Born in Glasgow in 1960 he came from a musical background with both his father and grandfather being jazz musicians and his mother being a fine pianist and singer. He started (like many other kids) to learn to play the violin at age 5 and then moved onto the piano until at 13 years of age, he finally got a guitar. Along with bass player Neil Fairweather, drummer Tim Brittain, and sax/flute and guitarist David Roy, “The Arthur Trout Band” was formed and played in and around Glasgow from 1976-1980 also playing in the summer of 1980 at Stonehenge and Bristol Ashton Court festivals. An occasional visitor to the band rehearsals was David’s cousin, the now legendary Scottish singer/songwriter and innovative guitarist John Martyn.
John needed a bass player for his forthcoming Grace And Danger tour of the UK. Alan borrowed a fretless bass, practiced frantically for two weeks, auditioned and got the job, a relationship which would last almost thirty years until John’s death. Through his association with John, Alan has recorded and performed with Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Robert Palmer (for whom he wrote the B-side of the hit Addicted to Love), David Gilmour, Linda Lewis and Bert Jansch.
In 1989 he recorded and toured for Julia Fordham, an association that continues, most recently on tour in Japan in 2009 with Spen and John Martyn drummer Arran Ahmun.
Beginning in 1992 Alan toured for several years as part of a duo with keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman and then with the Wakeman and Wakeman band. He also had a spell on tour as keyboard player for Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler’s solo project and Scottish rock band Strangeways.