These days it is a rarity to match the Oran Mor in Glasgow with a stage full of nuns and a preacher in a smock, despite its architecture, but with Friday nights Celtic Connections gig in the venue we were met with precisely that. Now don’t get me wrong; this smock was a vibrant array of colour and the preacher ridden with glitter and a baseball cap. This party was presented by none other Johnny Lynch, known to many as Pictish Trail, pulsating the nooks and crannies of Glasgow’s west end with his vivacious humour, costume and electronic beats.
With two albums, numerous mini-albums, EPs, and singles under his belt as The Pictish Trail, Mr Lynch has also moonlighted as one half of frenzied dance-pop duo Silver Columns with Adem and that side to him is transparent at this gig. Running Lost Map Records whimsically from the remote Isle of Eigg, his talent is fiercely ambitious and connections strong, as demonstrated at the Oran Mor.
Despite a brief failing in chords on coincidentally Words Fail Me Now, Lynch or Trail’s performance did not venture too far from flawless and what’s more, he managed to get the crowd warm, fuzzy and jiving before the curfew hit and the encore was done. Lyrically, vocally, the depth is there, and married with throbbing rhythmic electronic beats, this is a stunning performance from Lynch. Playing largely tracks from most recent album, Future Echoes, the energy was fierce and impactful. The nuns gracing the stage as backing vocals in the shape of Kid Canaveral’s Dave MacGregor and Kate Lazda, eagleowl’s Bartholomew Owl, as well as Laura Docherty, were a novel feat, fired up the crowd.
Winter Home Disco was a personal favourite, as I struggled to stay static throughout the majority of the set. Pictish Trail with the assistance of Suse Bear from Tuff Love, the habit-wearing Rides of Christ and several others on drums, guitar and violin, predictably had the crowd under his spell-binding combination of swelling, electronic music, heavenly riffs and flamboyant glittery attire.
Punctuating the evening with Silver Columns’ Brow Beaten, the Oran Mor was vibrating from toe-tapping and magical shapes. It would be safe to say that Pictish Trail would be warmly welcomed back at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival.
For more information on Pictish Trail and his upcoming gigs click here.
Celtic Connections 2017 is ongoing until 5th Feb.