Exposure: Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lock Pickers
- Kelly Smith
- 2 June 2009
Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lock Pickers - Merry Hell
Jacob Yates and the Pearly Gate Lock Pickers evolved from the defunct and missed Uncle John and Whitelock, taking from it some of the signature elements and the obvious influence of The Cramps but turning the horror R&B into Jacob Yates' cleverly self-coined 'doom wap'. We love it, so The List tracked down Jacob to get a little more enlightened...
So I hear you're a reincarnation of sorts from the former much-adored band Uncle John and Whitelock. How so? And what are the musical similarities and differences?
After the end of Uncle John and Whitelock I realised pretty quickly that I still wanted to write, play and perform. I wanted to be selfish and find some good horses to pull my chariot about, if you catch my drift. At first I felt like I needed to find a whole new line up, which I did with Ric and Michael, but then I wanted to hear Jamie play his piano so asked him if he would join in. He said yes.Slowly I cobbled together some tunes and grabbed some old ones that I’d written for Uncle John and Whitelock and we took it from there. There are similarities between the two bands in as much as I’m the front and provide the lyrics and some heart and soul; it’s just that with the Pearly Gate Lock Pickers, things are a little less hard hitting. I mean that ‘Doom Wop’ fits into my life rather than before when ‘Horror R&B’ took over my life.
You've provided us with a brilliant single, 'Merry Hell'. Tell us about that song and anything else you're working on?
With ‘Merry Hell’ I returned to my muse, that being Maryhill in Glasgow, or the ‘Venice of the North’ as it was once known. I shop in the Tesco there on a regular basis and like to watch the community as they go about their day. For quite a lot of them this includes a steady diet of spirits, heroin, weed, fried foods, beers, fags and violence. In much the same way as Hieronymus Bosch saw his community and represented it as living hell, this is what I’ve tried to do with this song. I am not trying to make fun out of these people, just represent their plight. I keep toying with the idea of doing a whole concept album based on Maryhill and this is slowly coming together, I don’t think it will be easy listening.
Are all of your surnames really Yates?
We are all brothers now, but only I can lay any claim to a Yates lineage.
I see you have two gigs on this summer - got anything else up your sleeve?
As far as shows go, we doing some and there are more being offered all the time. I’m a dad now so I have to keep my voice for the lullabies.
Did you make it to any Lux Interior tribute nights around here a few months back?
I didn’t manage to get to any tribute nights for Lux Interior but rocked my sweet daughter to sleep singing 'Goo Goo Muck' the night he died.
Jacob Yates and The Pearly Gate Lock Pickers will play at the Glasgow School of Art Vic Bar on June 20; at The Flying Duck, Glasgow on August 21.