Spotlight On... Former Champ

Made up of members of Martha Ffion, Savage Mansion, Catholic Action and Secret Motorbikes, we shine a spotlight on Glasgow's latest supergroup, Former Champ

Feature by Tallah Brash | 04 Aug 2022
  • Former Champ

We always get a wee bit excited when a new supergroup forms; for us, there's just something warm and fuzzy about musicians coming together from different bands to make new works together. And that's exactly how we felt last week when an email arrived in our inbox from latest Scottish supergroup on the scene, Former Champ.

Former Champ is in no way a surprising concept, however. Two of its members, Martha Ffion's Claire McKay and Savage Mansion's Craig Angus are married after all, but it's still all very lovely and nice nonetheless. Alongside the happy couple, Andrew Macpherson (Savage Mansion, Catholic Action), Ryan Clark (Catholic Action) and Paul McGinness (Secret Motorbikes) complete the lineup, and this week the five have released their debut single, the supremely catchy Grenade, a sub-three minutes of gleaming guitar-led indie-pop. We shine a spotlight on the band to find out more.

The Skinny: You’re all in various other bands, so how did Former Champ come about? What inspired you to make music together?
Andrew Macpherson: Me, Clarky (Ryan Clark) and Paul went to school together; Claire met Craig at a Finnegan’s Wake book club and we all came together when Ryan did some plastering for the happy couple.
Claire McKay: We formed the band over pints at Ryan’s birthday at the Columba Club in Renfrew.
AM: He said there was a dress code so we all wore our best stuff – and then he turned up in a vest and sang Frank Sinatra songs most of the night.
Ryan Clark: Brilliant pint of Guinness in there.

You just released your debut single, Grenade, earlier in the week. Can you tell us what the song is about?
CM: We can’t tell you.
RC: The plasterer never reveals his secrets.

There are stories of you having gigged together already as Former Champ. Now that there’s an official release, what more can we expect?
AM: Stories.
CM: The gigs will keep happening. If you know you know.
RC: Keep grafting. We’ve got a bunch of other singles ready to go. Just waiting on Rough Trade to call.

Grenade is out now