A QUICK WORD FROM DAVE: If you visit this Diary page with any regularity
then please allow me to apologise for the tragic lack of recent updates. My
complicated home life means that I must work harder than ever to pay the
mortgage; there simply isn't the time there used to be. So, in order to
catch up I am going to write about November 2016 in succinct, bullet-point
form. I'm pretty much cut and pasting my Facebook posts. Hopefully, from
December onwards I will be able to maintain the page with a little more
regularity. In other words: normal service will resume as soon as possible.
Thanks for your patience.
Wednesday 30th November
Still smiling following a stunning show from King King at Islington's Assembly Hall, a venue that's fast becoming a favourite of mine. If you've not yet signed up for this band and you're a fan of Bad Co and early Whitesnake then that should change... pronto! Despite a very recent throat op and the admission that he was holding back a little, Alan Nimmo sang with bluesy power and soulful sweetness. As ever, the epic 'A Long History Of Love' brought up the goosebumps, their cover of 'Jealousy' by Frankie Miller was another highlight and for the most part (it sems there are *always* a few disrespectful assholes) the crowd responded with a rapt silence since when Nimmo took things down to a whisper to play unamplified during 'Stranger To Love'. It was great to stand next to my buddy Robert Corich (who later likened the playing of keysman Bob Fridzema to that of John 'Rabbit' Bundrick) and watch as his jaw slowly dropped, much like that of Andy Beare had done when I took him to see KK for the first time at the Jazz Café in May '15. What an amazing band!
Tuesday 29th November
Pure rock 'n' roll power from Airbourne last night on first the Aussie band's two sold-out shows at the Electric Ballroom. They have their detractors but I'm not among them. Oh, look out... the loony guitarist is headed this way on the shoulders of a roadie, Bon Scott-style!
Monday 28th November
Had a great time watching Eden's Curse last night at the Underworld - great band, amazing singer, fab set of tunes, amazing front of house sound. Well worth the two hours it took to get across London, plus the same return journey. The things we do for rawkenrawl!!
Sunday 27th November
It's a pink 'n' fluffy melodic rock round-up Sunday afternoon. 'Silhouette', the newie from Aussie pomp-AORsters White Widdow is rocking my world, alongside releases from the Roth Brock Project, Bryan Cole, Fair Warning and (better late than never) the UK's own excellent Seven.
Saturday 26th November
Classic Rock have asked to borrow 46 vinyl LP sleeves from my collection. I couldn't resist slinging 'Unmasked' by Kiss onto the turntable, the first time I'd played it in a number of years. With the exception of the brilliant '(Music From) The Elder', it could well be the most underrated record of their catalogue. A perfect, euphoric blend of pop and rock.
Friday 25th November
Still battling the lurgy last night I made it across Sarf London to see the ever-amazing Alter Bridge. I've caught 'em on every tour since their first, so couldn't miss it. Great seats at the O2 Arena for a set that was thunderous, melodic and magnificent... this place was packed! Terrific to see! Today is officially a duvet day!
Edit: Well of course I didn't get my work-free duvet day. Never gonna happen, was it? There was an interview with Joanne Shaw Taylor to finish, and then off to the gym with Eddie. Universal Records also wanted me to trim the track listing of a three-disc set I'd compiled for them. And then Classic Rock requested the loan of some vinyl gems. *Finally* I'm here in my CPFC dressing gown... a relaxing night of tellybox, Monster Munch and Baileys lies ahead. #aaaaahhhhhhh
Thursday 24th November
Alas, I've no decent photos of last night's Beth Hart gig at Royal Festival Hall but here's the set-list. It's not exactly accurate, mind. Beth is one of those artists that flies off at tangents on the merest of whims… there's no staid, predictable running order for this lady. What an entrance – discreetly from a side door as the lights dimmed and down to the stage through the crowd, slowly and seductively, to the strains of Billie Holiday's 'Don't Explain'. One of my faves, 'Leave The Light On', was added during an off-script moment in the final third and she also threw in Etta James' 'I'd Rather Go Blind' as a final, breathtaking au revoir. What a voice – at times Hart's range was simply jaw-dropping. What a compelling presence. And what a set of tunes – Beth writes raw, emotive songs about painfully intimate issues that matter to her, whether inspired by her mother ('Mama This One's For You'), her father and the scarlet woman for whom he left the family ('Tell Her You Belong To Me') and even 'Sister Heroin', a choked-up tribute to the precious sibling lost to substance abuse which featured the lines: "Goodbye white trash beauty queen/Your crooked heart and your beat up dreams/I love you, I love you, I love you". It was, in a word, brilliant.
Wednesday 23rd November
I'm sitting here in my office dosed up on Lemsip, wrapped in a duvet, working on interview transcripts. No gym or park run today... I should probably confine myself to Ling Towers, but I really love the Royal Festival Hall (scene of some of my all-time fave past gigs by VdGG, Steven Wilson and Todd Rundgren), and there's absolutely no way that I'm gonna miss out on Beth Hart playing there this evening.
Tuesday 22nd November
Hahahaha! Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate has just posted on his Facebook page: "I had a nice chat with Dave Ling of Classic Rock yesterday, two guys who weathered the Storm and hopefully aren't too weathered themselves. March 2017 Wasted In America tour of the UK... still singin' about Beer and Chicks I should be ashamed of myself." Some things never change, huh? That's a beautiful thing.
Monday 21st November
I'm sorry but the Classic Rock website's latest list - the 10 worst power ballads ever written - is complete and utter horseshit. Along with most self-respecting fans of melodic hard rock, I love just about all of these so called "terrible" songs.. CR with its finger well and truly on the pulse... NOT! Haha. Someone over the melodicrock.com message board has just pointed out: "They included same Slaughter track in their own list of 40 greatest power ballads".
Sunday 20th November
What a great photo taken in FM's dressing room following an excellent 'Indiscreet'-themed gig at Islington Assembly Hall, which saw special guest Bernie Marsden return to the stage at encore time for 'Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues' and 'Here I Go Again'. After drinking their ale, Eddie has just dropped the bombshell that he thinks Romeo's Daughter are the better band (ouch). Leigh Marry is amused.
Saturday 19th November
I've just got home from Stray's 50th anniversary gig at a jam-packed, heaving full Borderline - what a night to savour for Del Bromham - THAT'S FIFTY YEARS IN FUCKING ROCK 'N' ROLL!!!! If you can't 'like' that then I pity you. An amazing two-page set-list. Five songs plus an encore from the original line-up (who hadn't played together for 23 years... until today!). Two and a half hours of music, including my own personal favourite 'Son Of The Father' (a song from 'Suicide' that my secondary school buddy David Gray and I used to put on the end of all of our cassette tapes), performed by great musicians from each line-up... and surrounded by such lovely, helpful people. To anyone that says 'nice guys don't last' I have but one solitary reply - come back to me when *you* have racked up fifty years in rock 'n' roll, motherfucker. Well earned, Mr Bromham, and everyone that participated.
Today is a bit of a proud one for me. Eldest lad Eddie Lemmy Selhurst Ling is attending his first ever FM gig. Given that we will have been on the ale at Selhurst all afternoon, apologies an advance to all if we wurr our slurds a little by the time you see us! COYP!
Friday 18th November
Tonight there's only one possible place to be - at the Borderline! Here's a little interview I did with Del Bromham about the band's connections to notorious London gangster Charlie Kray. See you there everyone who's lucky enough to have a ticket! And a very happy 50th birthday to Stray!
Thursday 17th November
Voivod röööööaaaaarrrrrr back into the UK for a gig at London's Camden Underworld - they were awesome. What a unique band!
Wednesday 16th November
Just did a cool phone interview with M Shadows about the new Avenged Sevenfold album, 'The Stage', a whopping concept piece dwelling upon artificial intelligence and the self-destruction of society which offers shades of Rush, Dream Theater, Metallica and 'Operation: Mindcrime'-era Queensrÿche. Really interesting guy and a surprisingly strong record.
Tuesday 15th November
That rather strange moment when, talking to a member of Black Stone Cherry for a Classic Rock website story, you find yourself involved in a discussion about 17th Century English antique furniture. Happens every day... errr, doesn't it?!
Monday 14th November
Well, that's it for me with Molly Hatchet - also wherever possible for Sunday night gigs. Everything to do with this band is now a farce. The evening began well enough with the new Airrace line-up, who played six absolute barnstormers at the Islington Academy. Along with Messrs Dome and Russell, I watched five songs by Rock Goddess (who were also on prime form) before zooming over to the 229 Club where, to our dismay, the first of two support acts were *still* onstage!!! Hatchet kept us waiting till 10.20pm before hitting the stage (we could have watched Goddess in their entirety and also some of the the alleged 'Ratt'). Dave Hlubek was nowhere to be seen. So… let's swap our only original member for a keyboard player, and although we are going to run past curfew, let's throw in a drum solo (and leave out 'Boogie No More'… once again). 55 mins - a joke. And having missed my last train to Catford Bridge, getting to bed at 1.30am, it was a very unfunny joke.
Sunday 13th November
It pains me to say it, but Last night's Europe gig didn't live up to my expectations. I had no idea the band were going to play their current disc 'War Of Kings' in its entirety, especially to start the show; to me it's the least impressive record they've made since getting back together. Straight into 'The Final Countdown' in its original running order - some truly great songs but, again, plenty of filler. And no encore, which meant we were robbed of 'Let The Good Times Rock', 'Superstitious', etc etc. However, the support sets from Dare and the Electric Boys were short but very sweet indeed. Great to see so many friends in a Saturday night partying mood... night bus home, inevitably, but luckily this time I didn't end up in the depot. Phew!
Friday 11th November
Ooooh look, I made The Times! What a shame for the reason, but Mum would have been proud! (Thanks to Nik Moore for the cutting)
Here's another of my interviews with Lemmy. He was such a human quote machine... gosh, I miss him.
Thursday 10th November
I love having a huge archive of things that I've written and stuff collected down the years. Someone wants an article on Gun circa 'Taking On The World'? Just dig out the on the road story you did with the band at the Glasgow Mayfair on 16.7.89, and the vinyl edition of said record (with original A&M Records press release enclosed inside)... simples! #smug
The office heating goes on at last. There are only so many days you can sit shivering wearing a sweatshirt and a hoody whilst trying to work. Sunburn at Ramblin' Man seems an awfully long time ago.
Wednesday 9th November
What did *you* do on the night that Satan became the President Of The United States Of America? I'd been out at the Borderline, watching a rather good band called Goldray. Featuring ex-Reef guitarist Kenwyn House and fronted by the lovely Leah Rasmussen (a fellow resident of Sarf London, I learned!) they look great and have a cool prog-meets-psych sound. Not too much to jump up and down in terms of stone cold killer songs at the moment, but I really enjoyed soaking up their vibe.
Home somewhat the worse for wear I tuned into the US election and watched the result with growing disbelief and a sense of resignation. In the early hours of the morning Trump took Ohio. 109-168. Time for bed. A whole new world starts today. United States, you should be ashamed of yourselves and God help us all.
Monday 7th November
Shepherd's Bush Empire was packed for last night's show by The Cadillac Three (though thankfully nowhere near as rammed as 24 hours earlier - attendance of that Saxon gig must have been well over the official limit). From third on the bill with Backberry Smoke where I first saw them in March '14 to their current position of loftiness, the astonishing rise of Jaren Johnston and pals is set to continue - who knows where it might end? TC3 are a bloody great band, the future of Southern rock is in safe hands and they deserve everything that comes their way.
I'm *very* fussy about what goes onto my iPod. A finished copy of Tyketto's newie, 'Reach', just arrived and seven of its dozen selections immediately made the hallowed playlist. It's that good!
Sunday 6th November
Yesterday's Saxon show in London could potentially have been a little on the bittersweet side. Just like Girlschool, the band had been scheduled to support Motörhead on a UK tour that, for obvious reasons, failed to happen. 'Fast' Eddie Clarke, too, had been talking about making a guest appearance with Motörhead at Hammersmith. Last night everyone was at the Shepherd's Bush Empire... except Lemmy. It spoke volumes that all concerned - Saxon, Clarke's band Fastway and Girlschool - contrived to make the event so memorable for all of the right reasons and without resorting to becoming maudlin. Eddie returned to the stage to jam with Saxon on 'Ace Of Spades' and the venue went mad. It was emotional, for sure. One of those great, great nights that will live forever...
Friday 4th November
So just like last year (when Cats In Space arrived too late to make the mix), an album has dropped onto my desk and set me drooling – mere days after compiling a list of the definitive releases of 2016. I cannot say enough good things about 'Raise', the full-length debut from Hand Of Dimes, a band featuring the former Kooga duo of Nev MacDonald and Neil Garland. It's AOR-meets-pomp of the highest standard. With Lionheart about to make a new album, these two bands *must* hit the road together next year.
Thursday 3rd November
Happy 49th birthday to Steven Wilson. Here's a live version of the best song released by just about anyone during the current millennium. It still gives me goosebumps every time.
Bob The Dog's back at Ling Towers after an accident in the park and a rushed trip to the vet. He's not overly fond of his new collar, though, the poor l'il fella. My wallet's also significantly lighter, but that's by the by. All that matters is that Bob is okay.
Wednesday 2nd November
I'm off into the house to make a nice cuppa. With nosey builders working in next door's garden I shall leave my office in the good care of its imposing feline guardian! #noneshallpass
Tuesday 1st November
A great phone interview with Living Colour's guitarist Vernon Reid. Top guy... very talkative.
Here are this month's Playlist and YouTube updates.