Pennyblackmusic Presents: Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) - With Hector Gannet and Andy Thompson @The Water Rats, London, Saturday 25, May, 2024

Headlining are Johny Brown (Band of Holy Joy) With support from Hector Gannet And Andy Thompson
Hosted at the Water Rats London , Saturday 25th May, 2024. Doors open 7:30pm. First band on at 8:00pm; Admission £15 on the door or £12 in advance from We got Tickets
Located at ....... Click here to view in Goggle Maps We look forward to seeing you on the night. For more information Click here

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Mull Historical Society - YES, Manchester, 9/2/2024

  by Paul Clark

published: 8 / 3 / 2024

Mull Historical Society - YES, Manchester, 9/2/2024

The latest Mull Historical Society album showcases the favourite rooms of writers and authors. On the strength of tonight’s gig, I wouldn’t be surprised if Colin McIntyre includes The Pink Room of Manchester’s, Yes, as one of his favourites to play in. Those who gathered to see the gig were promised selections from the latest album ‘In My Mind There's a Room’ and the debut ‘Loss’. There were no complaints when Mull Historical Society included songs from ‘This is Hope’ and other points of their rich career. Over two hours (and two sets) the band delivered so much. The set list could be described as fluid when at points, Mull’s mainstay McIntyre acted as orchestrator swapping the order of the songs. The band were always adept at responding to these changes. One of the issues of nights like this when a band focuses on a particular album, is the sense of predictability of what comes next. That was not the case tonight. The band were late getting on stage after getting stuck in traffic coming down from their Glasgow gig the previous night. They sound-checked their way through ‘Public Service Announcer’ and ‘I Tried’ in the full glare of the assembled crowd. McIntyre made sure that the band and the audience were in good voice for what was about to follow. The full band assembled with one of the tracks from the ‘In My Mind There's a Room’ album. The concept sees Colin McIntyre collaborating with a number of his favourite authors who supplied the lyrics to the songs. It could be something of a high-wire act singing other people’s words, especially those from authors whose words are rich in meaning, but may take liberties with metre. McIntyre can be forgiven for having the lyrics on stage with him tonight. “I forget my own words. I’m glad that I have you here,” he said to the audience who joined in throughout to help him along. First from the new album was Jennifer Clement, the American-Mexican author’s song ‘Not Enough Sorry’. This is a delicate piano-led number, which is lyrically quite dense. This seemed to be no trouble for McIntyre and the band to get through. Liz Lochead’s lyrical ‘1952’ contribution followed. This is a more robust number with choppy guitars prominent in the mix. Given the music and author collaborative aspect of the concept, the live dates have featured some of the contributors to the album. Tonight was no exception, with Val McDermid joining the band onstage to recite the prose poem that she wrote for the project. She stuck around to contribute backing vocals to ‘Room of Masks’ the song fashioned from this prose. She has musical chops from her gigs with the ‘Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers’ who have performed at many a book and music festival. This wasn’t the Quine (sic) of Crime’s only contribution to the night, She gave the band a quick break as she read from her short story ‘The Road and the Miles to Dundee’ to the appreciative audience. It's hard to pigeonhole the Mull Historical Society as a band, their sound has differed with each release. This is true of the latest album with tender ballads lining up alongside fast-paced guitar-driven numbers. The one constant throughout their career has been that their songs are melodically and lyrically engaging. Unlike other gigs when a band plays newer tunes, the attention of the audience can drift. This wasn’t the case tonight. A number of these songs needed contextualising, given their rich backstories and the involvement of several notable figures. Colin McIntyre is an adept raconteur who balances the musical, and literary aspects of the night quite well. ‘Panicked Feathers’ is Nick Hornby’s contribution to the album. He talks of observing his sister’s boyfriends coming and going at his childhood home. The song has a busy guitar part that gets the crowd going. The ‘cocky little gits’ refrain is ripe for singing along with. Which the audience duly does. They play ‘The Lights’ from the ‘City Awakenings’ album just before the interval. It could almost have been written about Manchester, with lyrics that talk about the bright city lights viewed with wonder by the boy from Mull. When they return the band launches into the ‘Loss’ section of the night with an excellent version of ‘Watching Xanadu’. There’s a special moment during ‘Instead’. The original featured choirboys on the recording. One of the original singers was present to watch the gig. There was an invitation for him to get up and join the band. Graham Mclusker climbed on stage midway through the song and didn’t miss his cue. He also showed that his falsetto hadn’t deserted him over the years. They were always going to play ‘Strangeways Inside’ on their Manchester date. They did and as you would expect it went down well with the locals. The opportunity to play ‘Animal Cannabus’ brings back the recollection of the flat in Tobermory where his grandfather, Angus, lived. He was a writer and the Bard of Mull, in his spare time while working at the band downstairs. Colin remembers one of the last times he was there waiting for the charts and to hear where his single had been placed. The story of the flat has come circle since he returned there to record the latest album with the help of Gordon Maclean. He could be seen on bass guitar tonight. Three songs from ‘This Is Hope’ take us close to the end of the night. ‘How ‘Bout I Love You More’ and ‘Tobermory Zoo, and ‘Treescavengers’ leave the crowd wanting more. Sadly, there was a strict curfew and the band had to be off stage before the venue welcomed the nightclub crowd. They crammed so much into their set but they left the crowd with a rousing ‘Final Arrears’ from the album ‘US’. The audience has one last sing-along moment in a night filled with them.

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Mull Historical Society - YES, Manchester, 9/2/2024

Mull Historical Society - YES, Manchester, 9/2/2024

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Paul Clark enjoys an engaging night of music combined with literature as the Mull Historical Society play tracks from both their debut album 'Loss' and latest LP 'In My Mind There's a Room' at YES in Manchester.


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