About the artist
Allan began his performing career aged 14 in his home town in North Wales to a live audience of 3,000 people, as the lead guitarist of his rock band Sonic Deflexion. Having perfected his guitar skills working in several bands throughout his teens he had also amassed a collection of self written songs and learned the art of the studio engineer/producer. In 1995 he teamed up with fellow producer/engineer Martin Wilding (Mansun/James/Roger Taylor) at Rockcliffe Studio in North Wales to record a collection of songs intended as a "songwriter's demo". Three session vocalists were booked to perform on the project, but each had to cancel due to other commitments. This forced Allan, who had until now been very comfortable working as a backing singer on stage, to have to take the plunge and sing lead vocals on his own project. This was the turning point which started Allan on the path of working as a solo artist and the sessions became his first album "Killing Time". The vocal delivery on the album gave producer Martin Wilding cause to remark that Allan had a very identifiable "rock-voice" and urged him to continue working as a vocalist.
He took Martin's advice and took his vocal duties into the live scene, combining his vocal talents with his already finely honed rock guitarist skills to create a highly memorable frontman persona. He took the Killing Time setlist out live to headlining shows in the UK and the Camden music scene, getting highly enthused crowd reactions. He began work on a second album project in earnest, but fast moving developments in other aspects of his music career hampered progress. He was instrumental in the early days of the digital music revolution in opening the eyes of the music industry to the potential of a brand new unknown format called the "MP3" which he described as "being like a fish trying to swim up a waterfall". This led him to become the founder of a pioneering digital music store, from which he also went on to produce and present a web radio station, "Waking Up the Neighbours!" drawing 20,000 listeners per week. After this he devoted more time to his engineering and production skills, travelling the world as a producer broadcasting live events and working as a live sound engineer with artists such as Belinda Carlisle, Runrig, Carmel, Southside Johnny and the Asbry Jukes, Jesus Jones, Shed 7 and Hawkwind to name a few.
Allan revisited the rehearsal room as the frontman of the band Propeller Island in 2006, which disintegrated shortly after it's formation but provided a focussed platform for some new original Allan Dawson songs to be penned, including Back on the Rack, Hot Devil Rush Blood, and collaborations with the band's drummer and lyricist James Collett - The Vodka Advert and Anosognosia. Realising the volatility and often short lived nature of band projects Allan returned to recording as a solo artist again in 2009. Looking over the range of material from Propeller Island and his previous stalled second album project, he decided to take an innovative approach to releasing his next album project. There were two distinct groups of songs emerging in the collection - those that were best suited to a fully produced album and those that were better suited to a more intimate acoustic guitar / vocal sound; plus a few songs that could go in either group. Two albums were released simultaneously - "Angels" and "Alligators" along these themes. For these albums Allan wanted to capture the energy and the vibe of a live performance as close as possible. Angels, is a minimalist album which was recorded as performances of just a single voice and guitar recorded together in one pass. Alligators is a live-wire collection of alternative/hard rock/heavy metal songs which was created by recording a series of studio tracks over which the lead guitar and lead vocal performances were also recorded together live. To enhance the immediacy of the sound, both albums were recorded as live performances to online audiences over the internet and were recorded directly as stereo sound files, offering no further opportunity to manipulate the material after it had been performed. The result of this experiment is two albums that grab the listener like a live concert, capturing Allan's energy as a frontman.
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