Tracks

Jim Bob: "The Ghost of Christmas Boring"

(2012)

By George Bass | 19 June 2012

When a politician dies there’s only one explanation: natural causes. Shot in a brothel? Natural causes. Tied to a gearbox and thrown over a boat? Natural causes. Found dead in a rubber suit covered in custard and slap marks? Old age. It seems no MP dies with his any character, so self-effacing South Londoner Jim Bob has created one, drawing on his day job as a novelist. The former chart-topper constructs a mousy, Conservative official who’s finally had the balls to gas himself, leaving it up to his wife and mistress to spin a little web, and turn his exhaust-sucking exit into seppuku.

After the downbeat guitars of previous album Goffam, “The Ghost of Christmas Boring” sees Jim kicking his heels, edging back to punk as his suicidal character checks out. Looking down on England from the MP’s wing of heaven, the dead bureaucrat moans about becoming “That spectre of defeat” who wasn’t actually mugged/blown up/dismembered, but went back to his farmstead after a VIP dinner and then drove out to a car park with a hose. He does it to some catchy pop-rock bubblegum: “I was naked in a steel drawer / I’m a carcass on a slab / They’ll be keeping me in cold store / Till they find out I was stabbed / I was shot down in the street / I was drowned at sea / That cadaver wasn’t me / I’m the Ghost of Christmas Boring.” It’s a triumphant, air-punching three minutes, and begs the question how many other grey men slipped off in unsexy circumstances—how many wrist-cutters were in fact redressed to look like they’d been blown away by crack whores?