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Alan Hull on stage with Lindisfarne in 1991
|Birth name||James Alan Hull|
20 February 1945|
Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
|Died||17 November 1995(aged 50)|
|Instruments||Vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards|
|Years active||Mid 1960s–1995|
The Chosen Few
Hull was born in Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1945. He became a member of the band The Chosen Few alongside keyboard player Mick Gallagher in 1962. He supported himself one year by working as a nurse at a mental hospital while appearing as a folk singer and guitarist in local clubs before helping to form Brethren and Downtown Faction, which evolved into Lindisfarne in 1970. He also released a one-off solo single, "We Can Swing Together", which was re-recorded with the group on their first album, Nicely Out of Tune, and became a regular favourite in their stage performances.
As the group's most prolific songwriter and joint lead vocalist, Hull came to be regarded as its leader. In 1972, dissatisfied with the sound and critical reception of their third album Dingly Dell, he considered leaving the group but instead he and joint lead vocalist Ray "Jacka" Jackson formed a new six-piece Lindisfarne the following year, leaving the three other original members to form Jack The Lad. He also released a first solo album Pipedream the same year and published a book of poems, Mocking Horse. Alan Hull appeared in "Squire" an episode of the BBC's Second City Firsts drama series.
Lindisfarne disbanded in 1975 and Hull released a second solo album Squire, then formed the short-lived Radiator, which also included drummer Ray Laidlaw of Lindisfarne and Jack the Lad. At the end of 1977 the original line-up of Lindisfarne reformed after a well-received Christmas show at the Newcastle City Hall which was broadcast on local radio. Thereafter he combined his musical career as front man of the group with a solo career. He was also a staunch Labour Party activist.
In 1994, he recorded Back to Basics, a live all-acoustic survey of the best of his songwriting from 1970 onwards. On 17 November 1995 whilst working on a new album, Statues & Liberties, Hull died suddenly of a heart thrombosis, at the age of 50. An early day motion passed in the House of Commons stated "That this House notes with deep regret the sudden and tragic death of Alan Hull, leading member of the North East band Lindisfarne; notes that Alan not only brought great pleasure to millions of music lovers but was a dedicated socialist who cared deeply for his fellow man; extends deepest sympathy to Alan's wife Pat and their three daughters in their loss; and notes that their grief is shared by his many friends and colleagues and by Tyneside as a whole which has lost a great ambassador, a true Geordie and a good man".
In 2011, Neil Kinnock remembered his achievements when calling for a public memorial: "In his work and his life – he was such an inspiration to countless people who share his convictions of freedom and justice. His music delighted, it intrigued, it was always full of humanitarian purpose and it had a marvellous mixture of gravity and humour. Above all, his democratic socialist commitment to peace and to opportunity, care and security for people of all ages, both sexes and every creed and ethnic background should be highlighted as practical ideals that have enduring value for all generations".
On 19 July 2012, following a public campaign led by Barry McKay, Lindisfarne's manager during the 1970s, an Alan Hull memorial plaque was unveiled on the front of Newcastle City Hall, at a ceremony attended by hundreds of fans and broadcast by filmed by Sky and ITV Tyne Tees.
- "We Can Swing Together" / "Obadiah's Grave" (1970)
- "Numbers" / "Drinking Song" / "One Off Pat" (1973)
- "Justanothersadsong" / "Waiting" (1973)
- "Dan The Plan" / "One More Bottle Of Wine" (1975)
- "One More Bottle Of Wine" / "Squire" (1975)
- "Crazy Woman" / "Golden Oldies" (1975)
- "I Wish You Well" / "Love Is The Answer" (1979)
- "A Walk In The Sea" / "Corporation Rock" (1979)
- "Malvinas Melody" / "Ode To A Taxman" (1983)
- Pipedream (1973) UK No. 29
- Squire (1975)
- Phantoms (1979)
- On The Other Side (1983)
- Another Little Adventure (1988)
- Back to Basics (1994)
- Statues & Liberties (1996)
- When War Is Over (1998)
- We Can Swing Together - Anthology (2005)
- Phantoms (CD release with bonus Tracks) (21.05.2007)
- Live at Clifton Poly 1975 (2009)
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 262. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- OBITUARY: Alan Hull - People, News - The Independent
- "Lindisfarne Founder'S Memory Honoured At City Hall. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12.