ACSOM Reviews: One from the archive – Mull Historical Society at Celtic Connections

Who? Mull Historical Society
When? Thursday 24th January 2019
Where? Celtic Connections

Now in its 25th year, Celtic Connections has been warming up the opening weeks of January with its wide-ranging events and shows throughout Glasgow. From traditional folk and ceilidh nights to music acts from around the world, the festival brings a lively start to the year for music lovers. Thursday night, it was the turn of Mull Historical Society to take the stage at the Centre for Contemporary Arts on Sauchiehall Street.

Fronted by proud islander, Colin MacIntyre, Mull Historical Society dipped into their back catalogue of albums as well as the new release Wakelines to deliver a fantastic night’s entertainment for the cosily assembled fans in the CCA. Colin was joined on stage by a strings section, piano, drums and bass player. Bernard Butler, who produced the most recent album, completed the line-up as guitarist of the 7-piece band.

Listen to THE BLUEBELLS’ KEN MCCLUSKEY with A Celtic State of Mind here:

I first heard the songs of MHS 15 years ago when Colin joined Eddie Reader, Justin Currie and Blazing Fiddles on stage at the Royal Concert Hall for an unforgettable performance. Colin matched anything the more established Glasgow bards recited and shone brightest in my memory of that gig, but back to 2019 and 8 studio albums later, Colin is back on stage with his very own MHS.

As an author, playwright and songwriter Colin weaved his storytelling magic throughout the night. From 12 and 6-string acoustic to electric guitars, he orchestrated his arrangements with the rest of the band on stage creating a perfect celebration of his works. The new tracks blend in perfectly with those early hits and the sometimes fragile-sounding voice still lifts your spirit. Wakelines and Clementine provide the traditional MHS energy, while Little Bird and Somewhere in Scotland show the more sensitive vulnerability from the new album. Colin’s ability to integrate sounds to maximum effect are highlighted perfectly in Wetlands Urban Fox as the track is introduced by his late grandfather reading poetry, which continues throughout the track.

With the rest of the band taking a breather, Colin reads from his book to introduce another track from the new album 14 Year Old Boy, telling the story of the song and his early Christmas present of a Fender guitar from his father, which he then plays on stage.

All too quickly the night is heading into the final few songs of the set, fans breathe in the poignant Put Your Arms Around Me before the band finish the set with This is Not Who We Are and Peculiar. Then the lights come up, the doors open, and it’s time to leave. You can’t help but notice the wide demographics of the audience – young and old – all of whom positively buzzing after a fabulous night with our host.

Martin Donaldson

Watch A Celtic State of Mind at the Stevie Chalmers Auction here:

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