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Mull Historical Society : Glasgow King Tut's Wah Wah Hut

Nimble-fingered pop collectors, prodding sticky beaks into strange corners and fiddling with the sounds that everyday folks leave behind.

Bring on the dancing horses. Or at least the moon-faced choristers, the bulky accordion prodder and the balding, beard-heavy brass section. For here are Mull Historical Society, and their community-spirited door policy is philanthropic to a fault. They may not sport the chunky knits and dour, dusty mitts that their name suggests, but the Society are nimble-fingered pop collectors in excelsis, prodding sticky beaks into strange corners and fiddling with the sounds that everyday folks leave behind.



Cheeky head Historian Colin MacIntyre, meanwhile, is the perfect foil for debut album 'Loss''s more emotionally desolate moments; joking with the crowd and interrupting songs in order to ask a Mull lackey how well the T-shirts are doing. He's the choirboy who smuggled disco into the weekly prayer meeting, the cassock-flaunting japester who planted dissent in the parson's sandwiches. 'Instead', consequently, manages to steal small-town resignation through pop's pearly gates ("Maybe I wasn't meant to be") while glitterball sparkler 'Watching Xanadu' is Pulp

the way God intended. Only with sad flutes. And Olivia Newton-John references. Obviously. But it's in 'Barcode Bypass' that all Historical roads merge into one heavenly trad-pop highway. By its swooning, angelic coda, MacIntyre, eyes wide shut and head bowed serenely, has an arm stretched high above him, his upturned palm pressed against the ceiling; a ruddy-cheeked Atlas serenading the stars.



At times, these fuss-free fancies may bide a little too long in Coldplay's onerous guesthouse (check 'I Tried''s "I'm determined to be a loser" refrain). But while their NAM brethren dwell on a largely egocentric plateau, only the good ship MHS has the potential to turn insularity and heartbreak into an arm-waving, terrace-rocking national pastime. Evidently, their loss is our gain.



Sarah Dempster

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