Music review: Pictish Trail

Johnny Lynch (aka Pictish Trail )
Johnny Lynch (aka Pictish Trail )
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“Welcome to my greenhouse,” ad-libbed Johnny Lynch, casting his gaze around the beautiful, recently renovated Barras Art and Design Centre, a large stone and glass industrial shed around the back of the Barrowlands. “We had sold over a thousand tickets, but there were a lot of returns when I lost the SAY Award…”

Barras Art And Design, Glasgow ****

Yet the other evening’s Scottish Album of the Year Award hadn’t been a defeat for Lynch, who found himself taking tenth place on the shortlist through overwhelming support via the public vote. Nor is the album for which he was nominated anything but a triumph.

His typically raconteurish between-song delivery here was typical of a man who’s used to playing the gregarious host, either of his Lost Map label or the Howlin’ Fling festival on his home island, Eigg, yet Future Echoes is an atypically poignant and retrospective electronic pop record.

Its tracklist contributed some of the highlights here, with Lynch and his five-piece band bringing one of the most compulsive choruses he’s ever written in the taut Dead Connection, a dub-pop tribute to the Coen Brothers in Far Gone (Don’t Leave), and a solo spot by Lynch which allowed him to show off a vocal which reminds of Nick Drake.

From the spacey Beach Boys harmonies of Afterlife to a catalogue of favourites which included Winter Home Disco and Browbeaten, it was a set which emphasised the breadth of his often underrated talents.

DAVID POLLOCK