Exposure: The Pictish Trail

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The Pictish Trail

The Pictish Trail - Winter

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By day, Johnny Lynch is one of the driving forces (alongside Kenny ‘King Creosote’ Anderson) behind Fife’s much-loved folk-pop label Fence. By night, the Cellardyke lad is building an ever-more-solid reputation as one of the imprint’s most recognisable names, The Pictish Trail.

What have you been up to lately?

My debut album proper Secret Soundz came out in September, although I was selling it at tour dates and festivals over the summer. Since then, I’ve been on an acoustic tour with a girl called Rozi Plain, who also has a new album out on Fence. We did the tour by train, just carrying our stuff in backpacks, which was the cheapest way of doing it – buy the tickets in advance, it costs about £5 a trip, and it makes sure you arrive everywhere on time.

How busy has Fence been recently?

Quite a bit in the past wee while. We had my album in September, Rozi’s in October, then one by King Creosote and HMS Ginafore in November. There have been quite a few singles in that time as well, and we’ve also just got back a copy of the new album by The Red Well. That’s out in February. We run the label from a wee back office in my house, doing all our own distribution and sending out orders from the web shop.

So it’s a full-time job?

It’s a bit more than that, actually! I’ve got my girlfriend helping out with all the packing now, she should be on the payroll (laughs).

In that case, does making your own music almost feel like the secondary concern?

I guess it kind of did for a while, although that’s just because I was so busy with the King Creosote stuff (Lynch is in Anderson’s backing band). Last year we toured non-stop for about five or six months, we supported Tunstall (ie KT, sometime Fence affiliate) and Squeeze, and we did a run of the festivals. So it wasn’t until early this year I was able to actually get on with my own album. I’ve released one album and a couple of mini-albums before, a few singles and a couple of compilation tracks too, but these were all CDRs in hand-made packaging which we brought out on Fence. That’s why Secret Soundz is the debut album, as far as I’m concerned.

What have you got planned for the future?

A bunch of projects. I’ve been writing with the singer-songwriter Adem for the last six months, we’re doing an electro-pop album which is planned for early next year. Adem and I have known each other for three or four years, I played in his band for a while and he’s played a few Home Games (Fence’s Anstruther-based boutique festival). Myself, Kenny and James Yorkston are also making a record together as The Three Crows, so I’m writing more music than I ever have, really.

The Pictish Trail plays King Tut’s, Glasgow, Tue 9 Dec.

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