Mull Historical Society “1952”
man standing against a brown brick wall

Mull Historical Society “1952”

MULL HISTORICAL SOCIETY is back with a brand new album: ‘In My Mind There’s A Room’. Released by the Xtra MIle Recordings label on 21 July, the first new material from Colin MacIntyre in five years will feature contributions from an all-star cohort of thirteen guest authors: Ian Rankin, Nick Hornby, Jacqueline Wilson, Val McDermid, Jennifer Clement (‘Widow Basquiat’), Booker-winning Sebastian Barry,  Alan Warner, 2021 US National Book Award-winner Jason Mott, Scottish poet laureates’ Jackie Kay and Liz Lochhead, and booker-shortlisted Stephen Kelman (‘Pigeon English’). His collaboration with Liz Lochhead, “1952”, can be heard today.

Mull Historical Society is the musical project of Colin MacIntyre – the multi-award-winning musician, producer, author for adults and children, and playwright. Writing music that is often personal and steeped in the tradition of his native island, yet with an adventurous spirit and outward-reaching appeal, over the last two decades his works have resonated with audiences both in the UK and all over the world.

In 2023, Mull is bringing his worlds of words and music together for the extraordinary new album ‘In My Mind There’s A Room’, Produced by MacIntyre. Across its fourteen songs, MacIntyre has enlisted an all-star cast of literary giants to contribute their own words about a special room that plays or has played a significant part in their lives. Using these words as the lyrics, Colin has then written the musical arrangements to create a 14 track album of personal and thoughtful songs. Rather fittingly, these songs were recorded in a room that holds a special place in Colin’s heart – his grandfather’s flat above the bank in Tobermory, Mull, which has since been turned into a fully-equipped recording studio.

The first of these tracks to be unveiled is ‘1952′, MacIntyre’s collaboration with arguably Scotland’s greatest living and most celebrated poet, Liz Lochhead, which is streaming everywhere today (9 June). Lochhead has been the distinctive female voice of Scotland for many years, was the second Makar — Scotland’s Poet Laureate — and has been publishing her work for six decades. She is a recipient of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. In ‘1952’ Lochhead writes for the first time about her very first room of her own that she moved into that year of the Coronation (resonating with the events of today) when she was four — living there until she was 18, when she left home for Glasgow School of Art in the Swinging 60’s. The song reflects her childhood reflections of this first room of her own, her fascination with books and seeing the world ‘upside down’, and name-checks authors such as Virginia Woolf.

Speaking about her memories of this room, Liz Lochhead reflects:

“This room was in the first home of their own my parents got after eight years of marriage and staying in their parents’ homes in overcrowded council houses in Lanarkshire. I slept in a cot with bars at the end of their bed till then, when I was four… And then this room of my own, a double bed and a whole new world emerged. It’s quite a visual thing, quite a rhyming thing.’

Lochhead also appears on the album track ‘Anaglypta’, on which she recites these memories in greater detail in her own distinctive voice, with the accompaniment of MacIntyre on piano.

Of working with Lochhead on “1952” and the wider ‘…Room’ project, Colin MacIntyre adds:

“It has been a great creative experience and challenge to work with all the authors’ original words and their ‘rooms’, and I was delighted to have Liz on board. I heard her on Desert Island Discs and was so moved about how she talked of her parents and her upbringing in the mining community. So it is a thrill to have her on the record — twice! One being on the more upbeat ‘1952’ — from her contribution originally titled ‘A Room of My Own’ — and then in the spoken word of ‘Anaglypta’, which she recited in my significant ‘room’ in Tobermory, in the room where my poet-grandfather wrote his words. So for me it has something of the ‘full circle’ about it.”

Mull Historical Society’s upcoming album ‘In My Mind There’s A Room’ is released on CD, vinyl and digital on 21st July 2023 on Xtra Mile Recordings. Produced by Colin MacIntyre, the album was recorded, Engineered and Mixed by Gordon MacIean, and features a cast of some of the UK’s leading musicians in their fields: Andy Samson, Donald Shaw, Camilla Pay, Sorren MacIean, Hannah Fisher, Phil Bancroft and more. With all songs written by Colin MacIntyre, the full list of author guest contributions are acknowledged in the tracklisting as follows:


  1. NOT ENOUGH SORRY – Jennifer Clement

  2. 1952 – Liz Lochhead

  3. WAKE UP SALLY – Alan Warner

  4. KELSHABEG – Sebastian Barry

  5. PANICKED FEATHERS – Nick Hornby

  6. THE RED FLAME DINER – Stephen Kelman

  7. SOMEBODY ELSE’S LIFE – Jacqueline Wilson


  9. SEEDS – James Robertson

  10. MELTWATER – Jackie Kay


  12. ROOM OF MASKS – Val McDermid

  13. ANAGLYPTA – Liz Lochhead

  14. MEMORIES OF MULL – Angus Macintyre

Appearing at literary festivals this summer including the Hay Festival, Borders Book Festival and others, confirmed dates so far are listed below. Standby for further headline shows from Mull Historical Society later this year.

Mull Historical Society / Colin McIntyre – 2023 Live dates

17th June – Borders Book Fest — with crime writer Val McDermid – (music & book)

29th July – MHS Belladrum

4th Aug – MHS Edinburgh Fringe @‌Summerhall

Sept – Wigtown Book Fest (music & book)

27th Oct – Tobermory Book Fest (music & book)

Over two decades on since his landmark debut, ‘Loss’, MacIntyre’s exceptional creative streak continues in what is already proving to be a busy year for MacIntyre, who released ‘Archaeology: Complete Recordings 2000-2004’, an 80-track 4-CD Bookset earlier this year, as well as** 20th & 21st anniversary reissues of his first 3 MHS albums, ‘Loss’, Us’ & ‘This Is Hope’ with sold-out shows to wide acclaim, he will also publish his 4th book, and debut Crime novel in a new Mull Mysteries Series, ‘When The Needle Drops’, in September.**

Mull Historical Society is the musical project of Colin MacIntyre. To date, MHS has released 8 acclaimed albums including two UK Top 20 albums, and four Top 40 singles. Colin has also collaborated with a range of artists including Irvine Welsh, Annie Lennox, Snow Patrol, King Creosote, Tony Benn (appearing in Benn’s famous Diaries) and has toured worldwide, including with REM, The Strokes, and Elbow. His debut novel ‘The Letters of Ivor Punch’ won the 2015 Edinburgh Book Festival First Book Award, and his memoir ‘Hometown Tales’ came out in 2018.  He was voted Scotland’s Top Creative Talent at the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards, as well as one of the Greatest Scottish Artists of All Time in a public poll. Over two decades on since his landmark debut, MacIntyre’s creative streak continues, with his new album ‘In My Mind There’s A Room’ landing on 21 July, via Xtra Mile Recordings.

-Official bio

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