It’s been a while since I have looked at a Celtic Connections programme and not seen at least one Lost Map artist on there. It felt only right to bill two artists, one with a new album out and another with an album due oh so soon, on the second night of the festival in Glasgow’s East End, in the majestic St Lukes. Recently signed to Memphis Industries, Rozi Plain displayed her loyalty and friendship with previous label, Lost Map, supporting Johnny Lynch, AKA Pictish Trail, who is dropping Thumb World on 21st February. Sadly there were no advance copies for sale at this event.
Opening with Quiz, Rozi Plain and band went in full Boost mode, highlighting the longevity of this stunning recent offering from Rozi. The Gap, Conditions, Swing Shut, Symmetrical all remind us of the boost that her 2019 LP gave the music industry. Those wholesome lyrics that actually speak a sense of humanity along with Jamie Whitby Coles’ concise drumming and Gerard Black’s distinguished falsetto vocals all offer up a wonderfully sedate support for Pictish Trail’s jumpsuit party. Polishing it all off with a fine dose of Actually, which was released via Lost Map, Rozi predictably knocked it right out of the park. A Dark Park perhaps.
Pictish Trail kicked his set off as headliner for the evening with a couple of well-loved, known tracks, Michael Rocket and a party-starting Dead Connection. With a new album imminently forthcoming, there was the expected plug of new stuff, which was pretty well received. Lead Balloon got my attention, synth and percussion fused to create a notable track with novel elements to add to his Thumb World. Well, that and the full green jumpsuit attire that PT and band adhered to. Far Gone and Afterlife propelled the gig into full party mode, before we got a hint of Silver Columns (his previous project with Adem) and Romeo Taylor taking the stage for the remarkable Kingdom of Scotland. And with this finish you may well have presumed it over, but for the hardcore Pictish Trail fans, it was a delight, as the music was overflowing. With a request for the lights to be dimmed, the thread of glowsticks or UV hung around his jumpsuit lit up, suggestive of the personified party that is Johnny Lynch. The music did not speak otherwise and his enthusiasm to hit Burns night mode saw the party end in full swing.
Thumb World is out on 21st February, via Fire Records