17 May 2012: Jim Bob – The Greyhound, Beeston, Nottingham, England, UK

As we walked towards the venue, the only things around were two cruising police cars and a stray dog. This didn’t bode well for tonight’s entertainment.

There was a notice on the door of The Greyhound which, from afar, looked like the venue was closed and the gig cancelled but, thankfully, said (and I paraphrase) “For Jim Bob, go round the back”.

So we did…

Jim Bob

In contrast to the outside, the inside was completely packed out and looked well and truly sold out. There were a lot of 40 somethings wandering around in 30 something sweatshirts, but a smattering of younger souls as well.

The support was from Martin Jackson, who put on a brave acoustic performance but ultimately lost out to the crowds almost complete disinterest. Hopefully, he’ll keep plugging away, as it sounded OK to me.

This was the first date of Jim Bob’s tour to support his second novel, Driving Jarvis Ham.

The only time I’d been to a book reading before was to see Nick Cave in Manchester and I can remember he read from a book. Jim did this as well, but he also said he’d play some songs and then read some more, before playing some more songs from the specials board – allowing the audience to pick the songs – and finish with Sheriff Fatman.

The book reading went well and the crowd were very attentive, although Jim did seem a little nervous at first, before settling down to the job. He read a number of passages, most of which raised a few laughs and thankfully didn’t read anything from past about half way.

Then came the songs. Oh, and what songs they were!

Blowed if I can remember, although we did get Falling on a Bruise and Bloodsport for All. I know that we didn’t get Come on Smart Bomb!, Angelstrike, Song for Friends or Georgie’s Marvellous Medicine. Nevermind.

Jim Bob finished with Sheriff Fatman, with (possibly) Mr Spoons on bubble machines. In a chefs hat. Mr Spoons, not Jim Bob. Jim Bob was wearing a suit and tie.

To sum up, a great acoustic set which thrilled and spilled in all the right places. Some great songs all performed superbly with a touch of Jim’s usual humour chucked in.

Probably the best night in The Greyhounds live music history.

Get yourself along to one of the remaining dates. Your Jim Bob needs you.

Oh! And go get a copy of Driving Jarvis Ham. It’s a good read.