Celtic Connections: Lost Map presents Pictish Trail and Rozi Plain (4 stars)

This article is from 2020

Celtic Connections: Lost Map presents Pictish Trail and Rozi Plain

Lost Map double bill for Celtic Connections is an eccentric triumph

There's an enormous amount of bonhomie tonight surrounding Lost Map artists Rozi Plain and Pictish Trail, as well there should be. Both acts share a sonic experimentation and fusion of genres, yet there is an immediacy to their music, as well as a cheeky, off-the-wall humour.

Rozi Plain, also known as singer and multi-instrumentalist Rosalind Leyden, makes otherworldly, post-folk sounds with a sea shanty ebb and flow to the rhythms. Rozi's voice is at once childlike and atavistic, as evinced by the quiet eeriness of 'Dark Park'. Rachel Horwood's harmonies with her are absolutely bewitching, and 'Actually' has more intensity live than its chiming recorded version. They increasingly bare their teeth, after a gentle start, and the crowd eat them up.

Like a space technician, Johnny Lynch, aka Pictish Trail, is as eccentric as ever in his UV-lit wire covered jumpsuit. When not gently ribbing the band members and audience, Lynch's skewed stew of folk-rock, electro and Krautrock is triumphant. Even new songs from forthcoming album Thumb World are greeted like old friends. 'Slow Memories' has an almost dream-pop haze and 'Lead Balloon' is perfect kaleidoscopic pop.

Older songs feel epic and more expansive. Opener 'Michael Rocket' gurgles with Radiophonic Workshop sci-fi synths. Meanwhile, fan favourite 'Turning Back', which has shades of Bjork's 'Violently Happy' in its dancefloor pulse, brings a kind of surreal ceilidh rave to the venue. By now Lynch has jumped into the crowd, and is, bizarrely, doing an impromptu do-si-do with most of the people in the front row. It's hilarious, and impossible to resist. The beaming faces and hands in the air sum up the atmosphere: this euphoric double bill is the perfect start to Celtic Connections.

Reviewed at St Luke's, Glasgow.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Celtic Connections

Glasgow's annual folk, roots, indie, world and traditional music festival celebrates the links between Celtic music and cultures across the globe, featuring ceilidhs, workshops, talks, dancing, art exhibitions, and free events.

Various venues: Glasgow

Fri 21 Jan

Times & prices vary / 0141 353 8000

Sat 22 Jan

Times & prices vary / 0141 353 8000

Sun 23 Jan

Times & prices vary / 0141 353 8000

…and 14 more dates until 6 Feb