Clear Cut are Don Allan and his son Darren Anthony from Leeds.
Don started his music career at the early age of 11 playing classical guitar attending private lessons for 4 shillings a week. In his early teens Don made his first debut appearance on stage in a pop band called “The Prey”, then on to another band called “The Assassins”. Several bands later he found his true love of music after visiting a Country Music night at a local pub when he saw a local artist Hank Rodgers performing. Shortly after he went to see a Duo called Pat & Rodger Johns from Doncaster, he realised that this was the type of music he wanted to perform.
1974 saw him join his first country music band named “Wild Country” where they had successful tours of England and Germany performing at American bases and clubs. The late 1970s saw the band “Nightrider” formed with the former drummer from Wild Country. Nightrider went on to be very successful around the British Country Music scene and even made the finals at the sadly missed Silk Cut Festival at Wembley.
Norwood Duo was formed shortly after with drummer Tim Delaney. Norwood travelled up and down the UK performing at country venues and working men’s clubs, supporting several artistes including Bernard Manning & Karl Denver.
In 1988 Don started his singing career, singing lead vocals and playing the guitar whilst his young daughter, Donna (aged 14) played the bass guitar and harmonised. Their first gig together was a charity event in Halifax where they shared the bill with a young singer called Becky Haley and her sister Joanne, with Smokey Mountain Pete (Becky & Joanne from The Haleys and Pete from Wrangler). 12 months later, 10-year-old son Darren found that he wanted to join the musical family…. Wanting to play the drums!
Darren was gently persuaded to learn a less noisy instrument and decided to take up playing his dad’s Casio keyboard instead. After learning three chords, Darren was introduced to the Country music club scene performing one set a night at weekends, playing keyboard and tambourine with his dad and sister Donna in a trio called the Don Allan Family Band or Daband.
Aged 16, Daughter Donna decided to retire from music and explore other careers which meant Don had to go solo. Darren joined him on several weekends, depending on school commitments.
In 1994, aged 16 Darren left school and joined his first professional four-piece band “Sundown” with his dad Don. Sundown toured around the UK for four years collecting awards from several clubs and backing different artistes including American singer Lola Cagle, Kris Kelly and X factor/Fame Academy star Carolyne Pool (Good). Sundown performed at several large festivals, Butlins/Pontins holiday camps and even in front of Royalty. In 1998 Sundown disbanded.
Spotlight UK Artist interview
August 1998 saw the birth of the brand new duo “Clear Cut”. With Don singing Lead vocals, playing lead guitar, Spanish guitar, mandolin and Darren playing keyboards, piano accordion, guitar and mandolin.
With over 60 years of country music experience between them, Don and Darren try and cater for all country music audiences covering songs from Don Williams, Garth Brooks, Zac Brown Band, Desert Rose Band, Merle Haggard, Don Gibson, Eddie Raven, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Toby Keith, The Mavericks, Bob Wills, Alan Jackson plus more
In 2008 Clear Cut celebrated their 10th anniversary, so to celebrate this they released the album “Decade” which was recorded and produced at their studio. Songs on the album covered different styles of country music from past years. A new album quickly followed called “Classics” which, as the name implies, covers classic songs from popular artists.
Clear Cut has also been fortunate enough to run their own Country Music Club with help from wife/mum Maureen and friends in Leeds. The Clear Cut Country Music Club at the Leeds Anglers Club runs once a month, trying to bring the best in country music to the Yorkshire area.
In June 2011, Darren from Clear Cut did a charity bike ride with Darren Busby and friends from Lands End to John O’Groats raising money for Cancer Research, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the NACC. These 3 charities are very close to Clear Cuts hearts. Collecting money at gigs they raised over £19,000.00.
In the future, Clear Cut is looking forward to performing and promoting country music throughout the country and look forward to seeing new and old friends that they’ve met over the years.