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Obit: Alistair Hulett (1951-2010)

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GUEST,Onny 24 Jan 10 - 08:54 AM
Dennis the Elder 24 Jan 10 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 24 Jan 10 - 01:29 PM
Declan 24 Jan 10 - 07:26 PM
GUEST,999 24 Jan 10 - 07:29 PM
Susanne (skw) 24 Jan 10 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,Gerry 24 Jan 10 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,ifor 25 Jan 10 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Gordeanna McCulloch 25 Jan 10 - 04:56 PM
akenaton 25 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Onny 26 Jan 10 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,Onny 28 Jan 10 - 06:07 AM
akenaton 28 Jan 10 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,EKanne 28 Jan 10 - 04:35 PM
oggie 28 Jan 10 - 04:59 PM
GUEST,Andymac 28 Jan 10 - 05:21 PM
BusyBee Paul 28 Jan 10 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,Onny 28 Jan 10 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 28 Jan 10 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,999 28 Jan 10 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,Tom 28 Jan 10 - 05:51 PM
SylviaN 28 Jan 10 - 06:13 PM
treewind 28 Jan 10 - 06:37 PM
JennieG 28 Jan 10 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Gerry 28 Jan 10 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,graham& alexis 28 Jan 10 - 07:41 PM
Dennis the Elder 28 Jan 10 - 08:13 PM
GUEST 28 Jan 10 - 10:52 PM
GUEST,Helen Rowe. Brisbane, Australia. 28 Jan 10 - 11:27 PM
cloudstreet 28 Jan 10 - 11:48 PM
Sandra in Sydney 28 Jan 10 - 11:57 PM
rich-joy 29 Jan 10 - 02:51 AM
GUEST,Natalie Gould 29 Jan 10 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,Niamh Parsons 29 Jan 10 - 04:58 AM
freda underhill 29 Jan 10 - 06:08 AM
Cuilionn 29 Jan 10 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Brian Preston 29 Jan 10 - 09:21 AM
henryclem 29 Jan 10 - 09:22 AM
alex s 29 Jan 10 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,jimmy 29 Jan 10 - 10:25 AM
RoyH (Burl) 29 Jan 10 - 10:31 AM
Murray MacLeod 29 Jan 10 - 10:57 AM
MoorleyMan 29 Jan 10 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Lonnie 29 Jan 10 - 12:15 PM
HipflaskAndy 29 Jan 10 - 01:07 PM
akenaton 29 Jan 10 - 02:19 PM
Mick Tems 29 Jan 10 - 02:27 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 29 Jan 10 - 03:06 PM
GerryMc 29 Jan 10 - 05:16 PM
rich-joy 29 Jan 10 - 06:45 PM
Sandra in Sydney 29 Jan 10 - 09:24 PM
Bugsy 29 Jan 10 - 10:27 PM
Simmo 30 Jan 10 - 06:10 AM
Sandra in Sydney 30 Jan 10 - 06:34 AM
goatfell 30 Jan 10 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,Jackie Morrison 30 Jan 10 - 09:45 AM
Sheena Wellington 30 Jan 10 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Graham Dixon 30 Jan 10 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Graham in Ayr 30 Jan 10 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,John Flynn 30 Jan 10 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,Chris Church (formerly Cherry) 30 Jan 10 - 10:14 PM
nager 31 Jan 10 - 12:54 AM
GUEST,Jeanette Gillespie 31 Jan 10 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,Onny 31 Jan 10 - 08:58 AM
GUEST 31 Jan 10 - 05:45 PM
Effsee 31 Jan 10 - 10:35 PM
GUEST 31 Jan 10 - 11:25 PM
Little Robyn 01 Feb 10 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,John Hamill 01 Feb 10 - 04:50 AM
Sandra in Sydney 01 Feb 10 - 05:17 AM
rich-joy 02 Feb 10 - 06:52 AM
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rich-joy 02 Feb 10 - 05:39 PM
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Susanne (skw) 04 Feb 10 - 04:31 PM
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GUEST,Arfrur Brain 10 Feb 10 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 10 Feb 10 - 02:00 PM
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Subject: Alistair Hulett.
From: GUEST,Onny
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 08:54 AM

From Fatima.

From Fatima:

Dear Friends
You may not have heard the news, so I'd like to share with you that Alistair has been critically ill in hospital here in Glasgow for the last three weeks. He's suffering from liver failure and is in urgent need of an organ transplant.
Until now he hasn't wanted people to know but as the news has started to spread, already the messages of hope and encouragement are pouring in from friends and fans alike. This is proving to be really beneficial for Alistair's spirits and we know that if he is to beat this dreadful illness he needs to be in as positive a frame of mind as possible. If you feel like sending him an email message, please write to alistair.hulett@gmail.com, as I have access to his account and can print out the emails for him. If you prefer to send a card or letter, his address is:
Alistair Hulett
Ward 26a
Southern General Hospital
1345 Govan Road
Glasgow G51 4TF


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett.
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 11:44 AM

Hi Fatina,
I am very sorry to hear of Alistairs illness and hope all goes well. Lets hope that a suitable liver is found for him.
I managed to see and hear him on Otley, West Yorkshire and in Adelaide and found him both interesting and entertaining with a wide variety of songs, a man of conviction and one who empathises with those who need and deserve help.
He has earned recovery and we need him.
Please give him my sincere regards
Dennis


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett.
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 01:29 PM

Have passed the message on and written to Ally.

This is a REAL bummer considering it was Ally who inspired, initiated and guided the SwarbAid project, which raised a boatload of dosh for Dave when he was down. It started as a cheer-up gesture before Dave knew he was getting a lung+heart transplant - which was all over before the last of the cash came rolling in.

This hits home for three reasons. First Ally is an absolutely wonderful chap, a truly great writer, player and singer, with more integrity in his little finger than the rest of us have in all our houses. Second, I've had a few problems in the liver areas myself, and third, only last week we went to see the Imagined Village at the Leeds Irish Centre. It was the first time we'd been since the biggest and best of our SwarbAid gigs, and we were saying how well it had all turned out for Swarb.

And now here's Ally in this situation. Not fair.

Raise your glasses (water only please) in recognition of one of Scotland's finest.

Ally - this is just a blip. 'I wish I could give someone else me liver - on a Monday morning' (Tawney). I'd offer you mine but it's not much better than yours!

love to Fatima too

Tom

Alistair Hulett


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett.
From: Declan
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 07:26 PM

Very saad to hear this.

Lets all hope for a speedy recovery.


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 07:29 PM

I e-mailed him about a half hour ago. He's one of my friends on Myspace. Sorry to hear this, but thank you for posting, Fatima.


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett.
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 08:12 PM

Sad news, but I wish him the luck and determination needed to get through this. Keeping my fingers crossed!


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett.
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 24 Jan 10 - 08:15 PM

I've sent email to my friends here in Sydney, I'm sure they will all express their concerns. I've also sent him my best wishes.


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett.
From: GUEST,ifor
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 03:20 PM

get well soon Alistair!
A wonderful singer, great songwriter and a fabulous guitarist...and much ,much more!
ifor


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett.
From: GUEST,Gordeanna McCulloch
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 04:56 PM

One of the most warm and genuine people I have ever met. I wish you all my very best Ally and hope that you're up, out and back singing as soon as is possible.


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett.
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 06:58 PM

Bugger it! Ah suppose it'll need tae be auld Ewan himsel' then.

Best wishes Alastair, we're aw rootin' for ye....up in the hielans!!


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett.
From: GUEST,Onny
Date: 26 Jan 10 - 11:20 AM

Perhaps a timely reminder about getting yourself on the organ donor register won't go amiss.

Demand still vastly outstrips supply.


http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ukt/default.jsp

Onny


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett - critical illness (January 2010)
From: GUEST,Onny
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 06:07 AM

Thanks to whoever altered the thread title.

Onny


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett - critical illness (January 2010)
From: akenaton
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 02:03 PM

So very sorry to hear the latest news on Alastair's illness

For American friends who may not know of Alastair, one of Scotlands finest and most committed singer/songwriters is seriously ill.

His work and committment can be seen on you tube under his own name or with "roaring jack". I hope you will all join us Scots in wishing Alastair strength to fight and win

Alastair has fought for workers and the dispossessed all his life,so
now is the time to return a small part of the favour in thoughts and prayers.

Best wishes to Ali and Fatima!


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Subject: RIP Alistair Hulett
From: GUEST,EKanne
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 04:35 PM

So sorry to intimate that Alistair has passed away tonight, according to a posting on Footstompin site at 20.18pm (UK time).
A passionate advocate for the dispossessed and the disadvantaged, Alistair will be sadly missed.


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Subject: RE: Alistair Hulett-critical illness -OBIT 28 Jan 2010
From: oggie
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 04:59 PM

Unfortunately confirmed from another source.

A great talent who will be sadly missed.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Andymac
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 05:21 PM

I just read this on footstompin while on my way home from canada. I don't want to repeat a post but I'm to stunned to comment articulately. We've lost a great voice and great fighter for the underclass...all too soon..

RIP Ali


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 05:27 PM

The Cons Club session at Otley Folk Festival will not be the same.

Sad news.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Onny
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 05:36 PM

A bonnie fechter, he won't be forgotten.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 05:45 PM

Indeed not. A man I'll always be proud to have known.

God Speed big fella

Tom


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 05:48 PM

I am sorry. I e-mail him and mentioned that any friend of Tom Bliss's was a friend of mine. I am sorry for your collective loss.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Tom
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 05:51 PM

This is your man


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: SylviaN
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 06:13 PM

Really sorry to hear this - a great man with a good heart.

Our condolences to Fatima and his family.

Sylvia and Keith


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: treewind
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 06:37 PM

Very sad to hear this. A fine fellow who I never met, but was in frequent email contact with over the Swarbaid project - his enthusiasm was infectious and I'm sorry that we'll never meet now.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: JennieG
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 06:50 PM

So sorry to hear this. Several years ago Alistair performed at a thank-you party for volunteers at the Oz National Folk Festival - he gave generously of his time, and still remember his performance. While that wasn't the only time I saw him it's the one I remember the best.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 07:03 PM

Kate Delaney asked me to share the following message. Kate and her late husband Gordon McIntyre were among the first to record Alistair's songs and to bring his work to the attention of Australians.

"Fatima rang me from Scotland this morning and sadly Alistair had died a couple of hours before - I think about 6.30 am our time. It turned out he had cancer and under the circumstamces his death was very sudden. She told me that there will be a memorial in Sydney in a couple of months or so - she will most likely come here for it. She will also, obviously, be sending out an email.

"Needless to say I'm devastated by the news - Gordon had known him since he was 19 and he was very much a part of our lives - as I know he was for many others in Australia and worldwide.He, his music and his passion for social justice will be sorely missed."


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,graham& alexis
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 07:41 PM

ditto to all above sentiments. ally will be missed by us all as a consistant fighter for the rights of people.. and a really great writer, singer and interpreter of songs. i well remember his gigs here in ayrshire and will treasure the memories.

g&a

sadly missed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 08:13 PM

Goodbye Alistair, your wisdom increased my understanding of life and its complications.
Your departing leaves me sad, but, thankful that I had the honour of meeting you.

Dennis


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 10:52 PM

We share in everybody's sadness. We met Alistair in 2003 in Scotland and then again when he came to tour here in Brisbane (Australia) on several occasions. His songs were a great homage to working-class people and reflected his own humility and sensitivity as well as a lovely feel for a good tune. May his songs and memory live on for the rest of us.
Sue and Lachlan


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Helen Rowe. Brisbane, Australia.
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 11:27 PM

I am having trouble believing that he has gone. I thought that Alistair would live forever, like his songs. He will not be forgotten by all of us who sing his songs and pay homage to a remarkable man, an authentic voice of the people, whose songs are so real and stir so much emotion - he will live still for me, Helen.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: cloudstreet
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 11:48 PM

A great man is gone from us. The power of his music and his spirit will be with us still.
A sad day.

John Thompson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 28 Jan 10 - 11:57 PM

I only met Alistair a couple of times in the past few years on his visits to Australia.

On his last visit we'd arranged for him to appear at my folk club "The Loaded Dog" when he came back to Australia, probably later this year. It had been years since he'd played at The Dog as his return visits always drew large crowds, and he was looking forward to appearing in that great acoustic space.

condolences to Fatima, & their families & friends

sandra


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: rich-joy
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 02:51 AM

John and I had no idea that Alistair was so ill, so notice of his death has come as a shock and we send sympathy to Fatima.

We share the sentiments of Helen Rowe who :
" .... thought that Alistair would live forever, like his songs. He will not be forgotten by all of us who sing his songs and pay homage to a remarkable man, an authentic voice of the people, whose songs are so real and stir so much emotion .... "

Dale and John Dengate
(via R-J)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Natalie Gould
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 04:51 AM

I was really sad to hear about Alistairs death, he was a great socialist sonwriter (I can't stop singing He Fades Away), and a Comrade. I will miss him.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Niamh Parsons
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 04:58 AM

Very sad at the news, I didn't know him long, nor did I spend much time with him, but when we toured together with James and Nancy, Graham and myself, with the Shamrock, Thistle and Rose tour, he would light up our days every day, talking of songs,of injustice, or of his happiness in his life with Fatima. I am honoured that he let me record some of his songs and very very sad at his passing.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: freda underhill
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 06:08 AM

He was a fine singer and songwriter, and a very fine man, a great man who left too soon.

Amalina


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Cuilionn
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 09:20 AM

He must be causing a joyful ruckus in The Great Beyond. I imagine he and

Howard Zinn are up there singing union songs at the pearly factory gates.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Brian Preston
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 09:21 AM

Adieus my old comrade,
Missing you already. A great man, a tremendous human being who wrote and played some wonderful music.
Much sympathy to Fatima, family and friends who's lives he touched.
All our love at his time of great sadness.
Brian Preston & Family


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: henryclem
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 09:22 AM

Ally was someone I wish I'd met sooner in my life - he'd a rare passion which he brought to everything; the songs he performed (not just his own), the causes he fought for, the friendships he made.
I didn't know him long but have reason to be grateful for the time and effort he put in for my benefit.

Unforgettable - his songs, his spirit, his commitment.

My condolences to Fatima, and to everyone close to him.

Henry


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: alex s
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 09:29 AM

I remember him telling me that one of his most frightening experiences was having to sit in the window of a beautician's IN GLASGOW, having his nails done!
RIP bonny lad.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,jimmy
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 10:25 AM

He was an inspiration to anyone who ever wanted to write songs about injustices and oppressed people in this world, weve lost a man who could truely fight with his songs and his pen. RIP Alistair


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 10:31 AM

I only knew Alistair from his recordings. A pity, he sounds like he'd be just my kind of bloke. My condolences to his family. I hope that the many mesages of love and respect on this thread will be of comfort to you. Burl.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 10:57 AM

Sad news, sad news indeed.

I recall seeing Alistair at the Tron Folk Club in Edinburgh (how long ago must that have been ?) and he was gracious enough to take the time in the interval to discuss at length his guitar tuning.

Many years later, he was equally gracious in this thread, when I had the temerity to criticize his choice of rhyme in his wonderful song "Destitution Road". No pricked ego, no huffiness, just laid back and gracious.

RIP Alistair, a wonderful entertainer and a true gentleman.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 11:39 AM

Stunned and immensely saddened to hear this today.

Another lovely warm-hearted guy gone - more inspiration and integrity snatched from our midst. It's just not right.

Massive sympathies to Fatima and condolences to all his family and friends.

RIP Ally.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Lonnie
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 12:15 PM

We have lost a voice for the working people, a singer and songwriter of power and deep feeling. Condolences to friends and family, esp Fatima. He has been part of my musical landscape for so long.
Vale


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: HipflaskAndy
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 01:07 PM

My thoughts and prayers to Fatima and all his close friends & family.
Rest in peace m' pal.

I will remember, well, all you taught and showed me.
I will remember you, dearly, through such as this...

Aghast, at Otley Festival a few years back, that he and I were cast in a concert to be held in, of all places...
Otley Conservative Club! - he led us in a rousing end-of-concert voicing of the 'Red Flag'
- and, when booked for subsequent Otley Festivals, he asked for that venue to be included in his itinery,
so he could repeat said anthem there, all over again.

That was our Ali! - Duncan McFarlane


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: akenaton
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 02:19 PM

The following was written by Pete Bond, from his lovely song "Joe Peel"

The words could have been penned for Alistair.

The day you left, I stayed outside
With scalding tears no comfort knowing.
We all turned up to say goodbye.
The church was filled to overflowing.
You'd never believed it if you'd seen
How many people mourned your going,
And just how lucky folks still feel
To say they knew Joe Peel


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Mick Tems
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 02:27 PM

We saw Alistair Hulett at Auckland Festival many years ago, when we were touring New Zealand. Ally was living in Australia then, and we didn't know him from Adam; but we listened to his set and really loved it. He was thinking of returning to Scotland then, and we exchanged addresses. Years later, Ally and Dave Swarbrick toured, and Llantrisant Folk Club was packed out to see and hear them. I reviewed their CD for Taplas magazine, and I still go back to it and give it a play - it's an outstanding album.

Thank you, Ally, for giving us your music. Thank you indeed.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 03:06 PM

That was a lovely memory, Duncan.

With love to Alistair's family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GerryMc
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 05:16 PM

Terrible news

He will be sadly missed at Otley Festival

Great to have known him

All our thoughts to his family

Gerry and Ani


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: rich-joy
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 06:45 PM

" ----- Original Message -----
From: David Rovics
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 3:01 PM
Subject: [David Rovics] Alistair Hulett has died


Please feel free to post and distribute, no permission necessary...


Alistair Hulett has has died
Icon of Scottish folk music, international socialism, and Australian punk rock dead at 57

Today is my daughter Leila's fourth birthday, and while this occasion brings my thoughts back to the day she was born, the past 24 hours have otherwise been full of fairly devastating news.

If the left can admit to having icons, then two of them have just died. Yesterday it was the great historian and activist Howard Zinn, with whom I had the pleasure of sharing many stages around the US over many years. Much has been written about Zinn's death at the age of 87, and I think many more people will be discovering his groundbreaking work who may not have heard of him til now.

And then less than a full day later I heard the news that my dear friend, comrade and fellow musician Alistair Hulett died today. He was thirty years younger than Professor Zinn, 57 years old, give or take a year (I'm shit at remembering birthdays, but he was definitely still years shy of 60). Ally had an aggressive form of cancer in his liver, lungs and stomach.

I last saw Alistair last summer at his flat in Glasgow where he had lived with his wife Fatima for many years. (Fatima, a wonderful woman about whom Ally wrote his love song, "Militant Red.") He seemed healthy and spry as usual, with plenty to say about the state of the world as always. He was working on a new song about a Scottish anarchist who had run the English radio broadcast for the Spanish Republic in the 1930's.

I first met Ally in 2005, at least that's what he said. I seem to recall meeting him earlier than that, but maybe it's just that I was already familiar with his music and had been to his home town of Glasgow many times before I actually met him. His reputation preceded him – in my mind he was already one of those enviably great guitarists who along with people like Dick Gaughan had done so much to breath new life into the Scottish folk music tradition. I had also already heard some of his own wonderful compositions, sung by him as well as by other artists.

In 2005 the Scottish left was well mobilized, organizing the people's response to the G8 meetings that were happening in the wooded countryside not far from Edinburgh. Alistair was involved both as an organizer and a musician, and we hung out in Edinburgh, in Glasgow, outside a detention center somewhere, and out by the G8 meetings in an opulent little town with an unpronounceable Scottish name.

I asked him then if he wanted to do a tour with me in the US. He took me up on that a year or so later and we traveled from Boston to Minneapolis over the course of two weeks or so, doing concerts along the way. Many people who came to our shows were already familiar with Alistair's music, while many were hearing it for the first time and were generally well impressed with his work as well as his congenial personality, despite the fact that many people reported to me discreetly that they couldn't understand a word he was saying.

Americans aren't so good with accents at the best of times, and to make matters worse Alistair was largely doing songs from his Red Clydeside CD, which is a themed recording all about the anti-capitalist/anti-imperialist rebellion that rocked Glasgow in 1917. Naturally the songs from that CD are also sung in a Glaswegian dialect which can only be understood by non-Scottish people in written form, if you take your time.

Alistair was determined to retaliate for my having organized a tour for us in the US, which he did three years later in a big way, organizing a five-week tour for us of Australia and New Zealand from late November 2008 until early January of last year.

Our tour began in Christchurch, New Zealand. This turned out to seem very fitting, since Christchurch is where Alistair moved as a teenager, along with his parents and his sister, in the mid-1960's. He resented having to leave Glasgow, which was at that time a major hotbed of the 1960's global cultural and political renaissance -- a renaissance which had decidedly not yet made its way to little Christchurch, New Zealand. Alistair described to me how the streets of this small city were filled with proper English ladies wearing white gloves when he moved there as a restless youth.

The folk scare came to Christchurch, though, as with so many other corners of the world at that time, and at the age of 17 Alistair was in the heart of it. Our tour of New Zealand included a whole bunch of great gigs, but it was also like a tour of the beginning of Alistair's varied musical career. All along the way on both the south and north islands I met people Alistair hadn't seen for years or sometimes decades. I cringed as someone gave us a bootleg recording of Alistair as a teenager, figuring wrongly that it would be a reminder of a musically unstable early period, but it turned out to be a fine recording, a vibrant but nuanced rendition of some old songs from the folk tradition.

After two weeks exploring the postcard-perfect New Zealand countryside, smelling a lot of sheep shit, and getting in a car accident while parked, we headed to Sydney. Upon arriving in Australia I discovered a whole other side to Alistair and his impact on the world. Though his Scottish accent never seemed to thin out much, he lived for 25 years in Sydney and was on the ground floor of the Australian punk rock scene, playing in towns and cities throughout Australia with his band, Roaring Jack. The band broke up decades ago but still has a loyal following throughout the country, as I discovered first-hand night after night. In contrast with the nuanced and often quite obscure stories told in the traditional ballads which Alistair rendered so well, Roaring Jack was a brash, in-your-face musical experience, championing the militant end of the Australian labor movement and leftwing causes generally, fueled by equal parts rage against injustice, love of humanity and alcohol.

Since the 90's Alistair has lived in his native Glasgow, while regularly touring elsewhere in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. He's played in various musical ensembles including most recently his band the Malkies, but mostly his work has been as a songwriter and solo performer, also recording and occasionally touring with the great fiddler of Fairport Convention fame, Dave Swarbrick. His more recent songs have run the gamut from a strictly local Glasgow song written to support a campaign to save a public swimming pool to the timelessly beautiful song recorded by June Tabor and others, "He Fades Away."

"He Fades Away" is about an Australian miner dying young of asbestosis, from massive exposure to asbestos, a long-lasting, daily tragedy of massive proportions fueled by, well, greedy capitalists. It is surely more than a little ironic that Alistair was taken from us at such a young age by the industrial-world epidemic known as cancer, so much like the subject of his most well-known song.

The song is written from the perspective of the wife of a miner who is dying of asbestosis. The melody of the song is so beautiful that quoting the lyrics can't come close to doing it justice, and I won't do the song that injustice here – just go to the web and search for "He Fades Away," it's right there in various forms.

It is undoubtedly a privilege of someone like Alistair that he will be remembered passionately by people, young and old and on several continents, long after today – by friends, lovers, fellow activists, fellow musicians, and many times as many fans. And he will long be remembered also as one of the innumerable great people, including so many great musicians, who died too young.

On our last tour, so recently, he was meeting new friends and renewing old friendships every single day, so very full of life. Among the friendships he was renewing was that with his elderly parents, who came to our show in Brisbane, a couple hours from where they retired on the east coast of Australia. Though the exact causes of Alistair's illness will probably never be known, it seems to be a hallmark not just of war, but especially of the industrialized world's ever-worsening cancer epidemic, that so many parents have to see their children die so young.


David Rovics
www.davidrovics.com
www.blogtalkradio.com/davidrovics
www.soundclick.com/davidrovics
songwritersnotebook.blogspot.com
www.myspace.com/davidrovics
www.facebook.com/davidrovics
twitter.com/drovics
davidrovics.guestbooks.cc "


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 09:24 PM

lyrics to "He fades away"

Alistair singing "He fades away"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Bugsy
Date: 29 Jan 10 - 10:27 PM

Very sad news.

I didn't know Alistair though I met him once, briefly and many years ago.

My condolences to his wife and family.

I'm sure that his music will live on.

Bugsy


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Subject: AlThe Death of Musician Alistair Hulett
From: Simmo
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 06:10 AM

Very sad news of Alistair Hulett death.
He Fades Away.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 06:34 AM

Sydney, Australia -

PAY TRIBUTE TO AND CELEBRATE THE LIFE, SADLY PASSED, OF ALISTAIR HULETT, REVOLUTIONARY SONGWRITER AND PERFORMER

A memorial for Alistair Hulett will be held on Sunday February 14th
3.00-6.00pm at the Gaelic Club in Sydney.

Everyone is welcome, we will have video of Alistair's performances, photos,
posters from the struggles in which Alistair played a role fund raising and
immortalising them in his songs, etc. If you have any memorabilia, please
bring it, or contact Diane Fieldes or Sandra Bloodworth (details below) to
organise it to be added to any displays we are assembling.

Tim Anderson, about whom "Framed" was written, will be there to speak and
remember his times with Alistair and their struggle together, and we hope to
have speakers from unions Alistair did fundraisers for, etc. As the program
is put together, we will send out notices so everyone knows who is coming to
pay tribute and celebrate Alistair's life.


Sandra Bloodworth - sgbloodworth (at) gmail.com
Diane Fieldes - dfieldes (at) gmail.com


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: goatfell
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 07:22 AM

so sad RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Jackie Morrison
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:45 AM

I only met Alistair a few times through mutual friends having seen him playing in the Star Folk club in Glasgow. I actually hired him to play after a formal dinner I was hosting and after a couple of his songs we nearly had a bunch of middle class people going to the picket at Calder Street baths Alistair was a founder of.

Terrible loss of a talented, compassionate and witty man.

If there is to be any events in his honour I would greatly appreciate being informed.

jackie.morrison1@btopenworld.com


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Sheena Wellington
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 10:12 AM

I still don't want to believe that this fine musician, singer and songwriter, this generous inspiring man of towering integrity and equally towering compassion has been torn from us so soon! Rest in peace, Ally, and love and support to Fatima.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Graham Dixon
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 01:59 PM

Thanks Alistair

For your wonderful songs, excellent company and the outstanding night that you gave us at Gregson Lane Folk Club where you will be truly missed by everyone involved.

God bless you

Graham & Bernadette Dixon


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Graham in Ayr
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 03:42 PM

all the above tributes tell their own story. . indeed a real loss, but for Ally's humanity not only the songs..

we should get the funeral supported and attended, first, but, yes, in response to one of the above posts, i would hope and expect that there will be a memorial concert of some kind organised in glasgow


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,John Flynn
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 09:19 PM

I knew Alistair when he was a wee lad in Christchurch and was at the Folk Club for his first ever gig. We re-acquainted after 35 years when he was in Perth a couple of years ago. In the interim I kept abreast with his music. A sad loss and so young. My thoughts with his family


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Chris Church (formerly Cherry)
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 10:14 PM

Waaa how I will miss you Ali. Our group Croodin Cant was a beginning of real good folkmusic times in New Zealand and loving friendships - wow 1967 it was. Still remember you and Alison and your mum and dad who were so warm and friendly. Really really sad you can't speak to us anymore. Love to you Fatima...xx


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: nager
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 12:54 AM

Very sad loss indeed. I met Alistair when he toured here in Australia not too long ago and did a concert in Newcastle NSW. Good man to talk to and a wonderful singer and songwriter. RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Jeanette Gillespie
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 05:41 AM

It was so beautiful to catch up with Ali in November 2009 - my partner Duncan and I were priveleged to have been able to do the support bracket for his Melbourne (Australia) Folk Club concert on November 21st. Not sure whether or not this was his last Australian concert. We are gutted! I will never forget that last hug. What a sad loss - such strength and conviction yet such softness and caring. Our thoughts are with all family and loved ones.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Onny
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 08:58 AM

Alistair's funeral will be held at Glasgow's Linn Crematorium on Friday 5th February at 1.30pm.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 05:45 PM

Fatima

please accept our condolences. We loved the songs and the person.
So many favourite tunes / performances / conversations.
Seeing Alistair at the G8 stuff will stick in my mind.
Top fighter. Top person.

Regards and condolences

Des and Siobhan


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Effsee
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 10:35 PM

I hope no-one minds me copying this from Footstompin':-

Dear Friends,

It is with overwhelming sadness I write to report the death of Alistair Hulett – singer, songwriter, international socialist, revolutionary, ecologist, community activist and my partner and best friend of 17 years.

Alistair died on Thursday evening, January 28 at 6:30pm at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. Many friends have been shocked by the severity and speed of his deterioration, none more so than myself.

Alistair became ill very suddenly on New Year's Day and was hospitalised on January 5 with suspected food poisoning. Liver failure was later diagnosed and it was hoped that he could receive a liver transplant, but further investigation revealed a very aggressive form of cancer which had already spread from his liver to his lungs and stomach. Alistair died peacefully only days after the cancer was first detected.

His funeral will be held at Linn Crematorium in Lainshaw Drive on Friday 5 Feb at 1:30pm, ...
I would like to thank, with all my heart, the hundreds of people who wrote letters, sent emails, cards and left telephone messages of support during his short illness. They were a huge comfort to myself and his family.

A memorial will also be held in Sydney organised by his family and friends in the next couple of months.

Alistair was a kind, gentle man who was committed to fighting for a better world – a world based on the principles of justice, equality, love and respect for all of humanity. The world was a better place for knowing him and is a sadder place for his loss. He leaves a great legacy in his music that will continue to bring inspiration to many who, like him, believed a better world was possible.

Fatima


It seems so cruel that such a fine person can be taken from us, so quickly, so young, so talented.
RIP Ali...someone said previously "That was "our Ali"...sums it up! He'd a liked that.
Condolences to Fatima, and all friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Jan 10 - 11:25 PM

Who now will carry the Flag?
Vale Alistair


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Little Robyn
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 04:01 AM

So very sorry to hear about this - it was announced during a concert at the Auckland Folk Festival on Saturday night.
I remember Alistair as a teenager, singing Huntingtower with his sister Alison, when the family first arrived in NZ and they were living in Weliington. After that he shifted to Christchurch where he joined Croodin Cant, with Chrissy and Bernie Cherry and a few others, and really introduced NZ to unaccompanied British Trad songs and traditions.
We were sorry when we lost him to Aus, but it was great hearing Kate and Gordon singing his songs.
We met him again last year when he toured with David Rovics and they did a concert in a small church in Pukehou, not too far from here.
It gave us a chance to catch up again but all too briefly.
He will be sadly missed.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,John Hamill
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 04:50 AM

I am one of Alistair's best friends, I just wanted to let you know that I will upload more video of Alistair to my Youtube site (sparky2086) very soon.
Heartbroken,
John.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 01 Feb 10 - 05:17 AM

John - thanks, I've been enjoying the videos you posted & bookmarked your site.

Robyn, I was talking to Kate (Delaney) this afternoon & have sent her this thread for when she get back on line later this week

sandra


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 06:52 AM

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Petran
To: 'Ausfolk@folkalliance.org.au'
Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 2:16 PM
Subject: [Ausfolk] Music Deli


This week's Music Deli program is dedicated to Alistair Hulett.
The program will include a studio session recorded in 2001 in which Alistair talks about some of his songs; and then a performance from the
1992 Port Fairy Folk Festival.

Please note – a new time for Music Deli on Friday nights – 7.05pm
Repeated on Saturday mornings at 4.05am and then again on Sunday afternoon at 4.05pm.
Each week's program is available to listen to on the website for one month after the radio broadcast.
ABC Radio National around Australia and on the web at www.abc.net.au/rn/musicdeli

Paul Petran


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Nandinium
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 04:51 PM

I first met Alistair and his partner back in the 90's at Sidmouth
where he and Dave (the Swarb)were doing their "Saturday Johnny & Jimmy the Rat presentation. Throughout the week we bumped into each other at various venues, sharing stories and experiences. I was even that early impressed with his strength of character and resolve to right things for the underdog, his compassion always shone through in every discussion. Since that day I have met up with Alistair and his musical partners at various venues in the UK and once in Australia. I was lucky to see him at the Mad Nanny's folk club last year, I remember saying, see you next year, his comment was God willing Yes! Never did I imagine then that we would never meet again. He was so young compared to me, it has been such a shock for us all, and such a terrible loss to the folk music of the World, but the loss felt by Fatima must be far greater.

It is at this time that my deepest sympathies go out to Fatima and Ali's relatives, his fellow band members (Malkies) such a promising start for a new band, and so sad to lose your lead singer and guitarist just when it was all happening for you.

R.I.P Dear Alistair You will be much missed.

M.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 Feb 10 - 05:39 PM

from Margaret Walters on Ausfolk :

" Everyone I know in Sydney has been deeply saddened by Alistair's death and it has been soothing to read the many tributes people have made.


Chris Maltby gathered these websites together:


http://www.counterpunch.org/rovics01292010.html - David Rovics

http://links.org.au/node/1484 - Links International - Journal of Socialist Renewal

http://www.sa.org.au/topics/256-miscellaneous/2551-alistair-hulett - Diane Fieldes

http://www.folkicons.co.uk/alisbio.htm - Ally's bio page with earlier life info

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alistair_Hulett - Wikipedia

http://hintadupfing.blogspot.com/2010/01/vale-alistair-hulett.html - Hintadupfing blog

http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2010/01/alastair-hulett-rip/ - Folk Radio UK








Robb Johnson in England wrote a poem the other day posted by Dave Rovics:



LYRIC FOR ALISTAIR



There are patterns in the woodwork
there are patterns on my thumb
there are patterns from the brickwork
to the rhythms of the drums
but don't talk to me of patterns
cos all that i can see
is a big hole in the universe
where you used to be

this is the sound of a broken heart
still beating

now we gather up the fragments
& we'll keep the pieces close
& you'll follow like my shadow
the best of friendly ghosts
cos we've got unfinished business
we'll move the wheel along
move it with your muscle
move it with your song

this is the sound of a broken heart
still beating

there are patterns in this chaos
there are patterns in these stars
like the patterns of the poetry
that you made with your guitar
there are patterns in the mystery
that i'll never understand
& there are patterns in the history
that we make here with our hands

this is the sound of a broken heart
still beating





and I'd like to share a song by John Warner in 1996 - written when Alistair and Fatima were leaving Sydney to go to Glasgow.



For Fatima and Alistair

tune: Among Proddy Dogs and Papes

It's a long, cold road from the Holy Isle way out in Lamlash Bay
To seagulls haggling hamburger scraps by a Newtown take-away.
Where you've watched the cops patrol like sharks, in a shop reflection screen
And told your truth in words that burn in our minds like Acetylene

But the bleeding hands are healed today, they're strong and close in yours,
So travel lightly, travel well the roads of Albion's shores.

You've led us down Destitution Road over Scotland's freezing moors,
Shed fiery light on "Divide and Rule" and a thousand years of wars.
We've felt our pride and our anger rise when the workers made their stands,
And wept with pain for a girl of ten and a pair of bleeding hands

The little girl of a Melbourne dawn in clothes she's ashamed to wear
Is the woman who loves the songs you love, and fights in the fight you share
Who speaks for the people of Bougainville, of the evil deeds of power;
For the hands that bled are militant red and today they've seized the hour

It's long we'll sing of a glint of light - down by a wintered weir,
And two old rogues with a new tickled trout making shift for another year;
And while we've voice and a set of strings, and a crowd can fill a room,
We'll tell of a bloodstained pillowcase, and the shame of Wittenoom.

So thanks for the gift of your hard-forged songs, for words with a tiger's bite,
Sydney's pubs will resound them long on many a Friday night,
And where we gather to stake our claims and resist the system's wrongs,
You will be there in the cause we share as the masses sing your songs.


John Warner 24 July 1996
with two-bob's worth from Margaret Walters "



and an addendum from Sandra Nixon :

" Video performances of Alistair posted by sparky 2086 - he's a friend of
Alistair & will be posting more.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnn84PLTDSc

Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=126794&messages=70&page=1 "


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 03 Feb 10 - 06:14 PM

Celebration, Melbourne, Australia, Friday 5th February, 7pm onwards

You are invited to celebrate the life, politics and music of Alistair Hulett in the Socialist Alternative Centre at Trades Hall (enter via Victoria St)

Many have been saddened by the recent death of Alistair Hulett, revolutionary singer and activist. In honour of his life and his contribution to radical music and politics there is going to be a celebration this Friday evening at Trades Hall. The evening will feature some clips from Alistair's extensive body of work, a few tribute songs from English musician John McCullagh and an obituary by his friend and comrade Sandra Bloodworth.

(This event will be hosted by Socialist Alternative and will be followed by an event celebrating Socialist Alternative's new Centre in Trades Hall at the top of the stairs at the Victoria St entrance)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,emmie
Date: 03 Feb 10 - 06:32 PM

Can't believe Dave Swarbrick has outlived him!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 04 Feb 10 - 04:31 PM

I was shocked to find this on my return from a few days in hospital. Another great loss to humanity and to Scottish music. I was looking forward to hearing Ally again somewhere in Scotland or Germany this year. Never again! My sympathy goes to his family and close friends.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,JC
Date: 05 Feb 10 - 09:53 AM

RIP Ally


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Arfrur Brain
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 12:16 PM

Obituary in today's Guardian.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/feb/09/alistair-hulett-obituary


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 10 Feb 10 - 02:00 PM

Here it is in full - a fine piece of writing for a mighty fine man.

Robin Denslow:

Alistair Hulett, who has died of cancer aged 58, was an outspoken, staunchly leftwing singer and songwriter who built up a dedicated following in his native Scotland and in New Zealand and Australia, where he spent much of his life. His colourful, wildly varied musical career included work with the Australian folk-punk group Roaring Jack and a series of albums recorded with Dave Swarbrick, Britain's finest fiddle-player. For Swarbrick, Hulett was "committed, uncompromising and passionate, and the best songwriter since Ewan MacColl. I've worked with wonderful songwriters like Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny, but Alistair was spectacular."

Born in Glasgow, where his father was an aircraft engineer, Hulett attended Ralston primary school and then the John Neilson institution in Paisley. He became fascinated by the folk scene while still a teenager and, his sister Alison recalls, would "climb out of his bedroom window at night when he was just 13 so he could go off to see the Incredible String Band". He was given a guitar by his uncle and studied the songs of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan.

The following year he was horrified when his parents decided to move to New Zealand. He initially regarded Christchurch as a cultural backwater, and was furious at being forced to wear a uniform at Christchurch boys' high school, though he soon became something of a sensation at Christchurch folk club because of his interpretation of MacColl songs and knowledge of British traditional music.

After leaving school he studied at Canterbury School of Fine Arts and worked as a carpet designer. He was determined to return to Scotland, but after leaving home he travelled to Australia, where he met his first wife, Jane McDonald. They settled back in New Zealand (where Hulett formed the band Croodin Cant, which included his sister and specialised in British folk ballads) before moving to northern Australia and then, in 1977, to India, where they were based in the Himalayas.

Hulett's strong political commitment was formed, his sister believes, during the two years he spent in India, "where he saw the huge divide between the poor and the wealthy". Returning to Australia without his wife, he dramatically changed his image and musical style and formed the Sydney-based band Roaring Jack, who were seen as Australia's answer to the Pogues, with a line-up of electric guitar, drums and accordion.

They played at concerts, benefits and demonstrations, and Hulett's angry, highly political new songs included The Old Divide and Rule, Framed (a song about the activist Tim Anderson, who was wrongly accused of placing explosives outside the Sydney Hilton hotel), and The Swaggies Have All Waltzed Matilda Away, which includes the line "blood stained the soil of Australia". According to his sister, "Politics put him at odds with the authorities. I'm sure there's a big dossier on him in Australia."
hulett2 In 1992, Hulett, above, began a solo career exploring his early folk roots.

In 1992, Hulett changed musical direction yet again, moving from folk-punk to an exploration of his early folk roots with his first solo album, the acoustic Dance of the Underclass. But there was no change in his political stance, and the album included an angry lament for the suffering of Australia's asbestos miners, He Fades Away, which was covered in England by June Tabor.

His collaboration with Swarbrick began in 1995. The fiddle player, best-known for his work with Martin Carthy and Fairport Convention, was living in Australia at the time and was eager to meet Hulett after hearing The Swaggies, a song he describes as "a masterpiece". The duo recorded the album Saturday Johnny and Jimmy the Rat, which included traditional songs, political songs, and compositions based on stories of Glasgow that Hulett had been told by his grandfather. It was well received and the duo successfully toured Australia together. The following year they both decided it was time to return to the UK. Hulett was now remarried, to Fatima Uygun, and he and his wife stayed with Swarbrick in Herefordshire, where the album Cold Grey Light of Dawn was recorded.

In 1997, Hulett fulfilled his teenage ambition at last, and moved back to Glasgow. His collaborations with Swarbrick continued, but were curtailed when the fiddler became seriously ill in 1999, and in 2000 Hulett recorded another solo album, In Sleepy Scotland. In 2002 he was reunited with Swarbrick on the album Red Clydeside, which told the story of John Maclean – the Scottish revolutionary who campaigned against conscription during the first world war, called for a communist republic of Scotland and was imprisoned on several occasions.

In 2005, Hulett recorded a final solo album, Riches and Rags, which included his own political songs, traditional songs, and a reworking of The First Girl I Loved, by Robin Williamson, a song that appeared on the first album by Hulett's teenage heroes, the Incredible String Band. In partnership with the singer Jimmy Ross, he also gave historical word-and-song presentations on the lives of Seeger and MacColl, or the history of Irish political song, and in 2008 he recorded with the Yorkshire-based band the Malkies.

Although brought up in a strongly Protestant family, he was a staunch supporter of Celtic football team.

Hulett became ill on New Year's Day, and died only days after being diagnosed with cancer. He is survived by Fatima.

• Alistair Hulett, singer, songwriter and political activist, born 15 October 1951; died 28 January 2010

and with pictures


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 06:12 PM

Tomorrow's broadcast of Focus On Folk will be given over to Alistair's music.

Alistair, Fatima and I were among the group that put Radio Broadside to air on Sunday mornings in Sydney. Some years ago the program moved to a different station and a different timeslot and changed its name to Focus On Folk, but everyone involved with the current program was also involved with Radio Broadside.

The program is on Saturday 13 February on 2MBS-FM, 102.5, from 6 to 7 pm, Australian Eastern Daylight Time, and streaming on the web at http://www.2mbs.com/
Unfortunately there are no provisions for listening after the program is broadcast. 6pm Saturday in Sydney is 11pm Friday in California, 2am Saturday in New York, and 7am Saturday in London (I think).


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 01:53 AM

A musician of talent and conviction - Obit by Bruce Elder
Alistair Hulett, 1951-2010

There is something admirable about those people of deep political conviction who, in their youth, rail against the unfairness of the world and maintain that rage for the rest of their lives.

The great Scottish-Australian folk singer Alistair Hulett was a gentle man with a wonderful sense of humour who never deviated from his deeply held belief in the essential decency of the working class and the exploitation of those workers by capitalist elites.

So it was appropriate after his death in Glasgow from an aggressive cancer at the age of only 58, that his wife, Fatima Uygun, would describe Hulett as a "singer, songwriter, international socialist, revolutionary, ecologist, community activist". He was also a man who had and deserved the admiration of his fans. (MORE)


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Subject: RE: Obit: Alistair Hulett (28 Jan 2010)
From: GUEST,Guest, Ken Lewis
Date: 21 Feb 11 - 09:25 PM

Another big earthquake in Christchurch today. While searching the www for old friends Bernie and Chrissy, found to my immense shock found that Alistair had died a year ago. Far too young!
Alison if you, or any family members, read this please accept my heart felt condolences, and deepest sympathy. Sorry they are so belated, but time plays tricks on us all.


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