Scottish Albums of the Decade #18: Uncle John and Whitelock - There Is Nothing Else...

Feature by Mark Shukla | 25 Nov 2009

To say that Uncle John and Whitelock were a good live band would be an egregious understatement. Helmed by demonic Bowie-doppelgänger Jacob Lovatt [now known as Jacob Yates], their spellbindingly brutal take on apocalyptic blues was both challenging and electrifying. These guys were channeling weird forces; taking audiences to places no other Scottish outfit had every really had the pills to visit. Released one year prior to their unfortunate break-up ("In a nutshell I was going a bit mad" Yates reflects now), it stands as a strange and singular work in the canon of Scottish rock.

Live favourite 2 – Fiddy is as disquieting as it is unforgettable; an explosive three minutes of giddy slide guitar, irrefutable bass and vocals that take you way, way outside your comfort zone. Baghdadi burns with all of Lovatt's terrifying, exhilarating wrath ("you wanted war/I'll bring you war!") and album centrepiece Aleister Crowley lurches and splutters its way to a hair-raising dénouement of total violence. True, the album's production values fall short of capturing the delirious excitement of their live performance, but as a document of one of Scotland's most remarkable and under-appreciated bands it remains indispensable.


(Released: June 2006)

Visit to read our full exclusive interview with Jacob Yates.