Born in Brighton in 1945,he left school at 16 turning professional 5 years later. Recognition came first as a result of supporting Fairport Convention on a national tour including the Royal Albert Hall if my memory serves me at all. The first album 'Sometimes' was then released.
We first booked Allan in 1972 which, since he spent 1972-74 living in New York, must have been just prior to take off. Whilst there the appropriately, and wittily, titled 'American Album' was released. The New York experience produced a noticeable change in style from which was born, in July 1975, the band CAJUN MOON featuring Brian Golbey on fiddle and Jon Gillespie on keyboards. Our finger must have been on the pulse more than usual as we were very quick off the mark booking the band at the Blacksmith's Arms on 7th September 1975. The spring of 1976 saw them tour with Steeleye Span and release an album.
In 1980 Allan won the Grand Prix du Disque de Montreux for the European folk album of the year (The Traveller)
The are over 40 cover versions of Allan's songs including a platinum record for Don Williams for his version of 'It's Good To See You'.
It should be noted that despite leaving school at 16 Allan is a bit of a smart arse gaining a BA from Leeds, an MA from Lancaster and a PhD from Queens, Belfast as well as writing a novel.
(the newspaper not Jock McTavish from Portobello) wrote:
'There's no mystery about his appeal: beautifully crafted, worldly-wise songs with beguiling, precision-built guitar accompaniments, delivered in a firm, American-tinged voice that sounds as if it is telling you a story'.
His most recent album 'Colour to the Moon', released in 2000, is as good as any before it - I would commend it to you.