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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Tuesday 29th November
I've been a fan of John Corabi from his early days with The Scream to an all-too-brief spell fronting Mötley Crüe, also enjoying the albums he made with ex-Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick in the band Union, whose debut British tour last night took them to Lock 17 (formerly Dingwalls) in London's Camden. Perhaps it was the dearth of publicity, perhaps it was because the show happened on a freezing cold Monday night, or maybe no-one really gives a damn about Union, but less than 100 people turned up for a darned good show. Joined by none other than Cinderella's Fred Coury on drums, Union played a largely enjoyable set of their own numbers ('Do Your Own Thing', 'Love, I Don't Need It Anymore', 'Who Do You Think You Are'), bassist Chuck Garric (from Alice Cooper's band) doing a surprisingly decent impression of Gene $immons on the Kiss classics 'Unholy', 'War Machine' and 'I Love It Loud'. Unfortunately, Union became Onion (well, they made me cry... boom boom) with a couple of lame workouts from 'Carnival Of Souls', an album so appalling that even Kiss had tried to disown, but the set proper ended on a triumphant note with the Crüe's 'Power To The Music'.
On the subject of $immons, I was appalled (but not exactly shocked) to read that bassist/vocalist and lifelong teetotaller is now appearing in commercials for Miller Lite beer. Okay, Miller Lite is so fuggin' weak it might as well be made of 100% water, but this is the latest blatantly opportunistic stunt from a man whose once laudable musical credentials are now a dim and distant memory.
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Sunday 27th January
'll gloss over Palace's defeat to Luton; the radio commentary confirmed that we deserved to be stuffed. Our away form must improve... or else. However, Uriah Heep and Asia's double-header at the Astoria offered hearty commiseration. Asia's 65-minute 'special guest' spot was immaculate. Drummer Jay Schellen is a worthy addition to the ranks, but you'd expect nothing less from someone who's played with the mighty Unruly Child and Chris Squire (who looked on from the balcony). Alas, London didn't receive a preview of 'Wizard's Sleeve', a new instrumental song apparently inspired by Rick Wakeman, but there were three tunes from the excellent 'Silent Nation' album (the title cut, 'Long Way From Home' and 'What About Love'). The set was filled out by 'Wildest Dreams', 'Here Comes The Feeling', 'Time Again', 'Cutting It Fine', 'Sole Survivor', 'Only Time Will Tell' and a dazzlingly parp-tastic 'Heat Of The Moment'.
Heep's 90-minute set achieved the perfect balance between heady nostalgia ('So Tired', 'Keep On Falling In Love', 'If I had The Time', 'A Year Or A Day', 'Free Me', 'Sunrise', 'Sweet Lorraine', 'Gypsy', 'July Morning', 'Easy Livin'', 'Return To Fantasy' and 'Lady In Black') and the cream of their most recent repertoire ('Cry Freedom', 'Between Two Worlds', 'Words In The Distance' and 'Love In Silence'). At times they were positively spellbinding.
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Saturday 26th November
George Best died yesterday: kind of ironic after England finally legalised all-day drinking. I never had much time for the bloke, especially after breaking Palace captain Ian Evans' leg with a vicious tackle whilst playing for Fulham back in 1977. I could hear the crack of bone from my place on the Holmesdale Road terrace. And, frankly, I find it abominable that someone could accept a donor's liver and continue boozing. So excuse me for not joining the eulogies.
Anyway, there are two good reasons for this morning's hangover. Not only have Palace "formally rejected" (Simon Jordan's quote) a request from Portsmouth to approach Iain Dowie for their manager's job, but yesterday was Mrs L's birthday. We went to the West End for a luvvly Chinese meal, then checked out Chariot and Power Quest at the Marquee - don't say I don't know how to treat a lady. I'd never seen Power Quest before, and they were rather good - if a little more melodic (read: lightweight) than expected. Sam Totman from DragonForce was in the crowd, throwing shapes to the songs and mouthing all the words - at one point he almost sent my specs flying with one of his high kicks. Silly sod.
If you enjoy meat and potatoes hard rock with killer choruses, then Chariot are your guys. Pete Franklin is also one of the funniest frontmen around. "We've got a DVD on sale, if you want one just look for our manager Mike Shannon," Pete told the audience. "You won't miss him, he looks like John Lennon - but without the hole."
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Friday 25th November
You can't beat a slab or two of classic doom-metal, and I'd been anticipating yesterday's Candlemass gig since an emailed invite to re-experience "the C-mass orchestra of misery" from their bassist and my old pal Leif Edling. Also on the tour, billed as 'Hellhoundz Of Doom And Thrash', were Destruction, who I'd not seen since opening for Motörhead at Brixton in (I think) 1986. Tracks like 'Nailed To The Cross' and 'The Mad Butcher' really hit the spot, but my enjoyment was soured by bassist/vocalist Schmier's belligerent rant about the English press ignoring his band's current album, 'Inventor Of Evil'. Listen, bozo, if your record company had actually bothered to send the fucking thing, we might've written about it. Next time get the facts straight before shooting off that mouth.
Back to a quintet with rhythm guitarist Mats 'Mappe' Björkman returning after a few days away, the veteran Swedish headliners were quite, quite magnificent. We got three songs from the wonderful new 'Candlemass' album ('Black Dwarf', 'Copernicus' and 'Born In A Tank'), and golden oldies 'Mirror Mirror', 'Bewitched', 'Solitude', 'Dark Are The Veils Of Death' and 'The Well Of Souls', plus encores of 'Samarithan' and 'Crystal Ball'. Mournfully masterful mayhem.
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Thursday 24th November
Just discovered the rather good Full In Bloom Music website, where I was thrilled to see a detailed and hilarious interview with former Wrathchild vocalist Rocky Shades. Although I recall receiving an earful of abuse from Rocky for a poor album review, the Evesham glam-metal terrors were a wonderfully tacky live entity. Shades (who these days fronts a Blues Brothers tribute band) seems likely to play again with bassist Marc Angel, drummer Eddie Starr and first guitarist Phil No Silly Surname, though probably not under the fabled monicker. A Wrath-reunion would be a wonderful thing. Think I'll stikk on 'Stakk Attakk' album in a bit. Meanwhile, here's a rather embarrassing pic of moi at the St Moritz Club with guitarist Lance Rokkit. It's from November 1984...
On a less upbeat note, according to the Belfast Telegraph, Glasgow rangers are eyeing up Iain Dowie as a replacement for the about-to-be axed Alex McLeish; there are even quotes to that effect from chairman David Murray. Ulp... don't go, Dowie!!!
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Wednesday 23rd November
Site regular and fellow Palace nut Steve Taylor has emailed after Palace's 2-0 defeat of Coventry City, drawing my attention to a September 21 outburst against our alleged 'striker' Wayne Andrews. Steve very kindly reminded me that after Palace had turfed Coventry out of the League Cup, I wrote: "Oliver Reed was not a teetotaller, Brian Johnson doesn't speak the Queen's English, Dawn French is not a bikini model, I am not a brain surgeon... Wayne Andrews is not a professional footballer. End of." Well, in scenes reminiscent of The Twilight Zone, Wayne Andrews FINALLY scored his first Palace goal last night - after just 56 seconds. He was also voted Man Of The Match. So have I revised my opinion of him? Not really. There was no begrudging Wayne's moment of celebration, though Dougie Freedman's inch-perfect pass presented the perfect chance to break his duck. Let us not forget, it came after 22 league appearances and against a relegation-bound team. Before too long normal service was soon resumed. No, I've always maintained that Andrews tries incredibly hard but lacks the quality to make his mark - even in the Fizzy Pop League. There's talk of shipping the poor fella out to QP-ha-ha-ha on loan, with a view to a permanent deal. I'd even hand over the cash for his Travelcard to Shepherd's Bush.
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Tuesday 22nd November
Went back to the Fairfield Halls in Croydon again yesterday, where I witnessed another great Status Quo gig. With just one song included from the new 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' album ('Bellavista Man'), the band stuck largely to the hits package of previous recent outings, adding a new encore medley of 'What You're Proposing'/'Down The Dustpipe'/'Little Lady'/'Red Skies'/'Dear John'/'Big Fat Mama' to the usual collection of singles and album tracks. With no sign of the vile 'Burning Bridges', not even a tedious drum solo could prevent yours truly from heading home in a very contented mood. Hearing 'Dear John' again almost me made wanna dig out the song's video, which features a guest appearance from a very young Monsewer Ling (if you look hard enough).
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Monday 21st November
Revenge is a bloody wonderful thing. Yesterday Palace travelled to the South Coast to stuff Br***ton & Homo Album 3-2 with a last minute goal from substitute Jobi McAnuff. Did I enjoy a few bevvies afterwards or what? Just read a great report of the game in the Independent online... "the Palace fans were singing, 'You're going down with Millwall' and, with the light dying over the Withdean Stadium, relegation is looming for Brighton." Thanks a lot, Jobi. You have no idea how much joy you brought me.
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Sunday 20th November
It was only a matter of months ago since Mötorhead and Girlschool played Hammersmith, but last night they were back in London, at the Brixton Academy, sandwiched by Gothenburg melodic death-heads In Flames. Girlschool played well and were received well by the crowd, especially when Lemmy joined them for a version of their 1981 collaboration as Headgirl, 'Please Don't Touch'. Aided by a crystal-clear sound, In Flames went down far better with Mötorhead's notoriously conservative crowd than I'd expected. Once again, Lemmy and company stuck largely to the set-list they've been using on this tour. Nobody cared, and the band fuggin' rocked.
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Saturday 19th November
Last night I trundled up to the Astoria for a great gig from veteran doom-goths My Dying Bride. Singer Aaron Stainthorpe told me a coupla years back that he hates playing live, but he and his band are quite phenomenal entertainers. The place went apeshit when they played the classic songs 'The Cry Of Mankind' and 'She Is The Dark', but the 90-minute set also included a few unexpected treasures like 'For You', 'The Whore, The Cook And The Mother ' and 'The Forever People'.
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Friday 18th November
You've gotta love celebrity gossip website Popbitch. Their latest weekly e-bulletin contains two corking stories. We learn from it that people from the porn industry don't indulge in traditional handshakes, knocking elbows together gently instead when they meet. Why so? Well, nobody in that field of work's too certain where the others' hands and fingers have been. Ugh.
Twisted Sister also appear in the latest Popbitch letter. It seems that during their recent gig in Brighton, Dee Snider told the the crowd: "The balcony is where all the REAL sick motherfuckers are. They can't even stand up by show time. Let's have the house lights up to see them!" As the lights went up, band and audience found themselves gazing at the disabled section, full of fans in wheelchairs. Not sure if it's a true story, but it does remind me of a TS show at Birmingham Odeon in 1986 when I faced Snider's wrath for being in the balcony's very front row and being a little too 'refreshed' to stand up at his command. Still got a bootleg tape of his rant somewhere.
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Thursday 17th November
Was a little disappointed by last night's Greg Lake gig. The former ELP/King Crimson bassist/vocalist pulled a decent-sized but coma-like crowd at Croydon's Fairfield Halls, but as you'd maybe expect of someone who'd not done a solo tour since 1981, seemed to be doing the minimum to get by. A set-list that included '21st Century Schizoid Man', 'Lucky Man', 'Take A Pebble', 'In The Court Of The Crimson King', 'I Love You Too Much', 'I Believe In Father Christmas', 'Fanfare For The Common Man' and 'Karn Evil Nine' was well-judged, but departing for an interval after just 45 minutes kinda suggests that someone's mind really ain't on the job in hand - maybe in the Pizza Hut round the corner instead. I've never really liked the classical-rock fusion of 'Pictures At An Exhibition', during which I'll actually admit to dozing off for a while. The show's slightly cursory feel aside, the resonant timbre of Lake's voice was still well evident, the sound quality was superb (though rather too quiet) and the tour financer - none other than alleged 'comedian' Jim Davidson, would you believe? - certainly hadn't skimped on the lighting.
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Wednesday 16th November
Up at 5.15, just like the Who song, for the Test Match's climax. Settled down just as the England wickets began to tumble. I'm often asked about my fascination with a game as 'boring' as cricket - this morning the answer was obvious. Batsmen trudged back to the pavilion at frustratingly regular intervals as England edged towards a modest-looking total of 198. Confidence seemed to sap as Petersen and Flintoff were dismissed although a partnership between Jones and Udal restored hope. But Pakistan obviously didn't receive the memo, finally scuppering England 22 runs short of their target. Ah well, a great game. And still two more Tests more to go.
Last night I joined a respectably-sized group of fans at the Marquee for an intimate comeback from The Syn. You've every right to cry "who?", as The Syn split up in 1967. Although the others drifted into obscurity, Chris Squire found fame with Yes, and with that band temporarily on ice the bassist has assembled a new line-up with singer Steve Nardelli. Their new CD, 'Syndestructible', is a real gem. However, the band's first gig for an incredible 38 years (!!**??) saw them blowing hot and cold, also sounding a little too rusty. Besides most of 'Syndestructible', they previewed two cool-sounding tracks from a projected second album ('Silent Revolution' and '21st Century') and revised a pair of power-pop choices from their original incarnation ('Grounded' and 'Flowerman'). 'Cathedral Of Love', 'City Of Dreams' and 'The Promise' are all worth their weight in gold, but being brutally honest, Nardelli walked the proverbial vocal tightrope, sometimes failing dismally to match his studio performance. I hope he and The Syn pull through, but frankly I'm left doubting his and their ability to handle a long tour.
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Tuesday 15th November
With time to kill in Camden before yesterday's Exodus show I stumbled upon a basement full of odds'n'sods of cheapo vinyl. Hidden among tripe like Mrs Mills' 'Greatest Hits', various Des O'Connor and Manly Barilow cut-outs and even (I kid you not) former newsreader Angel Rippon's 'Shape Up And Dance' LP, I unearthed not only a 1978 album from The Blue Max, featuring Sir Danny Of Peyronel (UFO/Heavy Metal Kids), but 1977's 'Queen Of The Neighbourhood' by Flame, a New York band featuring former Aerosmith guitarist Jimmy Crespo. 50 pence each - bargain!!
Despite the absence of vocalist Steve 'Zetro' Souza and guitarist Rick Hunolt, a packed Underworld was anxious to see guitarist Gary Holt's new line-up. Kicking off with a vicious 'Bonded by Blood', it was immediately obvious that frontman Rob Dukes has what it takes. And with Heathen man Lee Altus (we are not worthy!) on guitar and ex-Slayer man Paul Bostaph slamming the kit, the re-energised quintet stampeded through vintage tracks ('Piranha', 'A Lesson in Violence') and material from their most recent two records; 'Tempo Of The Damned' ('Scar Spangled Banner', 'Blacklist') and the current 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine' ('44 Magnum Opus', 'I Am Abomination', 'Deathamphetamine', 'Altered Boy', 'Now Thy Death Day Come', 'Shudder To Think'). With encores of 'Fabulous Disaster', 'War Is My Shepherd' and 'Strike Of The Beast', I could've done with a new more oldies, but otherwise the new Exodus erased my doubts of their validity.
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Monday 14th November
Most of yesterday was spent transcribing a lengthy interview with guitarist Michael Weikath and making a start on a set of sleeve notes; Helloween's first four albums ('Walls Of Jericho' through 'Pink Bubbles Go Ape'). In down time I had the almost pant-wetting joy of cranking up FM's debut album, 'Indiscreet', just received on CD for the very first time. Kate Bush's superb (but-in-a-very-different-way) new double-set, 'Ariel', is also warmly recommended.
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Sunday 13th November
You've gotta savour English sporting success when it comes along, and yesterday we not only beat the Aussies at rugby (again), but stuffed Argentina in a so-called 'friendly' with the round ball (as I type, the cricket's looking good, too). I watched the footie over several large white wines in a West End boozer, adjacent to the Mean Fiddler where Fish would be playing later that evening. It was a tight game that not even the diving, rolling over, playing dead, off the ball fouls and all-round 'gamesmanship' of the Argies could ruin. England trailed 2-1 with 10 minutes left, and when Sven brought on Peter 'The Giraffe' Crouch as a sub, my mate Jerry Ewing had to persuade me to stay till the end. Thank God I listened. Two late, late Michael Owen goals sent the cheating scum back past the English-owned Falklands on the way home. So glad we stuffed 'em.
England's victory also robbed Fish - a wily, vociferous Scotsman - of the gloating rights (we're going to the World Cup anyway... what about you, Mr McDick?), so he concentrated on music, silencing hecklers, and some entertaining song intros instead. "They say when you give up smoking you should treat yourself to something," he told us with a grin. "So I bought two grammes of heroin instead." The two hour-plus set was separated into two halves, the first dedicated to his solo repertoire ('Big Wedge', 'Moving Targets', 'Brother 52', 'Raingods Dancing', 'Innocent Party' and 'Credo' all featured), the second recalled his days as frontman of Marillion. The audience sang along joyously to 1985's 'Misplaced Childhood' album in its entirety, plus an encore of the vintage Marilli-gems 'Incommunicado' and 'Market Square Heroes'. Fish's voice has been better, and the sound at the beginning was cack, but on the whole it was a great night.
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Saturday 12th November
Although the coverage began two hours earlier, I set the alarm for 6am to catch a chunk of this morning's cricket; England's game in Pakistan. After the breathless excitement of the summer's Ashes triumph, I'd almost forgotten what a slow, thoughtful game cricket can be, but just as my first cuppa was cooling, the mighty Flintoff struck with the first wicket of the day. By stumps-up the home side's impressive start had collapsed to 244-6, captain Inzamam-ul-Fat giving Pakistain a ray of hope by proving that he can indeed see his feet, and even move them around a bit.
Last night was the final episode of Rock School, and I found myself (almost) revaluating my opinion of Gene $immons. Filmed six months after successfully grooming a bunch of prissy rock-hating schoolkids to play Hammersmith with Motörhead, the team reunited in Los Angeles. $immons actually looked happy to see them again, to the point of becoming misty-eyed. "I thought I was here to teach these kids something," he said, "but in the end they taught me how to be a grown-up." Whoda thunk it?
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Friday 11th November
Great news from the Palace camp - Marco Reich and Tom Soares look like staying at the club, despite Premiership interest in both players. "Marco has done well for us, but we have done well for him," says manager Iain Dowie. "It is a two-way street here. He enjoys it and is learning. I like him." That makes two of us.
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Wednesday 9th November
It's been a tough ol' year for Hurricane Party, whose guitarist Jonny Rocker was almost killed by a Land Rover during a tour supporting Meat Loaf, and ended up having to change their name due to the freak weather that decimated the States this summer. After last night's gig at the Metro in Oxford Street - their debut as Roadstar - I'm still rooting for them. I'm chuffed that they've retained my favourite of their songs, 'Let's Get It Started', plus established crowd pleasers like 'Killer', 'Last Survivor', 'Big Rock Show', 'Days Full Of Nights' and 'Steam'. 'Out Of The Blue', a song I'd not heard before, bodes well for the debut album. The quintet will be touring with Thunder in February, and not having seen Hurric... sorry... Roadstar for a good three years guitarist Luke Morley came down to check them out. His verdict was "a great band, hugely improved." Couldn't agree more.
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Tuesday 8th November
Two weeks of rioting in France have racheted up the pressure on crisis-torn Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. Besides "swift and effective justice for all law-breakers", de Villepin is proposing longer-term solutions such as an urban renewal programme, tripling state scholarships in poor areas, various sanctions to fight racism and a lowering of the age when children can quit school for an apprenticeship. Sadly, there's no sign yet of commitment towards installation of more public showers and lavatories, or indeed the distribution of free deororants.
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Monday 7th November
Sheesh, the ol' neck aches this morning. Twisted Sister rocked Wembley with Alice Coooper last night. Alas, they must have hit the stage at 7pm prompt, so I actually missed opening number 'What You Don't Know' (how unbelievably frustrating!), but the 80-minute set was quite awesome. What about this as a splendid set-list; 'The Kids Are Back', 'Stay Hungry', 'Destroyer', 'The Fire Still Burns', 'We're Not Gonna Take It', 'Burn In Hell', 'Shoot 'Em Down', 'You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll', 'Under The Blade', 'The Price', 'I Am (I'm Me)', 'I Wanna Rock' and an encore of 'It's Only Rock N Roll (But I Like It)'? Alice was great as ever, but by then the booze had caught up with me, and I'll ashamedly own up to sneaking out before the end.
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Sunday 6th November
Yesterday Palace lost to a hotly disputed goal in a poorly marshalled home game with Sheffield United. Referee I Williamson of Berkshire, you are the poorest so-called 'official' it's ever been my misfortune to encounter and if I ever meet you in a dark alley you'll end up talking in a very high voice indeed.
On a happier note, thanks to the postie I'm now in posession of the next stage of Triumph re-issues (the brilliant 'Progressions Of Power', 'Allied Forces' and 'Never Surrender') plus Night Ranger's magnificent second album, 'Midnight Madness', from 1983 - all on CD for the first time. Joyous.
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Saturday 5th November
What a mixed bag yesterday's 25th anniversary of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal gig turned out to be. Kicking off at the unearthly hour of 4.55pm, the Astoria was all but deserted for Jaguar's energetic six-song opening set. It was amusing to see Jamie Manton bouncing around the stage on a microphone that doubled as a pogo-stick during their best-known songs 'Axe Crazy' and 'Back Street Woman'. Curiously, a three-piece line-up of Bronz blasted through 25 minutes worth of tiresome, Steve Vai-like instrumentals, offering no correlation whatever to the outfit responsible for the classic 'Taken By Storm' album in 1984. Praying Mantis had only rehearsed for three hours with their fill-in vocalist Damian Wilson (of Threshold/Rick Wakeman fame), and with ex-Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton absent through illness the signs looked bleak. In fact, despite a few moments of understandable rustiness Mantis were hugely enjoyable, notably the vintage tracks 'Lovers To The Grave' and 'Turn The Tables'. A quarter of a century had elapsed since I last saw Witchfynde opening for Def Leppard at the Marquee in January 1980. They don't look too Satanic anymore, but roaring through 'Stagefright', 'See You On The Other Side', 'Leaving Nadir', 'Cloak And Dagger', 'Stab In The Back' and parting shot 'Give 'Em Hell', there was no doubting the band's proficiency or enthusiasm.
And so to the headliners. The place had filled up a little, but if anyone doubted the wisdom of sacking vocalist Sean Harris and replacing him with Nick Tart, the ensuing 80 minutes would have done little to change that viewpoint. Tart is a decent enough singer but lacks Harris' spark and charisma. During opener 'It's Electric' he fluffed key notes and his throat sounded dry - maybe it was nerves, I dunno. But, unfortunately, it gave the doubters all the ammunition they needed. In fact, the show improved drastically as it progressed, a blistering version of 'Helpless' setting up the inevitable finale of 'Am I Evil?' and an encore, 'In The Heart Of The Night'. I wish the new-look Diamond Head well, but they face an uphill battle.
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Friday 4th November
Ozzy Osbourne is insisting that he had "absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what went down" with Iron Maiden at the Ozzfest in San Bernadino, adding: "I do not condone any of that kind of crap." Yet Ozzy reiterates the allegation that "the bass player [Steve Harris] came into my dressing room and said, 'I'd like to apologize for our singer'." Hmmmmmmmmmm.
A bike courier just delivered Rush's 30th anniversary double-DVD, 'R30' and it's an absolute treasure trove that will set fans of the band purring with joy on November 28. Was also thrilled that the good folks at BGO Records mailed re-issues of the first three Starz albums ('Starz', 'Violation' and 'Attention Shoppers!') to replace my knackered ol' vinyl. Thanks, fellas.
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Thursday 3rd November
Palace's away game with Southampton was postponed yesterday... at 5-bloody-pm. The pitch was flooded, so surely the match must've been in doubt way before that? If I'd have travelled from London - and I seriously considered making the trip - somebody somewhere would have been on the end of a verbal roasting.
Speaking of which, Viking Skull have lauched a volley of abuse at Twisted Sister as they dropped off the latter's UK tour with Alice Cooper. Okay, having been advertised on the posters and tickets they had a right to feel "fucking gutted" that Dee Snider and company wanted to play a full set, but to dismiss the latter as: "95 minutes of not-had-a-hit-for-20-years rubbish" is a bit rich. Comprising various members of Raging Speedhorn, Viking Skull were once called a "band that make Bad News sound good" by Rocksound magazine and have yet to release a full album. I've seen 'em, and their music is decidedly run-o'-the-mill. Twisted may not have bothered the chart statisticians for a while but could eat these these mouthy young whippersnappers for breakfast, and make a pot of glue from the bones.
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Wednesday 2nd November
Anyone catch the final episode of funeral home soap Six Feet Under last night? Having watched ardently from series one, it was sad for one of my favourite programmes to end, but Jeez - what a way to bow out. Loved the way the cast were made to look older, greyer, fatter and more wizened as their deaths raced towards them. It felt a bit like being at a Barclay James Harvest gig.
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Tuesday 1st November
Status Quo's long-awaited performance at TV's 'wedding of the year' took place last night. The band played at nuptuals of Les Battersby and his Frankenstein bride Cilla, with hilarious results. In a hedonistic fit Les smashed up what he mistook for the band's changing area ("This one's for Keith Moon!"), throwing a flat-screen TV from the window - before realising it was actually a room full of his wedding pressies. Quo had been having a bad hair day, so they persuaded crimper Candice (who later quits the show to become their official hairdresser) to give their barnets an overhaul. "Top curling," grinned Parfitt, gazing into the mirror whilst rehearsing a stage pose. "So fluffy and light." Wonderful.
However, the band's perspective on the show seems to have mysteriously changed. Just a coupla months back Parfitt told me he'd not seen Corrie since "Ena Sharples wore a hairnet, when the show was in black and white."
But more recently still he imparted to the Manchester Evening News: "We never miss an episode of Coronation Street, down to our gigs beginning after 8.15pm so we can see the show in our dressing rooms. That's how big a deal it is." Hmmm... I smell a rat.
There's wonderful news for Genesis fans. In a TV interview this past weekend, singer Peter Gabriel confirmed that the band's classic line-up - bassist Mike Rutherford, keyboard player Tony Banks, guitarist Steve Hackett and drummer Phil Collins - have arranged a meeting to discuss reunion plans. Oh, to be a fly on the wall.