The Pictish Trail

We chat to songwriter and label boss Johnny Lynch, aka The Pictish Trail, about his his attraction to all things psychedelic and his longstanding commitment to the wonky indie-folk cause.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 26 Sep 2014
  • min read
Despite his endless enthusiasm and spritely songwriting, Johnny Lynch, aka The Pictish Trail, has earned his musical stripes through years of hard graft and devotion to the cause.

Having run the hugely influential Fence Records from 2003 to 2013, there’s not much he doesn’t know about the labyrinthine worlds of psychedelia, strung-out folk and homespun pop.

The Fife-based label and collective had already spawned the all-conquering Beta Band, King Creosote (label founder) and KT Tunstall by the time Johnny joined, and was basking in the success these now major label acts were reaping.

Meanwhile Johnny looked after the smaller acts including his own Pictish Trail project, Lone Pigeon, Rozi Plain and James Yorkston, who continued to imbue the label’s off-kilter indie-folk agenda.

After a decade of cutting out photocopied album artwork, spray painting CD sleeves and organising ramshackle all-day gigs at remote pubs along the east coast of Scotland, Johnny quit.

He now heads his own Lost Map imprint, which boasts a string of beautifully crafted psychedelic releases, including his own gentle opus Secret Soundz Vol 2.

Other notable releases include eagleowl’s This Silent Year LP and Glasgow band Tuff Love’s Junk EP, which echoes the innocence of early Postcard Record singles.

We chatted to him backstage at Glastonbury Festival earlier this year about his attraction to all things psychedelic and his relocation to the remote island of Eigg. We also hear about his work with Welsh songwriter Sweet Baboo (upcoming joint tour dates listed below) and learn why he pilfered Connan Mockasin’s chorus pedal effect for his latest album.

We hope you enjoy this forgotten vid from the M archives!

Also, check out our email chat with Johnny here.

Upcoming tour dates with Sweet Baboo:
28 November: Glee Club, Birmingham
29 November: The Haunt, Brighton
30 November: Talking Heads, Southampton
1 December: Colston Hall, Bristol
2 December: The Greystones, Sheffield
3 December: Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
6 December: Duke of Clarence, Cardiff
9 December: The Musician, Leicester
10 December: The Basement, York
11 December: Gullivers, Manchester