Saturday, 2 January 2010

Band to Watch-The Last Battle

Many bands are influenced by the city which they come from, but perhaps none more so than Edinburgh's The Last Battle. Emerging as a live unit in October, the band wasted no time in impressing anyone who would care to listen, already establishing themselves as one of Scotland's brightest prospects. It is impossible not to draw parallels between the band and their city, as their music is both understated yet ambitious, beautiful yet dark and each song has a comforting familiarity without ever feeling unoriginal. All attributes shared by Auld Reekie.

Consisting of eight members, the band is really brought together by Scott Longmuir's earnest vocals, singing with a sincerity that makes every lyric sound honest and experienced, and with the female backing vocals accompanying, they transform into something hauntingly beautiful. Songs such as 'Whisky!' highlight the bands love affair with their hometown, with subtle references to Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens and Leith; "Past the gardens and the castle, where the ships go to the ocean, where my soul lies on the sea bed". However, it is important to realise that although The Last Battle are influenced by Edinburgh, they are not defined by it. Far from it, as 'Ward 119' shows the darker side to the band and tells the story of a dysfunctional family's hospital trip with Longmuir singing hopeful lyrics 'hold on we'll be out of here by dawn' juxtaposing against painfully frank and sad ones 'what the hell's the matter, what you getting at, you cannae even say you fucking love me back'. The diversity of these two songs show The Last Battle to be no one trick pony and the instrumental 'Secret Arcade' only helps to further this notion.

As impressed as I am by them, I feel that they have only shown a glimpse of what they are truly capable of, propelling their debut as one of my most highly anticipated albums of 2010.

The Last Battle-Whisky!

The Last Battle-Ward 119

The Last Battle-Secret Arcade

The Last Battle are playing on the 6th at The Jazz Bar in Edinburgh and on the 7th at Captain's Rest in Glasgow.

Also, check out more of their songs at their myspace page.


  1. Love that you linked the influence of urban environment to artistic production, as cities always exude such complex personalities and it's hard not to be affected by it. Off the top of my head, the only musical act from Pittsburgh worth mentioning is Girl Talk, though his work is so derivative in the most literal sense that it's hard to tell how the city acts as an influence. Unless you consider combining the most extreme examples of high and low art a Pittsburghian quality (Warhol?). Or, total kitsch. (Again, Warhol)

  2. It is interesting. Particularly if you look at the band Girls. The guy grew up in a cult and then was adopted by a millionaire and his crazy and unconventional unbringing is evident in his songs. So even not having a city to belong to can be artistically inspiring and the polarization of the results is pretty fascinating.