Allan Live. Photo by Manfred Pollert.
Photo by Manfred Pollert

Allan on his Guitars and Sound System

My attitude towards my guitars is somewhat different to most musicians I think.


Firstly, I do not subscribe to the theory that the older the guitar, the better it sounds. This is just not true; guitars have a finite life when it comes to the sound they put out. It might still be a pleasant sound when it’s old, but it will lack the power one needs on stage.


Secondly, I can’t really cherish a guitar. It’s a romantic notion, the musician and his love affair with his instrument, but actually I regard it simply as a tool that either does the job or does not. When an instrument does exactly what I need then I enjoy playing it, but I can change my perception of what I want quite quickly and sometimes without tangible reason, and then I will find another guitar that gives me what I need.


Also, having a new guitar is like going on a journey; there are new sounds to explore which, as the journey progreses, throw up new ideas that sometimes result in a song.


What I have started doing is noting which song I wrote on which guitar because I think people would find this interesting. Someone may really like a particular song and want to try the guitar on which it was written. If anyone wants to do this, just ask me when I’m on a gig.


The guitars I use are all Martin guitars and the models are:




D18 Vintage




They are all fitted with a Fishman Gold Plus Natural pick-up.