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 30th October
As expected, last night Palace lost at home to Watford. We remain in the drop-zone but it was a marginally better performance than the last home game, 15-year-old John Bostock offering some class on his starting debut and new Portsmouth loanee Franck Song'o also looking like dynamite. But save the first 10 mins or so, the result was never really in doubt. The talk of Warnock converting the Eagles into a promotion prospect is unrealistic; a relegation dogfight beckons...
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Monday 29th October
Walked in the door from the Firefest, had a quick bite to eat and it was time to head off to Shepherds Bush Empire for the Ian Hunter gig. Jesse Malin proved to be an exceptional warm-up act; a real showman and some excellent tunes. And despite sounding a bit chesty at the start, ex-Mott The Hoople frontman turned in one of the best sets I've seen him play - of course, it helps that current disc 'Shrunken Heads' is such a li'l beaut. Even before the end of the set proper, Ian was joined onstage by guitarist Mick Ralphs. Then during the encore Verden Allen, the original Mott keyboard player, arrived to swell a gaggle of guests that included Malin and Hunter's daughter Tracie. Hugging Ralphs as the Empire hollered its approval, Ian hailed his ex-Hoople buddy as the king of the one-liners, revealing that when Mick decided he'd had enough of being in Bad Company, singer Paul Rodgers was summarily informed: "Life's too short - and so are you". Genius!
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Sunday 28th October
After just a few hours' kip I descended upon Rock City for an appointment to interview reunited headliners for a bonus track addition to the official DVD of the show. Bassist Merv Goldsworthy was already in the hall and made me laugh with his typically dry greeting: "Hi Dave, I always have a good look at your website each day - it's good to know what's going in on my life". Watched FM soundchecking, which was just as marvellous as the interview: We cracked jokes, recounted stories and although 12 years had passed since the band's last gig, it felt just like old times. Onto the show. Jaded Heart were tight, slick and enthusiastic, the deliciously memorable 'Hallucinate' being just what was required to kick the Firefest into gear. Crunch used to be known as Adrian Gale. If they were half as good as ex-Guardian singer Jamie Rowe's thinks they are, they'd have been topping the bill. Alas, I heard only one song of note ('Getting Closer To The Weekend'); second from bottom was probably one place too high. An onstage power-cut delayed the arrival of Valentine, a band I'd been lucky enough to see on a trip to New York in the early 1990s, but who'd never played the UK before. Playing songs from a self-titled debut that is regarded as a genre classic, vocalist Hugo is frighteningly similar to former Journey icon Steve Perry, both visually and vocally. Thankfully, they included the mega-ballad 'Never Said It Was Gonna Be Easy', and although the decision to end by Journey-ising the Kansas standard 'Carry On Wayward Son' was puzzling, I'll be looking out for the new Valentine album predicted by Hugo from the stage. Jorn... oh, Jorn. Your skill and vesatility as a vocalist is undeniable, but what on earth were you thinking of at Firefest? "Is there anyone from the UK here tonight?" enquired the Norwegian singer. Pardon?! Lande impersonated Coverdale alongside Messrs Moody and Marsden in The Snakes, but these days he sings more like Dio. Besides the cringeworthy 'The Duke Of Love', we got two Thin Lizzy covers ('Are You Ready?' and 'Cold Sweat'), a pair by Whitesnake ('Come On' and 'Sweet Talker') and then, God forbid, Lande dared to finish with Deep Purple's 'Stormbringer'. With the amount of original acts that would've killed their grandmothers for a Firefest spot, Jorn's lazy, self-satisfied attitude stank.
Despite a hilarious pre-show DVD interview in which a member of the Canadian band claimed he was giving up music to become a turtle farmer, Harem Scarem's much-vanted swansong was slightly anti-climactic, largely ignoring the classic 'Mood Swings' album for a selection of tracks the fans didn't really expect or want to hear. Performing their own last show on English soil, special guests Tyketto knew exactly which buttons to push. In contrast to Harem Scarem's laid-back frontman Harry Hess, Danny Vaughn had the capacity crowd eating from his hand from the start, roaring: "They say this music doesn't have a fan-base anymore - fuck you!" as the band purred through 75 minutes of catalogue cream, including 'Rescue Me', 'Wings To Fly', 'Burning Down Inside' and the Firefest's unofficial national anthem,'Forever Young'. Such was the excellence of Tyketto's set that I wondered - momentarily, at least - whether FM would be able to match what had gone before. But from their intro tape of the Dad's Army TV theme onwards, the headliners effortlessly reminded us (and indeed themselves, judging by the way guitarist Andy Barnett could be seen blubbing like a baby at the side of the stage... I required a handkerchief as well) of a rich and passionate legacy. Guitarist Steve Overland still has one of the most emotive voices in rock and the set-list was sensibly tailored towards their repertoire from the pink-suited AOR years, dropping in tracks from 1991's 'Takin' It To The Streets' album onwards where appropriate. Here's what they played: 'Breathe Fire', 'Face To Face', 'I Belong To The Night'/'That Girl', 'Ain't Gonna Run No More', 'All Or Nothing', 'Only The Strong Survive', 'Burning My Heart Down', 'Bad Luck (Finding A Lager... cough)', 'Closer To Heaven', 'The Other Side Of Midnight', 'Blood And Gasoline', 'Frozen Heart' and 'Heard It Through The Grapevine'. Confirming pre-show whispers that FM were already considering some sort of post-Firefest rebirth, a clearly shellshocked Pete Jupp left the stage by informing the crowd: "We'll see you again in 2008".
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Saturday 27th October
The Firefest kicked off on Friday night with a warm-up event at Trent Polytechnic. Alas, hooking up for a pizza with my old mucker Dave Reynolds meant missing opening band Stormzone (a shame, as their current disc 'Caught In The Act' is rather good). Ex-Lionsheart/Onslaught frontman Steve Grimmett was battling a cold but wound up a fair-to-middling set with a rousing rendition of Grim Reaper's 'See You In Hell'. Soul Doctor's muscular blend of metal and AOR was extremely effective, though the German band's sterling work was undone by a ghastly Led Zeppelin medley and various backstage reports of prima donna behaviour by frontman Tommy Heart. Veteran UK rockers Demon were calling time on a career that began with the 'Night Of The Demon' album way back in 1981. 'Blackheath', 'Sign Of A Madman', 'Don't Break The Circle' and the title cut of that debut album were among the highlights of Demon's all-too-short 50-minute showing. The crowd thinned out as midnight came and went, and Threshold arrived to close the show. I'm a huge fan of these British prog-metallers and despite a murky sound that masked many of their intricacies I'm sure they must've won a few new fans with this rousing display.
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Friday 26th October
Off shortly to the Firefest - can't wait to see the mighty FM once again. Already nursing a bit of a hangover, but what the heck - I can catch up with a few ZZZZZs on the coach. Last night I went to the CC Club - a rather new and quite posh rock venue in London's Trocadero centre - to check out Devil's Slingshot, an instrumental three-piece featuring guitarist Tony MacAlpine, bassist Billy Sheehan (with whom I did an enjoyable pre-show interview) and drummer Virgil Donati. That kinda widdly-widdly thing's not really my bag, hence the fact that I snuck out to seek further refreshment quite some way before the end, but they did do a rather impressive version of MacAlpine's 'City In The Sky'.
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Thursday 25th October
Last night I went to check out one of my all time heroes, Francis Dunnery, at the Islington Academy. Oddly, I stood on almost the exactly same spot from which I watched the Dunnery-less It Bites back in December (and if that sounds like a coincidence, beforehand I had a quick chat with Dunnery's IB replacement, John Mitchell, in the foyer). Both bands pulled fairly consistently-sized crowds; probably the exact same people, if you think logically about it. Although I didn't realise it till my good friend Nick 'One Pint Of Shandy And I'm Anyone's' Shilton pointed it out, Dunnery was performing his 1991 solo album 'Welcome To The Wild Country' in its entirety, plus selected solo and IB catalogue gems. With an electric band and backing vocalist Dorie Jackson, he kicked up quite a storm. 'Underneath Your Pillow' was loosened up, slowed-down and jazzed-up, incorporating a lovely piano solo from Peter John Vitesse. With his short hair and fuller cheeks, he might have started to look a little like UK impressionist Rory Bremner these days, and his act is becoming increasingly blues-based, but Dunnery can still do things with a guitar that will make you weep with joy. The set closed with a marvellous version of It Bites' 'Midnight' that was, to paraphrase The Who, meaty, beaty, big and bouncy. A great night.
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Wednesday 24th October
No, I didn't jeer Crystal Palace's new manager Neil Warnock last night as he walked down the touchline for his debut home fixture against Stoke City. I studiously ignored him. Didn't get to boo him at the end either, as son Eddie and I exited the stadium midway through the second half, immediately after the Eagles conceded the third of three extremely soft goals. We were home by just after 10pm. Warnock, I would imagine, experienced a considerably more sleepless night. The game finished 1-3 but to be honest, this morning I'm a little shocked at how dispassionate the result makes me feel.
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Tuesday 23rd October
My sons Eddie and Arnie are on half-term his week, so last night Mrs L and I took them to Blackheath to see the Chinese State Circus. What a fabulous experience it turned out to be! No animals are harmed during the performance, but by Christ they must have gone through a few bottles of Witch Hazel, and a small mountain of plasters, bandages and splints. Its stars the Shaolin Warriors wallop each other with lump-hammers and paving slabs, others in the cast leaping through tiny hoops feet above the ground, riding unicycles on their heads (on a a high-wire!) and performing all manner of crazy contortionist feats... extremely impressive.
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Sunday 21st October
Last night a desperately miserable week for English sport reached its painful nadir. I wish I'd have followed my instincts and gone to Cloven Hoof's gig in Camden instead of staying home to watch the final of the rugby world cup. Four years ago I paced around in a tiny Helsinki hotel room (the game coincided with a Metal Hammer commission to cover the two-day Spinefast rock festival), shrieking and hollering with excitement whilst draining a bathful of cold beer as England overcame Australia to become world champions. This time, having been stuffed 36-0 by South Africa earlier in the tournament, things were completely different.
It hurt to be on the receiving end of a 15-6 defeat, but more painful still was the perfectly legitimate English try unjustly overturned by a video referee - one that just might've changed the course of the game. There's been pressure to introduce new technology into the world of football, but the bitter taste left by yesterday's debacle makes me wonder... what would be the friggin' point if the officials that operate the machinery require spectacles? And talking of footie (with a round ball, not an oval one), Colin Wanker's reign as CPFC boss got underway with a 1-1 draw at Blackpool. Reports suggest "an impressive Palace performance". Hmmm.
P.S. I was amazed to read that bars at the Stade De France in Paris were charging a hefty £6.50 per pint of lager throughout the RWC. Worse still, nobody was informed that the muck being served was ALCOHOL-FREE!!! Bloody Frogs!!!
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Saturday 20th October
Well, Eddie (my eldest son) and I have just tried it. Secretly and quietly in the kitchen, just to see if it works. "Neil Warnock's Red and Blue army". As I suspected, it just doesn't feel right. "Daddy, let's just sing Red and Blue Army without the name," quoth Eddie. Attaboy.
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Thursday 18th October
I'm so friggin' pissed off. England's hopes of reaching the European Championships were last night dealt a bitter blow during a calamitous four-minute second half spell that saw them allow hosts Russia to overturn the visitors' 1-0 lead and claim all three points. Qualification now hangs by a thread; what a disaster.
One thing that does please me: At The Gates are getting back together again for some selected shows. With the mighty Carcass also having risen from the grave, what price a co-headlining tour? Now that **would** be something to get excited about.
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Wednesday 17th October
When I was younger I always wanted to attend one of Queen's legendary parties. Alas, last night there were no naked dwarves with bowls of cocaine at the Hard Rock Café, but we did get a rather nice introductory speech from Brian May (alas, May told us that Roger Taylor preferred to sunbathe on his luxurious boat off the coast of Africa) and a preview of the band's live DVD, 'Queen Rock Montreal'. Recorded in 1981, it sees them at their hard rocking peak - just what the doctor ordered. Although the voddy 'n' Diet Cokes were really hitting the spot, a prior appointment meant that I was only able to watch about half of the edited playback, which featured a marvellous rendition of my fave Queen song, 'Somebody To Love'.
Making my excuses, I picked up a goodie bag and slipped out across Central London to the 100 Club where Avenged Sevenfold were playing an intimate, sold-out concert. I'll be honest, the Californian band's new, self-titled (and self-produced) album is a bit of a dog's dinner, so much so that one of the UK rags has given it one star out of ten. However, in such close confines A7X still provide great entertainment, unheard new songs 'Critical Acclaim', 'Almost Easy' and 'Scream' winning as many cheers as old favourites 'Beast And The Harlot', 'Bat Country' and 'Unholy Confessions'.
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Tuesday 16th October
Wow, now that's what I call a package! Just received a finished copy of Megadeth's five-disc boxed set 'Warchest', which comes with a 3-D ammo belt case and includes a detailed 36-page booklet.
My lunchtime chat with Lauren Harris went well. As expected, she's rather feisty and determined (wonder where she that part of her genetic make-up comes from... hahaha). We recalled the time that she supported Within Temptation at the Astoria, teenaged goths in the front row telling her "you suck". Although I was at said gig I didn't know this, but Lauren quietly told the hecklers: "You know what? Piss off, I'm staying here and getting on with it". Spoken like a true Harris. Steve, incidentally, plays bass on 50% of Lauren's album, which is released early next year.
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Monday 15th October
Tomorrow I'm due to do a phoner with Lauren Harris, the solo artist and 23-year-old daughter of Maiden leader Steve. Whilst surfing for info and trawling through a few old copies of Kerrang!, I stumbled upon this vintage piccie - courtesy of Ross Halfin. My, hasn't she grown?!
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Sunday 14th October
Ever had one of those days when everyhing seems to go right? They don't happen too often, but yesterday was a fine example. How about this for a sequence of events: The train 'n' tube journey to Wembley went like a dream. Met my friend Harj in a pub just before the England-Estona game kicked off. England romped home 3-0. We went off to the Arena, where I did an enjoyable interview with Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy. Our seats were right next to the stage (Mr Portnoy gave us a wave at the end), and the sound was absolutely incredible. Openers Symphony X were so terrific, and so well received, you might've thought they were the headline band. But then Dream Theater arrived and put that comment into perspective with two hours and 10 minutes of definitive progressive-metal. The sad truth is that Iron Maiden and Rush will not be around forever, but Dream Theater are utterly peerless at what they do, and after this summer's display at Download their status as heirs-to-the-throne is undeniable. Still with jaws agape, Harj and I then managed to catch an off license moments before it closed. Then, still blissfully (and purposely) ignorant of the result of England's Rugby World Cup semi-final against France, I zipped back home to Catford, via the kebab shop, to crack open a bottle of wine, switch on the Sky-Plus and savour Jonny Wilkinson's winning drop goal. What a truly fabulous 12 hours!
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Saturday 13th October
Got a bit of a hangover this morning. Last night I sank a few too many whilst watching Stray at the Borderline. The band were filming the show for a DVD, so guitarist/singer Del Bromham asked me if I'd drop by early and conduct a short interview for a 'bonus feature'. Was only too happy to do so, especially as original singer Steve Gadd [pictured right, with Del] was making himself available for our chat as well as accepting a special guest role during the performance. Even though they'd not put in any rehearsal time, Gadd ended up appearing at several points during the two-and-a-half hour set, notably on 'Georgia', 'Where Do Our Children Belong', 'The Gambler' and 'Searching', then again later on for 'Come On Over', 'After The Storm' and 'Our Song', and right at the death for 'All In Your Mind' and 'Move It'. Quite a night... I think... despite the damage to the wallet.
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Friday 12th October
So Neil Warnock has been confirmed as Crystal Palace's new manager. For once, I'm lost for words... except maybe 'buggeration'. I will do my best to keep an open mind, but it won't be easy.
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Thursday 11th October
Rush played the second of two shows at Wembley Arena last night, and I was there (of course). To be honest, they featured a little too much material from new album 'Snakes And Arrows' for my own taste - maybe we were all just that little bit spoiled by the Canadian trio's 30th anniversary trek back in 2004. Situated in the fourth row, right in front of bassist/frontman/occasional keyboardist Geddy Lee, the sound was truly excellent and the band put on their usual great show. Aside from the obvious things like lazers, Rush always add some form of esoteric trivia to their live presentation. Last time out they had tumble driers and a vending machine onstage alongside their amplifiers, on this current excursion there's a rotisserie, tended by a female chef that wanders on and off to baste its chickens - brilliant! A personal highlight was the epic 'Natural Science', one of several tunes lifted from the immortal 'Permanent Waves' album, though Neil Peart's drum solo deserved every last cheer it received.
On a slightly depressing note, my friend Harj and I walked back down Wembley Way wondering whether or not we are likely to see Rush again. Peart has hinted in his weblog that touring is becoming even more of a chore than ever, and with the band all into their fifties it's difficult to envisage them playing for two and three-quarter hours once again in another three years. Here's hoping, of course, but I kinda doubt it.
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Wednesday 10th October
Last night was spent soaking up a rather enjoyable gig by Rodger Hodgson. In his first UK tour for 25 years, and augmented by just a saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist/occasional backing singer, the ex-Supertramp frontman did marvellously well to keep the rapt attention of a surprisingly full Royal Albert Hall for almost two hours. I felt a little sorry for Roger when the grand piano malfunctioned and again later when he got "spaced out" and forgot the words twice during 'Everything Planned' - the Albert Hall must be a lonely place when you're up there on your own in front of all those expectant faces - but somehow the glitch made Hodgson seem that little bit more human. The set-list united a generous helping of 'Tramp catalogue gems with selections from his solo career.
Here's what was performed: 'Take The Long Way Home', 'Give A Little Bit', 'Lovers In The Wind', 'Hide In Your Shell', 'Oh Brother', 'Easy Does It', 'Sister Moonshine', 'Puppet Dance', 'Along Came Mary', 'The Logical Song', 'The Meaning', 'Everything Planned', 'Breakfast In America', 'Lord Is It Mine', 'Even In The Quietest Moments', 'Don't Leave Me Now', 'If Everyone Was Listening', 'Dreamer', 'It's Raining Again', 'School' and a reprise of 'Give A Little Bit'.
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Tuesday 9th October
Much has been made of heir-to-the-Palace throne Neil Warnock's anagram-tastic alter ego of Colin Wanker. Other choice examples include Known Eclair, I Lack Renown and my own favourite, Acorn Winkle. You might have gathered, the imminent arrival of this odious individual hardly thrills me. If only Paul Jewell could be enticed into the hotseat, that would be something to cheer. But how about this... one of the names in the frame (albeit a rank outsider) is Martin Ling from Leyton Orient. Ling's red and blue army... that would have a certain pleasing ring to it!
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Monday 8th October
What a small world, but I wouldn't want to clean it. There was I, shuffling through the £1 bargain box at a record fair in Orpington yesterday when I heard a familiar voice to my left. In a bizarre coincidence, it turned out to be none other than Greg Hart (see yesterday's diary), whom I hadn't seen since... oooh... well, probably since Tony Clarkin wore short trousers. It was good to catch up over a cup of tea (they didn't have any Special Brew). Mr Hart has just ended a seven-year spell with highly-rated Lizzy trib band Limehouse Lizzy to form a new outfit called Hartless. Personally, I'm old enough consider tribute groups a bit of a waste of time - you should've seen the talentless dolt that CPFC hired to masquerade as Freddie Mercury before yesterday's game with Hull; the late Mr Bulsara would've been doing 78RPM in his grave - but will be intigued to hear the Hartless album when it arrives.
P.S. Late afternoon update... Palace have sacked Peter Taylor. An absolute legend as a player in red & blue, but I predicted during the summer that he'd be gone by October.
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Sunday 7th October
Before heading off to Selhurst for yesterday's game with Hull City I received an email from an old mate of mine. Hadn't heard from Greg Hart, who used to play guitar with Moritz, If Only and GTS, for many years. Shared many an enjoyable time following the Palace with Mr Hart, including an unforgettable Ian Wright and Mark Bright-inspired play-off victory over Blackburn Rovers in 1989, and a trip to Wembley Stadium for the Zenith Data Systems Cup spanking of Everton two years later. I still recall consuming cans of Special Brew in the bath before meeting Greg for the latter, becoming so inebriated that we got stuck on the Circle Line whilst trying to locate Wembley - even fell out of the train at one point when the doors opened. We arrived in our seats just as the second half was kicking off... oh, the shame... but still saw all four Palace goals.
Probably should have had a skinfull of similar proportions before yesterday's game, the result of which felt like yet another kick in the teeth. It looked like the Eagles were going to sneak a scarely deserved 1-0 win until a dubious 90th minute penalty allowed the visitors in for a share of the points. The papers are all saying that Neil Warnock will soon become the Eagles' new manager. The man is poison and I cannot abide him, but something's gotta change at SE25. The only thing worth cheering was England's fabulous victory over the Aussies with the oval ball. The rugger chaps remain complete outsiders when it comes to retaining their world title, of course, but if you ask me we've already won 'our final'.
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Friday 5th October
It's been suggested that I'm too nice in my comments regarding gigs I've seen and albums that come my way. Believe me, I could fill up a whole other website with deserved slatings of terminally crap CDs. And I try not to attend shows that I know are gonna suck! But this week two albums arrived on my desk that just made me think... WHY?
Firstly, HammerFall's 'Steel Meets Steel - Ten Years Of Glory'. I had the misfortune to witness these sword-waving Swedish numbskulls at the Underworld several years ago and walked out after five or six numbers, most of which had been blatantly plagiarised from other more famous and credible bands. This double-CD collection of HammerFall's so-called 'best bits' is so monumentally dumb and devoid of substance, I'm at a loss to know who on earth could enjoy such tripe.
And as for OverKill... has there ever been a more facile, generic, empty-headed combo on the face of the planet? And yet Bobby 'Blitz' Ellesworth [and his clueless company] have somehow released more than 20 albums and been signed by Johnny Zazula - the man responsible for discovering Metallica, Anthrax and Testament - not once but twice, most recently for his current label Bodog Music. No wonder the new album is called 'Immortalis'; OverKill are like cockroaches, they just won't sodding well die, more's the pity.
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Thursday 4th October
It's a stupid name for a band, I wholeheartedly agree, but The Trews are as terrific onstage as their current album, the Jack Douglas (Aerosmith/The Who/New York Dolls)-produced 'Den Of Thieves', suggests. The quartet from Nova Scotia (Canada), have been nominated in the Best New Band category at this year's Classic Rock Awards, and it's easy to see why. Their second album, 'Den Of Thieves' kicks like a mule, displaying an organic bluster that the Black Crowes would be proud of, yet also mining the melodic sensibility of, say, Cheap Trick. For four, short-haired, average-looking dudes, The Trews make an extraordinary sound. Though perhaps a little on the brief side, their hour-long set includes all the highlights from 'Den Of Thieves' (including the oustanding 'Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me' and 'So She's Leaving'), punctuated by material from 2003's 'House Of Ill Fame' debut. I'm unfamiliar with the latter disc, but 'Not Ready To Go', which segued into a cover of Humble Pie's '30 Days In The Hole', was a centrepiece of the performance. As an appetiser for the soon-come third album, 'No Time
For Later', 'Dark Highway' proved that you can take the piss out of this band's trousers (hence the silly moniker), but not much else. Here's what they played in full: 'Every Inambition'/'So She's Leaving'/'Fleeting Trust'/'Sweetness'/'Dark Highway'/'I Can't Say'/'Paranoid Freak'/'Tired Of Waiting'/'These Arms Of Mine'/'Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me'/'I Can't Stop Laughing'/'Not Ready To Go'/'Burnin' Wheels'.

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Wednesday 3rd October
I won't be in the least bit surprised if Crystal Palace boss Peter Taylor gets the boot before Saturday's game with his former club, Hull City. Last night I watched Sky Sports News in dismay as the Eagles slumped to a dismal one-goal defeat at Plymouth Argygle. As soon as the home side went ahead five minutes into the second half, the result had a depressing ring of inevitability. And sure enough, whilst all the clubs I love to hate were banging in goals galore, Palace remained resolutely at 'nil'. Despite a piss-poor start to the season, we're still five points off the play-off places (though far more realistically, one point above the relegation trapdoor). It's a shit league, and Palace should be ascending it. I've had more than enough of Peter Taylor.
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Tuesday 2nd October
Still waiting for the powers-that-be to email confirmation of my golden ticket to the Ahmet Ertegun tribute show. The results were supposed to be announced yesterday, dammit. What's the friggin' hold up? Just kidding, I've long since resigned myself to sitting at home on November 26. With almost twenty million people reported to have applied for tickets, it's the only way. Even more disappointing, Robert Plant has ruled out the notion of a Zeppelin reunion tour, commenting: "We need to do one last great show, because we've done some shows and they've been crap." Percy tells the Daily Express that, if anything, he'll be taking things easier after the O2 gig. "I know I'm getting on," says the 59-year-old. "When I come back from touring I'm shocked to find a lot of my mates going to bed far too early, I should probably be doing the same. Maybe I should stop having a good time and get old."
One small crumb of comfort: A promotional copy of Opeth's 'The Roundhouse Tapes' arrived in yesterday's mail. What can I say? It's a complete masterpiece. The sound is sensational, and although I was present at the nine-song, double-disc's recording last November at London's Roundhouse (natch), I'd forgotten that the Swedes included 'Under The Weeping Moon', from 1994's debut album 'Orchid', in their repertoire that night. Shame it got here too late to be included in this month's Playlist.