Dave's Diary
This journal of the comings'n'goings and musings'n'enthusings of Dave Ling will be updated daily
(except after nights of excess)

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Sunday 28th November
After the disappointment of Palace's 2-2 away draw at Southampton - not a bad result, but we were ahead twice in the crucial game - I headed off to a sold-out Hammersmith Apollo. Sepultura won themselves some new fans with a cracking 45-minute best of set that included the Max Cavalera-era classics 'Desperate Cry', 'Escape To The Void' and 'Arise' plus more recent offerings like 'Choke', with 'Territory' and 'Roots' winning over the undecided few.
Motörhead were magnificent, even reviving a couple of tracks from 1983's 'Another Perfect Day' ('I Got Mine' and 'Dancing On Your Grave') and inviting ex-guitarist Würzel up for a deafening swansong of 'Overkill'. The biggest surprise was when Phil and Mikkey came out with acoustic guitars for 'Whorehouse Blues', with Lemmy wailing away on harmonica!
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Saturday 27th November
Still nursing sore tendons after an excellent Dismember gig at the Underworld. The Swedes are a glorious mixture of Slayer, The Haunted and Motörhead, though they attract a strange crowd. When Matti Kärki asked what we've been up to since they last played the UK, a fella nearby roared: "Drinking piss!" Er... whatever turns you on!
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Thursday November 25th
Quo at Croydon's Fairfield Halls - a real treat. Thank Gawd, they cut out all the cabaret stuff. No 'Burning Bridges' or gruesome Beach Boys medleys, just heads-down rock from start to finish. Rossi and a healthy-looking Parfitt got to the venue late after filming the Frank Skinner Show - I wonder if they truncated the show and excluded all the Seaside Special garbage. Anyway, the set-list was awesome: 'Caroline', 'Somethin' 'Bout You Baby I Like', 'Break The Rules', '4500 Times'/'Rain' and 'Hold You Back'.
Then four songs from 'Heavy Traffic'; 'Never Say Never', 'Solid Gold', 'The Oriental' and the brilliant 'Creepin' Up On You'. A medley of 'Mystery Song', 'Railroad', 'Most Of The Time', 'Wild Side Of Life', 'Rollin' Home', 'Again And Again' and 'Slow Train'. 'Gerdundula' followed the new single 'Thinking Of You', before a tendon-testing final run-in of 'Big Fat Mama', 'Roll Over Lay Down', 'Down Down', 'Whatever You Want' and 'Rocking All Over The World'. 'Paper Plane', 'Junior's Wailing' and 'Rock 'N' Roll Music'/'Oh Carol'/'Bye Bye Johnny' were the encores. A bit rushed in places, but other than that no complaints whatsoever!!
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Wednesday 24th November
Richie Kotzen, formerly of Poison and Mr Big, performed a one-man show in London last night. Best known as a guitar-slinger, he's actually a superb all-round performer with a gritty, soul-charged voice. A singalong rendition of Poison's 'Stand' was the highlight of 40 minutes on the 12 Bar's tiny stage, though 'Rust', 'Where Did Our Love Go', 'Don't Ask', 'Change', 'High', 'Shine', 'What Is' and 'Static' all hit the bullseye. Given the show's intimate circumstances, could've done without the selfish donut whose mobile phone kept going off... otherwise, a stunning night.
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Tuesday 23rd November
Last night I went to see Fish and the Carl Palmer Band as part of the Astoria's three-day Progeny festival. Have seen both of these bands on better form, to be honest. Maybe it was the poor turnout that affected my enjoyment, I dunno. Gawd knows how the empty balcony and less than rammed-full stalls must have made the performers feel.
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Sunday 21st November
Still licking my wounds after Palace's home defeat to Newcastle. Losing to a better team is easier to accept than some of the awful judgements that have gone against us of late, but yesterday's referee gave biased, blind wankers a bad name. I've read that Premiership officials favour the bigger sides against the minnows; this game was proof. The Geordies were cynical and dirty, kicking the ball away on the rare occasions we were awarded a free kick and getting away with it every time. A great piece of skill won them the game with 10 mins to go, but I remain sick as the proverbial parrot at missing out on another crucial point.
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Saturday 20th November
The mighty Pig Destroyer at a sold-out Garage. Man, the self-styled "pornographers of sound" from Virginia tore the roof off the place. 37 minutes on stage - 17 songs (a rough calculation), including two encores and an injury break as JR Hayes ricked his back and had to be replaced by the screamer from Labrat. Short but mighty friggin' sweet.
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Friday 19th November
I'd been anticipating the Sensational Alex Harvey Band at the Underworld, and it was great to learn the show had sold out in advance. Unfortunately, the front-of-house mix was unforgiveable. I was there mainly for Zal Cleminson, whose guitar during opening number of 'Faith Healer' (what else?!) was utterly drowned out by the thud-thud-thud of Chris Glen's bass.
When Zal's playing was audible it sounded magnificent, and Max Maxwell did a good job of filling in for the irreplacable Harvey, but the poor sod that must edit the DVD that was being filmed will have their work cut out.
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Tuesday 16th November
Europe played Hammersmith Apollo last night. Useful opening set from Hurricane Party, too, though it would've sounded far better had somebody bothered to turn on the PA. Joey and the boys were absolutely, er, out of this world - save for the lack of material from what I consider to be their best album, 'Prisoners In Paradise'. Had almost forgotten what a fabulous guitarist John Norum is. As he played a superb solo song introduction, Barbara Schenker, who happened to be standing nearby, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Wow, that really reminds me of my brother". If she meant Michael (and not Rudolf, who is of course a rhythm guitarist), Norum would've been thrilled to bits by the compliment.
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Sunday 14th November
If losing to an apparently dubious injury time penalty - away at Liverpool, no never!!!! - was a bitter pill to swallow (Sporting Life said Palace had put on "a defiant but far from classy" display, though a 2-2 draw would have been priceless), transport to Deep Purple's Wembley gig provided a further kick
in the teeth. I'd promised ex-T'Pau/Ian Gillan Band guitarist Dean Howard to catch his 6.20pm opening spot. With no Metropolitan Line and a bus replacement service for large chunks of the Jubilee Line, I only just caught Thunder's robustly enjoyable though truncated performance (no 'Dirty Love' or 'Backstreet Symphony'?!). Peter Frampton at least had an hour to stretch out (highlights included 'Lines On My Face', 'Show Me The Way', 'Baby, I Love Your Way' and an excellent 'Do You Feel Like We Do'). I beat the crowds before Purple finished. Gillan and chums had been well below par on this
stage 18 months earlier, but looked and sounded happier tonite. Me? I couldn't get 4.51pm out of my mind...
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Saturday 13th November
After 12 years away, Tyketto came back to rock a sold-out Underworld. Basing their 90-minute set around the vintage 'Don't Come Easy' album (played in its entirety), Danny Vaughn and the boys were just as good as we remembered them - perhaps better. Winding up with 'Forever Young' brought back the memories like you wouldn't believe. Funnily enough, as I put my Palace scarf on to leave, a guy came over and said: "If only Tyketto had Iain Dowie [of CPFC - keep up at the back, there!] managing them, they'd be top of the Premier League." Couldn't have put it better myself, mate...
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Friday 12th November
Good ol' Geoff Downes came through with a ticket for the all-star gig to celebrate Trevor Horn's 25 years in the business. Unfortunately, I had an Anthrax interview to do and arrived at Wembley just after 8pm, only to find we were queuing for admission (metal detectors at the door, due to the presence of Prince Charles!!). Was infuriated to miss The Buggles (who apparently played 'Video Killed The Radio Star' and 'Living In The Plastic Age') opening the show. Grace Jones was singing 'Slave To The Rhythm' by the time I found my seat, which was pretty cool, but Belle & Sebastian's toothless, jangly pop didn't improve my mood any. ABC played three numbers ('Shoot That Poison Arrow' and 'The Look Of Love' among them) before some aural wallpaper from the Art Of Noise and Propoganda. Then the biggie. Geoff played keyboards with a Yes line-up featuring Chris Squire on bass, Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin on guitars and Alan White on drums. We got the instrumental 'Cinema' before a hoarse-sounding Rabin took the mic for 'Owner Of A Lonely Heart' that got Wembley on its feet. Sensational!
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Thursday 11th November
Palace's run in the Coca-Cola Littlewoods Zenith Data Simod Shield comes to an end, losing by two goals at Old Trafford. Hilariously, Dowie fields a team of reserves once more. Our exit causes no tears to be shed here in Catford; the game of real consequence takes place in a couple of days' time.
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Tuesday 9th November
Tim Bowness, best known as one half of the band No-Man with Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, played the Spitz in London. He specialises is quiet, ambient prog that's thoroughly enjoyable. Shame about the dire support bands and an audience that were so far up themselves they could have flossed with their own dicks.
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Sunday 7th November
Excellent perforance from Palace to grab a point from Arsenal. Could even have won the game in the end - who'd have thought that a month or two ago? Consequently there was much swigging at an excellent Uriah Heep gig. Lots of my favourite Bernie Shaw-era stuff (opener 'Blood Red Roses' was a nice surprise) and even a guest appearance from Osibisa on 'Look At Yourself'.
Have got the hangover from hell today.
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Saturday 6th November
As a warm-up for Uriah Heep's annual Shepherd's Bush bash, Ken Hensley performed a one-man show. It was lot of fun, he played guitar and keyboards, telling stories and accepting questions from the crowd. Ken was unexpectedly candid, talking about his drug years and even making a reference to Adrian Mutu, the silly Chelsea sod who recently lost his lucrative job for taking cocaine. When I asked whether he might ever write another song for Heep he revealed wouldn't rule it out, but the decision wasn't his. Quite rightly, Ken also said they really need to make a new studio record soon.
One bloke in the crowd got a bit carried away and demanded to know whether Hensley had once called Heep a glorified tribute band. He owned up; saying it had even felt like one towards the end of his own tenure with the group. The fella was a bit like a dog with a bone, demanding to know whether Ken felt the band had made good music since he left. Hensley offered a toothless answer and everyone in the room winced as the guy did his best Jeremy Paxman impression: he wanted the real answer. Ken ummed and aahed, saying he thought 'Sea Of Light' was "a pop album" and that it was impossible to compare the two entities, but eventually had no option but to concede: "I just don't hear the songs [anymore]". Ouch.
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Thursday 4th November
With a feeling of trepidation following their bottling offstage (after one song!) at the Reading Festival, I went to Hammersmith Apollo to see if The Rasmus were as good as their album, 'Dead Letters'. Came away pleasantly surprised, despite the unrelenting girlie shrieks that sometimes drowned them out. They even played a metallised cover of the Pet Shop Boys' 'It's A Sin' that shouldn't have worked - but did.
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Wednesday 3rd November
Sat up till the early hours of last night watching the US election. Gave up when it seemed Bush was likely to win again. On the plus side - and I'm clutching at straws here - any reason to cancel a Bon Jovi gig (Jonny and his grinning pearlies were set to be wheeled out during the Kerry celebrations) is more than cool with me.