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

Join this Society and you're guaranteed alt-country brilliance...

An inspired synthesis of folksome fragility and sturdy pop muscle, Mull Historical Society are a puzzling proposition indeed. Those charmed by last year’s quaint debut single ‘Barcode Bypass’ may be surprised, if not shocked, by the Glaswegians’ live penchant for the more traditionally-hewn Big Tune.

And, certainly, the sanguine, hastily-strummed likes of ‘Strangeways’ and rousing new single ‘I Tried’ manage to smuggle in Travis-ish classicism under a more enigmatic, effects-doused cloak.

While the echoing vocals and twinkling keyboards that bathe the Society’s songs suggest a healthy knowledge of early ’70s country-rock (CSNY/The Eagles et al), the wistful other-worldliness that underpins their sound hints at more eccentric inspirations. Fragile-voiced singer Colin MacIntyre has cited the Scottish countryside as a creative spur and, certainly, there’s a pastoral elan that lends their velveteen folk-pop thing a nostalgic (though mercifully twee-free) elegance.

Best of all, however, is the foursome’s softly surreal sense of humour (‘Barcode Bypass’ wistfully tells the bathos-scented tale of a corner shop refusing to succumb to technological advances, while ‘Narrow Escape’ is, brilliantly, “about the death of a sheep on an aeroplane”) that punctures the accusations of self-importance that often blight their NAM-affiliated brethren. Deliciously heartfelt and irresistibly odd, this is one Society you’d be a fool not to join.

Sarah Dempster