New from The Last Battle

THe Last Battle 2013

It’s been nearly three years since I had the pleasure of being involved in putting the first Last Battle album Heart Of The Land, Soul Of The Sea out on 17 Seconds Records.

The band have been working on their sophomore album for a while now, with various line-up changes but a lot of gigging and some excellent fruits of their labours appearing here and there.

This is their new single ‘Wherever Our Feet Take Us’ which sows them continuing to evolve, unmistakeably the Last Battle and yet making leaps and bounds from their earliest recordings. Check it out, it also comes with a live version of ‘Nature’s Glorious Rage’ the song that drew me to them in the very first place.

Then go and buy it, obviously!!

The Last Battle are about to had out on the road, starting at Edinburgh’s Wee Red Bar this Thursday.



Trwbador (I am guessing it’s pronounced Troubador) are a boy/girl duo from Carmarthenshire in South Wales featuring half Welsh, half Dutch singer and producer Angharad Van Rijswijk alongside the ‘intricate guitar playing and hip hop style productions of all Welsh’ Owain Gwilym.

Their new single is entitled ‘Safe’ and although it’s not out until February 25, I thought it would be really nice to share this with you. Actually their stuff is really rather great, full stop.

They’ve collaborated quite a bit with Cornershop, supported Laura J Martin (who I wrote about on this blog last year) and they have announced the following live dates (just England and Wales):


They have also announced that their debut album will be released on March 25 (according to the press release) or April 1 (according to their website), and that there is another tour to follow, with ‘dates in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leicester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.’ So it looks like those of us north of the border should get to see them soon.

This, by the way, is the very first song they ever did, and you can download it:

I don’t know anything about this song, except it’s really rather lovely, twee in the best possible sense, and also free to download:

Christmas Posts 2012 #16


This Thursday (December 20), I am putting on a gig (as part of my day job, no less, working for Library Services) at Dalkeith Arts Centre. Headlining are The Last Battle and supporting are Carter Damm. Oh, and I am DJing.

The Last Battle are shortly to release their sophomore album, but they have, as ever, been writing and recording loads, and they have this very day released a new, free EP for Christmas, which I am delighted to present for you here.

Here’s the weird and wonderful video…

I’ve featured Carter Damm before, should you need reminding about their brilliance again, here is their track ‘Clowning.’

Buy tickets for the event here

Looking for more live music in and around Edinburgh?


Proud to say that I am involved in putting together and, indeed, DJing at two special gigs taking place just outside Edinburgh over this coming month.

An eclectic programme of events will launch the re-opening of Dalkeith Arts Centre.

On Saturday 22 September, Bwani Junction will take to the stage, with support from local band Carter Damm, who I played on my radio show during the fringe.

Bwani Junction, who I have covered a lot on this blog, made history earlier this year by becoming the first band to perform on top of the Forth Rail Bridge. They have recorded a session for the BBC’s Vic Galloway and this summer have performed at numerous festivals, including T in the Park, Wickerman and Belladrum. They were awarded Best Newcomer at the Scottish Alternative Awards in 2012.

Buy Bwani Junction and Carter Damm tickets here

Meanwhile, the legendary King Creosote -who surely needs no introduction here -will play the same venue on Wednesday 26 September with support from The Last Battle. They are currently working on their second album, the follow-up to their debut Heart Of The Land Soul Of The Sea which came out on 17 Seconds in 2010.

Buy King Creosote and The Last Battle tickets here.

…and I will be DJing at both events!

Live on Fresh Air!

Yup, online, live at Fresh AIr

I will be updating as we go along.

1. Blur ‘Under the Westway.’
2. RM Hubbert ‘Car Song.’
3. Nico ‘I’ll Keep It With Mine.’ Cover version of the week
4. The Last Battle ‘ Breathe Bones, Beathe (session track).’
5. Scars ‘Your Attention Please.’ (Gone but not forgotten).
6. Bwani Junction ‘She Ain’t Saying No.’
7. The Last Battle ‘Hope Is Gold (session track).’ Buy the original version from their bandcamp here
8. Carter Damm ‘Clowning (demo).’
9. Stanley Odd ‘Get Out Ma Headspace.’
10. The Last Battle ‘The Butterfly Song (session track).’
11. The Last Battle ‘Ruins (session track).’
12. Cancel The Atronauts ‘I Sold My Soul (And This Is All I Got).’

The return of The Last Battle (part 2)


As mentioned earlier this month, The Last Battle have been back in the studio working on their sophomore album. The first fruits of these sessions is a new single ‘Hope Is Gold’ which is out now, available to download from their bandcamp for the princely sum of 79p. That’s a bargain for two tracks, especially when they are as good as these two.

A-side ‘Hope Is Gold’ showcases the fantastic vocal interplay between Scott Longmuir and Arwen Duncan once more, as well as introducing the band’s violinist Jonathan. B-side ‘The Crunching’ is also extremely good indeed. In the best possible way very different from anything else they have done before, and far more post-punk and less folk than anything I have heard them do before…

The launch night for the single takes place on June 22 at Pilrig St Paul’s Church Hall in Leith, with support from William Henry Miller, Star Wheel Press and Where We Lay Our Heads.

Amongst the other forthcoming live dates they have are LeithLate 2 at Elvis Shakespeare on Leith Walk, Edinburgh on June 28,where they will be playing with Edinburgh School For The Deaf and Blueflint.

The return of The Last Battle


Following on from Last year’s Springwell EP, The Last Battle have been back in the studio working on their sophomore album.

The first fruits of these sessions is a new single ‘Hope Is Gold’ which will be released later on this month.

On cassette, no less!

In the meantime, they have made the b-side ‘The Crunching’ available to download for free. It’s very very good indeed -and I mean this as a compliment – very different from anything else they have done before.

The launch night for the single takes place on June 22 at Pilrig St Paul’s Church Hall in Leith, with support from William Henry Miller, Star Wheel Press and Where We Lay Our Heads

Amongst the other forthcoming live dates they have are LeithLate 2 at Elvis Shakespeare on Leith Walk, Edinburgh on June 28,where they will be playing with Edinburgh School For The Deaf and Blueflint.

Happy Boxing Day


Hello everyone.

Hope you all had a great Christmas (or whatever festival you choose to celebrate, or indeed none). It was all good fun around 17 Seconds Towers yesterday; with a whole heep of books (not all music related either), DVDs, and music gratefully received by yours truly. And it was son 17 Seconds’ first Christmas, which I think he enjoyed greatly. The cold he gave me was not particularly well received – but the lie-in until 9AM yesterday most definitely was.

This is not part of the Christmas mp3 fest – but this track by The Last Battle was part of their online single last year ‘Nature’s Glorious Rage’ and it’s rather fine.

Stream and then go and buy…

A decade…

dj-ed-jupp1Like most folk in their mid-thirties, I guess I’ve done some things that make me look back and cringe.

But I’ve also taken chances on things, and look back and think ‘Well, that was a leap into the unknown – but it paid off.’

And one of those was moving to Edinburgh.

Ten years ago, I was really not sure where I was heading. I had spent five years studying full-time, which had awarded me a BA and Masters in Philosophy, and still left feeling that I wanted to do something musically related. A relationship had crashed and burned, leaving me in a state, and wondering what it was all about.

I spent a few weeks in London trying to get a job selling advertising space (why??? I honestly thought in my frazzled state that this would lead me to working for the NME or something similar). Instead I got interviews but no job in this field (thank God) and was filing, once again, for my Mum. So I went up for a week to Edinburgh to see my little brother who was acting and doing comedy in the Festival and studying (t)here.

I fell hook, line and sinker for Edinburgh. I’d visited before and loved it, and couldn’t work out how I could move here. After a few days, I arranged that I would sleep on my brother’s floor for six weeks, try and find and job and a place to live. I briefly returned to England to attend V2001 (so long ago that Muse were headlining the second stage), and grab some clothes. I arrived on August 20, 2001.

I barely knew anyone apart from my brother, and a people I’d met through him. I volunteered at the Edinburgh book festival and within three days was working in a call centre. I thought it would be a stop gap measure for a few weeks; in the end I would end up working there on and off for over two years. But I met some of my greatest friends in Edinburgh there. Amongst those who worked there were Deborah Arnott from Blueflint and Ken McIntosh from Aberfeldy (the latter then playing with his twin in Edinburgh’s greatest lost band, Wayne Paycheck).

And I started to find my feet. I did find somewhere to live – almost directly leading to me meeting my wife. I ended up doing all sorts of jobs from the bizarre (I still can’t believe I ever worked as a door-to door salesman) to the dream come true of finally working in a record shop (or three, if you want to be pedantic).

As the years went by, I trained as a teacher and taught for a few years, as well as doing bits of TEFL. And of course, I sauntered vaguely downwards (with apologies to Terry Pratchett) into the Edinburgh music scene. Whilst I’ve not really got a band together, I’ve had a fair amount of stuff published online, interviewed bands I could only have dreamt about and DJed. And I made many new friends -and against all odds – married and have a wonderful son, and two much adored (if rather indulged) cats. In the last few years I’ve become a Hibee (supporter of Hibernian football club – now who would have thought I’d get into going to the football?) And running my own club night or record label? the sort of thing that people back in England told me I’d never do? Hah!

It’s not all been plain sailing. I’ve lost twelve months in that time to depression, which is one of the most horrible -and still misunderstood illnesses – around. But I’ve got through it, thanks to Edinburgh folk, and most particuarly my wife, brother and parents and close Edinburgh friends (you know who you are).

Against all odds, I gave up smoking and drinking (so much for the ‘sick man of Europe’ tag). I feel very much at home here, even if I bristle about casual anti-English remarks. And this far into my life I’m still ‘yes to vinyl, no to meat.’ A pretty long phase, then.

So God bless all of you who’ve made me welcome. I’ve done some daft things – but this wasn’t one of them.

A sampling of an Edinburgh soundtrack…

Withered Hand -‘Religious Songs.’ mp3

eagleowl -‘Morpheus.’ mp3

Aberfeldy -‘Claire.’ mp3

Last Battle -‘Black Waterfall.’ mp3

X-Lion Tamer -‘Hope.’ mp3

Blueflint -‘Takes More Than A Little Time.’ mp3

The Last Battle update


The Last Battle have just released their new EP, The Springwell EP. Having issued their debut single ‘Ruins’ and their awesome album Heart of The Land, Soul Of The Sea through us here at 17 Seconds, this is a self-release and very good it is too.

It contains five tracks, including a radical reworking of ‘Ward 119’ which was the b-side to ‘Ruins,’ and ‘Viv Nicholson’, all about the eponymous sixties Pools Winner who vowed she would ‘Spend, Spend, Spend.’ (And yes, she was on the cover of the Smiths’ ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.’)

Go and buy…you won’t regret it. Via the Bandcamp link at the top…or at Avalanche Records in person if you live in Edinburgh.

I feel way too close to the band to review this and give it a rating without being biased (or worse!) but it is awesome.

This is not on the EP – but it is a cover version of the Warren G and Nate Dogg track ‘Regulate.’