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TEAM JIM BOB'S Favourite cultural gubbins of 2014
Tuesday, December 9 2014


JIM BOB'S FAVOURITE 8 ALBUMS OF 2014
New Gods – Withered Hand
Upside Down Mountain – Conor Oberst
Divide and Exit – Sleaford Mods
World Peace is None of Your Business – Morrissey
Seaside Arcade Bingo Patrol – Abdoujaparov
A.T.D.R.I.P – Akira The Don
High Hopes – Bruce Springsteen
Eels Performs the Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett – Eels

JIM BOB'S FAVOURITE 10 FILMS OF 2014
Under the Skin
Nebraska
American Hustle
Locke
The Possibilities are Endless
Calvary
Captain Phillips
Frances Ha
Grand Budapest Hotel
The Double

JIM BOB'S FAVOURITE 20 TV SHOWS OF 2014
Wallander
Detectorists
Game of Thrones
Parks and Recreation
The Trip to Italy
Rev
Silicon Valley
Peaky Blinders
Genration War
Hinterland
Suspects
Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish
Scott and Bailey
Grayson Perry: Who Are You?
Inside No. 9
24 Hours in Police Custody
The Mekon River with Sue Perkins
The Code
Mammon
Modern Family

JIM BOB'S FAVOURITE 10 BOOKS OF 2014
Fourth of July Creek – Smith Henderson
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
The Way Inn – Will Wiles
The Free – Willy Vlautin
Your Fathers, Where are they? And the Prophets, Do they Live Forever – Dave Eggers
Theo – Ed Taylor
Us – David Nicholls
Stoner – John Williams
To Rise Again at a Decent Hour – Joshua Ferris
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

JIM BOB'S FAVOURITE 4 LIVE GUBBINS OF 2014
Conor Oberst – Koko
Chris T-T and the Hoodrats – London
Los Quattros Cvunts – Brixton
The Indelicates with the MFMO – East London somewhere

JIM BOB'S FAVOURITE RADIO/PODCASTS OF 2014
Richard Herring's Leicester Square Podcast
Mark Watson Talks a Bit About Life
Vitriola Music Podcast
Do the Right Thing podcast


MARC OLLINGTON'S FAVOURITE GUBBINS OF 2014

I just want to start off by saying I always feel sorry for December with these lists. Most are compiled early in the twelfth month which means whatever happens from around the 10th onwards is written out of history.

Albums Of The Year

I have to confess that even though I bought loads of music this year (over thirty albums!) only eight long players were from 2014. Here they are with marks out of ten.

Morrissey - World Peace Is None Of Your Business 6/10
Manic Street Preachers - Futurology 8/10
Akira The Don - A.T.D.R.I.P. 8/10
Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain 9/10
Withered Hand - New Gods 9.5/10
Abdoujaparov - Seaside Arcade Bingo Patrol 9/10
Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots 3/10 (the one about the elephant was a highlight)
Tanya Donnelly - Swan Song Series (all volumes) 9/10

Books Of The Year

As a previous fiction junkie I am consuming biogs by the dozen at the moment. I don't have any idea why! Here is my yearly top 10

1. The new Frank Derrick book to come out next year - J.B. Morrison
2. The Circle - Dave Eggers
3. From Last To First - Charlie Spedding
4. Anger Is An Energy - John Lydon
5. The Goldfinch - Donna Tart
6. Straight White Male - John Niven
7. Going Off Alarming - Danny Baker
8. Only When I Laugh – Paul Merton
9. Invincible: Inside Arsenals' Unbeaten Season - Amy Lawrence
10. Rock Stars Stole My Life - Mark Ellen

Films

Here are the films I remember seeing and marks out of 10

Her: 8/10
The Grand Budapest Hotel: 9/10
Frank: 10/10
Wolf Of Wall Street: 4/10
Wolverine 2: 7.5/10
Postman Pat - The Movie: 3/10
Tinkerbell And The Pirate Fairy: 4/10
Frozen: 9/10
Don Juan: 7/10
Rush: 8/10
Gravity: 9.5/10
Despicable Me 2: 7/10
Philomena: 9/10
Saving Mr Banks: 9.5/10
Enough Said: 8/10
Last Vegas: 6/10
Hunger Games 1: 7/10
The Way Way Back: 10/10
Boyhood: 10/10
Captain America 2: 7/10
Nutjob: 2/10
The Lego Movie: 9/10
Spiderman 2: 5/10
American Hustle: 2/10

There were lots more but I haven't written them down...

Gigs

1. Carter USM - Maida Vale/Shepherds Bush/Brixton
2. Kate Bush - Hammersmith Odeon
3. Manic Street Preachers - Brixton Academy
4. Conor Oberst - Koko
5. Pet Shop Boys - Brighton Centre
6. Morrissey - 02
7. Tony Visconti & Woody Woodmansey - Man Who Sold The World
8. Chris T-T – The Lexington
9. Erdal Kizilcay - The Borderline/ The Water Rats
10. Clinton USM – Jamm

Podcasts

1. The Tuesday Club
2. Wittertainment - Kermode & Mayo
3. Danny Baker
4. The Gooner
5. Desert Island Discs
6. Sunday Supplement
7. Guardian Football Weekly
8. Radio Four Friday Night Comedy
9. Radio Free Skaro
10. Simon Mayo's Confessions

TV shows

1. The Walking Dead
2. Doctor Who
3. Modern Family
4. New Girl
5. Sherlock
6. About A Boy
7. Gotham
8. The Newsroom
9. The US Office
10. The Trip To Italy


MR SPOONS'S FAVOURITE CULTURAL GUBBINS OF 2014

Right, here are the thoughts of the Spoons Jury - late as usual. This year rather than Top Tens, I’m just going to ramble on a bit – I have increasing difficulty it listing ten of anything I’ve seen/read/listened to in a year other than football matches and gigs, so rather than a belaboured effort to make myself look cool and cultured, I thought I’d just give it to you straight.

The usual caveat applies, I don’t include the ‘family’ treasures as favourites– but what wonderful riches they have been this year: three knockout Carter Gigs, Maida Vale, Frank Derrick, the new Abdou LP, the first run-through of the Dance with a Stranger musical and a host of seriously kick-arse Hoodrats gigs... we have been blessed.

As per usual my visits to Stage and Screen have been somewhat limited: just two cinema trips in 2014 and Peter Capaldi was in both of them. His debut bow as Doctor #12 (or is it #13) - he was magnificent, the story less so. And he was also in my favourite movie of the year... possibly several years, in fact: Paddington. Ok so, ever since I saw the Jungle Book as a wee boy, I’ve a sucker for a talking bear, but this film is just lovely. A beautiful homage to our fair city as well as being funny as. Stuff I watched on planes/DVDs included Frank – which I adored (despite being told I’d hate it) and The Muppet Movie which I didn’t. Somehow never got around to the Lego Movie.

Books – My impoverished 2014 literary diet consisted of reading the entire set Jo Nesbo/Harry Hole stories as holiday escapism, travel books about Brazil and The Pantanal, a draft of Jim’s latest and Futebol Nation – a book about the history of Football in Brazil. I wouldn’t have thought it possible to tell such a fascinating tale quite so turgidly – hardly a page turner, but definitely an eye-opener.

Onto Music – my album of the year is James: La Petite Mort – possibly their finest effort and still on constant play over six months after release. An honourable mention to Morrissey’s album, although it did get a little overshadowed by James - bought at the same time. I think Santa is bringing me the live albums from Depeche Mode (a recording of my favourite DM gig ever in Berlin) and Alison Moyet, so taking onboard Marc’s point about December never getting a look in, I thought I’d give them a shout here too,

Gigs - so many great ones this year, I’ve probably forgotten some: Gary Numan in Germany and at Hammersmith Odeon recently, Alison Moyet at the Albert Hall, the Boomtown Rats, Pet Shop Boys in Brighton, The Indelicates/MFMO in Bethal Green, Alabama 3 at The Forum (Dec 2013). Also a quick mention for the Brazilian ‘Ricky Martin’ in the Fortaleza FanFest after Brazil had won 4-1 – he rocked and I danced like a loon having drunk all day.

Football: the World Cup (can I get away with mentioning that yet again?) was a hell of an experience, but my favourite game of the year would have to be Everton 2 Palace 3 (the first one!) – the game at which Palace effectively stayed up completely against the odds... the piss-up afterwards in Liverpool was also legendary. My favourite non-Palace game? Hmm, tough one that... seen some really good non-league games (and yellow hoses) this year, it’s difficult to pick just one. So instead. I’m going for Newtown v Airbus... again more for the whole day out – my mate Wags’s 40th – than the actual football, of which I confess, I remember very little.

TV: Not such a good year overall. The aforementioned Doctor Who series was up and down like an old Type 40 Time Rotor, still my favourite thing on TV by a mile though. Also part of the flotilla: Marvellous, Hinterland, The Newsroom, The Bridge II, Borgen, Sherlock, The Fall, The Big Bang Theory and the final series of True Blood. I’ve got a load of stuff on my TIVO still to watch include The Walking Dead, the second and last series of Revolution and the last three series of Falling Skies, although I must confess I’m lacking the enthusiasm for tackling any of them at present. This year’s TV turkey: The Detectorists... at the insistence of Jim or Marc, I sat through it all. Didn’t get it – sorry chaps, don’t hate me.

posted by jim in news
Last revised: 11/12/14


CARTER USM THANX
Monday, November 24 2014


It's Monday now. The ringing in my ears might be permanent. I feel a bit weird. There’s a guitar strap burn mark on my neck. If I close my eyes I swear I can see strobes. My calves hurt. I think that’s more as a result of going up and down the stairs between the dressing rooms and the stage than anything else. I’m expecting the final comedown that we advertised to hit me any minute now. I’ll be like Phil Daniels going back to work after the bank holiday bag of pills, the court appearance with Sting and the you know what with Lesley Ash in the alleyway. It’s lucky that I’m self-employed or I’d end up telling my boss to stuff the franking machine right up his arse.

There is so much to be proud of from the past 7 or 8 years (I can’t count). This year was the same but more. There were the usual bar takings records but also a ‘most applications to be in a live audience at Maida Vale’ record. The 480 crowd surfers at Brixton. The sold out aftershow party at Jamm. The trending on Twitter. So much love on Facebook. Being in a position to put Mrs Jim Bob in a reserved seat next to Cillian Murphy.

Ordinarily Carter gigs pass relatively unnoticed by the outside world. There isn’t the need for any advertising and we don’t tend to do any interviews. This time though there were people in the forest when the tree fell (I’m an author, I can say things like that now)
The Maida Vale session and the two hours choosing songs with Tom Robinson, the bit in the Guardian and the Independent. The trending on Twitter. Enough stuff on Facebook to make the cats and the terrorists envious. Even a good luck message from Phillip Schofield. The BBC4 music documentary makers would have had to have been in a 28 Days Later style coma (as portrayed so brilliantly by the gorgeous Cillian Murphy) to have not noticed.

Regrets, I have a few. We never did get Chris Barrie to come onstage dressed as Rimmer to do a live introduction to Surfin’ USM. We’d agreed it with him two years in a row but something always prevented it from happening at the last minute and this year thirteen Jon Beasts seemed a more fitting introduction. And those white Doctor Marten’s look a bit like clown shoes in photos. That’s it. Not a few, but two regrets.

Me and Les have made a lot of friends as a result of being in this band. Many of them worked with us and were there this weekend, both backstage and front, Crazy Carter Crew past and present but always Crazy Carter Crew. Perhaps that’s true for the audience too. I honestly couldn’t imagine a better audience than the Carter audience. The same life membership status goes for me and Les. Even though it will say on Wikipedia that we’re ‘former members of Carter’, we will still always be Jim Bob and Fruitbat from Carter. We’ll just be doing other things.

I know it probably seems a bit daft to stop something that is so wonderful and so thrilling and fun and rewarding but it’s also great to be able to stop while it still is all of those things. In spite of all the tears – seeing skinhead men crying is incredibly infectious – the weekend was I think truly joyous. Perhaps happy endings aren’t just for fairy tales and massage parlours.

Jim Bob x

If you like you can relive the final gig in the comfort of your living room with the help of this handy DVD and CD

posted by jim in news
Last revised: 24/11/14


New Jim Bob novel June 2015
Saturday, November 22 2014


http://www.thebookseller.com/news/pan-mac-signs-j-b-morrison-sequel

posted by jim in news
Last revised: 22/11/14


Pop Star to Author
Saturday, September 27 2014


I wrote this for a book blog a while ago but it never appeared. With the first Carter rehearsal on Tuesday I thought I'd whack it up online while it's still relevant


I haven't touched my guitar since I dragged it across the stage at the end of a festival in Derbyshire in May. To be honest I'm not entirely sure where the guitar is now. I walked off the stage to the sound of feedback and the cheers of the audience and I presume that somebody will have put it in a case and a van but by that point I would have been too drunk on the unnecessarily huge rider to notice. A few days later when I'd sobered up and after I'd finished looking at Facebook photos and videos of myself from the festival – detagging all the fat ones – I went back to my day job.

My career switch from pop star to author hasn’t required absolute change. I’ve still got the same fear of failure and of not being liked, and car insurance is just as astronomical for an author as it is for a pop star, although I can’t drive so I don’t know why I mentioned that. As an author there's no rider and readers don't shout Sequel! Sequel! when I finish a book or chant 'you fat bastard' at me every time I switch the computer on or open a Moleskine. I can't drag my computer across the floor after I complete the final chapter, even though I may have come fairly close to doing that a few times earlier on in 'the set'. The lightshow is rubbish. I've got one of those desk lamps that's supposed to recreate the effects of daylight and sometimes I'll light an Ikea fruit scented candle, but its hardly Pink Floyd's The Wall. There is feedback though.

I started writing my latest novel ‘The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81’ on train journeys to see my mum in West Sussex. It was a trip I made once or sometimes twice a week. Occasionally it would be for an unscheduled emergency, something serious like when my mum had fallen over on the pavement and was taken to hospital in an ambulance with a face that she’d described to me as being like the troll from the BBC series of Merlin. Or there was the time that her cooker exploded. More often though I’d have to drop everything to take the train from East Croydon to Sussex to turn the batteries around the right way in her TV remote control, hang up the telephone in the bedroom or remove the plug from the bathroom sink and turn off the tap because there was water inexplicably cascading out of the overflow pipe on the wall outside. My mum’s first floor flat and the village where it stood gave me the setting for the novel. I knew where the shops and the library were and how to get to the beach so that I could send Frank Derrick there. My mum was eighty-one when I began the book and I wanted to write about someone who was at that age when so much is presumed of you and taken for granted. Things that I knew from my mum were not always the case.

Back to my feedback analogy. People have said that after reading the novel they’d telephoned their parents or their grandparents. I had no idea that the book would have such a simple and immediate altruistic effect. It seems to have touched people in a similar way to certain songs that I’d written. Maybe things weren’t so different for an author.

In November Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine play their final ever live shows. I'll have to locate my guitar and my ability to play it and drag it around on the floor again. After that I’ll be an author full time. I'll need to get up at five am to bake my own bread, grind fresh coffee beans, drop the kids off at school, walk the dog and go for a ten mile run before writing a thousand words just in time to collect the kids from school again. I’m going to need to get a dog I suppose. My daughter is twenty-seven, but she is a teacher, so I could still take her to school and collect her at the end of the day. Although it would be fairly pointless because, as you know, I can't drive, and I'd just be travelling to and from her work with her on the bus. My knees are knackered so I can’t run ten yards let alone ten miles, and if I ever do get up at five in the morning all it means is that I end up watching the BBC Breakfast news roll around a few more times. And who really bakes their own bread?

posted by jim in news
Last revised: 27/09/14


Amazon charts
Sunday, July 6 2014


THANK YOU
The kindle of 'Frank Derrick' was at number 19 in the Kindle chart and number 2 in the Humour fiction chart. It has since been going up and down and as I type is at 22.

posted by jim in news
Last revised: 16/07/14






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