Caught by the River

Caught by the Reaper – Jock Scot

Roy Wilkinson | 29th April 2016

jock bus

Roy Wilkinson bids farewell to friend and collaborator Jock Scot.

Last Sunday saw the funeral of Jock Scot – rock poet, inspiration and graceful consumer of the backstage rider bounty. Jock appeared at Caught by the River events – notably at Port Eliot in 2011, equipped with kilt and sporran-full of fun. In 2015 Heavenly Recordings reissued Jock’s great album My Personal Culloden, on which he was backed reading his poetry by Davy Henderson’s The Nectarine No.9. As Irvine Welsh told us when My Personal Culloden was reissued, “Jock Scot is, along with Iggy Pop and Paddy Stanton, one of my all-time heroes. A Musselburgh superstar.”

It was an honour and pleasure for your correspondent to attend Jock’s farewell – laying a modest floral tribute on behalf of Jock’s sometime backing band British Sea Power (BSP had joined a long list of musicians who served in conjunction with Jock, stretching from The Clash, Ian Dury and The Pop Group’s Gareth Sager to Belle & Sebastian and The Libertines). Jock had finally succumbed to cancer, though having long outlived the three months medical science predicted.

The cast at St Marylebone Crematorium was rich and varied – Peter Blake, Shane MacGowan, Anna Chancellor, Gareth Sager, The Nectarine No.9, Will Self, Pam Hogg and Mick Jones to name just a few. Mick was accompanied by old pal Robin Banks – aka Robin Crocker and historic actual robber of banks, as alluded to in The Clash’s Stay Free. The service was moving and uplifting – superbly MC’d by the actor Tam Dean Burn, brother of The Fire Engines’ Russell Burn. Then it was all aboard a pair of Routemaster buses, with Clash live tracks playing loudly on board – off for reminiscence and dancing at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, a lovely affair overseen by Jock’s two eldest daughters, Poppy and Tara. Jock’s youngest daughter, the primary-school-age Iris, was also there, dancing up a storm, accompanied by her mum Helen, Jock’s widow.

Sail on Jock. We’re truly unlikely to see – or hear – another like you.

Jock Scot, September 21 1952 – April 13 2016