• “Tape Your Head On” set to a picture of the housing album cover.
“Excellent Post-Punk from Scotland”
From his debut album “My Personal Culloden” (Postcard Records DUBH-972CD) issued in May, 1997.
After recklessly giving up his promising early career selling American Cream Soda ’round Edinburgh’s juice-crazed housing schemes, this celebrated idler, lover, tragedian, legendary drinking companion, husband, occasional heroin addict, poet, father and storyteller somehow managed to surf the lot of it and stay balanced for 30-odd years until the bastard-n-cancer got him just last week, at the relatively young age of 63.
After some sort of typically vague “career” doing bits n bobs for bands and labels in the late 70s and early 80s, the Leith-born lad stumbled onto a path where he himself appeared in the super-trouper. Well, there was usually a 60W light-bulb overhead at least.
I first came across the colourful and loveable Jock Scot via his appearance on Nectarine No.9’s “Unloaded For You” EP way back in the early 90s – at this time he was on the verge of publishing his own book of poetry, “Where Is My Heroine?” On the aforementioned EP, Jock’s dulcet tones were to the fore on “Going Off Someone”:
“You’re right, you’re SO right. You’re so right-wing.”
These were choice words, with a well-timed delivery. The character then came to life when he ambled onstage for some live guest-spots with the band in the mid-90s. He certainly added flavour to the dish; the sardonic humour from his spoken-word was unforgettable. As an earlier Postcard label-mate would say, “what presence”.
Anyway, the first thing I tend to do when someone snuffs it, is to check the old database, see what I thought of them, and generally reminisce. To my dismay, there were only 3 Jock Scot solo tracks collected, all on various compiles; “Barcelona” (fantastic), “Farewell to Ferodo” (really good) and “Thierry Lacroix” (good).
I had always said to myself “I’ll need to check those Jock Scot albums when I get the chance”. But, you know how it is, these things rarely happen unless you make them happen and, sometimes, other things get in the way and you forget. Maybe I was waiting for him to appear in the bargain bin at Avalanche. Let it be known: JOCK SCOT NEVER APPEARED IN NAE BARGAIN BIN!
So I’ve now collected both of his albums; “My Personal Culloden” (Postcard Records DUBH-972CD, 1997) and “The Caledonian Blues” (Invada Records INV-016, 2006). Having spent a few days with them, I’d say I prefer the first one, although both have their moments.
So, as per the rules of the blog, I’ll feature a great track from each and I’ll spread them o’er the next couple of days.
“Tape Your Head On” is actually a cover version, having first been done by the Nectarine No.9 in 1995 on their album “Saint Jack”.
The original writer, Davy Henderson, is the man behind the music on Jock’s debut album so, essentially, he’s covering his own song here, whilst Jock adds extra life to Davy’s piece via his own characterful delivery, and a whole load of unrelated ponderings – or are they? Amongst other things, we learn that, recently, the bold protagonist has read “The Mind of Jesus” by William Barclay, which he bought doon the St John’s Road at some charity stand, and has been eating dirty fruit in the gairden. Whit a Rock n Roll animal he is, to be sure. As if Jock’s delivery isn’t enough, he even tries his hand at singing, would you believe. The full power and the glory of the Jock Scot Experience is there for all to hear. Squares excepted of course.
“Tape yer heid oan”
Wha’s like him? Damn few and they’re a’ deid.