The lovely readers of Record of the Day voted Charles Shaar Murray winner of the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Music Journalism Award at last night’s bash at the Idea Generation Gallery in Shoreditch.
Following an almost clean sweep of the awards by the newly rebooted NME, Charles’s old alma mater — thanks to editor Krissi Murison who won the Editor of the Year Award — he impressed on the journos in the audience the importance of writing, not just about the music, but about what the music is about, including the political, spiritual and cultural landscape of the time. Which is largely what led to the success of the NME in its 1970s heyday.
As Charles said in his blockbuster speech, if you stick around long enough, you get your props.
Also getting his props since featuring in the Julian Temple film, OIl City Confidential, about the history of Britain’s finest blues rock band Dr Feelgood, was the magnificent Wilko Johnson, guitarist, songwriter and singer, who was there to present the award to Charles. Two legends on one ticket — it doesn’t get much better than this. (Shame they played “Milk & Alcohol” as his play-on music when it was recorded after he left the band.)
Lucky gurl that I yam, I got to talk to Wilko beforehand. He’s very excited about the HBO series, Game Of Thrones, he’s making for American TV in which he plays the mute villain Ilyn Payne (geddit?). Possessed of a rubbery face it was a delight to watch Wilko animatedly describing the role, the full-length chain mail suits, and the swords he has strapped to his back, poor lamb, making sitting down belween takes an impossibility. How we laughed, though, when he told us about how Sean Bean fares in confrontation with our hero/villain, which I can’t possibly divulge here as that would be an almighty spoiler.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer writer Jane Espenson is also involved so this will be one to watch.
Charles and I urged him to sort out merchandise so we can have an articulated action doll of him in full regalia. Either that or we take him home.
UPDATE: For everyone outside the UK who’s visiting this blogpost via the Winter Is Coming site, a bit more about the gorgeous much-loved Wilko. You may already know that he was the super-talented guitarist and songwriter with Dr Feelgood, the uber British pub-rock band of the 1970s who played up a storm with their hyper-energy blues rock. Not only that, his chiselled features made him one of the most beautiful men on the planet. If you haven’t seen it, check out Julien Temple’s documentary film, Oil City Confidential. This may help explain why there are guys of a certain age (40s and 50s) who, even though they may be stern upright citizens, turn into babbling fifteen year olds when talking about Wilko. I have never seen so many straight men go so silly over a rock hero. It’s quite funny and sweet to watch.
Anyhow, we are all thrilled that Wilko’s multiple skills have been revealed to a new audience across the Pond via Game Of Thrones, and hope you come to love him as much as we do. If you are lucky, you may even get to see him play. On New Year’s Eve his band (with Norman Watt-Roy and Dylan Howe) plays London’s 100 Club which is now under threat, supported by Crosstown Lightnin‘. Hope there’s a US tour next year. Go see.
Anna’s food blog here: