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Driving Jarvis Ham



posted by jim on 10/12/15


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 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’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


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 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
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
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


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!

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

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.

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.

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!


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