Union Songs

Alistair Hulett Biography and Tour

Alistair Hulett was born in Glasgow and discovered traditional music in his early teens. In 1968 he and his family moved to New Zealand where he established a reputation on the folk circuit with his large repertoire of songs and his interpretation of the big narrative ballads.

In 1971, at the age of eighteen, Alistair moved over to Australia. For a couple of years he sang his way around Australia's festivals and clubs before "going bush" for several years. During this time he began to write his own songs and, following a two year stint on the "hippy trail" in India, he returned to Australia in 1979 to find the punk movement in full swing. He joined in with the garage ethos in a band called The Furious Chrome Dolls. In the early 80's Alistair was again performing folk material around Sydney and was a founding member of a five piece punk folk outfit called ROARING JACK. For the next five years the Jacks made a startling impression on the Australian music scene. Their first album, "Street Celtabillity", was released in 1986 and reached No. 1 on the local Indie charts.

Alistair HuletBy the time the second album, "The Cat Among The Pigeons" was released in 1988 the band were headlining in major Australian rock venues as well as opening for overseas acts including BILLY BRAGG, THE POGUES and THE MEN THEY COULDN'T HANG. The second album was nominated for an Australian Music Industry Association (ARIA) award and was released in Europe by the German label Intercord. Alistair's solo work was always a part of the Jacks live shows and offers to appear at festivals and clubs in his own right drew him further back into the folk orbit.

By 1989 his songs were being extensively covered by several stalwarts of the Australian folk establishment, most notably JOHN McAUSLAN and KATE DELANEY & GORDON McINTYRE. The demise of Roaring Jack coincided with this period and after the release of their third album, "Through The Smoke of Innocence", the band decided to call it a day despite another ARIA nomination. Alistair's first solo CD, "Dance of the Underclass", was recorded in 1991. Completely acoustic, with contributions from other members of Roaring Jack, the album was instantly hailed as a folk classic and proved to be the turning point in Alistair's return to the folk fold. His position as one of the most influential musicians on the Australian scene was now beyond dispute.

In the U.K. his song "He Fades Away" was picked up by ROY BAILEY and by JUNE TABOR and later by ANDY IRVINE. All three performers recorded uniquely different but thoroughly compelling interpretations of the song. Rather than follow with more of the same Alistair recorded his solo CD with a return to the punk fuelled energy of the days with Roaring Jack. "In the Backstreets of Paradise" was a collection of songs originally intended as the next Jack's release and rather than let the songs go to waste Alistair formed an acoustic outfit called THE HOOLIGANS to complete the cycle. The album caught some of Alistair's new found admirers among the purists unawares but during the next two years The Hooligans won them over with blistering live performances at every major folk festival in Australia. In the meantime Alistair continued his solo gigs with an ever growing reliance on the traditional songs that have always formed the backbone of his writing.

In 1995 Alistair compiled a collection of songs that owed little to punk and everything to the Folk Revival that inspired him in the sixties. "Saturday Johnny and Jimmy The Rat" was originally intended as a solo affair in homage to the likes of EWAN MacCOLL, JEANNIE ROBERTSON and DAVIE STEWART as well as an acknowledgment of the time when the folk movement was a vital political and musical force. At the time DAVE SWARBRICK was living in Australia and Alistair toyed with the idea of inviting Swarb to join him in the studio. Nothing more would have come of the notion had it not been for a 'phone call from a friend saying that Swarb wouldn't mind working with the bloke who had written "The Swaggies Have All Waltzed Matilda Away". Thus was forged a musical partnership that has won acclaim from audiences and critics alike.

red clydeside cdFollowing a hugely successful Australian tour the duo returned to the U.K. A triumphant perormance at Sidmouth in 1996 was broadcast by the BBC and was followed by a live in studio session a few weeks later. Since then Alistair and Dave have toured extensively in the U.K., returned to Australia for another successful tour and recorded their second album together. "The Cold Grey Light of Dawn" was enthusiastically received and gathered some impressive reviews. Alistair, based once again in Glasgow, continues to work solo and with Swarb. He has also written, and performs, three workshop presentations, each one lasting approximately 90 minutes. "From Blackheath To Trafalgar Square" looks at "insurrection and resistance in the Disunited Kingdom" from the Peasants' Revolt to the Poll Tax Riots. "The Fire Last Time" is a study of the protest song movement of the 1960's and "Red Clydeside" examines the working class unrest on the Clyde between 1915 and 1920.

Visit Alistair's wbsite at http://www.folkicons.co.uk/alistair.htm

You can see Alistair at these venues:

18 Feb 05....Friday....Brisbane. QLD
Judith Wright Centre.
420 Brunswick St (at Robertson St)
Fortitude Valley, Qld
Bookings: 07 3872 9000

19 Feb 05....Saturday....Wauchope. NSW
Wauchope Community Arts Hall
Oxley Lane.,
Wauchope, NSW
Bookings: 02 6585 4733

24 Feb 05....Thursday....Braidwood, NSW
The Grapevine Cafe,
Wallace St., Braidwood.

25 Feb 05....Friday.... Cobargo, NSW
plus Saturday,26th & Sunday,27th.
Cobargo Folk Festival

03 Mar 05....Thursday....East Brunswick, VIC
Brunswick Music Festival &
Sydney Road Street Party.
East Brunswick. Melbourne. Victoria

04 Mar 05....Friday....Bathurst. NSW
Bathurst Folk Club,
Panorama City Motor Lodge,
51 Durham St., Bathurst.
Bookings: 6331 2666

05 Mar 05....Saturday....Tempe. NSW
The Harp, 900 Pacific Hwy, Tempe.
Bookings: 9559 6300
Alistair will be joined on the night by Steph Miller and possibly another
one or two !!

06 Mar 05....Sunday....Jamberoo. NSW
Folk In The Foothills.
Jamberoo Valley Lodge, Jamberoo. NSW
Bookings: 1300 887 034

09 Mar 05....Wednesday...Adelaide, SA
The Governor Hindmarsh
59 Port Road, Hindmarsh
Bookings: 08 8340 0744

10 Mar 05....Thursday....Fremantle, WA
Kulcha Multicultural Arts
1st Floor, 13 South Terrace
Fremantle, WA
Bookings: 08 9336 4544

11 Mar 05....Friday....Warrick, WA
Wanneroo Folk Club
Dorchester Community Centre,
Dorchester & Dugdale St.,
Warrick, WA
Bookings: 08 9447 5659

16 Mar 05....Wednesday....Ballarat. VIC
Ballarat Folk Club,
Ballarat, Vic
Bookings: 03 5334 4541

18 Mar 05....Friday....Katoomba. NSW
plust Saturday & Sunday !
Blue Mountains Folk Festival
Bookings/Inquiries: 1800 651 322

25 Mar 05....Friday....Canberra. ACT
plus: Saturday, Sunday, Monday
National Folk Festival.
Exhibition Park, Northbourne Ave.,
Canberra. ACT
General Information: 02 6249 7755


For further info, live to airs or interviews please ring Karen 0400 527 365.

0400 527 365
FAX 03 9504 2665

For management/booking queries please email jim@newsouthfolk.com.au or ring Jim MacQuarrie on +61 2 4474 2736

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