U.N.P.O.C. is an alias used by Scottish musician Tom Bauchop, whose brand of lo-fi psychedelic neo-folk has seen him compared to everyone from the Violent Femmes to the Pixies.
Raised in Glasgow, Bauchop relocated to Edinburgh when he was 17 to study computer science at college. Before launching his U.N.P.O.C. project, Bauchop was member of Fence. Formed in 1995 in the town of Fife, this loosely knit collective saw artists such as James Yorkston, King Creosote, Lone Pigeon (aka former Beta Band member Gordon Anderson) pass through its ranks over the years. During his fourth and final year of schooling in Edinburgh, Bauchop launched his solo career with the creation of U.N.P.O.C. The project’s mysterious name has raised some questions among fans, and even Bauchop seems to be uncertain of its meaning. At different times, he has given answers such as ‘Usual Names Providing For Our Cause’ and ‘Unable To Navigate, Probably On Course’. Joined by drummer Stu Bastiman (Bauchop overdubs everything else himself, which made live shows inconceivable for some time), U.N.P.O.C. issued their debut, Fifth Column, in autumn 2003. A single taken from the album, ‘Amsterdam’/‘Here On My Own’, preceded it by a month. In December of the same year, U.N.P.O.C. played one of their first ever shows, opening for Yorkston at King Tut’s in Glasgow.