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August 18, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm£ 12
with support from Sara ‘N’ Junbug
Allan Tall’s music is beautiful! One of the finest musician-actors on the Scottish stage. – The Scotsman
Outstanding ! – John Renbourn
His playing was everything it should be and more. He somehow managed to fill in the bottom end with gutsy chords and produce twinkling other world embellishments at the same time. Or was is magic? – The Living Tradition
Don’t miss this man ! – Rock ’n’ Reel
Just confirmed Allan Tall will be joined by special guest Terry Neason who will perform with him in Cottiers on 18 August. Friends and collaborators since 7:84 Theatre and Wildcat, they last shared the stage in Terry’s band of the ’90’s. He will also be joined by another special guest Fraser Spiers, with whom Allan first played at the Edinburgh Festival back in 1968 ! … this is a show not to miss …
In his own words, as Allan Tall tells the tale:
I was 15 when I got my first guitar, the week my father died. I briefly played bass in an Easterhouse band then heard Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy and Hoyt Axton. I started playing Glasgow Folk Centre every Friday with John Martyn (plain Ian McGeachie then).
I hitched up and down to London (two days each way before the motorways), stayed in John and Beverley’s Hampstead basement till the drugs fell in and we fell out. I moved into John Mayall’s Cheyne Walk houseboat with his roadie, Mick Blann, while Mayall toured the US with Canned Heat’s road crew. Mick introduced me to Jo Ann Kelly, her brother Dave, the John Dummer Blues Band and the London blues scene of the time. But I’d discovered Les Cousins, Bunjie’s and Jim Haynes’s Arts Lab in Drury Lane, and played whenever I could. I did join Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra (but didn’t last).
Back in Scotland, I was still playing the Folk Centre, the Maryland and the Picasso, with the odd foray to Edinburgh clubs. I met Tom McGrath, who’d edited the first issues of International Times, the first underground paper of the time, and joined his Other People group, heavily influenced by the Poor Theatre of Jerzy Grotowski. I got a taste for it, playing my first Edinburgh Festival with them, James Kelman, Tom Leonard, Alan Spence, Liz Lochhead and Alasdair Gray.
Irvine’s Borderline Theatre asked me to play in William McIlvanney’s first play and I joined Equity thereby, not easy in those days. Back in Glasgow, Tom was organising readings and asked me to accompany Allen Ginsberg, amongst others. He then opened the Third Eye Centre (the CCA now) and I got a few gigs there, even forming the Allan Tall Band briefly!
Dave Anderson asked me to join 7:84 Scotland, playing sax and flute as well as guitar, which mutated into ‘Wildcat.’ I worked with them for a few years, then went south to tour with Matthew Kelly and other Liverpool Everyman alumni in 7:84 England.
In the ‘80s I’d toured with Dick Gaughan in 7:84. I was pleased to record 3 albums with him. I’d been teaching guitar on and off and I organised workshops with world-class visitors like John Renbourn, Isaac Guillory, Stefan Grossman and Tim Hardin. I set up Roughcast Theatre, producing 11 plays, touring from Ullapool to Nuremberg.
Throughout I basically took any work that interested me; Shakespeare, Chekhov, Cappella Nova, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Opera, film with Romy Schneider, Harvey Keitel, Mel Gibson, Bill Forsyth and Ray McAnally, TV with Richard Briers, Robbie Coltrane and Chic Murray (his last appearance), half a dozen Taggarts, various TV ads, etc.