Team Jim Bob’s Top Culture Gubbins of 2018



1. Don’t Skip Out on Me – Willy Vlautin
2. My Year of Rest and Relaxation – Ottessa Moshfegh
3. The Mars Room – Rachel Kushner
4. The Monk of Mokha – Dave Eggers
5. Calypso – David Sedaris
6. Norwegian by Night – Derek B. Miller 
7. The Heart’s Invisible Furies – John Boyne
8. I’m a Joke and So Are – You Robin Ince
9. Sirens – Joseph Knox
10. Bluebird, Bluebird – Attica Locke
Bubbling under…Less – Andrew Sean Greer 
American War – Omar El Akkad
Eileen – Ottessa Moshfegh


1. Leave no Trace
2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
3. Lady Bird
4. First Man
5. Phantom Thread
6. I,Tonya
7. Ghost Story
8. The Disaster Artist
9. Sweet Country
10. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Bubbling under…Tully 
Lean on Pete 

1. Songs of Praise – Shame
2. Gods Favourite Customer – Father John Misty
3. Go to School – The Lemon Twigs
4. Joy as an Act of Resistance – Idles
5. Look Now – Elvis Costello
6. Wham! Big! Pow! Let’s Rock Out! – Art Brut
7. 001 – Joe Strummer

LIVE (gigs and shows)
Not including Abdoujaparov and any bands or singers I saw at gigs I was also playing at myself, I went to one gig in 2018. 1 gig. I did go out occasionally. Here’s my going out list. Starting with that one gig. 

1. Shame at the Electric Ballroom
1. James Acaster – Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 at the Vaudeville Theatre
2. Luke Wright, Poet Laureate at the Edinburgh Fringe
3. The Half at the Edinburgh Fringe
4. Mark Watson: The Infinite Show at the Edinburgh Fringe
5. After Today – at the Edinburgh Fringe and at the London Theatre in New Cross 
6. Good Grief Charlie Brown at Somerset House
7. Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up – V & A

1. The Adam Buxton podcast
2. Malcolm Gladwell – Revisionist History
3. Refigure podcast
4. Jon Ronson The Butterfly Effect (audiobook/podcast)
5. The Richard Herring Leicester Square Podcast
6. Serial podcast 
7. Dear Joan and Jericha podcast 

TV. I watched lots of telly in 2018. So much telly. A real top ten or top seven is impossible
1. Killing Eve
2. Godless 
3. Stranger Things
4. Making a Murderer
5. Better Call Saul
6. James Acaster – Repertoire
7. Informer
8. Taskmaster
9. Last Chance Lawyer NYC
10. The Bridge
In no particular order, bubbling under…
No Activity 
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
Stewart Lee: Content Provider
The Little Drummer Girl
Evil Genius 
The Staircase 
People Just do Nothing 
The Tour de France
The Handmaid’s Tale
Derry Girls
Vic and Bob’s Big Night Out
The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan
There She Goes
Flint Town
Inside No. 9 (Halloween special)


CHRIS (Formerly T-T)

1. Bruce Springsteen – Springsteen On Broadway
2. Stick In The Wheel – Follow Them True
3. Kathryn Joseph – From When I Wake The Want Is 
4. Idles – Joy As An Active Of Resistance
5. Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
6. boygenius – boygenius EP
7. Deerful – Tell Me I Can Fix This On My Own
8. Jon Hopkins – Singularity
9. Robyn – Honey
10. Lucy Dacus – Historian
11. Furrow Collective – Fathoms
12. Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Wapentak
13. Brockhampton – Iridescence
14. Half Man Half Biscuit – No One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin’ Hedge Cut
15. Ímar – Avalanche 
16. Nils Frahm – All Melody
17. Eliza Shaddad – Future
18. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – Tearing At The Seams
19. Mastersystem – Dance Music
20. Yo La Tengo – There’s A Riot Going On

1. Jim Bob at Shepherds Bush Empire, London
2. My Bloody Valentine at The Royal Festival Hall, London
3. Trembling Bells at The Brunswick, Hove
4. Jess Morgan radio session for Midnight Campfire (three songs)
5. El Morgan solo at Marlborough Theatre, Brighton
6. Nils Frahm at The Dome, Brighton
7. Hurtling at The Lexington, London
8. Penelope Isles at The Komedia, Brighton
9. Abdoujaparov at 100 Club, London
10. Mark McCabe, Olivia Awbrey & Margaret Wehr at The Exchange, Bristol
11. Say Sue Me at The Lexington, London 

I’ve included 11 because Jim’s gig at Shepherd’s Bush was my favourite gig of 2018 but I was onstage, so dear reader, if you feel that disqualifies it, just count from #2 to #11 as my top ten.

1 The Florida Project
2 Black Panther
3 Widows
4 22 July
5 Grenfell
6 Leave No Trace
7 The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs
8 They Shall Not Grow Old
9 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
10 The Post
11 Atomic Blonde
12 Quincy
13 Annihilation
14 Josh Begley’s Concussion Protocol short film
15 Chasing ‘Trane


1. Atlanta: Robbin’ Season
2. Stewart Lee: Content Provider
3. Killing Eve
4. Antony Bourdain – catching up with Parts Unknown
5. High Maintenance
6. Horizon: Antarctica Ice Station Rescue
7. Ugly Delicious episode #2: Tacos 
8. End Of The F***ing World
9. The Little Drummer Girl
10. Sharp Objects
11. Inside No 9 – Halloween Live Episode
12. The Good Fight
13. Babylon Berlin
14. Maniac
15. Salt Fat Acid Heat
16. The Good Place
17. Wild Wild Country
18. Mark Kermode’s Secrets Of Cinema
19. The Defiant Ones
20. Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

1 David Grann – Killers Of The Flower Moon
2 Mark Fisher – K-Punk: Collected And Unpublished Writings
3 N. K. Jemisin – How Long Til Black Future Month?
4 Gabriel Tallent – My Absolute Darling
5 Dave Eggers – The Monk Of Mokha
6 Dark Mountain #14
7 Michael Lewis – The Fifth Risk
8 Haruki Murakami – Men Without Women
9 Robin Ince – I’m A Joke And So Are You
10 Yuval Noah Harari – Homo Deus

1. Christian Marclay – Clock at Tate Modern, London
2. The Future Starts Here at V&A, London
3. Rip It Up: The Story Of Scottish Pop at National Museum Scotland, Edinburgh
4. All Too Human: Bacon, Freud And A Century Of Painting Life at Tate Britain, London
5. Jordan Wolfson – Colored Sculpture at Tate Modern, London
6. Scottish Design Galleries at V&A, Dundee
7. Picasso 1932 at Tate Modern, London
8. Sarah Maycock’s illustrations for Whales: Beneath The Surface at Natural History Museum
9. Magic Realism: The Weimar Republic at Tate Modern, London
10. Gem Fletcher’s Instagram feed

1. Complicité / Simon McBurney – The Encounter at The Barbican, London 
2. Michaela Coel – MacTaggart Lecture at Edinburgh TV Festival on YouTube
3. Makropol – Doom Room at The Old Market, Hove
4. Dougald Hine – Reflection on Ivan Illich at Convivial Tools, The Design Museum 
5. Circa69: While The Rest Were Sleeping at The Old Market, Hove
6. Hannah Gadsby – Nanette on Netflix
7. Myra Appannah talks about Somnai for TheatreXR at 68 Middle Street, Brighton
8. Joseph Wykwert – Reflection on Illich at Convivial Tools, The Design Museum 
9. Truestory Theatre – Dracula at The Spire, Kemptown
10. Kyle D Evans at Skeptics In The Pub, Caroline Of Brunswick, Brighton 
11. Rufus Norris speech at the Arts Foundation Awards, London
12. Sam Lee & Nathaniel Mann interview (with me) at Sam Lee’s house
13. Ruth Oliver at SheSays Brighton
14. Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondents’ Club, on YouTube
15. Dan Hett talks about Lost Levels for Alternate Realities at The Lighthouse


1. David Grann – The White Darkness: A Solitary Journey Across Antarctica, New Yorker
2. James Risen – The Biggest Secret, The Intercept
3. Nathaniel Rich – Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change, NYT magazine 
4. Tad Friend – Donald Glover Can’t Save You, New Yorker
5. Andy Greenberg – The Untold Story Of Notpetya, The Most Devastating Cyberattack In History
6. Imani Perry – As Goes The South, So Goes The Nation, Harper’s
7. Ben Taub – The Spy Who Came Home, New Yorker
8. Michael Hainey – Beneath The Surface Of Bruce Springsteen, Esquire
9. Ta-Nehisi Coates – I’m Not Black, I’m Kanye, The Atlantic
10. Molly Ringwald – What About ‘The Breakfast Club’?, New Yorker

#MINCEPIE2018 (as of 14th December)…
1. Cornish Pasty Shop, Brighton (8.2)
2. Real Patisserie, Brighton (8)
3. Aldi Special Selection (7.9)
4. Flour Pot, Brighton (7.8)
5. Tesco’s FInest (7.5)
6. Pret (7.3, may deserve to be higher, tested first and under-scored)
7. M&S ‘mini’ (7.1)
8. Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference (6.9)
9. Flying Coffee Bean (6.6)
10. Co-op Irresistable (6)

Do not eat: AMT (3)



(Very low on the old Barry Drama. I watch so much of it at work. I have not included many shows I work in if my boss is reading this. They are all amazing obviously)
1. Detectorists (finally caught up on it properly)
2. I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here
3. All Or Nothing: Manchester City
4. Vic & Bob’s Big Night Out
5. Doctor Who
6. A Very English Scandal
7. Stewart Lee Content Provider
8. The Crown S2
9. Louis Theroux: Altered States
10. Parks & Recreation (catching up – now on season 5)
11. 9-1-1
12. Mark Kermode’s Secrets Of Cinema
13. Gogglebox
14. Life In Pieces
15. Naked Attraction

(This is all the stuff released this year I listened too, excluding my children’ s choice of music which is the Ariana Grande back catalogue).
1. Mozart’s Mini Mart – Go Kart Mozart 10/10
2. Boxer (Live In Brussels) – The National 10/10
3. Welcome To The Blackout – David Bowie 10/10
4. Joy As An Act Of Resistance – Idles 9/10 (I liked this band before Jim & Chris)
5. Songs Of Praise – Shame 8/10
6. Go To School – The Lemon Twigs 8/10
7. Glastonbury 2000 – David Bowie 8/10
8. Resistance Is Futile – Manic Street Preachers 7.5/10
9. Wakelines – Mull Historical Society 7/10
10. Never Let Me Down (2018) – David Bowie 7/10
11. Acts Of Fear & Love – Slaves 7/10
12. Love Is Dead – Churches 7/10
13. Dove – Belly 7/10
14. Big Red Machine – Big Red Machine – 6/10
15. The Blue Room – Suede 4/10

1. New novel – J.B. Morrison 
2. In The Shadow Of My Former Self – Jim Bob
3. The Mars Room – Rachel Kushner
4. Monk Of Mokha – Dave Eggers
5. Uncommon People – David Hepworth
6. Middle England – Jonathan Coe
7. This Will Only Hurt A Little – Busy Phillips
8. How Does It Feel – Mark Kermode
9. Kill Them All – John Niven
10. Calypso – David Sedaris (half way through and enjoying it a lot)
11. How To Be Famous – Caitlin Moran

1. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society
2. The Greatest Showman (I didn’t see it until this year, and it was cinemas all year so it counts)
3. Mama Mia, Here We Go Again
4. The Incredibles 2
5. McQueen
6. Avengers: Infinity War
7. A Star Is Born
8. I, Tonja
9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
10. Finding Your Feet
11. Swimming With Men
12. The Grinch (much better than the reviews say)
13. Ladybird
14. Mute
15. Free Solo

1. Adam Buxton
2. Quickly Kevin
3. The A to Z of David Bowie
4. Refigure
5. Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review
6. Griefcast
7. Dear Joan & Jericho
8. Lineker & Baker: Behind Closed Doors
9. David Bowie AlbumtoAlbum
10. Footballistically Arsenal

Most missed: Kirsty on Desert Island Discs

GIGS & SHOWS OF THE YEAR (ones I really enjoyed) (haven’t included Jim Bob or Abdou gigs)
1. Pet Shop Boys – Royal Opera House
2. The National – Victoria Park
3. Frozen @ Disneyland
4. Adam Buxton: Best Of Bug – Greenwich in a big field
5. Robert Newman – Soho Theatre
6. Shame – Tunbridge Wells Forum
7. Go Kart Mozart – Heavenly Social
8. Nativity The Music – Hammersmith Odeon
9. Manic Street Preachers – Wembley Arena
10. Mark Watson – Edinburgh Festival
11. Danny Baker – Shepherds Bush Empire
12. Flight Of The Conchords – Hammersmith Odeon/ Belly – Shepherds Bush Empire



There were so many amazing collaborations and just plain batshit crazy gigs this year, that I’m finding it impossible to rank in order, so consider these joint Number Ones…
Pet Shop Boys – Royal Opera House
Gary Numan & The Skaparis Orchestra  – Royal Albert Hall
The Frank and Walters & Orchestra – Cork Opera House
Mick Thomas & Michael Barclay – Vietnam Tour
Mick Thomas’s Roving Commission – Western Australia gigs
Adam Gibson & The Aerial Maps – Yoko Bar, Saigon
Darren Hanlon – St Luke’s, Perth
PWEI – Australia Tour 2018
James Hill & Anne Janelle – The Oval, Croydon

The rest of my Top 10’s are in order (and none of this bubbling under nonsense here)
1. Gary Numan – The Fallen
2. Yazoo – Four Pieces Boxset
3. Mick Thomas and the Roving Commission – Boxing Day Drive
4. Adam Gibson & the Ark-Ark Birds – Cities of Spinifex
5. Ian Felice – In the Kingdom of Dreams
6. Gary Numan – Savage Live at Brixton Academy
7. Alison Moyet – The Other Live
8. James – Someday everything will be fine
9. Art Brut – Wham! Bang! Pow! Let’s Rock Out
10. The Lemon Twigs – Go to School
(A couple of those dropped last year but I didn’t get to hear them until this year.)

1. Informer
2. The Bridge
3. Star Trek: Discovery
4. Doctor Who (Yes, I know, normally my Number 1 – Jodie’s fine but 3 of the worst stories ever in a 10 ep run)
5. Young Offenders
6. The Good Doctor (mainly for the incomparable Richard Schiff’s performance)
7. A Very English Scandal
8. The Crown
9. The Americans (Series 6 is weird)
10. Unabomber

Unusually I saw over a dozen this year, the majority at the proper Cinema too* – get me! 
1. First Man
2. Molly’s Game
3.The Post
4.The Darkest Hour
5.Sweet Country
6.Three Billboards outside Ebbing
7.I, Tonya
8.The Last Jedi
9. Solo
10. Leave No Trace
(*Free tickets helps enormously with this)

1.Cellar de Can Roca, Girona (Restaurant)
2.The West Wing Weekly Live in Dublin & London (Podcast)
3.Sod’s Law – Lord Hicks (Musical)
4.The Half (Play)
5.Parkrun – (global 5k runs)
6.One Football, No Nets – Justin Walley (Book)
7.Sculpture by the Sea – Cottesloe Beach (Art)
8.Titanic Exhbition – Belfast
9.CONIFA World Football Cup – London (Tournament)
10. Neil Tennant in Conversation – (at the worst venue in England: Hackney Arts Centre)

Best Palace match: April: Palace 3 Seaweeds 2 – nuff said
Best Other Game: September: Yuen Long 4 Tai Po 4 – A season opener played on an absolute pudding of a pitch. It wouldn’t have gone ahead even at English Sunday League level, but it made for a thoroughly entertaining scrap, for all the wrong reasons.