In the opening chapter of my first novel 'Storage Stories' the main character says: I should have told him that, rather than working on a new album, I hadn’t actually written a song for ages. The hard skin on my fingertips from playing the guitar had softened and I hadn’t had a microphone-related cold sore for almost a year.
It's actually been more than 'almost a year' for me. It's been one year, twelve weeks and two days (I've probably got this wrong but it's not important) since the last time that I played guitar and sang at the final Carter show. The longer you avoid doing something that's so natural, the harder it is to begin doing it again. It's like not shaving. Eventually you can become almost superstitious about the beard. It becomes your 'lucky beard' and you don't want to jinx your whole life by shaving it off. Maybe in the end you trim the beard, stop at a goatee or perhaps a moustache. If nothing disastrous happens to your life as a result, you can go the whole hog and shave the moustache off too. What the hell am I talking about? Basically, on OCTOBER 1st I'll be singing and playing guitar again. At the Kentish Town Forum London, as part of INDIE DAZE, along with EMF, Echobelly, P.W.E.I. Gaye Bykers on Acid, Thousand Yard Stare and Bentley Rythmn Ace.
I expect that I'll play mostly, or even all Carter songs. We can have a singalong if you fancy. It will be fantastic.
Further Jim Bob dates will be arranged for later in the year (after Indie Daze) and announced in a couple of months.
posted by jim in news
Last revised: 24/02/16
TEAM JIM BOB CULTURAL REVIEW OF 2015
Thursday, December 10 2015
TEAM JIM BOB CULTURAL TOP TENS OF 2015
2015 has been a year. I seemed to spend so much of it indoors writing and let’s be brutally honest with myself, trying to write a new book. I touched my guitar twice in the whole of 2015 I think. I played one song each time. I can’t remember what the first song was. The second one was Breaking News. My fingers hurt afterwards both times. It’s strange being able to do something (play the guitar and sing) and yet not do it. But I suppose a lot of people are great swimmers but never swim. Lifeguards at swimming pools for instance. Some of the only times I left my house this year was to go swimming and I never once saw a lifeguard get so much as a toenail wet. Is there a job that requires less swimming than swimming pool lifeguard? I sort of miss performing. I made about three (non music) live appearances this year, maybe four. I was rubbish for at least one of them and I still haven’t got over the shame I feel about that months later. I won an award this year. It was my favourite thing that happened to me in 2015. Anyone who says that prizes are vulgar has clearly won too many. My second Frank Derrick book came out in June. Thank you if you bought it or said nice things about it. I’ve been very lucky. So, I’ve got a lot to do next year. I’d like to think that I’ll do some of it. I hope there’ll be a new novel. Maybe I’ll pick up the guitar for longer than one song’s worth. We can’t avoid getting a new central heating boiler any longer. Must do that next year. Need to get rid of a bit of clutter and do some exercise. Park Life! I’ve got to do jury service at the start of the year. I’m not looking forward to that to be honest. I’m torn between growing a beard and not washing and filling my pockets with peeled oranges and wetting myself deliberately, or being like Henry Fonda in the big jury service movie and disagreeing with the other eleven people in black and white until I’m hailed a hero to justice.
Jim Bob December 10 2015 x
Anyway. Lists. Everyone loves lists these days don’t they? From these lists you can see I didn’t get out much. There’s a lot of television. Not many gigs. I’ve probably missed some of my most favourite stuff. I’ll add it if I remember it. Scroll past my choices for those of MARC OLLINGTON, MISTER SPOONS and CHRIS T-T.
JIM BOB'S TOP 2015 GUBBINS
Jim Bob’s Favourite Live Stuff of 2015 1. Tree at the Old Vic 2. The Jam – About the Young Idea Somerset House 3. Laura Marling at Queen Elizabeth Hall 4. Elvis Costello Q & A with Nick Hornby at the Royal Festival Hall 5. Luke Wright at Port Eliot 6. These Animal Men and S*M*A*S*H* at Heaven 7. Decemberists at Brixton Academy 8. Eddie Argos spoken word 9. Ferocious Dog at the Putney Half Moon 10. Mr Spoons and Chris T-T at Eden Fest 11. Frank and Walters at the 100 Club Also… Tom Drury at the Bookseller Crow, John Otway at Port Eliot
Jim Bob’s Favourite Books of 2015 1. All Involved – Ryan Gatiss 2. Preparation for the Next Life – Atticus Lish 3. A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara 4. Our Souls at Night – Kent Haruf 5. Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink (Audiobook) – Elvis Costello 6. Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel 7. The End of Vandalism – Tom Drury 8. A Book for Her (Audiobook) – Bridget Christie 9. So You’ve Been Publically Shamed – Jon Ronson 10. Jonathan Franzen Purity
Also… Dennis Lehane World Gone By, Mobile library David Whitehouse, Child 44 Tom Rob Smith, The Farm Tom Rob Smith, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Jim Bob’s Favourite TV of 2015 1. Detectorists 2. Fargo 3. The Bridge 4. Beck 5. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst 6. Better Call Saul 7. Game of Thrones 8. Cradle to Grave 9. Arne Dahl 10. Wolf Hall 11. Car Share 12. Happy Valley 13. Ripper Street 14. House of Fools 15. People Just Do Nothing
Also… Unforgotten, Peep Show, Modern Family, London Spy,Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, True Detective, The Casual Vacancy
Jim Bob’s Favourite Films of 2015 1. Legend 2. The Lady in the Van 2. X + Y 3. The Martian 4. Mistress America 5. Jurassic World 6. Foxcatcher 7. Pride 8. The Skeleton Twins 9. The Theory of Everything 10. Northern Soul
Also… Wild, Nightcralwer, Our Idiot Brother, The Imitation Game, St. Vincent, Still Alice, Most Violent Year, While We’re Young, EX¬_Machina
Jim Bob’s Favourite Albums of 2015 1. Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit – Courtney Barnett 2. Key Markets – Sleaford Mods 3. About the Young Idea the Very Best of The Jam – The Jam 4. I Love You, Honeybear – Father John Misty 5. What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World – The Decemberists 6. Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance – Belle and Sebastian 7. Short Movie – Laura Marling 8. Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink – Elvis Costello 9. Eels Royal Albert Hall DVD and CD 10. Shadows in the Night – Bob Dylan
Jim Bob’s Favourite Podcasts and Radio of 2015 1. The Adam Buxton Podcast 2. Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Podcast 3. Vitriola Music podcast 4. It’s Not What You Know with Miles Jupp on Radio 4 5. Terry Hall whenever he was on BBC6 Music 6. Steve Lamacq on BBC6 Music 7. The News Quiz on Radio 4
MARC OLLINGTON'S TOP 2015 GUBBINS
Marc’s top albums this year 1. Cathal Smyth – A Comfortable Man 2. Chvrches – Open Every Eye 3. British Sea Power – Sea Of Brass 4. Belle & Sebastian – Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance 5. Blur – The Magic Whip 6. New Order – Music Complete 7. Pop Will Eat Itself – Anti Nasty League 8. Sleaford Mods – Key Markets 9. A-ha – Cast In Steel 10. Slaves – Are You Satisfied?
Marc’s Fave Live Stuff 1. Chris T-T – 9 Red songs @ The Little Hedgehog 2. The Lion King @ London’s West End 3. Any Tonbridge Angels match 4. These Animal Men/Smash – Heaven 5. Stewart Lee – Leicester Square Theatre 6. Madness – Hove Cricket Ground 7. Morrissey – Hammersmith Odeon 8. Edenfest 9. German Supercup: Wolfsburg v Bayern 10. Pop Will Eat Itself – Cargo
Marc’s Top TV 1. The Walking Dead 2. Cradle To The Grave 3. Doctor Foster 4. Humans 5. The Newsroom 6. Peep Show 7. Modern Family 8. Doctor Who 9. Catostrophe 10. This Is England 90’
Marc’s Bestest Films 1. Pride 2. Whiplash 3. Amy 4. Birdman 5. Love & Mercy 6. Gone Girl 7. Inside Out 8. The Riot Club 9. Guardians Of The Galaxy 10. Begin Again
Marc’s Poppin’ Podcasts 1. The Adam Buxton Podcast 2. Kermode and Mayo 3. Desert Island Discs 4. Sunday Supplement 5. The Tuesday Club 6. The Newsquiz 7. The Guardian Football weekly 8. The Comedian’s Comedian 9. The Online Gooner 10. The Danny Baker Show
Marc’s Brill Books 1. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed – Jon Ronson 2. Number 11 – Jonathon Coe 3. Twenty Eight Months and Twenty Eight Days – Salman Rushdie 4. Red Letter Days – Jon Spurling 5. Purity – Jonathon Frantzen 6. Clothes, Clothes, Clothes… - Viv Albertine 7. Running With The Kenyans – Adharand Finn 8. The Last Word – Hanif Kureshi 9. Us – David Nicholls 10. Nowhere Men – Michael Calvin
CHRIS T-T'S TOP 2015 GUBBINS
My top 10 favourite albums of 2016 1. Hamilton: Original Broadway Cast Recording 2. Stick In The Wheel – From Here 3. Esme Patterson – Woman To Woman 4. Grasscut – Everyone Was A Bird 5. Laura Marling – Short Movie (Director’s Cut) 6. Sleaford Mods – Key Markets 7. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love 8. Young Fathers – White Men Are Black Men Too 9. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Just Sit And Think, Sometimes I Just Sit 10. ibeyi – ibeyi
My favourite gigs 1. Sleater-Kinney at the Roundhouse, London 2. Sweet Billy Pilgrim at Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff 3. Dan Friel at Mutations Festival, Hope & Ruin, Brighton 4. Fever Fever at Jen’s Birthday All-dayer, Brixton Windmill 5. Ibeyi at Coalition, Great Escape Festival and Concorde 2, Brighton 6. Chvrches at The Dome, Brighton 7. Grace Petrie at The Good Ship, Kilburn, London 8. In Gowan Ring at the Dark Mountain book launch 9. Paul Goodwin, Annie Dressner at CB2, Cambridge 10. Provincials at The Railway Inn, Winchester
My top 20 favourite TV – what an amazing year for television, plus this year I discovered Twitch.tv. Also, please note I’ve fallen behind with The Walking Dead and not seen this year’s episodes yet, or it’d definitely be in my top 10. And I haven’t seen Jessica Jones yet, ditto.
1. Wolf Hall 2. Adventure Time 3. ShroomzTV and Kiwo adventure in Ark Evolved on Twitch.tv 4. Avatar: The Last Airbender / The Legend Of Korra 5. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 6. Fargo 7. How To Be Bohemian with Victoria Coren Mitchell 8. The Bridge 9. Survivor Gamez VI on Twitch.tv 10. The Good Wife 11. Sense8 12. Broad City 13. Better Call Saul 14. Unreal 15. Chef’s Table 16. ShroomzTV plays Arma III BR on Twitch 17. Louie S5 18. Inside The Commons 19. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 20. Master Of None
My top 10 favourite films – but I haven’t yet seen Spotlight, The Martian, Bridge Of Spies or Star Wars, all of which might make it into my Top 10.
1. The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya 2. Brooklyn 3. Inside Out 4. The Lunchbox 5. Amy 6. 45 Years 7. Calvary 8. The Internet’s Own Boy 9. Mad Max: Fury Road 10. CitizenFour
My top 10 favourite books. Are we allowed to include Jim? 1. Ta Nehisi Coates – Between The World And Me 2. Various – Dark Mountain 8: Technê 3. Kazuo Ishiguro – The Buried Giant 4. Robert MacFarlane – Landmarks 5. Sunjeev Sahota – The Year Of The Runaways 6. Molly Crabapple – Drawing Blood 7. J.B. Morrison – Frank Derrick’s Holiday Of A Lifetime 8. Paul Mason – PostCapitalism: A Guide To Our Future 9. Miranda July – The First Bad Man 10. Patti Smith – M Train
If Jim's not allowed, then I guess either Carrie Brownstein – Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl: A Memoir or Jon Ronson’s book about slagging people off on the internet.
My top 10 favourite podcasts and spoken audio 1. Longform – especially Ira Glass, Jazmine Hughes, Jess Hopper, Karina Longworth 2. Brian Eno gives The John Peel Lecture, BBC6Music 3. Kermode & Mayo’s Wittertainment 4. In Our Time, BBC Radio 4 5. Slate Political Gabfest 6. Stephen Fry at Hay Festival 7. Radiolab 8. Slate Culturefest 9. Eddie Argos interviews Ezra Furman for Talkhouse 10. This American Life
MISTER SPOON'S TOP 2015 GUBBINS
An incredibly busy year with lots of changes in my life and some great travel experiences. Overall, 2015 was a good one for me.
As usual, my review is incredibly late (but done properly this time, Mr J!) and also doesn’t include stuff from my beloved Carter family, although a special mention for Chris & Gill’s album and live set which were simply amazeballs!
Albums: 1. Girls in Peace Time – Belle & Sebastian 2. Where Did You Come From? – Darren Hanlon 3. Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit – Courtney Barnett 4. Whatever’s Left – Grace Petrie 5. Live in Zimbabwe – Mick Thomas & Squeezebox Wally 6. Smoke & Mirrors - Tenek 7. Share your Toys – Gavin Osborn 8. Alison Moyet Album reissues (ok, not technically this year but it did include unreleased Bonus stuff so I’m having it!) 9. Angels & Ghosts – Dave Gahan & the Soulsavers 10. Music Complete – New Order
Gigs: 1. Gary Numan Classic albums Gigs @ The Forum (lush, lovely and there may have been a few tears…) 2. Mick Thomas UK tour (incl. Edenfest!) 3. Madness @ Hove 4. These Animal Men & S*M*A*S*H @ Heaven 5. Polyphonic Spree @ Electric Ballroom 6. My Life Story @ Brighton 7. Grace Petrie @ Star of Kings 8. Holy Holy @ Sheps Bush Empire (before in fell down) 9. Gavin Osborn @ The Phoenix 10. Morrissey Farewell (yeah, right) UK Gig @ Hammersmith Odeon Absolutely gutted to have missed the The Franks at 100 Club, heard it was a corker.
Filums: 1. Star Wars* 2. Ex Machina 3. The Lunchbox 4. A Walk in the Woods 5. Wild * - Look I haven’t actually seen it, but am going next Monday and even the trailers are better than the other four I did see this year.
TV: 1. The Bridge 2. Doctor Who (a season with more ups and downs than the TARDIS Time Rotor) 3. The Game 4. The Newsroom 5. Homeland (a welcome return to form and set in Berlin, so I guess I was always going to love it) 6. Luther (a great start, anyway) 7. Car Share 8. Better Call Saul 9. Arne Dahl 10. The Big Bang Theory
Books & Podcasts: *** cough, cough, moving swiftly on ***
Best Palace Match: Chelsea 1 Palace 2 – I’ve waited a long time to see us win at Stamford Bridge, now everyone bloody does it!
Best Non-Palace Match: German Super Cup: Wolfsburg 1 Munich 1 (Wolfsburg won on pens) – not so much the match itself but the whole unbelievable weekend!
posted by jim in blog
Last revised: 17/12/15
Saturday, June 20 2015
Despite what you may have heard, I’m not the world’s leading expert on Father’s Day. My own father died seventeen years ago and I didn’t see that much of him for a number of few years before then. I can’t remember buying him socks or cigars every June, or making him a card from paper and pasta shells and bringing him breakfast in bed. Until I looked it up on the Internet I wasn’t even sure where to put the apostrophe. Was it your father’s day or everyone’s fathers’ day? A day for just the one dad or all the dads? It’s Father’s by the way, although when it was first founded at the start of the twentieth century – because there was already a Mother's Day and the men were no doubt feeling left out and moaning about it, probably Rick Wakeman or Jeremy Clarkson, one of those blokes, always complaining about how there isn’t an International Men’s Day or a White History Month, even though there is an International Men’s Day and every month is White History Month – back then the apostrophe came after the s. Somebody moved it. Clarkson or Wakeman again I imagine. Or Lynne Truss.
In parts of Germany Father's Day is called ‘men's day’ (Männertag) or ‘gentlemen's day’ (Herrentag), when groups of men go on hiking tours with hand pulled wagons full of wine and beer and they get drunk, leading to alcohol related traffic accidents trebling on Father’s Day in Germany. Presumably from all the pissed up dads riding their empty carts back home. Maybe they go hiking to get away from all the films about the war that are on the television because it’s Father’s Day (Vatertag).
I’ve been a father myself for twenty-seven years – yes it is hard to believe I know, I moisturise – and I enjoy the sweets and chocolates and the fruit based shower gel that my daughter gets me. And obviously Father’s Day is a day that I’m guaranteed to spend with my daughter. Which is great. In my book h‘The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81’ , Frank’s daughter lives five and a half thousand miles away from him in Los Angeles and so he doesn’t get to see her on Father’s Day. She usually sends him a card, or if she forgets she’ll ring or she’ll write him an email apologising for not having sent a card or ringing. Frank wouldn’t admit that his daughter not being there with him in person bothers him at all but I know that he thinks that Father’s Day without your children is fairly pointless. If my daughter ever moves thousands of miles away from me I’ll buy a hand pulled wagon, fill it up with booze and go hiking and get drunk until it’s all over.