EP review – Grand Champ 1990

Grand Champ 1990 -‘Pressure Points EP’ (self-released)

There was sadness around Edinburgh and further afield when Scott Longmuir called time on The Last Battle a couple of years ago. They’d produced two brilliant albums of folk rock and it seemed a shame that they would be no more.

But a few months ago, news emerged of a track called ‘Sayonara’ which had only Scott Longmuir in common with the Last Battle. Working solo, he’d taken the name Grand Champ 1990 (he was a youth karate champion), and it prefaced this five track EP. The folk tag has been well and truly shed, and instead it has more of an electronica vibe.

So the first thing to say is that while ‘Sayonara’ starts off this release, it isn’t the best track on this EP. That might well be the brooding electronica-meets-shoegaze of ‘Look For Me’ although it’s a strong release as a whole. Indeed, that first track may possibly be the weakest track, the others feel rather more polished. Additionally, while it has an electronica vibe, it also evokes eighties (and beyond) giants like New Order and Depeche Mode, the dancier side of indie. Indeed, ‘Photocopies’ has a bass line that evokes Peter Hook and vocally he has never sounded so much like Bernard Sumner.

Sure, he may be finding his feet with this release, but it’s a strong debut. His debut live appearance, meanwhile, suggests that there are more tunes in the bag, and I look forward to both more live and studio exploration with interest.


The self-released Pressure Points EP is out now.


Presenting…Grand Champ 1990

Scott Longmuir, resident of the wider Edinburgh area, has already given us both three-piece Thieves In Suits, and then folk-rock group The Last Battle. The latter’s debut album Heart Of The Land, Soul Of The Sea I was privileged to put out on the label associated with this blog, 17 Seconds Records, in 2010. (My son recently pointed it out -‘That’s the album where you’re thanked, Dad!’)

That was then…and this is now. Scott’s latest musical project is Grand Champ 1990, which sees him working in more of an electronica vein under the name Grand Champ 1990. The first track to do the rounds is entitled ‘Sayonara’ (slightly ironic, as ‘Sayonara’ is Japanese for ‘Goodbye’ not ‘Hello’ but he’s actually a decent bloke, so we’ll let that pass. For now.)

This is taken from an EP, entitled Pressure Points, which will be released on September 21. Also featuring the tracks ‘A Big Love,’ ‘Photocopies,’ ‘Look For Me’ and ‘Lost Boys’ you can pre-order it here. Which would be a nice thing to do, no?

And, by the way, that is actually the man himself, back in his karate days…