Outside the window of Johnny Lynch’s bothy-cum-studio on the island of Eigg, the sky is slate grey over the Lower Minch and waves are crashing against distant cliffs. It’s a typically Hebridean vista and one which Lynch never tires of. You can check it out, too, since Lynch has recorded a stay-at-home performance of his new single Double Sided exclusively for scotsman.com - the first of our new Scotsman Sessions series.
“I wrote this song on a synthesizer and drum machine, so it was nice to transpose it to guitar – I’ve never played it like this before!” says Lynch, who has traded under the name Pictish Trail for the last 18 years.
Lynch has lived on Eigg since 2013 – before that he was based in the equally picturesque Fife fishing village of Anstruther, where he co-ran Fence Records with Kenny “King Creosote” Anderson. When he hopped over to the other side of the country, he set up his own label, the eclectic cottage industry that is Lost Map, and its sister festival Howlin’ Fling which takes place biennially in July.
Lynch has also set up a musicians’ residency on the island, where the likes of Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle, Rachel Aggs of Sacred Paws and Rozi Plain have already hunkered down in the bijou St Franny’s Bothan to write and record for Lost Map’s Visitations series.
As coronavirus alters everyday life for everyone, the residents of Eigg are ahead of the game when it comes to looking out for each other. “I get emails in every day from people on the island asking, say, ‘has anybody get a bag of cement?’” says Lynch. “You’re interacting with people on a local level who you wouldn’t ordinarily chat to – small things like that brings a community together. I enjoy living here for that reason.”
PICTISH TRAIL - RESCHEDULED DATES - FULL BAND UK TOUR - 2021
Tue 23 Mar 2021, BIRMINGHAM, Hare & Hounds 2
Wed 24 Mar 2021, GUILDFORD, Boileroom
Thu 25 Mar 2021, CARDIFF, Clwb Ifor Bach
Fri 26 Mar 2021, BRISTOL, Louisiana
Sat 27 Mar 2021, LONDON, Omeara
Sun 28 Mar 2021, BRIGHTON, The Hope & Ruin
Tue 30 Mar 2021, NOTTINGHAM, Bodega
Wed 31 Mar 2021, HEBDEN BRIDGE, Trades Club
Thu 01 Apr 2021, NEWCASTLE, Cluny
Fri 02 Apr 2021, MANCHESTER, Gullivers
Sat 03 Apr 2021, LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club
Thu 08 Apr 2021, STIRLING, Tolbooth
Fri 09 Apr 2021, DUNDEE, Beat Generator
Sat 10 Apr 2021, EDINBURGH, Queens Hall
Sun 11 Apr 2021, ABERDEEN, Lemon Tree