ALBUM REVIEW: The Alan Hull Songbook – Some Other Time | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

five

 

Belvue Records

Released: 27.05.16

www.alanhullsongbook.com

 

 

 

 

Alan Hull was undoubtedly one of the greatest British songwriters, and his tragically young death cut short a fascinating career. His son-in-Law Dave Hull-Denholm was tasked with clearing out Alan’s attic studio, and discovered he’d left behind a collection of unreleased work written between 1967-69 on quarter inch tape. The songs had been put on the back burner after Alan joined Lindisfarne in the early 70’s, almost 150 complete works altogether. Dave and multi-instrumentalist Ian Thompson set about sifting through these recordings with a view to bringing them to the listening public.

Some Other Time contains 12 previously unheard tracks and, first of all, it sounds exactly like an Alan Hull album. Straight from the off, the quirky piano intro to the title track is reminiscent of Alan’s early solo work, and the Hammond in Never Be The Same From Today is reminiscent of the first Lindisfarne album. Click-Clock Tick-Tock is musically akin to psychedelic-era Beatles with lyrics that could have scarcely been written by anyone other than Hull.

Typically, little about these songs is predictable. Weird chords and idiosyncratic melodies abound, while lyrical content rarely sticks to the pop norm, the unstoppable passage of time and the inevitable end of life being ‘round every corner. I Am He And So Are You seems to blend everything that’s good about late 60’s songwriting. It’s got Dylan and Lennon written all over it, while remaining absolutely fresh, and the final tack, She is a driving rocker with a lovely twist in the chorus that has its feet firmly rooted at home.

The performances are outstanding, and it would be remiss of me not to mention how much Dave sounds like his late father-in-law. Never straying into impersonation or impression, he embodies the spirit of the songs perfectly. Ian’s bass underpins the whole album and is especially powerful on Love Lasts Forever. The production is tasteful throughout, warm, clear and real.

So, we have the impossible, a new album of Alan Hull songs in 2016. Having been a huge Hull fan since I was 11, I have to admit I was nervous to hear it, but it’s everything I could have hoped for. Let’s hope they have more for us in the future.

 

Like this story? Share it!