Jock Scot

Literary genius with a penchant for the bizarre and bawdy, JOCK SCOT (born 21 September 1952, Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, Scotland) was the Caledonian equivalent to IAN DURY, VIVIAN STANSHALL and, his hero, William McGonagall. Having spent far too many years as a rock’n’roll “auxiliary”, SCOT became something of a minor legend in music business circles in the 90s.
Quitting his homeland during Scotland’s infamous 1978 World Cup campaign, the Burgh’s bingeing bard made for London, where he became a roadie of sorts for such punk/new wave luminaries as The CLASH, TALKING HEADS and RIP, RIG + PANIC. It was all grist to his stand-up poet mill, SCOT reciting his streetwise verse to any pub crowd that would listen; an early-80s single for Stiff Records, `A Souvenir To Commemorate The Wedding Of Dave And Rosemary featuring The Dulcet Tones of JOCK SCOT’, set the bar – so to speak.
Having amassed reams of material, Jock’s inaugural book, Where Is My Heroine?, hit the shelves in 1993; a precursor to the likes of Irving Welsh – possibly, maybe. Hooking up with his old chum, Davey Henderson (ex-FIRE ENGINES) and the singer’s NECTARINE No.9 project around the same time, SCOT made his proper recording debut via a track (`Going Off Someone’) on the band’s `Un-Loaded For You’ EP.
Two years on, the same pairing – with PAUL QUINN also in attendance – worked wonders on the `Pregnant With Possibilities Vol.1’ EP (for `Just Another Fucked Up Druggy On The Scene’ and the solo `Grunge Girl Groan’), while the loveable “Leith-al” patter-merchant also featured on No.9’s `Saint Jack’ album. SCOT’s first full-length solo effort was MY PERSONAL CULLODEN (1997) {*8}, a sort of Scot-tish TOM WAITS-meets-BEEFHEART long-player that finally appeared for both Sano and a revived Postcard Records; `There’s A Hole In Daddy’s Arm’ and `Tape Your Head On’, were worth the admission price alone.
Nearly a decade down the line (the likes of AIDAN MOFFAT, PETER DOHERTY and BRITISH SEA POWER obviously acolytes to his menacing messages), the vernacular storytelling of JOCK SCOT was ready for another round of drinking songs a la THE CALEDONIAN BLUES (2006) {*6}. Sparsely augmented and co-credited with stalwart ‘Burgh buddy Gareth Sager (ex-POP GROUP, ex-RR+P), the alcy-poppin’ Jock could make ALEX HARVEY, SHANE MacGOWAN and Rab C. Nesbitt come across as choirboys on such half-empty glass-full tales of primordial passages, `Barcelona’, `Let’s Go Visit With The Rainforest’, `Gothic Horror’, `Trip To Butlins’ etc.
Sadly, after several years battling cancer, the maverick Jock died on 13 April 2016, leaving behind wife Helen and daughters Iris, Poppy and Tara. He’d recently made appearances with BRITISH SEA POWER and The NECTARINE No.9 re-launching his My Personal Culloden set for audiences at the Heavenly Social Club nights.
© MC Strong 2002/GSM // rev-up MCS Apr2016

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