Edinburgh septet The Last Battle may be pretty new names on the burgeoning Edinburgh music scene – they only played their first gig in October – but already they’re making waves and are sure to crop up on a few end-of-year lists. Described broadly as nu-folk, they caught the ear of Eagleowl, and swiftly, the 17Seconds blog snapped them up to join their offshoot label’s roster, which already includes X Lion Tamer, The Wildhouse and Chris Bradley/Aberfeldy.
In time-honoured fashion, itm? asked the all-important questions…
Scott Longmuir- Vocals/Guitar, Arwen Duncan – Vocals, Ella Duncan – Glockenspiel, Paul Barrett – Bass, Liam O’Hare- Percussion, Flora Mackay – Cello/Vocals and new member Brian Pokora – Lead guitar.
Scott: “Within weeks of myself and Paul’s former group splitting up we began recording new songs and ideas in his front room in June 2009. By about August we’d put together a band including Paul’s partner Flora and my partner Ella and her sister Arwen. We made a joint decision not to rest on our laurels or waste any time.”
Scott: “After Paul named us The Last Battle from the C.S Lewis novel he happened across in a charity shop, we played our very first show on October 4th 2009. We then signed to 17 Seconds Records in March 2010, who released our debut album ‘Heart Of The Land, Soul Of The Sea’ on 4th October 2010 a year later to mark our progress. Since its release, to our surprise quite a few folk have bought it (the first small run sold out within a month or so), it’s got us some really wonderful reviews and secured us a booking agent.”
Scott: “The best description I can come up with for our music, without sounding like too much of a pretentious idiot, but will anyway, is “sparse lo-fi folk that mixes traditional folk instruments and influences with contemporary pop melodies and boy/girl harmonies, coupled with rubbish on stage banter and wooly hats”. There you go. Also aside from our lovely album that you should go and buy we are releasing a free download e.p on 6th December called ‘Nature’s Glorious Rage’ to coincide with the wonderful weather we’re having, and will also be heading out on a UK tour on the 7th Dec starting at Bloc in Glasgow, taking in Aviemore, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Hull, Leeds and London. If the snow lets us that is. ”
Scott: “Although it would be great, I don’t think any of us have any delusions that we’ll ever make enough money to make a living out of this (who does these days!?). We realise that somewhere down the line, sadly, it’ll stop and we’ll have to start living relentlessly in the real world, but just now we’re all enjoying the luxury of playing to people that want to hear us and nice folk saying lovely things about us. Just the other day we received an email from a guy in Colorado saying he loved listening to our album by the fire with a glass of whisky and his feet up, and wondered if we could send him the lyrics of the songs so he could dig deeper it. Things like that amaze me. Our music has connected with someone we’ve never met who lives thousands upon thousands of mails away. That means more to me than money ever will.”
The band’s album Heart Of The Land, Soul Of The Sea is out now – and they tour the UK in December – see www.myspace.com/thelastbattleuk for more.