Jock Scot - My Personal Culloden

My Personal Culloden

Jock Scot

Available Formats No. of Tracks   Price Buy
12" Vinyl Album 18 tracks 18.99
CD Album 18 tracks 9.99 Out of stock.

Description

Jock Scot - My Personal Culloden

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 14.42.17
Jock Scot taken by Brian David-Stevens

Jock Scots 'My Personal Culloden' was issued on vinyl for the first time last year via the Forever Heavenly imprint.

Irvine Welsh named Jock Scot in his all-time top-three heroes - alongside Iggy Pop and the Hibs footballer Pat Stanton. An impressive standing, but Jock’s life and times bear it out.

In the 1970s Jock worked alongside Ian Dury and The Clash. More recently, The Libertines, Belle & Sebastian and British Sea Power have all declared an interest, getting him to read his poetry at their gigs or voice radio ads. Jock has also laboured as potato-picker, librarian and bus-conductor. His poems brim with both rock debauchery and the quotidian wonder of the number 25 bus from Leith to Hermiston Park & Ride - and nowhere more so than on his 1997 album My Personal Culloden. The album sets Jock’s poems to sound and music - recordings overseen by Davy Henderson of 1980s Edinburgh punk-funk art-rockers The Fire Engines and, latterly, The Nectarine No. 9.

“Davy’s a very talented musician,” Jock says today. “I was a recovering heroin addict, up for a laugh. Against the odds, I had some wisdom to relay!” As ever, Jocks delivers this snatch of autobiography in his ripe Lothian brogue, sounding like a more sportive Sean Connery. As with the velvet on a stag’s antlers, Jock’s tones combine seductiveness with latent aggression. On My Personal Culloden he talks of girls, drug addiction and the forbidden allure of French rugby international Thierry Lacroix. The latter is considered in the method-homoerotica of Gay Paean To Thierry: “Striding like a colossus, he prepares to kick another conversion/Unaware of the emotions he evokes, or the depth of my perversion.”

Jock was born in 1952, growing up in the port of Musselburgh, near Edinburgh. He entered the rock world by spectacularly improvisational means. In the late ‘70s we would go to see shows by Ian Dury And The Blockheads, talking his way backstage and meeting Dury. After taking his pub football team - The Bluebell Chasers - down for a game in the Scottish Borders, Jock spontaneously decided to go and see The Blockheads again.

“I was pissed in the pub after the game,” he recalls. “The Blockheads were playing in Newcastle and I just decided to head off - still wearing my kit, boots and all. I started hitching and the first car took me all the way to the fucking stage door at Newcastle City Hall! They said, ‘Fucking hell, Ian, that guy’s here again.’ From that point I just joined the tour. Ian said, ‘You’re just the cat’s whiskers, we’ve got to have you on the firm...’”

This led to a job at Stiff Records - and then touring with The Clash, ostensibly as a roadie. He tells an astonishing tale of a three-day coach trip across the Pyrenees to Barcelona: “Drugs and duty-free for all! Golden years!” Jock’s reputation as a “first-rate good-vibes man” led to him variously assisting artists from The B-52s and Taj Mahal to Vivian Stanshall. He started writing his poetry in the early ‘90s.

“I’d split up with my girlfriend,” he says. “We’d had a child then split up five years later, so I moved back to Kilburn. The guy on the floor above was a heroin dealer. Through that I became a heroin addict for the next four years [laughs]. That’s when I wrote most of the poems - sitting around, bored late at night. I lived on Hula Hoops, chocolate milk, Piccadilly cigarettes... and heroin!”

The girlfriend was actress Anna Chancellor, star of Four Weddings And A Funeral and numerous TV dramas. The fact Jock has another daughter, born around the same time to another woman, presumably didn’t ease relations. Davy Henderson and Postcard Records founder Alan Horne decided Jock’s narratives would make for an album. My Personal Culloden was recorded in 1996 at a studio in Acton in north London.

The album is full of lost love and longing, fleshed out with digressions on Ronnie Wood, life-boats and Jean-Luc Goddard. The words are often achingly uncomplicated: “As I ignore time the damned stuff runs out/It’s just as well there’s no one else about.” But the music means Jock can’t be mistaken for Pam Ayres. Influences ranges from T-Rex to more esoteric items: the experimental Eno-soundtracked films of Malcolm Le Grice; the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop; the Moog-classical fusions of Walter Carlos - recorded before he had a sex-change and appeared in Playboy as Wendy Carlos. One of the most remarkable tracks is There’s Hole In Daddy’s Arm. It builds its chorus from a line in a John Prine song. Jock’s two eldest daughters, then aged seven, join in on backing vocals: “There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes.”

Jock now has another daughter, just turned one. He lives a quieter life these days, but made a second album - 2005’s Caledonian Blues, recorded with Gareth Sager of Rip Rig And Panic. Aidan Moffat, former singer with Arab Strap, is another Jock fan. “Jock is just great,” he says. “His words are brilliant, but his delivery makes them magical. We played a couple of Arab Strap shows where Jock would read and Malcolm [Middleton, Arab Strap guitarist] would improvise. One day Malcolm rang: ‘I’m supporting Nick Cave.’ It turned out he was playing with Jock. That’s Jock - he seems to know everyone.”

Davy Henderson sent his own testimonial by email:

“When I think of my friend Jock Scot, I always imagine these words by the late American satirist HL Mencken: 'He writes the worst English I have ever encountered. It reminds me of stale bean soup... of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish and crawls insanely up to the topmost pinnacle of posh.’ Mencken died in 1956. Obviously he could see into the future.”

Reviews

Thrillingly, emotionally riveting rock poetry...it was with My Personal Culloden, a minor masterpiece of Scottish independent rock, that Scot really shone. 9/10 Uncut Magazine

Tracklisting

12" Vinyl Album (FHVNLP6)
  1. Jock Scot - Easy To Write
  2. Jock Scot - Gay Paean to Tierry
  3. Jock Scot - Above the Volcano
  4. Jock Scot - Someone’s Yearning
  5. Jock Scot - Tape Your Head On
  6. Jock Scot - Just Another Fucked Up Little Druggy
  7. Jock Scot - Farewell to FERODO
  8. Jock Scot - There’s a Hole in Daddy’s Arm
  9. Jock Scot - Good God
  10. Jock Scot - Domestic Bliss
  11. Jock Scot - Thunder over Kilburn
  12. Jock Scot - A Certain Beauty
  13. Jock Scot - Norman Vaughan’s Blues
  14. Jock Scot - The Underdog
  15. Jock Scot - White Cars Passing By
  16. Jock Scot - All Over the World Girls Are Dreaming
  17. Jock Scot - Nuts
  18. Jock Scot - Going Off Someone
CD Album (FHVNLP6CD)
  1. Jock Scot - Easy To Write
  2. Jock Scot - Gay Paean to Tierry
  3. Jock Scot - Above the Volcano
  4. Jock Scot - Someone’s Yearning
  5. Jock Scot - Tape Your Head On
  6. Jock Scot - Just Another Fucked Up Little Druggy
  7. Jock Scot - Farewell to FERODO
  8. Jock Scot - There’s a Hole in Daddy’s Arm
  9. Jock Scot - Good God
  10. Jock Scot - Domestic Bliss
  11. Jock Scot - Thunder over Kilburn
  12. Jock Scot - A Certain Beauty
  13. Jock Scot - Norman Vaughan’s Blues
  14. Jock Scot - The Underdog
  15. Jock Scot - White Cars Passing By
  16. Jock Scot - All Over the World Girls Are Dreaming
  17. Jock Scot - Nuts
  18. Jock Scot - Going Off Someone

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