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Mull Historical Society

Melkweg, Amsterdam, July 2002

Thanks to Paul McCartney we've probably all heard of the Mull of Kintyre, a small stretch of land lying off the west coast of Scotland. Well, if you head due north of there you'll come across another wee island that's soon to be known as the Mull of MacIntyre. Mull, a short ferry trip from the seaside town of Oban, is not just our Celtic neighbours version of Craggy Island, it's also the home of one Colin MacIntyre - the brains and brawn behind Mull Historical Society.

mull historical societyRight then, taking into consideration their rather whacky name and of course the cover of their debut album, Loss, which features a dog sporting a coiffed doo-wop hairdo and you'll understand my surprise when they took took to Amsterdam's Melkweg stage looking?well, normal. Apart from the bowl-headed bassist that is, who makes The Hives equivalent look like the quintessential rock star.

Enough of that, from the opener  'Public Service Announcer' it was clear that what we had here was a shit-hot garage band-raw, nubile and efficiently odd. The refreshing thing about these guys is that they've managed to avoid any of the spit 'n polish that being signed to a major usually brings. It's not all sumptuously unkempt either, MacIntyre's unfrilled vocals and punchy piano-lines provide the thrust for 'Only I' and 'I Tried', two straight-up indie-pop gems that emerge as the real crowd-pleasers among the faithful tonight. 'This Is Not Who We Were' and 'Barcode Bypass' may well be more subtle but they still carry a melody tasty enough to cross the studio/stage divide.

By the end we're all offered membership to the wonderful Mull Historical Society because after all, "the Mull Historical Society is here for you and me."

Frank McNally