Alan was a vital member of Scotland’s legendary folk group Battlefield Band for 40 years. His groundbreaking keyboard work helped cement the band’s reputation as one of the most influential of its generation, while his songs steadily gained admirers. From beautiful ballads to a musical cycle on the life and times of Scots born sailor John Paul Jones Alan has forged a reputation for composing songs with beguiling melodies and strong historical content. He was nominated in the 2009 Scots Tradition Awards in the ‘Composer of the Year’ category. With the ’Batties’ Alan recorded almost 30 albums, won awards and toured all over the world, appearing at festivals in North America, Europe and Australia and New Zealand. His contribution to the band’s story has helped enshrine its stature in Scottish culture, confirmed when the band was inaugurated int the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2016. Alan has continued developing his song writing in his partnership with Rob. He has written songs for several drama pieces, one of which was featured in the National Theatre of Scotland’s 2014 powerful production ‘Glasgow Girls’. He has been a regular teacher of Scots song at the prestigious Swannanoa Gathering in North Carolina and has guested both in Linn Records mammoth 12 CD series of the Complete Songs of Robert Burns and on the CD ‘Life and Times of Scrooge’, the solo album of Tuomas Holopainen of metal band heavyweights ‘Nightwish’. The album gained a gold disc in 2014.
As well as all the recordings with Ba ttlefield band and Rob Alan has released 2 solo albums, ‘The Sunlit Eye’ and ‘Recollection’, and a songbook ‘Martyrs, Rogues and Worthies’.
Alan plays a Yamaha P-80 electronic piano, Weltmeister
accordion and a Yamaha FG-160e guitar.
Rob was born in the Netherlands but has lived most of his life in England. His mother was a child prodigy pianist so music was an important part of his early life. But Rob’s first love has always been the guitar. From the 1970s onwards he toured extensively in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, working with many stalwarts of the U.K. folk and jazz scene. In the early 90s he joined the ranks of Battlefield Band as their ‘fifth’ member (sound engineer) and continued in that role until 2010. Acknowledged for his subtle guitar accompaniments and fine harmony singing Rob is also a noted producer, recording engineer and session musician. Outside of the duo work he records and plays with veteran singer and songwriter John Conolly, writer of classic folk standard ‘Fiddlers’ Green’ and also with U.S. songwriter Janie Meneely. When Rob has time off from busy touring scheduels he can be found working in his recording studio in his adopted town of Whitby, UK.
Rob plays a Martin D-28, a Martin D12-35, a Harmony H1260, an Ovation Balladeer, a Goodall RGC1123, a Quiles bouzouki (DADG), a Quiles C-2 nylon strung concert guitar, Fender Jazzman bass guitar. He uses DADGAD, DADDAD, CGCGCC, CGDGAD, CGDGCD and standard guitar tunings.
The duo has released five critically acclaimed albums and has toured worldwide, also guesting at festivals such as the US's Mystic Seaport Sea Festival and Old Songs Folk Festival, Australia’s National Folk Festival, plus a variety of British and European festivals. Their multi media presentation on the life of John Paul Jones, originally premiered at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival has been showcased throughout the US and the UK.