Live review: The Pictish Trail, Cluny 2, Newcastle

GREAT GIG ... The Pictish Trail at the Cluny 2.
GREAT GIG ... The Pictish Trail at the Cluny 2.

THE Pictish Trail is essentially Johnny Lynch, who runs one of my favourite labels, Fence Records, with Kenny Anderson (aka King Creosote).

In the last few years I’ve tried, and failed, a few times to see Lynch in his native Scotland.

So when he announced a visit to the North East to tie in with the release of his latest album, Secret Soundz Vol. 2, I was over the moon.

He brought Fence signings Eagleowl with him, who I’d not heard before. I enjoyed their set but didn’t fall in love with the band.

Their songs are slow-burning lo-fi walls of sound that washed over me, rather than grabbing me. The room was packed by the time The Pictish Trail took to the stage and opened with a couple of acoustic songs.

They showed off Lynch’s pure voice beautifully, and, for anyone who hadn’t heard or seen him before, were the perfect introduction.

He then welcomed Eagleowl back on stage as his backing band, and they transformed his folky and minimalist electro songs into full-on rockers.

Sequels, The Handstand Crowd and Michael Rocket from the new album all stood out, while I Don’t Know Where To Begin from the first volume was also brilliant.

Lynch clearly loves performing for an admiring crowd, and also regaled us with perfect Reeves and Mortimer impressions in between songs.

My first Pictish Trail gig was superb, and there’s no way it will be my last.