I always intended my first proper post on here to be about Uncle John & Whitelock. However, I also planned to have it up before the band split. On the latter I have failed, as the band played their final gig at King Tut’s in Glasgow on the 23rd of December. Still, it can’t hurt to give them a posthumous write up…
Imagine for a moment, if you can, that No Means No suddenly and inexplicably became a five piece blues band from Scotland and you’re getting somewhere towards the sound Uncle John & Whitelock themselves refer to as “horror R&B” or “dead soul”. They were a band who confronted their audience, rather than performing to them; Jacob Lovatt’s throaty, half-shouted vocals backed up by a monstrous wall of sound. Combine that with an endless string of songs that rattle around your head for days afterwards, and you’ve got an exciting and unpredictable live show.
Their one and only album, There Is Nothing Else, was released in December 2005. Boasting 20 tracks, you get the feeling they were aware they might not get another crack at it. That or they just couldn’t decide which 10 tracks were best – I’d believe either.
There are plenty of highlights on the album but the one that always stuck out for me is Baghdadi, a chugging blues anthem that looms over you, teetering and waving its finger. In a similar vein is Palmer, a threatening take on Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love. Then there’s 2-Fiddy’, delivered in some kind of faux patois amid swirling slide guitar.
They were one of the great unknown bands of the last few years. Let’s see if we can’t get some kind of buzz going now they’re gone.