From "Internet Wanderer" to "OGGS", who is "SIMMO!"?


Dormant Account
Apr 24, 2005

I'd like to take this time with you, to turn this stone to find out a little more about the one who's better known as...


"Interweb Wanderer and Moderator"

When I think of "Simmo!", and everything that handle represents, what first comes to mind is fair, honest, quick-witted, but above all else, "FUN"! If there's a caricature that best represents the overall handle, I would have to think that yours is right there at the top. Tell me as best you can, what does "Simmo!" best symbolize and represent? Also, why did you select that specific avatar?

Er…thanks. Lol. Not sure I’d quite describe myself like that but hey. I don’t take myself or life too seriously unless I need to in case you hadn’t guessed! The Avatar I picked was simply to try and make other people see that if I posted anything that offended anyone, they could probably guess that it was unintentional. Either that or they could at least guess I’m on the simple side of backward ;)

I think you could best describe me as “laid back”. People close to me would probably lean towards the term “lazy”, which is true - unless I’m doing something I enjoy when I definitely ain’t! Why tend the garden when you can get a gardener? Why not re-invent the wheel if only for a challenge? Get the picture? I get quite into techie stuff too and I just love playing with programming technologies to come up with new stuff. Most of it doesn’t go anywhere, some of it does – I tend to just do stuff to see if I can.

Examples of these tendencies can be found at and - although Winthemes has a future, Zapits did, kinda, in my head, but after it was developed, I dreamt up Winthemes so it got put by for a rainy day. Or until someone goes “wow what an amazing viral marketing tool – find how much it’ll cost to buy it and do whatever it takes”. Which actually, since you asked me, has happened. Haggle time.

Er yeah…well that’s me anyway…leaving a trail of Internet scrap lying in my wake in the quest for Utopia. Lol.

What's "Engerland" like? Please, describe this as best you can? Lots of details, please!

Oh God! Where do you start? Well okay, it’s pretty, but congested where I come from although the further North you go the more spaced out it becomes, and the North and West probably lay claim to the best scenery. Politically it’s stable but run by people who don’t really know what the hell’s going on, so we have something in common with our friends over the pond at least ;) Actually, to be fair, at Government level it’s not too bad – it’s at local Government level where it all goes horribly wrong. They just seem intent on making as much money from car owners and home owners as they can.

Anyway… I’m sure we’re not alone in that respect. One of the great things about the UK is there is no tax on winnings from gambling either online or offline, and we don’t have politicians forcing their moral beliefs on us, which sucks. We’re not a greatly patriotic nation, except possibly when it comes to sport, especially when compared with the USA. For example, if we made a film about fighting off alien invaders, it wouldn’t end with the Union Jack being raised to stirring music – lol. It’s a shame we’re not more patriotic to be honest, but I blame the press. Apparently we love to read about people making it to the top. But it appears we prefer to see them on the slippery slope down, preferably with a chance to put the boot in to assist. I don’t quite know what’s wrong with the press here, but it’s all gone horribly sour somewhere.

I don’t buy newspapers anymore… I read it all online courtesy of the BBC. With maybe the odd exception when I’m hanging around London in a coffee shop ahead of a meeting, I gave up buying papers when the press killed Princess Diana. Despite their attempt to convince the public it was a drink issue, we’re not quite as stupid as they like to think.

You are the creator of the website "OGGS " (, which is a site devoted to rating and ranking some of the best online casinos sites out there. How long has this site been operational, and how much time to you devote to this site?

OGGS started up around July 2004 I guess. I bought the domain name when I worked in the music business, thinking the “open source” OGG Vorbis codec would one day take over from MP3 and would offer me $10 million so they could keep their business open :D (seriously, I thought basing a business on the name of a technology - “” - was a serious long-term oversight!). Anyway, it hasn’t happened yet and when I decided that the best way to try and offset some of my gambling costs was to try and recoup it from the casinos (ding!), that’s when I started it.

In terms of actually updating it, it might be an hour a week or an hour a day depending on what’s going on. But I spend way much more time actually researching the casinos and the industry in general, as much out of my own personal interest as any need to add the info to Although my latest project is a big casino database site which lists and categorises all the safer casinos so I am constantly researching for that pretty much every day. And I like lists J

Plus it gives me an excuse to play more too. I’d say in a typical day, weekends included, I spend about 3-4 hours involved in the “casino” online side, and probably about an hour playing on average. Obviously moderating at Meister helps me keep on top of things so a lot of what I do to my site comes from reading how badly or well a casino has treated a player. Sometimes they get pulled, other times they get higher priority, sometimes I just rejig or add new info… depends on my mood and what I think is useful.

But if I’m off developing some new “idea”, then everything, sleep included, plays second fiddle – when I’m into something, I’m heads-down no interruptions, leave me alone. You’ll know I’m either away or in this mode when my posts on Meister slow down or stop! Does mean though that I’m not the best communicator. When people email me in the middle of one of these phases, I tend to be very lax in getting back to them, aside maybe from a quick acknowledgement!
Gulp... You can only guess how busy I've been lately (it took FOREVER for me to get back to a VERY patient Simmo! on this one).

Have you always been a moderator here at ""? How did that all come to fruition?

Ah that only happened relatively recently actually. Bryan approached me and diplomatically suggested that “seeing as you spend your life on my board, why don’t you just look after it!” Lol. Anyway, you don’t argue with an ex-Machine-gunner now do you? After saying “no” initially, here I am - lol.

Although I could be way off on this one, while you certainly strike me as industry savvy (in terms of online casinos/software/ect...), what interests you the most about all of this? Now, I would assume the games aspect would probably come first, but what do you have most fun researching and writing about?

Cash-out times and my favourite topic of all time: Reverse Withdrawal :D Seriously, any casino reps reading this will be sighing right now and thinking “Steed – why did you ask him that?”. I think some are fed up with me preaching about Reverse Withdrawal. One rep even accused me of riding my “hobby horse” recently when I approached her about considering reducing it for the umpteenth time (she still hasn’t swayed it but I attacked again on Friday – lol). I’m always emailing casino support people to not only find out how long their “RW” time is, but also to see how long it takes them to respond. What amazes me most is that a lot of casino support staff don’t know the term “Reverse Withdrawal” – lol. It’s “Pending” at their end.

I mean yeah, I love playing the games and finding what works for me and what doesn’t, but I love finding out and writing up the little things that other people may not know. Like the fact that Ladbrokes are the only casino who accept Paypal. Or that WAGERWORKS show the expected return on every game in the paytables within the software, including slots. Stuff like that which might make people go “ooh, well I never”!

Late last year, after "Gramma" posted some pretty terrific wins on slot progressives, you and "Slotster" got into a friendly little competition. That would later take on a life of it's own, and eventually evolve into something else where many of the forum's members wanted to get in on it as well. This idea and what it had become, would later spawn into your other site, "". How has this project gone thus far?

Initially I was very pleased with it but I have to say just recently I’ve been thinking the format needs to be improved to keep it fresh. There’s a fair bit of work involved and it’s a balance between keeping the casinos and the players happy and interested. The problem is I haven’t quite decided how to take it forward. I was planning “spot comps” but because of time differences, I’m not sure they will be effective. I’ve also thrown out the idea of “team games” but got a very limited response. Even considered moving it into other games like card games aswell. Some of the casinos, along with a good number of players, have been very supportive so I believe there’s something in it.

It’s just how to keep it fresh and interesting. I’d welcome ideas if anyone has any! The only disappointing thing was a couple of players coming in trying to scam prizes. Thankfully they weren’t “Meister” regulars but it left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth it must be said. Should hope to get it going again in the summer. And now I finally hit a progressive (are you reading Slotster?!) I’ve got the bug back for the Progressive Challenge too!

How did you come up with the concept of the "Game Buddy"?

The thing that I’ve always felt casino play is missing is a sense of community. It’s generally, with a few exceptions, “you” against “the software” and while gambling is still fun, adding a friendly competitive edge is something I’ve always liked the idea of. So building the game buddy seemed a good way of testing my technology skills towards something useful. I’m really pleased with the new version, which integrates into the Active Desktop, but it needs a bit more “oomph” to keep it attractive and interesting (you can see it at

In fact the whole “Winthemes” idea came out from the original "Game Buddy" idea, so the project has just grown and grown and now goes beyond gambling. I think it could potentially be very captivating, but I need to finish developing the “developers” end where people can create their own "Winthemes" for distribution. Meanwhile, I know one or two people use the "Game Buddy", if only for the Chat facility, so I hope to get that fine-tuned and make it more widely available soon.

It will be interesting to see how "Trident" and "River Belle’s" multiplayer casinos develop. "Crypto" have had multiplayer games for some time, but not slots. One to watch.

In your opinion, what makes a good casino great?

Ah well that’s pretty easy – a casino that listens and responds positively to player a players gambling habits and requests has it right. If I want a cashin flushed, then a great casino will do it. If I want cashouts at weekends, then a great casino will do that. If I want the Reverse Withdrawal facility down to one hour, then a great casino will do that too. And if I want a restriction on how much I can deposit, a great casino will implement it. Just examples, and obviously we all know there are limitations, often imposed by the software provider, on what can and can’t be achieved. For me, it’s all about treating the player as an individual, and not expecting them to accept what everyone else wants. The “personal touch”.

Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, the customer is not always right and for every casino that tries it on, there’s a hundred players trying it on, so one has to accept that the good honest players will receive an element of pre-judgement until they are “known”. We might not like it, but in customer-facing businesses, it’s a fact of life. But for “loyal” players I think a great casino will recognise that each has their own preferences.

I already have a pretty good idea about what your answers are going to be here, but for the record, what are the "Top-5" slot games out there?

LOL. Okay well no surprises they are all “free spin” games!

Thunderstruck” – the grand-daddy of Free Spins. 15 spins at 3x – yum!

ISIS” – a money sucker but with occasional huuuge payouts. 20 spins at 6x!

Spring Break” – same as Thunderstruck really.

Desert Treasure” (Playtech) – 10 spins at 3x but keeps you going imbetween.

Thor (Crypto)” – 10 spins at 3x and keeps you going. Nice and chunky!

I like how you mix-it-up every once in a while, whenever the forum seems to be going stale, you like to bring up uncovered topics - create new threads with polls - to keep the site's blood flowing. Thus far, which thread had you started that you were able to get most of what you were looking for in your original question(s)? Not easy to answer (I know) because you've done so many, and not easy because threads generally lose the focus or intent of the original questions.

Hmm tricky…the “Reverse Withdrawal” poll was probably the one I like most as it’s always been a hobby-horse of mine. While I can see that nearly a whole 10% of players actually like it (!), I think it should be made optional to each player, or do what 32Red do and reduce it on request of the player. I’m immensely jealous of "Polli123’s Winner Screenshots" thread though it must be said. Why didn’t I think of that first?

If you were head of "PlayTech ", what major changes would you institute over a 4-year period.

See above! Actually I’m liking Playtech software – the more I play it the more I like it. Not so keen on the layout of the Video Poker games and I’d definitely improve the autoplay to make it more like Microgaming’s. In fact I’d go a step further and allow players to set up there own autoplay strategy config files. IE: you could leave it to do 25 spins at $1, followed by 25 spins at $2 with a trigger that resets it to $1 if a win is > $100. Something like that. Those that ever played Quake2 will get the idea… you could create key combo configs to do certain things – similar principle.

Aside from that, I’d be more strict about who got my licences! It’s what puts me off playing Playtech casinos generally – gonna be dealing with someone who I know hasn’t been strictly vetted. If they were eCOGRA sealed or regulated in Gibraltar for example, I’d be more comfortable. "totesport" and "Betfred" are the only two I would play right now, though I know a lot of players are fine at other Playtech joints so I’m just paranoid. Oh and the 5-day cashouts? Er…no.

Although Microgaming will likely forge ahead for your time still, being the undisputed champion on the online gaming market, "IF" another software provider became the new king, who would envision being the next best in line? Why would you go with them, and from now until that "supposed" time frame, what will they need to do to get there?

"Playtech" or "Cryptologic". Crypto doesn’t quite have the same 21st century feel to it that MG has, but their licencees are well selected and there are plenty of good games there now. "Playtech" is just easy on the eye and GUI-wise is up there with MG already. For me, the excitement lies in “Free Spin” slots with big multipliers. Crypto need to drop the idea of triggering these on specific reels only and Playtech need a few more adventurous ones. But that’s just personal taste. I actually prefer Crypto’s Video poker to MG, though the paytables suck in comparison now they down-graded the Double Bonus one.

What's the worst online gaming experience - in whatever form - have you encountered over the years?

I’ve been very lucky. Well I prefer the term “sensible” actually. I always researched in the early days and now I know instinctively who is likely to give me issues. Although I do test-run a lot of casinos with small amounts before I decide if I want to promote them or not on OGGS, I’ve never been refused a cash-out. But I don’t often play with bonuses so that’s a major reason. I guess the worst experience was trying to deal with William Hill support after my session bombed out and it wouldn’t let me resume the original game, or play another. That was over 2 years ago and I spend well over a month trying to get them to fix it but they just dropped me off the radar. So I did the same to them. Since then their support has become legendary on the boards… but not in a good way.

Taking from a crop of what's generally perceived or considered to be the greatest online casinos around, what could you take from each of them to create the best casino around? The more examples used the better!

Okay – the customer service of 32Red, Microgaming software, the instant Neteller payouts of the Casino Action group, the Ladbrokes banking system to avoid any Reverse time, the VIP scheme of Roxy Palace, which has loads of bonuses every month, but with the cashback points of CasinoUS (0.5 on slots), throw in a few of the Casino Action tournaments, iNetBet’s Joker Poker pay-table and voilá – "Simmo’s Casino" :)

How many people have you met, who are presently forum members here at ""?

I’ve met a few: obviously the man himself on a couple of occasions. Of the regulars here I’ve met "Spearmaster" a couple of times and more recently "Jetset" along with "VinylWeatherMan" and "Webzcas". I’ve arranged to meet a number of the casino reps that post here at recent conferences too.

Switching gears here, I see that you've listed "Gladiator" as your favorite film, and I once recall you mentioning "Ben Hur" amongst your favorites. Are you big into that type of film, specifically from the era?

I guess I like “EPICS”, mainly historical or big fictional epics and stories of escapism and “one man overcomes the odds” type stories. The era is fairly irrelevant. But that said, the Roman Empire is a fascinating era. I’m currently on Book 3 of a 4 book “fiction epic” by Conn Iggulden called “Emperor” – a largely fictitious but historically similar portrayal of the life of Julius Caesar, from boyhood through to his death (I assume!). When I read, I tend to go for autobiographies more than anything, but escapism is good. I think the best book I ever read, despite nearly avoiding it because of over-hype, was “The DaVinci Code”. All that bollocks from purists about it being poorly written is drivel – it’s just a fantastic ripping yarn and who cares if it’s true or not!

Give me some example of some of your favorite "All-Time" films?

Recent films I’ve enjoyed include the “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy and I can’t wait for “Pirates of the Caribbean 2” – the first was excellent fun. Enjoyed “The Mummy” trilogy too and "Jurassic Park" 1 and 3 were awesome films. I like Brit Flicks too – stuff like "Four Weddings" and "Notting Hill"… anything humorous like that. Going back a bit, “Barbarella” is memorable for the oh-so-cute Jane Fonda (the opening sequence – yeah yeah…now check out Kylie’s video for “Put Yourself In My Place” – yum!) and one of my all-time faves was “Silent Running”… the first film to make me shed tears from what I remember!

I recall reading about your collection of vinyl records, and I'm curious as to how many albums you have collected thus far? What's your most treasured album?

I was more of a “singles” collector than an album collector and I specialised in certain bands, most notable OMD (see below) and any band featuring my hero of the time (I tinkered on synths you see!) Vince Clarke – so that included Depeche Mode ‘til ’81, Yazoo (“Yaz” in the States because of a milkshake or something!), his record lable “Reset Records”, subsequent collaborations with Feargal Sharkey and Paul Quinn before he finally set up Erasure. So consequently I have pretty much everything ever released by all those bands in pretty much every format…singles, promos blah blah.

As for my most treasured album, it actually comes from the 90’s and you won’t have heard of it... it’s a chill-out compilation CD called “Quarknosis”… exactly the sort of music that inspires me. I spend my days listening to www.di.fmchillout” radio now, which captures a very similar vibe and keeps me going! But okay so if I have to pick one album people may have heard of, it would be…. ”Organisation” by OMD. And in second place, probably “A Momentary Lapse In Reason” by Pink Floyd, both of which capture a similar mood that is very “me”. Similar in fact to “Faith” by The Cure, which is another strong contender. If I’m forced to go more “upbeat”, then I really like the new Green Day album (“When Septmber Comes” is the best single of the 21st Century by my reckoning!), but I’d probably pick the double “live” album “It’s Alive” by The Ramones which is plain bloody awesome.

Would you consider The Cure's "Faith" to be their darkest work? Even moreso than say "Pornography" or "Seventeen Seconds"? Hahaha, from your avatar, I'd have guessed you to be more into the "Just Like Heaven" or a "Close To Me" type of a person. Boy, was I off...

I’d say "Faith" was definitely their darkest work yes. The production quality is awesome and the bass guitar dominates the record providing real ambience. I loved "17 Seconds" and “A Forest” was probably their best ever track IMO, but as an experience, “Faith” is a lights off, sit back and lose yourself to your imagination masterpiece.

Oddly enough, I've listened to that album packaged with Carnage Visors, and I too used to listen to it in the dark. I still get spooked whenever I see the video for "Charlotte Sometimes".

I see that you're an OMD fan, which has peaked my interest a bit. How would you best desribe this band, and what kind of impact have they had on you? Do they in some ways remind you of "Madness"?

Haha – how do you describe OMD?! Eclectic I guess. I went to see them on every single tour they did apart from the very first one when I was too young! Always went to Hammersmith Palais and sweated with the masses. I did the same on every Depeche Mode tour too! OMD are without doubt the band that’s had the most effect on me. Their early albums “Organisation”, “Dazzle Ships”, “Junk Culture” and “Architecture & Morality” were just like nothing else at the time. The thing I loved was that they would take really abstract sounds and combine them with a more commercial synth sound to produce something totally unique to them. Sometimes you’d get a “Souvenir” or an “Enola Gay” which were pretty commercial tracks, but then out pops a “Genetic Engineering” which just bent the rules… and not to everyone’s taste admittedly.

I liked them because they dared to try something different. The “Dazzle Ships” album took it to the extreme and I loved it but it got slated in the press. “Architecture & Morality” was just non-commercial enough to be interesting and “Organisation” was full of slow dark tracks with just “Enola Gay” to break the factory styled industrial backdrop. When Paul Humphreys left the band, it was never quite the same. It got more commercial, and despite some moments of brilliance (to me!) like “Sailing On The Seven Seas”, it lost it’s raw edge.

Actually, the band are reforming for a new album and tour after much persuasion by the fans – Andy McCluskey said he never wanted to do it as he thought it looked sad, but there is an OMD message board ( which is very active and I think was largely responsible for him pairing up with Paul again. I don’t have high hopes for the album, but I’ll definitely listen. I suppose I’ll have to buy it as I have a massive OMD collection of some 250 rarities, promos, limited editions, imports and coloured vinyl’s to supplement!

I would have to call myself a big Depeche Mode fan, for they were my first concert that I had ever seen. Oddly enough, "THE THE " was the opening act, and I don't think there were more than 10 people (at the TARGET center in Minneapolis) actually paying attention to them, despite putting on an excellent show AND having Johnny Marr playing with them at that point. Sorry, I'm getting off topic here. I'm going to list each Depeche Mode album to date, and I'd like to know what each one of them means to you. More specifically, what song meant the most to you, and why? What do they remind you of, IOW what was going on in your life at that time?

Okay this is going to be tough as I have the memory of a sieve, but I’ll try my best!

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Circa '81 with Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher, Dave Gahan, and Simmo's god Vince Clarke.​

Speak & Spell (1981)

Just Can’t get Enough” was the first DM track to grab my attention in the classroom at school one day, though I subsequently discovered “New Life” so it’s a tough call. I was still hanging onto Punk at the time so I think this was a major discovery for me. Therefore it’s “Just can’t get Enough” for me as it provided the encore for the live shows at the time and for years after and it’s probably their defining moment.

A Broken Frame (1982)

“See You” is the classic track while “Meaning Of Love” was also a fave. I was at college at the time so the album – all albums in fact – passed me by and made way for drink! So I caught up with it later.

Construction Time Again (1983)

Everything Counts” – one of their best ever tracks although I remember being a bit disappointed with the album initially. It wasn’t ‘til later I realised that DM’s great strength was their ability to grow the sound from album to album so now I see it in a different light.

Some Great Reward (1984)

People Are People” still is a favourite track. I was working in my first “proper” job at the time and had a soft-top Triumph Spitfire classic sports car. Because I worked part time in a hi-fi shop at weekends too, I bought some mega sound stuff for the car. Pioneer amps and stuff like that. What set it apart though was that I got a pair of huge house speakers and wedged them behind the two seats (they just squeezed in) and the sound was like deafening. I remember driving home from work one day with a mate. Being the poser I was back then, I took the route through town with the volume on 11. Everyone was looking so we were acting cool, like you think you are at that age of babe-magnetism. Anyway, we’d just left the town behind when the track playing (I remember it was ZZ Top’s Gimme All Your Lovin’) faded out and we realised the exhaust had fallen off! So it was actually the racket the car was making as it dragged the exhaust behind it that had attracted the attention through the town centre, not the music! Plank.

This was also the time when Adrian Sherwood was working on the “OnUSound” project and it gave rise to some very weird remixes of “People” and “Master & Servant”. Incidentally, the “People” track lead to an interesting conversation in the pub at the time and the phrase “always treat other people as you ant to be treated” hit my mindset and I’ve tried to stick to it ever since.

People Are People (1984)

We didn’t get this album over here as far as I am aware (see above)

Black Celebration (1986)

“Let me see you stripped down to the bone”. Stripped. A classic and a great example of how DM metamorphosed from album to album.

Music for the Masses (1987)

I remember getting a limited edition “white vinyl” version of this album. It was actually my favourite DM album until “Violator” came along. The album actually has three standout tracks for me: “Never Let Me Down Again”, “Strangelove” and “Pimpf” (also acted as the B-side to “Strangelove”) all of which are in my all time fave DM tracks. I was just about to change job at the time and it was the year I moved into my own house! Well, a shared one bought with a mate All the neighbours thought we were gay but we were just poor, that’s all J A mate of mine worked in a bar with “Strangelove” on the jukebox and we’d constantly play the b-side - “Pimpf” - over and over while we played pool!

Violator (1989)

This was the best DM album ever IMO. So many tracks to choose from, but I guess “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy The Silence” are the top picks and both have subsequently been covered (well in my opinion) more than once which says a lot. I played this album to death!

Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993)

I Feel You” was a breath of fresh air. The band had been away for a while – Dave Gahan had been in rehab and Martin Gore had been working on a quite interesting solo project called “Counterfeit” where he did largely acoustic or synth covers, including “Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth” by Sparks, the first band I was ever into in a big way. When DM returned, the album was lively and again showed they had moved forward. A great album though “Violator” was a tough act to follow.

Ultra (1997)

I have to say this one never really did it for me. It was “okay”, but not awesome. “Barrel Of A Gun” was a top track, but the best version was actually the “Underworld Slow Mix” that came out on a CD single as a limited edition. Top job they did stripping it down to a single synth and Dave’s voice. Emotional.


Similarly to Ultra, it didn’t really garb me. I think by the time “Ultra” came along my music tastes were changing and I’d discovered Trance and Chillout so “Exciter” passed me by – I bought it obviously, but I just can’t remember any track other than “The Sweetest Condition”!

Playing the Angel

Ah yeah…”John The Revelator”…class and a return to form. Not a bad album overall but still listening and trying to make up my mind!

Since you were in the heart of "Cool Britannia", "Tony Blair", the passing of "Thatcherism" and the emergence of "Britpop", what did all of that mean to you?

Absolutely nothing. I’ve never been a follower of politics (for better or worse) or Britpop to be honest. The recent bands that follow that trend are better – but still not really my “thing”. I like music which sparks my emotions and in general, Britpop doesn’t really do that for me – it just sounds “nice”. Lol.

I don't want to piss people off here, but I've always felt that the majority of the greatest recordings outside of the Jazz and Blues genres comes from Britain. Any thoughts on this?

I think the UK is generally pretty well looked to in terms of many genres. It makes a change for us to be leading the way in something but I think the music industry is one of the few areas where we do. Though that said, often, the genres start elsewhere and just become more popular quicker over here. It’s down to radio though. England is such a condensed area that one “sound” finds it easier to attract a wider audience. Our radio stations tend to cover larger proportions of the population (Radio 1 for example) so it’s easier to “break” a band or a sound… well, less expensive than the USA anyway! Still bloody hard! Money talks and it’s generally just a question of how much money you throw at something. The music is secondary.

Give me a "Top-5" list of British bands that you have found to be highly overrated? And they've got to be bands that are generally taken seriously, not something like the Spice Girls (although... I never minded them because they never took themselves seriously)!

Hmmm…tough one because music is so subjective. You can’t say anyone is “crap” because it’s all personal taste. Everyone considers it sacrilege to beat up on the Beatles, and while you can’t dispute that they helped shaped the music scene, if they hadn’t someone else would have. And a lot of bands have come along and done it better since in my opinion. That’ll piss some people off – lol I think. Yeah I’m not comfortable with the word over-rated I’m afraid. But in terms of who I didn’t get: "The Smiths" (apart from “Panic” which was awesome), "Paul Weller", "Billy Brag", "Oasis" and "The Brotherhood Of Man" are all right up there.

What were some of your favorite TV programs growing-up up until now?

Early on it was "The Banana Splits" on a Saturday morning and "The Pogles" on weekday “Watch With Mother” lunchtimes! “Minder” and “The Sweeney” were favourites in the 70’s along with “I Claudius” – nothing to do with the constant orgies obviously ;-)

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In the 80’s it was all music and football, then in the 90s comedy clip shows like "Trigger Happy" and most especially “I’m Alan Partridge” – probably my favourite show ever (1st series! Only). I’ve never been a great TV fan – I watch soccer all the time, but aside from that and the odd reality TV show there’s nothing I’d watch week-in week-out. I thought recent programs like “Lost”, “Prison Break”, “Invasion” etc are way too long and drawn out for me – I give them three episodes tops while I’m having my dinner but then they just bore me. “Desperate Housewives” is fun, but I only watch it because my g/f does… I wouldn’t tune in if I was on my own.

What are some of your favorite foods? Heck, give me a "Top-5".

Ah now this is very “me

1) Chocolate

2) ChickenDhansak” (Curry)

3) Full English “Roast” (Turkey, Chicken, Pork or Lamb mainly) with all the trimmings

4) Full English “Breakfast” – mushrooms, bacon, sausage, beans, tomato and toast!

5) More chocolate! Cadbury’s or Galaxy preferred ;)

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"Full English Breakfast" avec hashbrowns

I know that you mentioned being a DOOM buff at one time. What would you consider to be some of the greatest games you've ever played to date? Also, what kind of video game systems have you owned over the years (include computers if you so choose)?

"Quake 2" was head and shoulders above all of them. Used to be part of a “clan” (team!) and we played two or three times a week in “Deathmatch” tournies or team games on a Sunday. Sunday nights were awesome. We used to play against another team and everyone kind of got to know everyone else. In fact, when I started up my first company doing web development (still going though I’m no longer involved) in 1996, I employed three people from my Quake team – lol. And they are still all there! Unreal Tournament was another fave in a similar vein and I also enjoyed Halo more recently. Unless I could run around at fast pace killing people, games never really grabbed me.

DOOM vs. UNREAL vs. Quake vs. DUKE NUKE'EM vs. DARK FORCES/JEDI KNIGHT vs. Medal Of Honor? Who's the winner? Why? Lots of details!

The newest incarnation of DOOM is awesome and it’s always lead the way in “engine” terms. For single-player mode, Unreal is/was unbeatable for atmosphere, but Quake 2 was the benchmark. Even with Quake III and Quake IV plus various incarnations of the others you mention, I always pined for Quake 2. It just had something about it. It was “solid” and yet fast with fab gameplay. Sure all the games are moving on graphically, but there’s a certain nostalgia for it here. Medal Of Honour has become immensely popular but I’m not so much of a “war game” fan myself – I prefer a bit more fantasy in my FPS games. This new Project Entropia Massively Multiplayer game sounds interesting but I have enough to keep me busy without getting too involved ( To this day, the Quake 2 icon still sits proudly on my desktop – through 4 new PC’s. Oh, Halo was good too – with it’s vehicles and the fact you could fly planes – very neat.

Some of the greatest video game flops of all-time, has to go to Atari's rushed release of E.T. back in '83, which is often (right or not) pointed to as the crash of the video game market in the early '80s. What's been the biggest flop of a video game that you've EVER played? Biggest disappointment?

Hmmm. Damn I can’t think of it’s name. Something like “Command & Conquer” or something. It was mega hyped and my mates said it was wicked. Coming from an FPS (“First Person Shooter”) background I wanted action – and all I got was a bird’s eye map and lots of slow tactical stuff. Yawn. I think also there were way too many Platform games released in the early-mid 90’s. Sonic style run-and-jump games, so they became boring as hell too.

On the flip-side, some of the greatest games I've ever come across are almost unknowns such as "Herzog Zwei", "Star Control (1)", and "Axis & Allies". What are the greatest games (give me a Top-10) of the most underrated games you've ever played?

No. I couldn’t. I got bored too easily until FPS games turned up and then I only played 3 or 4 consistently – all previously mentioned.

I'm going to throw a bunch or words/names at you, and tell me the first thing that pops into your mind...

"George Lucas" vs. "Peter Jackson"? Who's greater?

Peter Jackson. But neither were quite Spielberg-in-his-hayday in my opinion. Both obviously highly talented, and I’m sure I’d struggle to do as well as they did on my first film. But as far as subject matter goes, I was more into LOTR and those types of films than Star Wars.

"GoneGambling"GreedyGirl. Alas, no more. Well in that capacity anyway!

"Amiga"Atari. Er… I used Cubase a lot.

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Original series '85​

"Tony Blair" – Nice bloke. Makes a good cup of tea.

"BBC" – "Motty J" (John Motson), for those non-soccer people, he’s a footie commentator, an institution.

"Vesuvio" – Haha…erm. We disagree a fair bit but he’s one of those guys who at least respects you have an opinion. That makes for debate rather than arguments – always a good thing.

Bonus hunters/whores – I’d say each-to-their own if I was being diplomatic. But part of me gets annoyed because it’s their insistance on trying to make a profit from free money that has made life more difficult for everyone else. Personality-wise though there are some very personable bonus-hunters on the boards so swings and roundabouts.

"Daikatana"/"John Romero"/"Ion Storm" – The creators of some great PC games. I owe them much :)

"Jetset " – Someone worth listening too. What he doesn’t know about the online casino scene isn’t worth knowing and it irks me when you see wannabes disrespecting him and accusing him of impartiality.

Most annoying actor/actress – Jim Carey. Did recently see a film where I was impressed by him, but like Eddie Murphy before him, he is too easily typecast.

"Porkchops" vs. "steak"Porkchops every time. With apple sauce. Yum!

"Vortran" – Tin can.

"Potatoes" vs. "rice" – Potatoes ‘cos you can do them in more interesting ways. Though I love risotto and I’d be well ticked off if my local Chinese Takeaway served me up egg fried potatoes!

"David Beckham" – I have a lot of respect for how he handled the criticism following his sending off against Argentina in 1998. Good player too.

"Dr. Who?" – Loved it when I was younger. Stil pretty good but not quite in the same way.

BJ – I like one immensely, but I don’t know the strategy in the other translation!

"Indiana Jones" vs. "Han Solo"Indiana Jones.

Britain's GREATEST woman (not including family or girlfriend) – Margaret Thatcher fo what she achieved.

The greatest "James Bond" movie to date has to be...

Hmm. They are all much of a much-ness. All good fun, but I’ll give the prize to “The World Is Not Enough” because a) it features Denise Richards and b) she gets wet :)

"Sean Connery" vs. "Roger Moore" - Liked both, but Sean is a legend.

"Superman" vs. "Hulk" - Neither :) Okay okay – Superman because Lois in the TV series is a babe.

"9-ball" vs. "Billiards" - Golf. Less balls, less holes, more fun.

Worst smell you've ever come across - Haha. I have a good answer for that one but it wouldn’t be fair. So….”vomit”! Yeurgh!

Best "fast-food" restaurant in the world - Burger King or any kebab shop! But I tend to go for curry and Chinese instead.

"Ed Ware" - Very likable chap who gives me a big bonus and a thousand shares in 32Red every time I mention publicly he’s a very likable chap :) He also has a total understanding about how to treat players. IE: as individuals with individual needs.

"Manchester" or "Liverpool" - Arsenal. But if I was forced to choose… nah… I couldn’t.

"Elizabeth Hurley" vs. "Patsy Kinsett" - I’d say “no” to both. Again. But Liz I guess, though I’ve come to appreciate Patsy’s dulcet tones every time I fire up 32Red!

"Grandmaster's" "Casinomeister's" avatar versus his "Winners Online"avatar - Both similar but the Casinomeister one is very commanding!

Where would you rank Great Britain's Naval might at this point in time (against the other great powers in the world) - You mean we have boats too? Well I never.

Single greatest reason for waking-up in the morning would have to be... - A cup of tea!


In closing,

I'd like to thank the "Simmo!" for his corresponding with me for this interview, and ESPECIALLY for putting up with my River Belle'sque time frame on getting back to him. HUGE apologies my friend.

Thank you all for your time.


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Another 'good one' Steed. I wouldnt say Simmo is 'laid back' but this could be because of the avatar he chose. Rather, of the moderators at this forum, he is most unlikely to be pissed off with harsh comments from others.
All I can say is:

Thank you Simmo for exposing yourself :D

Thank you Steed for another exciting expose!

And, most of all, thank GOD you didn't throw my name at Simmo! :lolup:
You did a great job on *our* Simmo, John - many thanks for a most interesting read!

I share his enthusiasm for:

"I guess I like "EPICS", mainly historical or big fictional epics and stories of escapism and "one man overcomes the odds" type stories. The era is fairly irrelevant. But that said, the Roman Empire is a fascinating era. I'm currently on Book 3 of a 4 book "fiction epic" by Conn Iggulden called "Emperor" - a largely fictitious but historically similar portrayal of the life of Julius Caesar, from boyhood through to his death (I assume!)."

I've read Conn Iggulden's "Emperor" series and was totally absorbed by each of the four volumes; this Irishman really brings history to life by converting painstaking research into a rattling good yarn and I would recommend it to anyone. I had a genuine sense of regret that there were no more to read when I finally put "Field of Swords" down in the early hours of the morning.

Simmo, did I see a few tasty discs of black pudding on that breakfast plate? My kind of weekend kickstart (and kickass) breakfast for sure!
jetset said:
I've read Conn Iggulden's "Emperor" series and was totally absorbed by each of the four volumes...I had a genuine sense of regret that there were no more to read when I finally put "Field of Swords" down in the early hours of the morning..

You might want to look up Valerio Massimo Manfredi then Jetset - I just moved onto his series which are individual books with Greek and Roman historical significance, though more fictional.

Steed: You never cease to amaze me - lol. I'm gonna send you the "missing link". A picture of Denise Richards :D

chuchu59 said:
I wouldnt say Simmo is 'laid back'...Rather, of the moderators at this forum, he is most unlikely to be pissed off with harsh comments from others.

How dare you!!!! ;)

Spermmaster said:
And, most of all, thank GOD you didn't throw my name at Simmo!

He did, but there's not enough webspace on Bryan's host for the answer :D
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Thanks steed, I had other things to do so I was only going to read a bit, but I couldn't stop....
By the way simmo, you know you like desperate housewifes, you cant get enough of eva..
Awesome job Mr. Steed!! And tee hee Simmo, you are a funny man, lol. Funny ha ha, not funny peculiar. :thumbsup:

cheekymonkey said:
Im going straight into the loft to find all my old 12"s now!

Cheeky!! You keep your ......ahhhhh, forget it. Too easy. ;)
Simmo! said:
"Vortran" Tin can.
I do not agree. I am from the line of Xtran Model Series 5200. I am more than a tin can.

I have been in contact with Simmo's ex-"roommate". He has provided me with photos of Simmo! during his "Depeche Mode" phase. Please note the funny hair-do.
Vortran007 said:
I do not agree. I am from the line of Xtran Model Series 5200. I am more than a tin can.

I have been in contact with Simmo's ex-"roommate". He has provided me with photos of Simmo! during his "Depeche Mode" phase. Please note the funny hair-do.

LMFAOOOO.... :lolup:

Forget about the hair-do....where in the hell did you get that jacket Simmo? That looks like something Herb Tarlek wore in WKRP in Cincinnati, lol. :D
Can we give Vortran rep points? I'm rolling here....... Damn Simmo, that "flock" do is simply smashing!!! How do you acquire that three-tiered effect? Is that simply hair gel alone? What's the secret? :D
Great interview, Johnsteed! :thumbsup: That SIMMO! has a very nice personality, :) I knew already, but I didn’t know that he has so many different interesting hobbies, puts him in quite different light (not just another Slotsjunkie, but a many-sided Person). :D
Damn those photos finally came back to haunt me. Thanks Bryan. Still not afraid of the big Tin Can though. I've got videos involving Vortran and Oil that the world would love to see:p

Oh...still got "that jacket" if anyone wants to hire it out and look as cool as me :D Just as soon as Bryan gives it back.
Simmo! said:
I've got videos involving Vortran and Oil that the world would love to see:p

Oh...still got "that jacket" if anyone wants to hire it out and look as cool as me :D Just as soon as Bryan gives it back.

:lolup: :lolup:
cheekymonkey said:

She's alive I tell you! She's alive! :D :D

I'm trying to work out which Tube station that is in your avatar. I'm guessing West or North London. Maybe out on the fringes of the District Line to the West? Help me CM!

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