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imp present: The Pictish Trail + Rozi Plain + Lazy Sheepdog @ The Tunnels

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interesting music promotions present


Thursday 25th September 2008

The Tunnels (Room 2), Carnegies Brae, Aberdeen AB10 1BF. Phone 01224 211121

Doors 8pm

Tickets 7+bf in adv / 9 on door

Available from One-Up Records, Belmont Street, Aberdeen. Phone (01224) 642662 or http://www.ticketweb.co.uk





You know this guy by now, eh? With a previous imp headlining show at the Tunnels in November last year and a not-so-long-ago performance at The Lemon Tree re-opening weekend with his left hand man King Creosote, Johnny Lynchs live reputation as The Pictish Trail is gathering momentum and plaudits in equal measure.

When hes not busy running Fence Records, taking the lead axeman role in the KC band or watching J.Mascis vids on YouTube, he spends his time fronting his own Fence Collective supergroup, armed with an array of hypnotic folk-drone electro-psych-rock gems primed to make you move in mysterious ways. O-o-oh.

In this stripped-down (to his pants) performance, PT will stir your loins with warm, welcoming tales, keyboard odysseys, acoustic neo-folk rumblings and all manner of undeniable oddball noises. Hell maybe have a special guest with him and will also try and sell you his new album Secret Soundz Vol 1, the chancer!

a sound comparable to Hot Chip-meets-Beta Band, with a dynamite voice thrown in. (The List)

a brilliant collection of songs which blend warm electronic instrumentation with guitars and Mr Lynchs distinctive vocal talent. (Words Fail Me Now - Track of the Month, The Scotsman)

The album is a strolling, home-made blend of acoustic pop and electronica, resoundingly rural and effortlessly immediate. (Clash Magazine, August 2008)




Rozi Plain thinks that guitar tuner pedals are for losers. She works on a ferry in Bristol, she's pretty good at doing impressions of people's voices, and she produces incredibly lo-fi folk-dirges that stick in your head for days. Her new album Inside Over Here will be released by FENCE later this year. Remember her stunning Aberdeen debut at Peacock last October with Francois and the Atlas Mountains? Yeah? Well this will be even better

She possesses a voice that somehow sounds like it's singing just for you, and her songs shine in your eyes and on your cheekbones like permanent summer sun. Perfect. (Fence Records)





Lazy Sheepdog is Pete McConville with acoustic guitar. Pete is a confused beardy sleep-on-beaches-tree-talking-thought-filled-grumpy-morning-sandal-strolling-dust-scuff-pavment-staring singer*lad. Expect lo-fi clicks, pings, drums, strums and a quiet voice quivering.


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  • 1 month later...

four star review in todays Scotsman...

Album reviews: Manda Rin | The Pictish Trail | Calexico | Britten: Piano Concerto | Howard Skempton | Curios | Tom McConville | Lakshmi Shankar | The Rough Guide to Turkish Caf - The Scotsman



FENCE, 12.99

"SORRY it's taken me a while," apologises Pictish Trail mainman Johnny Lynch on the sleeve of his about-bleedin'-time full-length solo album. Lynch is King Creosote's trusty sideman at Fence Records HQ in Anstruther, so he tends to get distracted facilitating other Fence releases and the annual Fence Homegame.

But at least he is not short of musician buddies to lend a hand. Members of The Earlies help flesh out Into The Smoke into an electro-tinged rampage and Lynch toys with overwrought Bright Eyes-style angst on Words Fail Me Now, but mostly Secret Soundz is a collection of lo-fi, intimate, routinely lovely introspection.

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Here's all the info about Rozi's debut album on Fence - I imagine you'll be able to get it at this gig prior to official release.

Fence Records / Release Details



INSIDE OVER HERE is Rozi Plains stunning debut album; ten songs that capture the burnt haze of endless summers; ten songs that ebb and flow woozily, washing like the tide over your feet; ten songs that showcase an engaging, fresh new voice in British songwriting.

Rozis ethereal, breathy vocal takes centre stage - harmonising over itself, without need for reverbs, or studio frills. Clarinet, saxophone, accordion, banjo, soft-percussion and drums each play a supporting role - but, often, the voice is accompanied only by itself and a guitar. The bare-yet-lighthearted openness of these recordings might elicit comparison with certain American songwriters such as Little Wings or Jason Molina (Songs Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co.); indeed Rozis voice shares a fragile modesty and emotive keel with these artists, whilst asserting an identity all of its own.

An album that does not apologise for spontaneitys sake, INSIDE OVER HERE contains some of the most honest recordings in the Fence Records canon. Songs practically inhabit the rooms within which they were recorded, bouncing around the four walls; they sway back and forth with the crackling hiss of tape and creak of floorboards on opening track Lets Go; they jauntily click, purr and whistle on the banjo-led Knives and Forks; they slide and squeak over acoustic guitar strings on Foot Out.

The fractured language of INSIDE OVER HERE is similarly playful; lyrically, there is recurring sense of wide-eyed wonderment and discovery. The very fabric of words, their texture and measure, are preserved here - free from clutter and babble. In this respect, Rozi breaks free of the stereotypical singer-songwriter mould - sharing much in common with the dislocated lyrical articulation of Talk Talks Mark Hollis, or Cocteau Twins Liz Fraser. Songs such as 360 or Want For No One exemplify this detached state, opting for sparse, delicate phrasing and stripped-back arrangements as opposed to a verbose and forced expression.

Songs were recorded in small household rooms by Gordon Anderson (aka The Lone Pigeon, and front-man with The Aliens), his brother Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) up in Fife, by Rozi herself, her friend Hector and by her brother Sam, in who's bathroom based studio in Bristol the whole thing was mixed and assembled.

1. Let's Go

2. Stolen Shark

3. Knives & Forks

4. Foot Out

5. Barbs & Velcro

6. 360

7. RoofRookCrookCrow

8. Want No One

9. The Post

10. Fruit

Released: 6 October 2008

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PT feature in The Scotsman...

Climbing the Fence - Scotsman.com Living

Climbing the Fence

Published Date: 06 September 2008


"HAVE YOU HEARD THE PICTISH Trail's album? It's amazing, really, really brilliant."

The person raving to me about The Pictish Trail, aka singer-songwriter Johnny Lynch, is none other than KT Tunstall, sitting backstage at the Alhambra in Dunfermline before the gig and enthusing about her handpicked support act.

Tunstall knows Lynch through the Fence Collective, the eclectic assortment of musicians based in the East Neuk of Fife. She was part of that nascent scene in the late 1990s before moving to London, and Lynch is now second in command of both the collective and its affiliated label, Fence Records, dealing with all the day-to-day running of the business. Until recently, Lynch has been so busy running the label, organising gigs and festivals and playing guitar for Fence's nominal leader King Creosote and other Fence acts that he hasn't found time to dedicate to his own music.

That's about to change. His debut album, Secret Soundz Vol 1, is out next week and he's in the middle of a whirlwind of gigs, radio sessions and promotional work which is seeing his stock rising by the day.

Backstage at the Alhambra, the 26-year-old is relaxed, showing no nerves about the fact that he has to get on stage in an hour in front of 1,700 Tunstall fans . It may help that his band is effectively The Fence Allstars, with both King Creosote and Domino-signed James Yorkston backing him up.

Lynch got here by a curious route. He was brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, but his family moved to America when he was a teenager, and it was only then that he really got into music only not American music. "When I was living in Connecticut, I used to go to this record store called Secret Sounds that sold a lot of import stuff," he says. "And that's where I was first introduced to The Beta Band, The Delgados, Belle and Sebastian and Mogwai, a lot of Scottish music.

"As soon as I heard that first Beta Band record, I thought, 'Oh man, I have to be where this thing is'. I was applying for colleges at the time, so I applied for St Andrews and got in. Within a week of being in town, I saw Kenny Anderson performing in a local pub with his brothers Gordon and Een. They were doing this amazing harmonising, playing great songs, and at the end of the night they went into She's the One by The Beta Band. It was only later I found out that Gordon had been in The Beta Band. I was blown away."

Soon he was recording his own material in his student digs. "Just being in that environment, seeing the Fence members play each week, that was totally inspiring. I thought I might as well give this guy Kenny a tape of my stuff, and we just stayed in touch. When I finished uni I didn't know what to do, and Kenny asked if I wanted to help to organise gigs. We started doing regular nights in the Ship Tavern in Anstruther, and it's all just grown amazingly from there."

Lynch's own music has so far been a well-kept secret among Fence aficionados, but Secret Soundz Vol 1 will change that. An inspired debut, it's also quite a surprise considering Fence's reputation for folk-tinged melancholy. There is still an element of guitar strumminess, but the album offers a whole lot more. Weird electronic instrumentals sit alongside epic rock tunes, funky dance tracks nestle next to hypnotic drone-folk. It's all infused with style and wit, tapping into the knockabout geekiness that has made successes of the likes of The Beta Band, Beck and more recently Hot Chip.

Lynch says all three acts are major influences, and that he set out to make his debut idiosyncratic and quirky. It's both those things, yet it's also mainstream and marketable. "I'd bore myself if I did a record from start to finish that didn't have some weird, crazy s*** in it," he laughs. "That's a direct influence from people like Beck, or that last Hot Chip record. It was a total mess of songs, things that don't sit together, but because of that you're forced to listen to them and discover they're great songs on their own merit."

Live, Lynch is just as likely to pitch up alone with an acoustic guitar, or keyboard and sampler, as he is to arrive with a full rock band, or with just King Creosote's accordion for company. For this Tunstall show, his six-piece band often turn the gentler grooves of the album into swaggering rock beats. "I think there's a concerted effort to make it sound different live from the record. We've never rehearsed any of the songs properly, I've just given the rest of them the recordings and they've worked out what they can do around it. That's how a lot of Fence bands work anyway." He lets out a chuckle. "We haven't had a stinker yet, anyway. Famous last words."

Lynch tends to play down The Pictish Trail with respect to the Fence Collective as a whole which is charming, though I wonder if a bit more selfishness wouldn't do his career the world of good. The first artist he named as an influence was King Creosote, followed by several other Fence acts but you get the feeling he's just being honest.

"When I get sent new recordings from one of the bands or artists associated with Fence, that totally inspires me," he says. "The collective is still evolving, we're always bringing in more bands and nurturing existing bands, having them try to do new things. Everyone's egging each other on, and that brings out the best in all of us, which is how music should be, isn't it?"

Secret Soundz Vol 1 is released on Monday on Fence Records. The Pictish Trail play The Caves, Edinburgh, 17 September; AIA Hall, Anstruther, 21 September; The Tunnels, Aberdeen, 25 September; and Captain's Rest, Glasgow, 26 September.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey...look! It's just me on this thread. Again...

Pictish feature from The Skinny.

The Pictish Trail - A Powerhouse of Funk :: The Skinny

Perfectly representing the organic mix of traditional and electronic instrumentation with quality songwriting and unselfconscious experimentation that characterises the output of the Fence Collective is Secret Soundz Vol.1, the first long-player from The Pictish Trail aka Johnny Lynch

Born and raised in Auld Reekie before moving to the US as a teenager (where he became a big fan of the likes of Beck and Pavement), Johnny Lynch was drawn back to study at St. Andrews University by a love of the Beta Band and Belle & Sebastian, and it wasn't long before he made a fateful encounter with Fence founder Kenny Anderson aka King Creosote. "Kenny used to play pub shows in St. Andrews and they'd be three hours long with different songs every time. I got the Beta Band connection when I saw him and his brothers singing She's The One, which Gordon (aka The Lone Pigeon and lead songwriter of The Aliens) had written. It was just amazing seeing that and being a fan of that band." And the rest is history.

Despite having released material for years, Secret Soundz is the first "proper" album Johnny's released, but he's philosophical about his chances of breaking through into the mainstream. "Maybe people will buy the record and become new fans of Fence or maybe they'll just be sworn off buying anything by anyone Scottish ever again!" chuckles Johnny. "I know people were burnt really badly with Deacon Blue - they ruined it for us!" And although there are three excellent tracks that were recorded with The Earlies - who also played on Kenny's first major label album KC Rules OK - the album is extremely varied, and far removed from any predictable attempt to replicate his pal's winning formula. "I wanted it to be a kind of hodge-podge thing because a lot of the songs have been done at different recording sessions - I mean I respect bands who go and do a ten day stint somewhere and record a thing all at the same time - like Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska - but I wanted things a bit fucked up and a bit weird."

Far from the cabin fevered sparsities of The Boss, Secret Soundz is influenced by bands like Hot Chip - who Johnny admits to being a massive fan of - though he says that by comparison "the equipment I'm using is absolute shit!" There are also similarities to fellow Fence artists Barbarossa and Found, not surprisingly as Johnny, who runs Fence on a daily basis, was the man who signed both acts and still speaks excitedly about the pair.

"The Barbarossa record I got through Adem - we put out an acoustic EP, and then James had also recorded stuff with Simon Lord from [now defunct electro rock band] Simian, which was the sort of music I get really excited about - it's the same thing with Found because they've nailed proper songs with something that's a wee bit experimental but not for its own sake - it's not too arty, it's pop music. Man, you should hear the new Barbarossa stuff, he sounds like Justin Timberlake! He's done a few tracks with Diplo who did the MIA record."

So given his taste for genre-hopping artists, can we expect Secret Soundz Vol. 2 to be Pictish Trail's answer to Beck's infamous Midnite Vultures? "I'm not sure," Johnny ponders. "I might not even call the next record Vol.2. But I do love that album - powerhouse funk is an overlooked genre!"

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All reviews iv'e seen of PT's new album have been rather good & all

**** or 4/5

Also a stripped down sound will grand as far as i'm concered

That is true - all the reviews have been brilliant...

Vic Galloway has it as his album of the month and PT will be live in session on his show tonight (tomorrow morning) at midnight.

BBC - Radio 1 - Vic Galloway

Tune in folks...

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