It has long been known that the late Alan Hull chief writer for Lindisfarne had recorded a treasure trove of demo material back in the late 60s which contained not only simpler arrangements and settings of many classics but lesser celebrated and some unknown compositions. Most of the collection dates from a time before he joined Lindisfarne then known as Brethren and pushing a bluesy, jug band, folksy repertoire. The arrival of Alan with such a wealth of material to pick from gave the singer and the band focus, potential and purpose.
His son in law Dave Hull-Denholm along with bassist Ian Thomson – both in the current version of Lindisfarne – had dipped their fingers into the sessions and covered a few selections on an album titled ‘The Alan Hull Songbook,’ which they’re touring early in 2024. That however was scratching the surface. Now those excitable but also canny types at Cherry Red have got their hands on virtually the whole kit and caboodle. What’s more they’re releasing it in a matter of weeks. Full details follow, bright and ship shape from their press office.
“First-ever release of legendary late 60s demos from one of the finest British songwriters of all time, includes early versions of classic Lindisfarne songs ‘Lady Eleanor’, ‘Winter Song’ and ‘Clear White Light – Part 2’
Lindisfarne were the hottest new band around in 1972, with a couple of huge hit singles and three albums reaching the Top Five that year – including chart-topping second LP ‘Fog On The Tyne’, a sales phenomenon that stayed in the listings for more than 12 months.
Many of their finest songs had been written by band member Alan Hull while he was working as a trainee psychiatric nurse from late 1966 to early 1969.
After ending the decade as a solo act in regional folk clubs, he’d linked up with local band Brethren to form Lindisfarne in mid-1970.
Lindisfarne consolidated their success with constant touring, but Alan struggled to write on the road, and he would regularly dip into his late 60s cache of songs that had been recorded for publishing purposes at Impulse Sound, a Wallsend studio owned by Hull’s manager and enabler David Wood. Those late 60s demos would become legendary amongst fans and pop media alike, but very few tracks have ever surfaced – until now.
A remarkable 4CD, 90-track anthology, the painstakingly-assembled ‘Singing A Song In The Morning Light’ includes no less than 77 hitherto-unreleased tracks, with several dozen titles previously undocumented.
It features revelatory early demos of ‘Lady Eleanor’, ‘Winter Song’, ‘Scarecrow Song’, ‘Clear White Light – Part 2’ and other Lindisfarne classics, the original, semi-mythical ‘Clear White Light – Part 1’, recordings with backing from Brethren and psychedelic band Skip Bifferty as well as other collaborations alongside many solo performances.
Almost 30 years after Alan’s tragically early passing, ‘Singing A Song In The Morning Light’ is a thrilling addition to the body of work left behind by one of the all-time great British songwriters.”