Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

If you haven't read the Coffee With A Rockstar interview we conducted with Colin MacIntyre {who is the Mull Historical Society as Sam Beam is Iron and Wine} or my T in the Park blip on him, then you may be slightly unaware the significance of the situation at hand — that being that Mull Historical Society played a show in Seattle… in the Green Room (!).

Yes, the same Mull Historical Society from the main stage of T in the Park, the brit-press indie darling, chart-topper singer-songwriter with two respectable solidly exemplary albums, heartthrob of a fellow — played the Green Room!

The Green Room — intimate show venue, or Denny's diner? You tell me…

Luckily, the night's superstar performance by this talented hottie crooner erased all traces of Moons Over My Hammy, and instead had me contemplating my not-igLiz-condoned "Mull Historical Society is to Fleetwood Mac" observations. Dude — he totally sounds like Lindsey Buckingham. I'm not crazy!!

He opened the set with "The Final Arrears" — a perfectly-perfect little pop ballad, and tell me the vocals in that song don't sound like "Second Hand News" and I'll… um, I'll happily listen to the new Mull Historical Society CD "Us" one more time and tell you again that he does. Yep, that's what I'll do. "Won't you lay me down in tall grass, and let me do my stuff?" 

Mull Historical Society. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Ok, I am not going to argue the point either way… because, I can see where you are coming from… but, I see his sound more as a combination of comfortable harmonies mixed with a mish-mash of classically-influenced melodies. A bit of Baroque and BBC-Radio 1's Alternative Station melded with the adventurousness of the Flaming Lips and Radiohead. The end result being a complex mix you can sing along with, while still finding intriguing keyboard, string and guitar bursts.

In tonight's live performance he presented a set of new {"The Supermarket Strikes Back" and "Am I Wrong" from his recent Us}, old {"Animal Cannabis" and "Public Service Announcer" from his first album Loss} and borrowed {"Motion Picture Soundtrack" from Radiohead's Kid-A} songs as toned down versions of their recorded selves. It was just Colin (on guitar and vocals) and a friend on keyboards. With such a minimalist set up performing elaborate songs, the sound took an elegantly toned down direction and illustrated his undeniable talent for songwriting.

Mull Historical Society. Photo by Ryan Schierling.His voice sounded extraordinary. He's so earnest about his talents, and his voice so tasty-flavored, like organic fruits — full of juicy essences that are as pure as nature, simultaneously as nourishing as they are delectable. I wasn't the only one with the taste metaphors… our imaginary friend Kelly commented that Colin/Mull reminded her of butterscotch candies — warm and creamy, filling and crunchy and sweet. Hmm, Colin reminded us of fruit and candy. Go figure.

Colin himself reminded me much of his music — winsome, charming, romantic, wholesome and heartfelt.

You know when you go on a first date with someone, and you already know he's cute and well-groomed and wears nice shoes…? And then he brings you flowers you sit down with him and realize he not only has lovely table manners and outstanding knowledge about fine wine, but also that he's brilliant, witty, expressive, kind, he smells really good, he holds eye contact well, and actually asks questions about you. Then — just when he pays for the tab and holds the door open for you and walks you to your door and you find yourself thinking he might be a little *too* squeaky clean, too viceless and perfect to actually date — he lays this big super-surprise passionate kiss on you, grins a wicked grin, and leaves you speechless on your stoop, too stunned to stick the key in the keyhole.

Then he calls you the next day.

That's what the Mull Historical Society sounds like to me — technically so clear, vocally so earnest, emotionally so honest — but just when you think it's going to squeak too clean, his music gives you a wink of raw sensuality that lets you know that while you know your mother would love to meet him, you'd still want to take him home afterwards.

And he offered donuts from Top Pot

And his tour t-shirts were designed by his 8 year-old niece. How cute is that?

I love my Mull Historical Society t-shirt. A fine remnant of a good first date… um, I mean, indie-rock show at Dennys with my mother and Lindsey Buckingham. Or something like that (Scottish accents give me amnesia).

Ah yes, a cool t-shirt, a donut, and a slew of interesting songs sung to me (ok… us) by a genuine, witty, humble, and talented singer-songwriting Scotsman.

A perfect date indeed.