Mull Historical Society gigs were always more than just pop concerts. In fact Head Chieftain) McIntyre was often known to describe his performances as ‘meetings’ where all were welcome to take the floor. As a result the crowd felt like an integral part of the sound, the lyrics, the sheep baaing and that peculiar blue wigged dog that seems to accompany McIntyre everywhere. Without fail, encore ‘Mull Historical Society (come and join us)’ would rouse enough pride and passion to give any faltering Scottish football team that extra push through the group stages of a major championship. Tonight, there is no such encore.
Tonight the first encore is a rather lifeless solo acoustic effort entitled ‘I Have Been Burned’ that is instantly forgettable and completely overshadowed and undermined by the staccato punch of the tremendous ‘Tobermory Zoo’. Together with his rather unsubtle dig at C-list celebrities ‘`Famous for Being Famous’ and Supernatural-esq ditty ‘`You’re a Star’, McIntyre’s new songs leave his once fanatical supporters and members somewhat out in the cold. Writing and performing under his real name ‘Colin McIntyre’, there’s a real feeling that something’s missing, something’s been lost. Tonight it’s not the Colin McIntyre tunes that slap huge grins on our mugs, it’s (lost) tracks like ‘Peculiar’, ‘Barcode Bypass’ and ‘The Supermarket Strikes Back’, with their well observed lyricism and catchy pop melodies, that warm the heart. New tracks ‘`The Water’ and the Undertones influenced ‘Stalker’ have their moments but already they feel tired, lacking the energy of their predecessors. At their best they provide us with the jumpy pop melodies that made McIntyre such a superb Scottish export, but great tunes can’t always hide crude and lazy lyricism. Where once McIntyre wrote moving tributes to lost heroes (‘The Death of A Scientist’) he now seems content to write about Paris Hilton and Matt Willis’s latest feature in Heat.
A couple of years ago, McIntyre was the founder and chief raconteur of a fantastic wee society. Tonight you get the feeling he’s very much on his own.