The Pictish Trail Photo by Beth Chalmers

It’s been a busy year for Johnny Lynch a.k.a the Pictish Trail. Musically, the release of his third album ‘Future Echoes’ probably takes top billing but throughout the year he’s continued to expand the Lost Map universe with plenty of records and the traditional live extravaganzas. And he found the time to play plenty of gigs and play in Malcolm Middleton’s live band.

As you might expect, looking back on 2016, Johnny manages to find lots of good things:

Your Own Music

Your own musical highlight of the year?

Our interstelllllar Lost Map events are always the most rewarding moments of the year, for me.  The Howlin’ Fling festival on Eigg, and the Howlin’ Fringe Future Echoes launch party in Leith, were a lot of fun.  Months and months of hard work, and some of it really stressful … but it’s always worth it to see folk having a good time.  My favourite thing about music is getting everyone together – the Lost Map organising team, the bands, the audience, everyone.  When someone comes up to you during an event, blown away by an artist they’d never heard of before, that connection is amazing.  It’s what drives me to do more.

Favourite performance of the year?

My favourite Pictish performance this year was at Green Man Festival.  We were on 11pm on the Saturday night, had a packed crowd, and sent everyone up into the cosmos.  I made sure every band member was soaked in glitter before we went onstage.  The new album, Future Echoes, hadn’t been released at that point – so it was miiiind blowing to see so many folk dancing, and into it.  There’s no better feeling.

What’s the one thing that went wrong in 2016 you’d like to fix?

Should have had even more glitter.

What you gonna be doing next year?

Playing more live shows, running Lost Map, and trying to think of more ways to make people lose their shit.


The Pictish Trail Photo by Danny North

Others’ Music

Album of the year?

Excluding Lost Map stuff … it’s a joint tie between The Comet Is Coming’s Channel The Spirits, and Cate Le Bon’s Crab Day.  I’d highly recommend both of these.

Song of the year?

I can’t really pick one … but ‘Slow Dance’ by Georgia is on rotation in my brain a lot.

Best gig attended?

The after party at Sleazies following the Arab Strap reunion.  I can’t remember any of it, but I’m pretty sure I had a good time.

Best discovery in 2016?

In terms of Lost Map, discovering Ed Dowie’s music was a big one for me.  Outside of that, I’ve just been introduced to Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s music, which is a full-body sensory experience.

Who should we be looking out for in 2017?

Ed Dowie, I’m afraid.  He’s gunna getcha.  His album, The Uncle Sold, has been the thing I’ve listened to most all year, and I can’t wait for other folk to hear it when it comes out next month.


The Pictish Trail Photo by Beth Chalmers

Anything and Everything

Hero of 2016

Kye Plant, who makes a podcast called Feelin Weird. http://feelinweird.com/  If you feel weird, and want to hear other people talk about their experiences of feeling weird, I would strongly recommend giving this a listen.  It’s been really helpful for me.  You can start on any episode really.  I started on #7, and dotted around.  Put on your headphones, and walk around for an hour listening to this.

Villain of 2016 (M and F)

Blame culture.  Scapegoating.   My villains of 2016 are Mr Colin Scapegoat, and Ms. Patricia Blameface.

High point of 2016

Hanging out with my son.

Lowpoint of 2016

Crashing my car twice within a week.  My Clio was a write-off, as was my confidence  😦

Favourite book of 2016

I’m currently reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, which I’m enjoying a lot.  In my head, I’m pretending to read it in the voice Philip Seymour Hoffman gave Capote in the film, which is making it a lot more lighthearted than it is probably intended to be.

Favourite film of 2016

I’ve not seen many films this year.  I enjoyed Stranger Things a lot, which is like a big long film, innit?   Oh … i’ve just remembered, i saw the Oasis film, Supersonic.  It was amazing.  Really funny, and also thrilling to see a band get so big, so quickly.  It’s an incredible story.  I’m a big fan of those records, so it took me back to being a teenager.  

Most missed

My family, when I’m away.

Best piece of advice you gave or were given in 2016

I’ve been keeping a journal, recently, which was advised in the Feelin Weird podcast.   Writing 750 words a day, on 750words.com, every morning.   And the great thing about it, is that i’ve started giving myself advice within the journaling.  It’s been really helpful.

What place will you most associate with 2016

The inside of my now-deceased Renault Clio.  It was my first car, and one I spent a lot of time in.  I’m sad that it died.

Something to look forward to in 2017

Creating, helping, dancing.

The first in a new series of intimate all-day Lost Map events, entitled STRANGE INVITATION, takes place on Sunday January 29th at The Strongroom Bar in Shoreditch, London, as part of Independent Venue Week. More info.

If you haven’t heard it, here’s a taster for the fine ‘Future Echoes’ album available now from Lost Map:

Previously on MPT:

The Pictish Trail interview (15th May)

The Pictish Trail live in Dundee (26th May)