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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Thursday 31st October
Okay, some common sense at last. Motörhead have postponed a UK tour which was due to start next week. Lemmy, who claims to be “working my way back to full fitness and rude health”, requires a little more convalescence and who would deny such a request. It’s tough to envisage him sitting on a beach, cocktail in hand, but I do hope he puts his feet and uses the down-time wisely. Get well soon, you old bugger.
Please God, nooooooooo! Alex McLeish has thrown his hat into the ring a potential successor to ian Hollyway as new Palace boss. “There hasn't been any contact yet but I am available as a free agent,” he tells Sky Sports. No wonder there hasn’t, and I bet you are!!! I do not want this useless tit at my beloved football club!!
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Wednesday 30th October
There’s great news for fellow Starz fans. An email from Richie Ranno confirms that their long awaited UK debut at the 12 Bar Club, which sold out in just two hours, has been moved to the Garage… it’s the same day (Dec 18), there’s just a little more elbow-room at the bar. See you there!
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Tuesday 29th October
The capital city’s transport was thrown into disarray by the so-called storm they’re calling St Jude. This sad, illogical state of affairs left my friend Neil Pudney stranded in the wilds of Surrey and unable to reach London for last night’s gig by Camel. My own trip to the Barbican Centre was made by bus… time-consuming but eventually I got there.
The pilgrimage was well worth it for the moment that the lights dimmed and Andy Latimer walked onstage to the kind of standing ovation that has been known to make grown men weep. The guitarist’s health issues have been well documented; indeed Camel played a farewell tour a decade ago. Spookily, that trek’s London stop (at the Astoria – a gig I attended) took place exactly ten years ago to the day. Latimer had expressed worry that his hands – which sometime freeze up, despite the vast improvement in his condition following bone marrow treatment – might let him down somewhere along the tour. There were no such problems at the Barbican, he played guitar (and indeed flute) with the kind of mastery and fluency that’s becoming all too rare.
The first of two sets was taken up by a complete airing of Camel’s 1975 album, ‘Music Inspired By The Snow Goose’, a lavish instrumental piece from 1975 that hadn’t been performed since a gig at the Royal Albert Hall that same year, accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra. There was no symphonic accompaniment at the Barbican, but the services of two keyboard players (regular incumbent Guy LeBlanc being assisted by Jason Hart) filled the gaps so well that few could possibly have cared.
The second segment was devoted to a ‘best-of’ repertoire. Naturally there were notable omissions but given that Latimer is now 64, and of course the issues from which he is recovering, we were extremely lucky to get 135 minutes of consistently great quality. Andy was visibly moved by the audience’s warmth. “It’s lovely to be here”, he smiled, “at my age it’s lovely to be anywhere.” For me, the night peaked with its final two songs; the haunting, ethereal strains of ‘For Today’ (“It’s all about making the most of your lives”, explained AL) being contrasted by ‘Lady Fantasy’s raunch.
There’s been talk of further live dates and possibly even a new studio record, which would be Camel’s first since ‘A Nod And A Wink’ back in 2002, depending upon the response to these comeback gigs. It’s a safe bet that, barring an act of God, that must now remain a strong possibility. Here’s the set-list for the latter half of the show: ‘Never Let Go’, ‘Song Within A Song’, ‘Echoes’, ‘The Hour Candle (A Song for My Father)’, ‘Tell Me’, ‘Watching The Bobbins’, ‘Fox Hill’ and ‘For Today’, plus that encore of: ‘Lady Fantasy’.
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Monday 28th October
It’s been a hectic fortnight: tonight’s Camel gig at the Barbican is my ninth show in 12 days (that’s 13 bands in total)… including two football games. Am really looking forward to catching up on some Zeds.
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Sunday 27th October
Cynics and pundits had gleefully predicted a cricket score for yesterday’s home game between Palace and table-toppers Arsenal. Upon reflection, a 2-0 defeat was a great result. The Arse’s keeper, Wojciech Szczesny, was deemed MOTM. Some pride restored for the Eagles, I think…
As I type I’m enjoying a bit of Badfinger whilst compiling the gig guide for Classic Rock Presents The Blues. Still very hung over indeed though, as Eddie and I departed Ling Towers at 9.20am for yesterday’s game. When you consider that we live a mere 25 mins from Selhurst Park that was perhaps a bit on the excessive side, but you expect me to watch the Eagles whilst sober? Think again!!
I was very sorry to hear of the death of Lou Reed, a man whose work I have admired a lot. What a shame that he went out on such a low with ‘Lulu’, that almost unlistenable collaboration with Metallica, though Lou being Lou, held no truck with the dismissive reviews declaring it: “Maybe the best thing done by anyone, ever.” Brilliant!
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Saturday 26th October
Yet more domestic squabbles served to ruin yesterday’s night of prog-rock at the Garage. I won’t bore anyone with the details, but I was in a foul mood as Touchstone began what turned out to be a somewhat disappointing set. I’m a fan of their music but on this occasion Kim Seviour and company played a little too much from the new album ‘Oceans Of Time’. A ropey sound was a further hindrance. Suffice to say that I’ve seen Touchstone play vastly superior gigs.
The Von Herzten Brothers, whose latest album ‘Nine Lives’ nestles among my fave releases of 2013, were only four or five songs into their set when I decided to head back to Ling Towers. They hadn’t even played my favourite track, ‘Flowers And Rust’… what a bummer.
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Friday 25th October
“Welcome to the last night of the Progs!” quipped Steve Hackett from the stage of the Royal Albert Hall (Steve was referring to the fact that, like myself, he’d attended Steven Wilson’s gig a few days earlier). Hackett’s show was another celebration of his legacy as a member of Genesis. Due to a clash with a Crystal Palace match I’d missed his gig at the Hammersmith Odeon back in May, so I was thrilled to be afforded a second bite of the cherry. Steve had promised to tweak the set-list and boy did he deliver the goods, swapping no less than four songs from the Hammersmith gig (which was filmed for DVD). The most exciting of these additions were ‘The Return Of The Giant Hogweed’ and ‘The Fountain Of Salmacis’, both from 1971’s cherished ‘Nursery Cryme’ album. The song selections, along with the RAH’s blissful acoustics, served to make the show one of the very finest in living memory.
Former Genesis singer Ray Wilson joined Steve for versions of ‘The Carpet Crawlers’ and ‘I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)’, while Roine Stolt of the Flower Kings doubled up on guitar during the aforementioned’…Hogweed’. Elsewhere, although his scruffy attire was out of place amid such magisterial surroundings, Asia’s John Wetton stepped up to inject some vocal drama to ‘Firth Of Fifth’. Amanda Lehmann was perhaps a little underwhelming during an acoustic version of ‘Ripples’, but what the heck… the rest of the show was just about flawless. Check this out for a wet dream of a set-list: ‘Dance On A Volcano’, ‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’, ‘Fly On A Windshield’, ‘The Carpet Crawlers’, ‘The Return Of The Giant Hogweed’, ‘The Musical Box’, ‘Horizons’, ‘Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers…’/‘…In That Quiet Earth’, ‘Afterglow’, ‘I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)’, ‘Firth Of Fifth’, ‘Ripples’, ‘The Fountain Of Salmacis’ and ‘Supper’s Ready’, followed by ‘Watcher Of The Skies’ and ‘Los Endos’. Holy shit, Batman!
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Thursday 24th October
What a very dignified press conference from Ian Holloway and Steve Parish, following a ‘mutual’ parting of the ways which was announced yesterday afternoon. Much gratitude to Ollie for all of his efforts on behalf of CPFC, especially for masterminding those glorious Play-Off wins over Shiteon and Twatford. The rollercoaster ride continues…
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Wednesday 23rd October
I needed cheering up after a *very* painful night at the footie… A Frantic Four earBOOK, with various features including every song performed on the entire reunion tour?! That’ll do very nicely indeed…
In the evening I headed up to the 12 Bar Club for an intimate one-man show from Coney Hatch’s Carl Dixon. What a great night. Carl played a shitload of Coney standards, including ‘You Ain’t Got Me’, ‘First Time For Everything’ (a request from my friend Dave Craig), ‘To Feel The Feeling Again’, ‘The Girl From Last Night’s Dream’, ‘She’s Gone’, ‘Fantasy’, ‘Hey Operator’, ‘Monkey Bars’ and ‘Devil’s Deck’ as well as several from the excellent new album ‘4’ (among them ‘Blown Away’, ‘Keep Driving’, ‘Holding On’ and ‘Down ‘N’ Dirty’). Besides all of this Carl revisited his tenures with April Wine (‘Come Hear The Band’) and The Guess Who (‘American Woman’) and ran through such covers as ‘Itchycoo Park’, ‘Band On The Run’, Bad Co’s ‘Ready For Love’, ‘More Than A Feeling’ by Boston, Zep’s ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’ and a brilliant rendition of ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ by Blind Faith.

Dave Ling Online

There was also a smattering of solo material, including ‘Stitches, Sutures And Staples’, a song that detailed the head-on car crash that took him to death’s door some years ago – so raw it sent his daughter scuttling from room, and me towards a purchase of a copy of its parent album, ‘Lucky Dog’.
And after that? Beer, beer and more beer, some quality natter with Carl, more beer, a trip across the road to the Crobar and (inevitably) a night bus back to South London. Grooaaaan… Not again??!!
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Tuesday 22nd October
My latest trip to Selhurst Park had promised so much and yet delivered so little. The fans, management and players of Crystal Palace all knew that to have any chance of avoiding relegation from the Premier League, maximum points must be claimed from home games against our fellow strugglers. The Eagles started fantastically well against Fulham, taking the lead and dominating possession. Then, completely out of the blue, the visitors scored a wonder goal to equalise and undeservedly took the lead before half-time. By the final whistle Fulham had notched two further goals, Palace’s formation and confidence having tumbled like a house of cards. Taking the train home in silence, Eddie and I felt completely numb. Truthfully, I still do…
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Monday 21st October
Those who are ambivalent towards Steven Wilson (or worse…) should look away now. Compiling Classic Rock magazine’s recent Buyers Guide has led me to the conclusion that the 45-year-old former (?) Porcupine Tree leader is now almost thoroughly incapable of making a duff record.
Last night’s gig at the Royal Albert Hall was a very special event indeed. It began with an arty 20-minute film show of pedestrians passing by a brick wall before the arrival of a mysterious busker – who eventually reveals himself to be Wilson by strumming the opening chords to PT’s ‘Trains’. Robert Fripp and Steve Hackett, both present in the audience, would have appreciated the theatrical touch.
This was the 100th show of a world tour for the God-like ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)’ and since appearing at the Festival Hall in March, SW has fine-tuned his backing group, replacing drummer Marco Minnemann with former Zappa collaborator Chad Wackerman. What a crack bunch of musicians! The guitar playing of Guthrie Govan was simply out of this world. Wilson also switched the set-list around, daring to introduce a new composition with a working title of ‘Wreckage’ to book-end the first of two sets. Before pleading “very respectfully” with the audience not to upload the song onto the web due to its status as a work in progress he grinned: “It’s 15 minutes long… I don’t really do short”. Later on, introducing ‘Raider II’, his serial killer-inspired epic, Steven related how he’d listened to NWOBHM heroes Fist in his car whilst driving to the RAH and came to envy their ability to write more concisely. “This is an edited version of ‘Raider II’,” he teased, “and it *still* lasts for 15 minutes!” His fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
The set-list ran as follows: ‘Trains’, ‘Luminol’, ‘Postcard’, ‘The Holy Drinker’, ‘Drive Home’, ‘Wreckage’, ‘The Watchmaker’, ‘Index’, ‘Sectarian’, ‘Harmony Korine’, ‘Raider II’, ‘The Raven That Refused To Sing’ and an encore of PR’s early classic ‘Radioactive Toy’.
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Sunday 20th October
A lie-in till ten o’clock, Lars Ulrich interview transcript, roast dinner and Strictly Come Dancing, a mid-afternoon 10K run and long soak in bath, then drinks with Neil Pudney and Pudney before Steven Wilson’s gig at the Royal Albert Hall. Well, I’ve definitely had worse Sundays!
With no game for my beloved Crystal Palace till Monday evening, I departed Ling Towers happy in the knowledge that fellow strugglers Sunderland, Hull, Cardiff and Norwich (sorry Tony Crowley) had all suffered defeats… heavy ones in most cases. My destination was the Live Evil Festival at the Garage. With a bus replacement on the Overground link and the Northern line out of action, the journey across London took three times as long as usual. As I arrived the Chilean variety of Pentagram, who play Slayer-esque thrash (as opposed to the better known Virginian-based doom-metal veterans of the same name) had ownership of the stage. Rather good they were, too.
The venue was rammed to the hilt with a crowd that looked like it had spent the entire day on the ale. Luckily apart from some loonies at the front they were too pissed (and in many cases far too ancient) to mosh around! What many of them did do, however, was smoke – defiantly and pointedly in opposition to those of us that pointed out it is no longer permitted. Dickheads.
Luckily, headliners Satan made it all worthwhile. With the line-up responsible for their 1983 ‘Court In The Act’ album recently reunited, back in the spring – an incredible three decades later (!) – the NWOBHM combo released an excellent follow-up entitled ‘Life Sentence’. Brian Ross’ eyesight might have deteriorated to the point where the set-list became illegible, but his voice remains surprisingly strong. Songs such as ‘Time To Die’ and ‘Siege Mentality’ from ‘Life Sentence’ were as strong as anything offered on Satan’s cult favourite debut. No wonder they did six of the buggers! So amazing was the response that Ross took his life in his hands and announced: “I’d forgotten was it was like to play for a decent crowd in England. We’re from Newcastle and people just don’t wanna know; it sucks. You guys should tell Newcastle how to enjoy themselves.” That comment might come back to bite him! Till then, here’s the set-list: ‘Into The Fire (Intro)’/‘Trial By Fire’, ‘Blades Of Steel’, ‘Time To Die’, ‘Twenty Twenty-Five’, ‘Oppression’, ‘Break Free’, ‘Incantations’, ‘The Ritual’, ‘Siege Mentality’, ‘Hunt You Down’, ‘Testimony’, ‘No Turning Back’, ‘Cenotaph’, ‘Alone In The Dark’ and an encore of ‘Kiss Of Death’. Superb stuff!
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Saturday 19th October
Did anyone else at Wembley last night reckon that Shinedown edged it over Alter Bridge? Brent Smith’s Evangelical-style stage shtick is a bit OTT (not to mention well rehearsed) but they will be back at the Arena as headliners, mark my words.
My buddy Steve ‘No Relation’ Way was kind enough to offer a lift to Wembley, and although the North Circular traffic did its best to scupper our night, I gained entry to the Arena mere seconds before Grammy winners Halestorm got the Friday night party started (poor ol’ Steve was still parking the car!). Sporting studded jacket, spray-on pants and high heels, Lzzy Hale is the quarter’s undoubted star turn, her gutsy voice well suited to a cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Dissident Aggressor’. As Myles Kennedy later observed of the Pennsylvanians: “That’s the future right there”.
Juxtaposing hard-hitters such as ‘Devour’, ‘Enemies’ and ‘Bully’ with the lighter-waving likes of ‘I’ll Follow You’ and a delicious ‘Second Chance’, plus a singalong cover of Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’, Shinedown delivered a master-class in arena presentation that Alter Bridge really couldn’t follow. The latter’s front-of-house live sound has been shit for a number of years; at Wembley it was an awful, thudding, muddy mess. Kennedy is deservedly regarded among hard rock’s finest vocalists, so my heart went out to him when he forgot the lyrics to a first encore of ‘Slip To The Void’, a song that he has sung many, many times before (“I’ve had nightmares about going awry with that one before 12,000 of our closest friends,” Myles winced). With a longer set, a full complement of lights and a pumped-up crowd, AB might have got away with this slightly below-par display but for the excellence of their special guests. Ah well, them’s the breaks. Their set-list ran as follows: ‘Addicted To Pain’, ‘White Knuckles’, ‘Come To Life’, ‘Before Tomorrow Comes’, ‘Farther Than the Sun’, ‘Brand New Start’, ‘Cry Of Achilles’, ‘Ghost Of Days Gone By’, ‘The Uninvited’, ‘Ties That Bind’, ‘Broken Wings’, ‘Metalingus’, ‘Blackbird’, ‘Watch Over You (Acoustic)’, ‘Rise Today and ‘Open Your Eyes’, plus ‘Slip To The Void’ and ‘Isolation’.
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Friday 18th October
Am gutted that I cannot be in Nottingham for this weekend’s Firefest. Childcare issues prevent me from straying too far from the homestead. My Thursday evening was spent at the Islington Academy watching the Quireboys, and also a little of their support act, Bonafide. The up ‘n’ coming Swedes looked at home on a big stage and had some very good hard rockin’ tunes.
A fine ol’ gang of peeps had gathered, including Andy Beare, Michele Key and a gaggle of the Crobar’s finest: Malcolm Dome, Jerry Ewing, John Dryland and Tyrina Gallagher. There was also an ‘after-show’ bash in the venue’s bar. No wonder, then, that the evening descended into silliness. The QBs played quite a lot of tunes from their new album, ‘Beautiful Curse’. Guitarist Guy Griffin later told me they had included eight (or was it nine?) of its tracks… it didn’t seem OTT in any way – always the sign of a good record.
Hangover aside… the only downer? Some fella and his girlfriend came over to inform me that my barnet makes me look like Vim Feugo, the Adrian Edmondson character from Bad News. Hold me back!!
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Thursday 17th October
Ted Nugent will always be among this planet’s the most loathsome inhabitants. It’s extremely tough to be objective about someone that has called you a “Special Olympics-level journalist” and threatened to gut you with a hunting knife but, purely as a long-time fan of the Loudman’s music, I'm chuffed to have received my copy of his new triple-disc concert package, ‘Ultralive Ballsticrock’. I would go and see The Nuge live any day of the week. Sporting a suitable disguise, of course!
Since the above post went up on my Facebook page, several people wrote to enquire about Ted’s beef with yours truly. It’s a loo-o-o-o-ong story. Part of it is that several years ago I went to the States to interview him for a potential CR cover story. During our photosession, Lynyrd Skynyrd – a band he was touring with at the time – came on the radio and he said: “Turn that shit off”. We all assumed that he was joking. “No, I mean it. Turn that fucking hillbilly shit off.” So I wrote about the incident in my feature. Turns out he was not best pleased. My underwear now turns brown at the mere mention of his name.
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Wednesday 16th October
Tough luck Ukraine, you might have scored eight against the part-timers of San Marino but it’s England who book their plane tix to World Cup Finals thanks to last night’s blinding 2-0 victory. Still a bit shaky at the back, perhaps, but we made it!! Believe me, I have the hangover to prove this fact.
Just spotted this amazing interview with Ginger Baker in Rolling Stone. What a grouch! It’s utterly brilliant. Did he really say: “Jack Bruce? Who?!”
I love to read about these cantankerous old rock stars, so long as it’s not me in the firing line. This one with Ginger’s old sparring partner Jack Bruce *was* one of mine, and it made headlines around the world. Even five years later it still makes me laugh. As he walked away to face the paparazzi the miserable git could still be heard chuntering away: “Led Zeppelin… what a load of old bollocks!”
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Tuesday 15th October
It’s 6.01pm as I type this, the sun’s over the yardarm, and it’s time for a pint of white wine as the warm-up for the crucial England-Poland game begins. Nothing less than a victory will do. Come on the Three Lions!!
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Monday 14th October
During the long haul home from Essex I took a very exciting phone call. It seems that Status Quo’s Frantic Four line-up are to perform a supposedly ‘final’ bout of reunion shows in March and April. As Alan Partridge might exclaim: “Back of the net!” Just received the press release and am very amused to note they have used a quote of mine, viz... As Classic Rock wrote: “Fuck me, dreams do come true”! Indeed they do – twice!
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Sunday 13th October
Last night's trip to the wilds of Essex for the Dan Reed Network’s date at the Enchanted Festival was well worth all of the time, $$$ and effort involved. There was much excitement when the Portland-based quintet reunited in the hometown last New Year’s Eve. Returning to the UK as part of a “one-day celebration of music, art, poetry and vision” at a hotel and health spa in Essex was a scenario that few foresaw, but given their eclectic sound belatedly speaking it made a little more sense.
After a somewhat gruelling four-hour journey (!) a rock opera was taking place in one of the main bar areas as I bowled up at the Greenwoods Health & Beauty Spa. Amazingly, the first person I saw whilst buying a very large lass of house white wine was Les Battersby from Coronation Street. And the second… Dan Reed! He seemed both excited and nervous. “After twenty years, I just hope I can remember the words,” smiled the singer.
The show took place in a humongous wedding marquis out on a rolling lawn. Due to time restraints the Network’s 90-min set omitted quite a few selections that I’d love to have heard (notably ‘Ritual’, ‘Slam’, ‘Lover’, ‘Tamin’ The Wild Nights’ and ‘Resurrect’) but most of the best-loved songs were rolled out. It also featured a far amount of chat & banter about the early days. Joking around and taking photos of one another on their mobile phones, the band were having a ball – you just cannot fake that level of enthusiasm. Those that still have long hair (namely guitarist Brion James and keysman Blake Sakomoto) now sport various tinges of grey but, musically speaking, they remain as special as ever. The super-funky ‘Baby Don’t Fade’ and ‘Stronger Than Steel’, an irresistible wisp of romantic slush dedicated to a newly engaged couple from whom Reed had once performed one of his house shows, reminded us of their diversity.
Almost before we knew it, time was up. “We’ll be coming back next year for a really big festival, I can’t tell you which but it rhymes with Pound Road”, grinned Dan from the stage, before signing off with an acoustic song – a sumptuous ‘Long Way To Go’, what else? – intended to preserve the peace with the event’s neighbours. As the applause died down and I began pondering the route back to my hotel on the other side of town, I was left with one of those ‘Did-that-really-just-happen?’ feelings. Luckily it most certainly did, and I had jotted down the set-list for proof… ‘Cruise Together’, ‘Forgot To Make Her Mine’, ‘Under My Skin’, ‘Baby Now I’, ‘Rainbow Child’, ‘Come Back Baby’, ‘Make It Easy’, ‘Tiger In A Dress’, ‘Baby Don’t Fade’, ‘Stronger Than Steel’, ‘I’m So Sorry’, ‘Get To You’ and ‘Long Way To Go’. [Edit: My friend and fellow scribe Mik Gaffney later informed me that both ‘Ritual’ and ‘Seven Sisters Road’ *were* both on the list; the band must have simply run out of time…]
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Saturday 12th October
Just back from a rather bibulous (© Nick Shilton) evening in the company of those evil Black Spiders, who played the Electric Ballroom in Camden. Many beers were consumed in the company of an extremely motley crew that included Andy Beare and, briefly, Danny Bowes of Thunder, who was in the pub before the show.
The Spiders were returning from a lengthy hiatus to promote their long-awaited second album, ‘This Savage Land’. It’s a bit less immediate than their debut, but I’ll tell you what… repeated plays bring rich rewards. I had no complaints with them playing all but two of its selections during a powerhouse 75-minute display. The set was consistently strong but the band really upped their game during the last half-hour of the show. I was particularly impressed by ‘Teenage Knife Gang’, which has a terrific ‘Overkill’ (Motörhead)-esque ending, and the two-fingered salute of ‘Stick It To The Man’. Here’s what was played: ‘Knock You Out’, ‘Stay Down’, ‘Creatures’, ‘Kiss Tried to Kill Me’, ‘Sleepy Demon’, ‘Trouble’, ‘Balls’, ‘Put Love In Its Place’, ‘Just Like A Woman’ and ‘Teenage Knife Gang’, followed by ‘St Peter’, ‘Stick It To The Man’ and ‘What Good’s A Rock Without A Roll?’.
Managed to avoid the score of the England-Montenegro game till I stumbled home. Sat and watched approvingly of the game’s highlights before falling face down into plate of spicy wings and chips. Ugggh. Bring on Poland on Tuesday night
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Friday 11th October
Just got off the phone from an interview with Fish, who was on the road. Despite being in Poland at the time, and the fact that he answered his mobile with the words: “Hello, Samaritans!”, the big fella was in rather fine form. Response to his new album, ‘A Feast Of Consequences’, has been consistently strong and the tour dates are selling well. “It feels like 1984 all over again,” he chirruped with tongue in cheek, before reminding yours truly that even if England win this evening’s game with Montenegro at Wembley – which of course they should! – World Cup qualification will most probably go down to the final game on Tuesday night. England are at home to bogey team Poland (from where Fish was taking my call), and only a madman would bet on their Group H rivals Ukraine slipping up against the part-timers of San Marino, which means that maximum points will be required: No slip-ups allowed! “You’d better wear your brown corduroys,” he advised. It seemed churlish to remind him that Scotland’s players, management and supporters will be doing what they always do during the big tournaments… i.e. staying home. There’s such a thing as artist-journo relations to maintain, after all!!
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Thursday 10th October
Having spent the last four or five days working my way through Bob Daisley’s autobiography, For Facts Sake, I burned the midnight oil to finish the final few chapters before placing an early morning phone call to the Australian residence of the former Rainbow/Ozzy Osbourne/bassist. The results of our conversation, during which he revealed some interesting stuff about the Blizzard Of Ozz days and spoke fondly of his two-album tenure in the mighty Heep, can be seen here.
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Wednesday 9th October
Very glad that I defied my raging hangover to check out last night’s gig by the Joplin-esque, Amazonian, potty-mouthed sexpot Dana Fuchs at the Borderline. You may not have heard of Dana yet… but mark my words, you will!!
Following the excesses of the previous night I remained firmly off the grog, indeed the mere whiff of my friend Andy Beare’s pint of Guinness almost turned my stomach. We both enjoyed a semi-acoustic support slot from former Blues Caravan-er Dani Wilde, who uses a smouldering voice to deliver a fine set of self-penned tunes such as ‘Call On Me’. Her cover of Foy Vance’s ‘Shed A Little Light’ set the room alight and even got the crowd singing along.
Promoting her third album, ‘Bliss Avenue’ – a Ling Towers heavy rotation favourite that mixes blues with funk, gospel, honky-tonk country and hard driving rock – Florida-born Fuchs hit the stage running. “I’ll give you guys my heart and soul tonight and you give it back, right?” she asked and the crowd roared in the affirmative. “Okay, I think we have a contract. Tonight we’re gonna talk religion, politics, death and addiction. You might get a refund if you leave now.” Nobody headed for the exit…
In a matter of minutes the sweat was pouring off the singer, who a few years ago played the title role in the off-Broadway musical Love, Janis. Covering every inch of the tiny stage, falling to her knees and getting the faces of those lucky enough to be in the front rows, she certainly has star quality in abundance. There were times when the pudding was over-egged a little, and she’s about as far from a shrinking violet as you could possibly get, but if Dee Snider and Seb Bach had a secret female love child that became a blues singer, Dana Fuchs is what she’s sound like. Still wondering what the fuss is all about? Then click here. BTW, the set-list ran as follows: ‘Almost Home’, ‘Bliss Avenue’, ‘How Did Things Get This Way’, ‘Handful Too Many’, ‘Livin’ On Sunday’, ‘So Hard To Move’, ‘Rodents In The Attic’, ‘Nothin’ On My Mind’, ‘Long Long Game’ and ‘Misery’, followed by an encore of ‘Keep On Walkin’’.
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Tuesday 8th October
Ouch, my head! You go out for some nosebag and a quiet drink with friends and wake up on a night bus, going in the wrong direction, in Kent at 4am... what a great start to the week! (NOT). Then again, one asks for it if your posse includes Paul Newcomb, John Dryland, Harj Kallah, Tyrina Gallagher and Lauren Archer. How to achieve instant disaster… just add a fifth carafe of white wine, then simmer slowly over a few more jars in the Crobar! As Nick Shilton might have said: ’Twas a most bibulous evening!! (Google it, I had to!).
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Sunday 6th October
The media had made much of Palace’s return to Anfield, suggesting the possibility of another 9-0 humbling (though, of course, few of those same pundits bothered to mention that the Eagles famously gained revenge over Liverpool in the semi-final of that year’s FA Cup in what, to yours truly, is remembered as the Greatest Football Game Of All Time). With the home side having raced into a 2-0 lead, at times the difference in class was almost laughable. And when the ref awarded *yet another* dodgy penalty against Ollie’s men (FFS!... THE CHALLENGE WAS OUTSIDE THE F**KING BOX!!), those predictions assumed a worrying ring of possibility. After the interval I took heart from Palace’s display; though the game was already over as a contest, we pulled the score back to 3-1 and Speroni closed shop at the other end. The way I prefer to look at things, we won the second half 1-0, though this version doesn’t hide the fact that the Eagles from SE25 sit second from bottom in the table without a League win since the final day of August. Very worrying indeed, though perhaps not too surprising when all’s said and done…
Anyway, with four months to go till my half-marathon I’m upping the training. Have just completed a 10K before teatime; that’s five big runs in six days. Now for a long soak in the bath, some more of Bob Daisley’s book and a chill-out before the return of the brilliant Homeland.
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Saturday 5th October
Here’s a nice pic from yesterday’s Metallica interview in London’s West End. Lars Ulrich and company have an ambitious new 3-D movie entitled Metallica: Through The Never that has really set the cat among the pigeons. Strange to think that I first met Lars in the fabled Shades Records store back in 1984, when he brought in a vinyl test pressing of a l’il album called ‘Ride The Lightning’. It was great to talk to him again...

Dave Ling Online

Afterwards I headed across to Camden to join Andy Beare for a few bevvies at Romeo’s Daughter’s Underworld gig. The band played the longest set I’d seen from them. It felt a bit lopsided in that the first 50 of its 90 minutes featured just one song from their 1998 self-titled debut… but, hey… the new album, ‘Rapture’, is wonderful and as God-like as a reinstated ‘Hymn (Look Through Golden Eyes)’ was, it’s positive to see them refrain from using their more iconic tunes as a crutch. I can’t hear ‘Talking Love’ without thinking of hairspray-era Heart, but that’s okay because Ann Wilson and company had a big hit with RD’s own ‘Wild Child’. “Here’s a song that was once covered by a very famous band; everyone thinks that they wrote it but it’s one of ours!” said Leigh Matty with a smile. My fave bit came during the chorus of ‘Bittersweet’ which goes “I still love you/And I want to take you home” when Leigh blew a kiss across the room and waved to her man, FM’s Merv ‘The Swerve’ Goldsworthy, at the mixing desk. Awww guys, get a room! Haha! Before previewing a song called ‘Perfect Plan’, Matty revealed that the band have actually started work on a new album: “It’s a miracle! It took us 18 years to make a third album and here we are making a fourth [within a year].” For me, it can’t arrive soon enough. Here’s the set-list: ‘Trippin’ Out’, ‘Attracted To The Animal’, ‘Keep Walking’, ‘Lightning’, ‘Perfect Plan’, ‘Talking Love’, ‘Bittersweet’, ‘Dancing Slow’, ‘Velvet Tongue’, ‘Cannot Be The One’, ‘Alive’, ‘Stay With Me Tonight’, an acoustic version of ‘Will Be’, ‘Inside Out’, ‘I Cry Myself To Sleep At Night’ and ‘Heaven In The Back Seat’, followed by ‘Hymn (Look Through Golden Eyes)’ and ‘Wild Child’.
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Friday 4th October
Yet more interview tape transcript… Coney Hatch, Stryper… busy, busy, busy!
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Thursday 3rd October
I’ve been doing some reviews for the new issue of Prog magazine. They’ve let me loose on ‘A Feast Of Consequences’ by Fish, which I like more and more with every spin, and a three CD/two DVD package (complete with 5.1 sound) boxed set of Steve Hackett’s recent Genesis-themed gig at Hammersmith. I was unable to attend said concert as it clashed with a home game for my beloved CPFC… It looks like an unbelievably good show!
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Wednesday 2nd October
I’d love to have attended this great little festival at the weekend but domestic matters (childcare, specifically…) and geographical difficulties look likely to scupper such hopes. Here’s wishing Jeff Braithwaite of Chariot and all the organisers of Metalwave the very best of luck with it!!
Can the rumour *really* be true? Are Starz going to play London’s 12 Bar Club on December 18??!! It appears so, guitarist Richie Ranno just replied to my email… their long-awaited debut on UK soil is actually happening!
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Tuesday 1st October
With a new issue of Classic Rock Presents AOR about to enter the production phase, much of this week has been spent transcribing interviews. Just had a chat with former Danger Danger frontman Paul Laine about his new Southern/country-tinged project Dark Horse (he prefers the former term). It made me whip out my vinyl of the Canadian’s 1990 album ‘Stick It In Your Ear’ for a quick refresher… the first time I’d heard the Bruce Fairbairn-produced cult classic in quite a few years.
P.S. This month’s Playlist and YouTube amendments are up!
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