Wilko Johnson in Game of Thrones

"They said they wanted somebody really sinister who went around looking daggers at people before killing them. That made it easy. Looking daggers at people is what I do all the time." - Wilko Johnson

I've only just started watching "Game of Thrones" and could not believe seeing a familiar face in S1E2 tonight; that of "Ilyn Payne" - the mute executioner. I knew Wilko Johnson not as an actor, but as one of my favourite musicians. I was so surprised that I googled to make sure and found out that Game of Thrones was his first acting role!

Ex blockheads Wilko Johnson (right) and Norman Watt-Roy (centre)

I first head Wilko play guitar with his distinctive style in Dr Feelgood. I then heard him play with Ian Dury and the Blockheads. I became a big fan of his own Wilko Johnson band, since it also had my favourite bass player (I play the bass too); fellow ex-blockhead Norman Watt-Roy. Norman and Wilko had enough talent and musical ability to carry off a three-piece act perfectly. I saw them many times in and around London in some fairly small venues. They had a "Canvey Island R&B" sound with harsh, choppy riffs and drew a following of punks, musos, and blues lovers. My own blues band even supported them once at "the Cricketers" pub in Kennington, South London.

“Man, there's nothing like being told you're dying to make you feel alive.” - Wilko Johnson

I was saddened to hear at the beginning of last year that Wilko had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and it was incurable. Rather than languish in despair, he arranged a "farewell tour" and has been playing extensively with other artists (like "Madness" and Roger Daltrey from "The Who") and is still booking dates.

Wilko was one of my heroes and it was bizarre, yet gratifying to see him in such an acclaimed TV drama. His musical career has had some high points (here in the UK at least) but he remains relatively unknown to many. I agree with Paul Weller (ex Jam and Style Council), who said of Johnson: "Wilko may not be as famous as some other guitarists, but he's right up there. And there are a lot of people who'll say the same. I can hear Wilko in lots of places. It's some legacy.

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Queen - Don't Stop Me Now - Music Stems Available

I've just been reading about a competition to remix the song "Don't Stop Me Now", by Queen. I'm not particularly interested in the competition, although the prizes might interest any budding musos out there.

The competition has original 9 stub tracks from the final mix of the song available for download (for a limited time). These WAV file tracks can be imported into many types of recording software, such as Pro-Tools, or Cubase and then played together to reproduce the final mix of the song.

The competition is available on the link below (until December 13), and you can download the 9 WAVs, or hear them individually if you click on the "Participate" tab in this site:


For me, it is really interesting hearing this classic song broken down into it's individual elements. Although it feels wrong somehow, It's quite tempting now to start bastardising it - perhaps a bit of wobble-bass wouldn't hurt, would it? Good luck if you decide to have a go.


It really is not hard to get the sound levels correct...

Why don't Giantbomb use some audio quality standards in their recordings? 
Practically every video, especially the live ones have distortion on the vocals. These horrible sounding vocal spikes could be easily solved if the people at GB paid as much attention to the audio quality of their output - especially in knowing that digitial signals can not go over 0db AT ALL!  
A really simple solution would be to get a vocal preamp with a compressor, or a separate compressor for voice.
I wonder what monitoring and audio engineering goes on here - I suspect there is poor real-time monitoring, or some sort of problem here. It is enough to make me stop paying subs. 


the - "difficult" - first blog post

Well, I've had a good look around the site and can say I'm amazed at the potential here. I have been looking forward to this site launching for a long time. Very well done to all concerned.

I used to post in Gamespot quite frequenly, up until Jeff mysteriously left. He had always been a strong influence in Gamespot and contributed hugely to the site. I particularly enjoyed "On the Spot" with Jeff, Ryan and Rich Gallup. I also liked Alex Navaro, although his brief appearance on a recent bombcast touting rockband shows him as coming across quite awkwardly. I liked reading all of their reviews and opinions on games.

Post Jeff, gamespot went into serious decline. I stopped posting there about games and used the forums instead to spead my own atheist agenda. I went to other, previously unexplored, gaming sites to get my gaming fix and deliberatley avoided Gamespot. I thought the CNET decision to get rid of Jeff was totally stupid and I think Gamespot will feel the ill-effects of their decision even more now this site is up.

I used to read Jeff's blogs while he was "resting". For a while, I read about his quests to get a seriously high GamerScore, then the first fragments of Giant Bomb together. It has been fascinating to watch up to now and I will be interested to see how the new team cope with the huge success this site will inevitably get.