Jim Allan

Singer/Guitarist from Auchinleck - solo artist and member of several bands from 1973 to 2007.

All info from Jim

Pic of Jim from his 1982 cassette album - more info on that below.

My first band was Krystal in 1973.  Line up: Bill Johnstone - Lead Guitar; John 'Tidger' Mitchell - Bass.  Joan McDade - Vocals; Jim 'Wheels' Robertson - Drums;  Jim Allan - Rhythm Guitar.
We were 15/16 years old, just left school and Joan was still at school. We played for about a year, mainly in working men’s clubs, and some private functions.
Our set was mainly pop songs and we had to cater for the strict tempo clientele back in those days.
In 1974 Jim Robertson & I joined 
Johnny Demon & the Dynamics, the resident band at Lugar Bowling club. John Nisbet - lead vocals; Archie Bunton - Rhythm Guitar;
Jim Robertson - Drums; Jim Allan -Lead Guitar and Bobby Alexander - Keyboards. That lasted about 6 months.   

 Later that year we formed Dial Four. George Ballantyne - Vocals; John McClue - Bass;  Jim Robertson - Drums; Jim Allan - Lead Guitar. That lasted two and a half years.
 We played the local club circuit and workworking through the Alf Freeman agency in Ayr we got to play in some of the better clubs like the SAL in Monkton & the RAFA club in Prestwick.
  Bobby Alexander came in on keyboards later on. I left the band in 1976 and have happy memories of those days. 

After Dial Four I started playing in a trio with Peter 'Peachy' Lyle - drums and  Billy 'Neddy' Williamson- Keyboards.
Peachy & Neddy had been with the long running Sunset Combo and they shared the lead vocals and we had a decent 3 part harmony going.
However, as happens for one reason or another, after about six months we joined/re-joined other bands.

Pic of Jim's 1997 'Back to the Sixties' CD  - more info below.

In 1976/77, I played with Mike Brodie at the Sorn inn, Mike on Bass/vocals  & me on Guitar/vocals.
On a Saturday we did our own set. On Sundays we backed the Cabaret turn.
It was a popular gig with full capacity most nights. I remember the lock ins; we didn’t always get home the same day.  
After 9 months I joined Austen Harrison - Bass;  Peter 'Peachy' Lyle (again) - Tommy McGinn - vocal,  and myself, Jim Allan - lead Guitar in a band we called Diary.
We did all the local clubs plus gigs in Dumfries, Eastriggs andCentre One in East Kilbride. We played all the pop & rock numbers.
Peachy was shit hot at
the Free classic, Alright Now, 

After 9 months the line-up and name changed. Mike Brodie joined on Bass & Tommy 'Tober' Cree on lead vocals, we renamed the band High & Dry.
That lasted about six months then Mike & myself left the band which carried on with new members.
I then joined the MelJay 1977 – 1979.

  The last MelJay line up:  Jack Melos - Bass;  Eddie Rutherford  - Drums;
          Roberta McGhee - Lead Vocals;  Jim Allan - Lead Guitar.   
                Picture taken at RAF Benbecula 1977.
Dig those massive collars, flares and big shirts.  Some sort of fashion statement?

 Jack Melos had a great style, similar to Hank Marvin, he decided to go on to bass and bring me in as I had a more modern style.
We worked through a couple of agencies at that time and had some great gigs up north.  We played all the RAF bases - Benbeccula, Kinloss, Lossiemouth etc.
the Flotta Oil terminal in the Orkneys and regularly at Kippie Lodge in Aberdeen that was run by American oil companies.
They had some big names there from the 60’s & 70’s, Lulu, The Searchers, Freddie & the Dreamers etc. plus a varied selection of top class current acts. 

                                                                                                                                                     Then in 1979 I joined Bakerloo Line.  
The line up was, Bobby Knox - Vocals;  John Waugh - Bass;  Billy 'Neddy' Williamson (again) - Keyboards;  Jim Hendry - Drums.
The line up changed in 1980, Neddy left, and we brought in Davey Reed on keyboards and a Sax player whose name I regret I can't recall.
We played all the local clubs and the band was popular with the younger clientele.

Jim's 'Shadows tribute album' cover.

 In 1981 I started a solo career as a self-contained act - vocals, guitar, bass pedals and a drum machine. 
I eventually went on to use midi files and mini disk to achieve a fuller sound in the late 80s..  
 I had a residency in the Howard Park Hotel in Kilmarnock and the Peirsland Lodge in Troon, now the Peirsland House Hotel.
I was also busy all around Ayrshire & Glasgow, Hamilton etc. on the local circuit plus a lot of  private functions.
It was a good run and I was working most weekends.

I recorded my first Album/Cassette), 'Nice and Easy' in 1982 - see pic at the top - which I sold at gigs.  It got some air play on West Sound
where Tommy Truesdale & Joe Gordon played some of the tracks.
The album was recorded at Ayrespin studios, Crosshouse by Derek Hamilton.
In 1997, I cut my  Back to the Sixties Album (CD) when I was doing a Sixties set in my live act.
 These were also sold at gigs and again it had some airplay on West Sound, BBC Cumbria and BBC Scotland.

I worked Solo up until 2007 though with some collaborations along the way e.g. a brief spell with Words & Music: 
Ruby Dunsmore - Bass/vocals;  Jim Allan - Lead Guitar/vocals;
Gerry Levan - Drums and a great friend for many years.
We played for about a year around 1996/97, had a lot of bookings in the Railway club and the Ex Serviceman’s club in Ayr and some Bowling Greens in and around Ayrshire.

Interspersed with my solo work Ruby & I worked together in the early 2000’s as a duo called Back to Back.  
Again we  played a lot of clubs around Ayr, Prestwick & Glasgow.

In 2005 I took on a residency at the Glynhill Hotel in Renfrew where I joined the resident Singer Bette Green from Clydebank. 
We played at the Saturday night Dinner Dance and at many private functions in the hotel.
We called ourselves Midnight Train.  See pic above.


I called it a day with playing live in 2007.  The late nights and my day job committments had become tiring and hard to juggle.  
Since then I’ve been involved with recording - sessions for other people, making backing tracks
plus I’ve recorded some tribute albums: - see covers above:

Guitar Man - Classic Rock tracks;  Casting Shadows - A Shads tribute; Taking it to the Limit - An Eagles tribute.

                                                                                                                       As to playing live again - well I'm getting near retirement - so never say never!