Colin MacIntyre

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Colin MacIntyre
Dumfries, January 2014
Dumfries, January 2014
Background information
Also known asMull Historical Society, INK
Born (1971-04-08) 8 April 1971 (age 50)
OriginIsle of Mull, Scotland
Years active2000–present
Blanco Y Negro
Xtra Mile Recordings
Associated actsThe Reindeer Section

Colin MacIntyre (born 8 April 1971) is a Scottish musician and novelist. A singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, he has released five albums under the name Mull Historical Society[1] as well as two albums under his own name. His most successful album, Mull Historical Society's Us (2003), reached number 19 in the UK Albums Chart. His debut novel, The Letters of Ivor Punch, was published in 2015.

Early life and education[edit]

MacIntyre's father Kenny Macintyre was born in Oban then moved to Mull, an island off the west coast of Scotland. He was a bank clerk, a gift-shop operator and then BBC Scotland's Political Correspondent for ten years.[2][3] His paternal grandfather, Angus Macintyre, was a poet[4] and his brother Kenny Macintyre is a radio journalist for BBC Scotland Sport.[5]

MacIntyre was born on 8 April 1971[6] on Mull. He wanted to be a musician from a young age and grew up listening to his uncle's covers band. He formed a covers band of his own called Trax, later renamed Love Sick Zombies, while still at Tobermory Primary School.[7] He was influenced by his art teacher at Tobermory High School, and considered going to art school. He also attended Oban High School.[8] In the late 1980s he and his brother moved to Glasgow, where he attended Glasgow Caledonian University,[8] trained with Queen's Park F.C., worked for a stockbroker, and then for telephone company BT's 192 directory enquiries service for three years.[7][9]

Musical career[edit]

MacIntyre coined the name Mull Historical Society after seeing an advert for an organisation which has since changed its name to the Mull Historical and Archaeological Society.[10][11] His first album under the name, Loss in 2001, was inspired by his upbringing on Mull[5] and the sudden death of his father in 1999.[3] It contains samples from a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry and the waves in Calgary Bay in Mull.[5] Q magazine named Loss as one of its top 50 albums of 2001.[12] "Public Service Announcer" is about MacIntyre's time at BT, and is based on the rhythm of a telephone ring tone.[13] "Barcode Bypass" is about a small shopkeeper threatened by the supermarkets.[14] "Watching Xanadu", a song about watching the film Xanadu,[2] was included on STV's Scotland's Greatest Album as one of the top tracks of the 2000s.[15] In 2000-01 Mull Historical Society played support for Elbow and the Strokes,[2] and in 2002 for R.E.M., the Delgados and The Polyphonic Spree.[16] MacIntyre was named as "Scotland's Top Creative Talent" at the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards in 2002.[14]

The second album, Us, came out in 2003 to generally positive reviews;[17] NME called it "a joyous slice of orchestral prozac".[18] The track "The Supermarket Strikes Back" is a sequel to "Barcode Bypass" from Loss.[19][14] After the album his record label, Warners, dropped him.[20] The third Mull Historical Society album, This Is Hope, was released on B-Unique Records in 2004. It was inspired by a two-month visit to the United States, ending in New Orleans. One of its songs is about the death of David Kelly,[1] and the album also includes a recording of MacIntyre's grandmother.[20] The covers of Loss and This Is Hope, and several of the videos and stage sets from this era, feature 'The Giant Dog With The Wig', which MacIntyre created using MS Paint.[21][22] In January 2005, Mull Historical Society was voted the twelfth-greatest Scottish band of all time by The List magazine.[23]

MacIntyre released The Water under his own name in 2008. He had written the album in New York, his wife's home city.[4] It was produced by Nick Franglen from Lemon Jelly; MacIntyre had produced the first three albums himself.[24] The last track, "Pay Attention to the Human", features a poem written and performed by Tony Benn.[25][26] In 2009, Irvine Welsh used the track "You're a Star" from The Water in his comedy Good Arrows.[27] MacIntyre's fifth album Island, the second under his own name, was released in the UK in 2009. It features Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) on backing vocals on "Out Stealing Horses"[28] and was recorded in MacIntyre's old primary classroom in Tobermory.[29] In 2012, MacIntyre returned as Mull Historical Society for his sixth album City Awakenings, which is about London, New York and Glasgow.[30] In early 2014 MacIntyre gigged as Mull Historical Society again, playing Loss in its entirety, to promote the best-of album which was released in 2015.[5] In June 2014 MacIntyre's project INK released its first single, "Control".[31] Dear Satellite, a new Mull Historical Society record, was released in April 2016.[32]

Literary career[edit]

MacIntyre's first novel, The Letters of Ivor Punch, was published in May 2015 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. It is set on Mull.[33]



Year Information UK Albums Chart[34]
2001 Loss
  • Released: 15 October 2001
  • Artist: Mull Historical Society
2003 Us
  • Released: 3 March 2003
  • Artist: Mull Historical Society
2004 This Is Hope
  • Released: 19 July 2004
  • Artist: Mull Historical Society
2008 The Water
  • Released: 4 February 2008
  • Artist: Colin MacIntyre
2009 Island
  • Released: 6 July 2009
  • Artist: Colin MacIntyre
2012 City Awakenings
  • Released: 23 January 2012
  • Artist: Mull Historical Society
2016 Dear Satellite
  • Released: 8 April 2016
  • Artist: Mull Historical Society
2018 Wakelines
  • Released: 21 September 2018
  • Artist: Mull Historical Society


Year Information UK Albums Chart
2015 The Best of Mull Historical Society & Colin MacIntyre
  • Released: 27 April 2015
  • Artist: Mull Historical Society


Year Single UK Singles Chart Album
2000 "Barcode Bypass"
2001 "I Tried"
"Animal Cannabus"
2002 "Watching Xanadu"
2003 "The Final Arrears"
"Am I Wrong" / "It Takes More"
2004 "How 'Bout I Love You More"
This Is Hope
2007 "Stalker"
The Water
2008 "Famous for Being Famous"
"Be My Saviour"
"You're a Star"
2009 "Cape Wrath"
2012 "The Lights"
City Awakenings
"Must You Get Low"
"Must You Make Eyes At Me"
"Christmas is Here Again"
non-album single
2015 "Keep Falling"
The Best of Mull Historical Society & Colin MacIntyre
2016 "The Ballad of Ivor Punch"
Dear Satellite
"Sleepy Hollow"


  1. ^ a b "Fair islander". The Guardian. 30 July 2004. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "On top of the world From lowly support slots, Mull Historical Society are now on the brink of going global. John Williamson charts their rise". The Herald (Glasgow). 2 February 2002. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Lasting tribute to BBC journalist". BBC Online. 26 July 1999. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Rewriting history". The Scotsman. 30 January 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Mull Historical Society play Loss album at Celtic Connections at The Arches". STV. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  6. ^ "BBC - Music - Colin MacIntyre". BBC Online. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Off the beaten track - The Scotsman". The Scotsman. 14 December 2001. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Colin MacIntyre". Times Educational Supplement. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  9. ^ "MacIntyre undercover - The Scotsman". The Scotsman. 27 January 2003. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  10. ^ Battista, Anna (January 2002). "It's Not That Grim Up North: Interview with Mull Historical Society's Colin MacIntyre". Erasing Clouds. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  11. ^ Laurence, Alexander (24 January 2012). "The portable-infinite: Blast from The Past: Mull Historical Society". Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  12. ^ " magazine Recordings Of The Year". Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Mull Historical Society". The Guardian. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  14. ^ a b c "Why the rest is history". The Scotsman. 17 January 2003. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  15. ^ In a programme transmitted in November 2011; "Mull Historical Society; 00s; How The Panel Decided; Scotland's Greatest Album; STV Programmes". 25 October 2011. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  16. ^ "Mull Historical Society 'Am I Wrong?'". Crud Music. 22 May 2002. Archived from the original on 5 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  17. ^ "Us Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  18. ^ Jonze, Tim. "NME Album Reviews - Mull Historical Society : Us - NME.COM". NME. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  19. ^ "BBC - Manchester - Entertainment - Mull Historical Society - This Is Hope". BBC Online. 2 August 2004. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Time to Mull things over - The Scotsman". The Scotsman. 5 June 2004. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Mull Historical Society - biography, band news, gig listings and reviews. (412)". 2005. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  22. ^ Dungan, Jason (14 May 2002). "Dusted Reviews: Mull Historical Society - Loss". Dusted. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  23. ^ "The List". 1 January 2005. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  24. ^ "Hope springs eternal - The Scotsman". The Scotsman. 2 December 2006. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  25. ^ "Tony Benn, pop star - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. 7 February 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  26. ^ "House music: Tony Benn's debut solo album". The Independent. 25 March 2008. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  27. ^ "Colin Macintyre - You're A Star". Bollyfirst. 15 January 2009. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  28. ^ Murphy, Lauren (10 August 2009). "Colin MacIntyre - Island". Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  29. ^ "Album reviews: Colin MacIntyre; John McLeod; Acoustic Ladyland; Partisans; Chris Wood; Jerusalem - The Scotsman". The Scotsman. 5 July 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  30. ^ "Mull Historical Society: City Awakenings – review". The Guardian. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  31. ^ "INK". Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  32. ^ "Dear Satellite: Mull Historical Society -". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  33. ^ "W&N wins MacIntyre auction". The Bookseller. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  34. ^ "Chart Log UK 1994–2010 M – My Vitriol". Chart Log UK. Retrieved 29 January 2017.

External links[edit]