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.
Saturday 30th November
What an honour to be in the audience at Hammersmith for the final performance of Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited 2019 tour. Two hours and 20 mins of sensational musicianship, fantastic sound, great lighting, and the not so little matter of ‘Selling England By The Pound’ in its entirety. (Though was I alone in missing the showmanship of a certain Mr Beggs on the bass?)
Set #1 mixed latterday solo work such as ‘Under The Eye Of The Sun’, ‘Fallen Walls’ and ‘Beast In Our Time’ with tuneage from ‘Spectral Mornings’, an album that’s now 40 years old… ulp. Steve’s brother John played flute on ‘The Virgin And The Gypsy’ and ‘The Red Flower Of Tachai Blooms Everywhere’ and we headed into interval with a breathtaking ‘Clocks’.
‘Selling England…’ has always been among my favourite albums, and though they re-shaped key elements, such as adding a flamboyant sax solo to ‘I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)’, on the whole Hackett’s excellent band treated this all-time great record with due reverence. Juxtaposed by the simplicity of ‘More Fool Me’, stunning versions of ‘Firth Of Fifth’ and ‘Cinema Show’ brought the house down. At encore time Steve even mixed up the solo and Genesis eras via a cunning fusion of ‘Myopia’, ‘Los Endos’, ‘Slogans’ and back into ‘Los Endos’ again.
What… a… night… I cannot wait to see Hackett perform Genesis' all-time great live-double ‘Seconds Out’ next year in Bexhill.
Wednesday 27th November
Andy Taylor’s comeback gig at the 100 Club - the former Duran Duran/Power Station guitarist’s first solo appearance in thirty years! With hair tied up in topknot, Taylor was backed by members of Reef and Skindred, Thunder’s Luke Morley joining in the fun for an encore of Reef’s own ‘Place Your Hands’ and ‘Lola’ by The Kinks. Reef frontman Gary Stringer handled a chunk of the vocals which disappointed a few purists, though it was a sole, slender streak of negativity. The incendiary guitar playing - Taylor still RAWKS! - cancelled it out.
A sleek, urgent take on The Power Station’s ‘Murderess’ set the tone for the evening after just three songs. Naturally, Taylor's cult favourite 1987 album ‘Thunder’ was well represented, ‘Don’t Let Me Die Young’ and ‘I Might Lie’ serving as a brilliant introductory one-two punch, and how encouraging it was to see that response to the brand new material; ‘Love Or Liberation’ is an energetic hard rock number, the funk-laden ‘Reachin' Out To You’ got the whole place grooving with a smile on its face, while ‘City Of Night’ merged into The Power Station’s re-make of Bolan’s ‘Get It On’ (Bang A Gong)’ and ‘Take It Easy’ from ‘Thunder’.
As the finish line approached the grinning Geordie gave any aging ex-Durannies what they’d paid to hear, slamming down radically reworked versions of ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ and ‘Wild Boys’. There was something for everybody over these well-balanced 90 minutes, and on such irrepressible, livewire form Andy Taylor is set to be a force to be reckoned with in 2020. (I've heard the new album... you won't be disappointed).
Saturday 23rd November
This place will always be my South East London home. My beloved Eagles played well against the title-chasing Scousers and deserved a point, officials 'kin disgraceful, atmosphere great, I love my club.
Sunday 17th November
Check this out! That hilarious moment when Glenn Hughes didn't know you were going to be at his gig in Bexhill and spots you in the crowd. Lol...
Saturday 16th November
I just nipped out for teabags, bread and milk while Amanda sleeps but am in no hurry to rush back. This is the view from a five-minute walk from the new house. A new life begins, and how nice of The Voice Of Rock to play a welcome party for us to tonight in Bexhill.
Friday 15th November
Over the course of almost 20 years I had some of the very best and absolute worst times in this house. My kids grew up here. Now it's time for a brand new start. Thanks to all of the family and friends that helped to make it happen. #bittersweet
Sunday 10th November
Defying an elephantine hangover to begin boxing up my archive of magazines and fanzines - every issue of K! up to Jan 1997, complete sets of Classic Rock, Metal Farces, Rock Candy, Fireworks and (barring a few from the 1990s) Metal Hammer. And how many of these do you remember? White Lighting, Black Velvet, RIP, The History Of Rock, Hurricane, Metal Attack, Metal Edge, Sounds Fan Library, Mega Metal Kerrang!, Terrorizer, Metal Mania, Rock Hard, Hot Metal, Loud!, Ultrakill, Thrash ‘N’ Burn, A Dose Of The Heavies, Hit Parader, Forearm Smash, Metal Fury, Phoenix, Metal Rendezvous, Progression, Frontiers, Hard Roxx?
Monday 4th November
It was nice to see David Ellefson again after... well, let's just say a few decades. We conducted a great dressing room interview and I really enjoyed his Megadeth-friendly set from Ellefson (the band) and an album entitled 'Sleeping Giants'; nice 'n' ragged, just like days before 'Deth became slick and professional for the world stage. The crowd at the Underworld went mental!
Sunday 3rd November
Y&T – the very model of what a professional rock band should be. Last night’s show at the Islington Academy was part of a latest anniversary. “Hey, you guys have probably been at your jobs for 45 years, too, right?” smiled the ever-affable Dave Meniketti kicking off of a generous two-hour-plus set that featured at least one song each of the Californian band’s 12 studio records. It was wonderful to hear ‘Earthshaker’ from their 1976 eponymous debut, quickly followed by the title track of its follow up, ‘Struck Down’. Elsewhere, amid the banquet of old favourites such as ‘Black Tiger’, ‘Forever’, ‘Midnight In Tokyo’, ‘Resue Me’, ‘Don’t Stop ‘Runnin’’ and the wondrous ‘I Believe In You’, the band wheeled out two rarely-performed cuts from ‘Down For The Count’ (‘Face Like An Angel and ‘Any Time At All’). This really was a set to satisfy diehards such as myself that first saw the band at the Marquee Club and turn up to see them year after and equally those of a less partisan persuasion.
It’s tough to believe that Meniketti is now 65 years old – his voice remains magnificent. Exiting the venue I bumped into Dave’s manager and wife, Jill, who wondered my view of the show. A careless back-handed compliment spewed from my lips. “It’s absolutely incredible, they just don’t get any…”
“…Worse?” she laughed, saving my embarrassment.
“Unlike so many other bands of Y&T’s vintage, yeah,” I said. “I mean, they still sound *exactly* like the records. It’s uncanny. How on earth does Dave do that?”
“Oh, he looks after himself,” she replied with a knowing smile. Like I said, the very model of professionalism.
Saturday 2nd November
*Sighs deeply*. It's time to start packing away the CDs. This is a corner of the first of two rooms of my garden office. And here is very small selection of my collection of backstage passes. The Spinal Tap one was no use whatsoever!
PS Have I mentioned I like FM?