty darned monumental. "Okay, we're taking a 15-minute break to let the building recover," Steve quipped with a wry smile.
As the Genesis segment of the evening began with two of my all-time faves, 'Eleventh Earl Of Mar' and 'One For The Vine', I was transported into another time and dimension... till the dude in front turned round and politely scowled; I realised that besides mouthing the words I was playing air drums on the back of his seat. So sorry, fella! The rest of the set? 'Afterglow', 'Dance On A Volcano', 'The Musical Box', 'Los Endos'... a pure embarrassment of riches. And as for sitting 12 feet away whilst Hackett played the solo to 'Firth Of Fifth', among the best ever in my opinion, well... what an honour. This was pure prog-rock nirvana.
Funniest quote of the night came (as usual) from John Mitchell, who as we filed out was overheard deadpanning: "I'm absolutely gutted! Still waiting for 'Invisible Touch'!"
I'm glad I stayed off the ale and didn't hang around for long at the after-show bash; there's a *lotta*work needs doing this weekend on the Earache Records book...
Friday 19th May
Yet another high quality show at the Beaverwood: former Wishbone Ash bassist/vocalist Martin Turner and his band. Two sets of vintage melodic hard rock, including a 45th anniversary revision that group's masterpiece, 'Argus', in its entirety. Before the interval we heard three tracks from Turner's 2015 album 'Written In The Stars'. I particularly liked 'Mystify Me' with its uplifting, sing-song guitar melody. Elsewhere we got 'Runaway' (from the 'New England' album), the debut's 'Errors Of My Ways', 'Front Page News', a couple from 'There's The Rub' ('FUBB' and 'Silver Shoes') and the evergreen 'Living Proof'.
What can you possibly say about 'Argus' that hasn't already been proclaimed since 1972, the year that the readers of Sounds and the Melody Maker voted it ahead of 'Machine Head' by Deep Purple, Bowie's 'The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars', 'Thick As A Brick' by Jethro Tull and Mott The Hoople's 'All The Young Dudes'? Its quintessentially English mix of hard rock, folk and prog makes 'Argus' one of the most perfect records ever made. Just for once the Beaverwood crowd listened attentively, even during the quietest bits, soaking up every note and by the conclusion of 'Throw Down The Sword' their appreciation was almost palpable. Returning for a threatened "one final song", Turner in fact delivered three – 'Doctor', 'Blind Eye' and a triumphant 'Jail Bait'. Upon leaving the venue, the rain was still torrential. I really didn't care.
Thursday 18th May
Like most others this morning, I'm shocked and saddened by Chris Cornell's sudden passing at a mere 52 years old. Soundgarden and Alice In Chains were the only bands I dug from the so-called grunge era. Cornell was a major talent. In the earliest days of Classic Rock we used to play his solo album 'Euphoria Morning' on a loop - this was my fave song from that record. He leaves a huge gap behind him.
Tuesday 16th May
Ronnie James Dio. July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010. Seven years gone already. You are still very much missed.
Monday 15th May
What relief. Yesterday's whopping 4-0 victory over Hull relegated the visitors back to the Championship - sorry, Tigers... I wish it had been Swansea instead - but it preserved the Palace's Premier League football for a record fifth consecutive season.
Here's Milivojevic putting away the pen for 3-0 to secure the result. Body Proportionate Sam - you did it (somehow).
Afterwards I zoomed across London to see Mr Otway at the 100 Club. Alas, I had no idea the show would be a two-parter and by the time I arrived after an evening of wild celebrations and a nice Chinese meal, Otway was already into Set #1. I stayed to the end of that segment but tiredness and booze were taking over, and I snuck away a few songs after the interval.
There's nothing like finishing a working day with a phone interview with ex-George Satellite Dan Baird, his Homemade Sin colleague Warner E Hodges chipping in via speakerphone. Roll on Ramblin' Man Fair...
Sunday 14th May
At the desk nice 'n' early for more Ramblin' Man Fair programme notes. In this weather a run's outta the question, but I'm aiming to be in the Two Brewers with Kevin Denman, Laurence Adams and Richard Thompson by 10am in advance of today's lunchtime KO at Selhurst. Palace vs Hull - whoever loses seems set for relegation. What an enormous game - COYP!! And later on, a bit of John Otway in the evening should all go to plan...
Yet another good one taken. I didn't know Jimmy Copley (Jeff Beck, Magnum, Roger Glover, Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi, Paul Rodgers and Tears For Fears) personally, but his drumming was sensational and everything I've read over the last few days from those that did suggests that he was a truly first-rate human being. RIP, sir.
Saturday 13th May
What a bloody mental night. Thanks to all of the good folk that came to Catford to celebrate the birthday of Eddie Lemmy Selhurst Ling, also to the live band for playing a request of George Michael's 'Faith'. Sambuca flowed and there was some dad dancing. I had vowed that we wouldn't end up back at Ling Towers but of course the hardcore drinkers (The Crobeare, Harj, Wild Thing, Lauren, Marlene, Richard T, Ed and myself) did just that, partying with Bob the dog until the sun came up and I feel asleep on the sofa, bottle of wine in hand (not a drop spilled, mind!). Ugggh, I've just crawled from the pit and we are enjoying a slice of Megan's awesome cake for lunch.
Friday 12th May
What a mix of emotions. My eldest, Eddie Lemmy Selhurst Ling, turns 20 years old today. I'm beyond happy with the way that he has rolled with the punches that life has dealt him to turn out as a confident young man and yet somewhat sad and bewildered that he is no longer a teenager. Happy birthday to my sports and boozing bud, here's to many more moments such as these. Let's celebrate big time tonight.
My Thursday evening was spent with Devon Allman and his band at the Beaverwood in Chislehurst. That surname is no coincidence; Devon is the 44-year-old son of Allman Brothers Band icon Gregg. Before he joined the wonderful Royal Southern Brotherhood I last saw him a decade ago in Sutton at the Boom Boob Club as part of a group called Honeytribe. It was good… better than good, but he still had a long way to go. We had a little chat for Classic Rock about his family backing being both a blessing and a curse, I'm not even sure it got published, but even then Devon was playing 200-300 shows a year. His time with RSB was well spent and having quit because, as he told me recently, "eventually you want to carry the weight alone. I have eight or nine solo records and I wanted to sing my own songs again", Allman has blossomed into an irresistible, eye-catching performer.
Balancing a wealth of self-penned material with an inspired selection of re-interpretations – 'No Woman No Cry' by Bob Marley, 'Checkin' On My Baby' (Junior Wells), The Detroit Spinners' 1972 classic 'I'll Be Around' and Tom Petty's 'Mary Jane's Last Dance' – plus 'Left My Heart In Memphis' from that debut Royal Southern Brotherhood album, Devon and company offered an intoxicating mix of blues, hard rock, soul and good ol' Southern rawk. Allman can really make that geetar sing or, where inclined, cut like a razor. He's also inherited his father's smoky, honeyed and seductive voice. And of course extra points were scored for the drummer who wore a Moxy T-shirt.
Towards the end of the set Devon left the band playing, wandered out among us and stood on a chair to bring the music closer still. Frankly, this livewire display knocked Davy Knowles' show from a couple of nights earlier into the proverbial cocked hat.
PS Thanks as ever to Pete Feenstra for putting on these great gigs. Whatever would we South London rock and blues fans do without him?
Thursday 11th May
Sorry to hear that British actor Geoffrey Bayldon AKA Catweazle has died at the age of 93. Another big part of my childhood gone.
For fuck's sake - Kansas have cancelled this summer's Euro touring commitments, including their spot at the Ramblin' Man Fair, due to alleged "security concerns". There goes my chance to see the band that made the album of 2016. What a bunch of pussies. I'm fuming.
Wednesday 10th May
With further gigs on the way from Devon Allman, Martin Turner and Sari Schorr coming up, I'm gonna be spending quite a lot of time at the Beaverwood in Chislehurst. My series kicked off last night with Davey Knowles, a guitar hero who grew up in the Isle of Man before relocating to Chicago with his band Back Door Slam. I've a copy of the 2009 album 'Coming Up for Air' which I saw him promote with a gig at the Borderline though afterwards I lost track of the fella and, to be quite honest, forgot all about him. No wonder; it turns out Knowles hasn't toured here since those days, despite carving quite a reputation on the other side of the pond. Peter Frampton called him "the gunslinger guitarist of the 21st century," Joe Satriani: "My favourite modern bluesman."
Well, I don't exactly know about 'modern'. During an acoustic interlude, Knowles addressed the crowd: "It might not be a secret but one of my biggest heroes is..." "... Rory!" they laughed back. "Is it the flannel shirt?" Knowles grinned in acknowledgement. No, it's more than the shirt. During the show he wields a batterered-to-hell-and-back 1966 Telecaster and also a 1932 National Triolian that's just like Rory's, throwing in a mean version of Tony Joe White's 'As The Crow Flies' which was of course covered by the G-Man on 'Irish Tour '74'.
It's a cool show, and I'd definitely see Knowles again but maybe I need to pick up the most recent albums first. The slow, ponderous blues of 'Falling Apart' from latest disc 'Three Miles From Avalon' was particularly impressive, alongside the more familiar title track of 'Coming Up For Air', and Knowles has a great, tight and often funky backing band built around some significant interaction with keysman Andy Toombs.
I hope he spends a little more time in the UK in future.
Tuesday 9th May
This afternoon I had a great chat with ex-UFO bassist Sir Peter Of Way, talking about his autobiography, the impending solo album and of course lots and lots of footie chat ("I knew that Benteke would get goals for Palace!" says the staunch Villa-ite). Despite wearing a heart monitor that will hopefully come off tomorrow Pete says that he is enjoying good health. He sounded upbeat and was, by his standards, extremely lucid. Its final third is harrowing and it includes segments that are hard to read without crawling under a chair, but the book is great, by the way. Ghost writer Paul Rees (an old colleague of mine from the RAW magazine days) intersperses the anecdotes with testimonies from Way's brother Neill, Michael Schenker, Slash, Joe Elliott, Geddy Lee, 'Fast' Eddie Clarke, Ross Halfin and Pete Makowski, engineer Mike Clink and Way's drug dealer buddy Gary Lee. Needless to say, it contains all of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll that can possibly be syringed into 261 pages.
I asked Pete why there is no input from Phil Mogg, Paul Raymond or any of the other current UFO members, likewise why Phil and Andy Parker are 'thanked', but the rest of his former band-mates - even Paul Raymond! - were overlooked. His response - "When I had my minor heart attack and prostate cancer, they didn't call me. Andy did, he's a good soul, but nobody else from the band asked how I was. Maybe Phil doesn't have my latest number, but then again I don't go out of my way to call them either" - was pretty revealing.
Monday 8th May
Just in: Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers confirmed for London BluesFest October 2017. How exciting!!!!
Sunday 7th May
Just picking things up for what should be the final day's transcript of the Wishbone Ash boxed set book with Steve Upton discussing the disastrous Tom Dowd-produced 'Locked In' album from 1976. "If someone were to write a school report on that one it would say, 'Must do better'." Luckily, of course, the band would more than redeem themselves that same year with the brilliant 'New England'. Anyway… I'm very glad that I stayed in last night, I'm in the mood to get this sucker finished.
Saturday 6th May
THANK YOU SUNDERLAND!!! Palace's televised 5-0 lunchtime battering at Man City was pretty hard to stomach. It was the club's heaviest defeat of the season, and to be honest we were lucky to get 'nil'. However, with the pressure off the already relegated Mackems did the Eagles a colossal favour by stuffing Hull 2-0 at the KCOM Stadium. Swansea's 1-0 defeat of Everton means that the Tigers drop into the dreaded bottom three. Palace and Hull go head to heed next Sunday. Sam's mean need to avoid defeat to stay up, for the visitors it's shit or bust. What an exciting and somewhat terrifying prospect, but as the cliché goes, it's all in our own hands.
Friday 5th May
Last night I went to a lunchtime launch party at the Borderline for the new Hawkwind album, 'Into The Woods'. The band played a few unplugged tunes, it was great fun. Afterwards I went back to the Crobar - maybe one drink. I betcha can guess what happened? Yep. Got home at 1.30am. Fecking hell. Tomorrow - sorry, today - is gonna be a bit tricky. At least it's a Friday.
During my mammoth Cro session I had a long and interesting chinwag with the band's newest member, bassist Haz Wheaton. The poor fella was supposed to be getting a 7pm train back down to the group's base in Devon, but of course that became 8pm, 9pm, 10pm and so forth. When I left to catch my midnight service from Charing Cross he was still sitting there with my pal Keith Barton. Those guys looked set for a few more hours yet!
Thursday 4th May
Uli Jon Roth's 'Tokyo Tapes Revisited' show last night at the Underworld... wow, just wow. My friend Harj and I pushed our way right to the front (Harj is a little geezer and wanted to see as much of the fast-fingered fret action as possible); this morning my ears are *seriously* ringing, but boy was it worth it?! Roth's band featured three guitarists including singer Nicklaus Thurman, also a keyboard player. Despite the volume, the tones were exquisite. Their 100-minute gig was based upon the Scorpions' legendary double-live album from 1978, plus a handful of Uli-era Scorps gems, including a quite brilliant 'Yellow Raven' from 'Virgin Killer'. We also got guest vocals from Nathan James of Inglorious on 'Sails Of Charon' and 'In Trance' and a couple of Hendrix re-workings during a lengthy encore. If this show comes to your town, DO NOT MISS IT!
Check out the set-list: 'All Night Long', 'Longing For Fire', 'Sails Of Charon', 'Sun In My Hand', 'We'll Burn The Sky', 'In Trance', 'Fly To The Rainbow', 'Pictured Life', 'Catch Your Train' and 'Dark Lady', followed by encores of 'Yellow Raven', 'All Along The Watchtower' and 'Little Wing'.
Tuesday 2nd May
This afternoon my heart sank – not for the first time I was summoned to the bank to transfer some money so that the mortgage payment wouldn't bounce. The mood dipped further still when the middle aged be-suited guy behind the desk proposed a meeting to discuss my finances and said mortgage, which in two months stops being a fixed payment. "How soon do you think you could do that?" I replied that time is short at the moment as I'm in the final stages of finishing a book. When the fella asked its subject I expected his eyes to glaze over. Instead there was a 180-degree attitude flip and he sat upright in the chair: "Wishbone Ash?! Oh my God, I'm from Devon, I grew up just down the road from those guys! 'Argus' is one of my favourite albums!"
I think it's gonna be okay… Hmmm, if I get the fella a signed photograph I wonder whether he might write off my overdraft?! Haha. If only…
Monday 1st May
I'm very, very disappointed that I didn't get to say goodbye to those pesky Black Spiders. Their London appearance was at Desertfest, which clashed with Saturday's game for the Palace. Yesterday my friend Andy Beare suggested a trip down to Southampton, but I was so rammed with work that I had to decline. I'd love to make the final show in Nottingham but for the same reason that's just gonna be impossible. And so, I must bid a fond adieu to the Spiders, a band with so much unfulfilled potential. I shall miss ya. Here's my favourite song of theirs. By the way, *everything* is Gene's fault. We all know, that, right?
Phew. Phew. And Phew again. When it comes to the Wishbone transcript marathon, I'm into the home straight at last. Those epic interviews with Andy P, Martin T and Laurie W are now fully transcribed. Ted and Steve are up next.
For those that care, the Playlist and YouTube pages have been updated.