Alan Hull on stage with Lindisfarne in 1991
|Birth name||James Alan Hull|
|Born||20 February 1945|
Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
|Died||17 November 1995 (aged 50)|
Newcastle upon Tyne, England
|Instruments||Vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards|
|Years active||Mid 1960s–1995|
The Chosen Few
Hull was born at 68 Sutton's Dwellings, Adelaide Terrace, Benwell, Newcastle Upon Tyne. He began piano lessons at the age of nine, and guitar lessons two years later. He attended Rutherford Grammar School, Newcastle after passing the eleven-plus in 1956 and was given a guitar at the age of twelve. Hull wrote his first song soon afterwards.
He became a member of the band The Chosen Few alongside keyboard player Mick Gallagher in 1962. He supported himself by working as a window cleaner, one year by working as a nurse at a mental hospital and as a driver for Newcastle Co-op TV Department 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 his 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 1973 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. In March 1977 the original line-up of Lindisfarne reformed after a well-received series of sold-out Christmas shows at the Newcastle City Hall in 1976 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. For a time he was secretary of his local constituency Labour Party. He performed in Blackpool to coincide with the Labour Party conference in 1990 and played at numerous benefit concerts for striking or redundant miners and shipyard workers.
On the night of 17 November 1995, Hull suddenly collapsed at his home in North Shields and was pronounced dead on arrival at North Tyneside General Hospital at 11.30pm. A post-mortem held on 20 November revealed his death to be the result of a Coronary thrombosis. Hull's funeral was held on 24 November at North Shields Crematorium. Musician Chris Rea and actor Tim Healy were among the famous names to attend. Hull's ashes were later scattered at the mouth of the River Tyne.
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 and filmed by Sky and ITV Tyne Tees.
He married Patricia Sharp on 22 August 1966, and they had three daughters.
- "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, AUS No. 51
- 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 May 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.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - Dave Laing
- Obituary - The Times - 20 November 1995
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "OBITUARY: Alan Hull". The Independent. 20 November 1995. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
- "Lindisfarne Founder'S Memory Honoured at City Hall. – Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 143. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.