Allan was born in 1950 in Newcastle, NSW. He was educated at Warners Bay Public School; Gateshead High School and Newcastle Conservatorium of Music. He graduated from Newcastle Teachers College (and Conservatorium) in 1972 with a Diploma in Music Education and an A. Mus. A in Piano. Subsequently he attained a Master of Creative Arts (Music) from Newcastle University. He has worked as a secondary school music teacher; actor; and music director.