How NOT to write about music – 4. Jimmy and the worn out shoes

Jimmy and the worn out shoes

I love Jimmy and the worn out shoes.

I love near everything about them*, the way Jimmy dances, the way Jimmy’s moustache hangs there droopy and gentle, the soft shoe shuffle, the unassuming but so smart lyrics and deadpan way round a harmony, the presence of other musicians, the lack of presence of other musicians, the chugging rhythms and self-deprecating putdowns, the idea he communicates simply by being there that we should not give up however stupid and unfriendly the odds against us are, the slender soft shoe shuffle, his height, the laconic melodies, the box drums and skiffle beat, the fact he shoves dodgy recordings of songs about Viv Albertine out on YouTube and you can’t understand a single word even though you know that if you could understand even a single word your life would be enriched in so many different small ways, the way he’s from Brighton but a Brighton you were always attracted to not a Brighton you wish you could turn your back upon, the way he used to be in a band that released possibly the greatest Christmas single ever, the empty beer glass, the way half his songs could be doubling for Clive Pig or O-Levels B-sides from 1985 or 1981 perhaps, the stupid soft shoes shuffle, his fondness for chips, the way he understands nostalgia should mean more than marketing, the whistling, the wrong shoes the wrong shoes the wrong shoes the wrong shoes…

I love Jimmy and the worn out shoes.

Note for aspiring blog writers: the clue is in the title. Break through the nettles.

Note for aspiring blog writers: you should NOT write about music this way because there is no socio-political context, no background, no information, no easy comparison points (only obscure ones), no reference to genre, no potted history, no band member names (or indeed mention of band members beyond the omnipotent ‘Jimmy’ who might well be a construct or idealised vision). I do not make even a gesture towards the idea of some form of universal ‘truth’, I do not attempt to rationalise my subjective taste or universalise a particular perspective. I do not look for broader significance or wider resonance. I am not in the business of pattern-spotting.  I am not claiming this is the ‘future’, whatever emphasis you want to place on that term…

I fucking abdicate.

You should try the BandCamp too, but only if you want to.

It’s not entirely a coincidence I am playing a show with Jimmy and the worn out shoes, and the tumultuous dark suburban pop band Suburban Death Twitch, next week in Brighton.

Come down. Do the soft shoe shuffle.

*This is not true. First time I saw ’em I did not enjoy them. There. I said it. Just for balance, and everything. Mainly.

“I remember money
Wrapped in dishonesty”

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