Derek hits the road on mini-tour

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Northumberland musician Derek Allan continues his weekly diary.

September 16

We had a quick tidy-up for jobs, bookings and hopeful replies, some over a year in waiting, then Shaggy and I headed off on a scheduled four-hour drive to Cheshire, which took closer to seven.

Getting anywhere now is very difficult, and for the driver, very tiring.

We heard lots of albums that we would not usually hear though, and talked about plans.

The gig was a good one and worth the drive. An extra £50 for being so awesome is a bonus.

Albums are still doing well everywhere.

The hotel was a good one and it did its job.

September 17

Melanie books our hotels and it is always a surprise to us where we end up.

Shaggy likes the idea of a swimming pool so today, when he got one, he loved it.

I read many chapters of my book, and took in some new bookings as more venues are buying in the new diaries.

The gig was at our friend’s bar, The Swan in Yorkshire. It was filled with people loving our efforts and wanting to hear more songs and dance. It was crazy, but safe.

It’s always nice to catch up with friends and fans.

September 18

It was a calm drive to the next gig. It was a 5pm start, and a few hours with friends and fans again.

It was good to be on the road again for a mini-tour, and good that our albums are still doing so well.

Every gig and every tour is worth doing for me as we are always moving forward and selling more albums.

I love also returning to see friends and fans.

Melanie had a rare weekend off from music-related work.

Sam Gibson is off to America with his family and a couple of gigs.

I love being happy for people. Being happy for others is what people should always be.

There are so many people. Imagine what we could do if we all stuck together?

September 19

It was another busy morning setting up next year’s music business.

A few venues have cancelled this year and the dates will need to be filled.

Melanie did the posters and a few CDs needed posting.

Then we went to the running club in Blyth for Rebecca. It was a great, but cold night.

Rebecca is loving being part of the club and they run it well, with all different kinds of competitions.

There is one soon at Druridge Bay.

September 20

A busy day was broken up with a one-hour walk with Melanie. This needs to happen sometimes as it is a very stressful business and it never stops.

After work at home, she went with Ellie and Rebecca to work from Shaggy’s house whilst Shaggy and I went to a We Steal Flyers gig in Yarm. It was a good gig for a Tuesday.

Mel did online work to make sure enough people know about the Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls’, of The Wonderstuff, gig in a few days. It is important to lose little or no money.

September 21

There is a lot of good work being done to set up for next year and the following year. We are booking some great players to come to Northumberland. It can takes years to sort these dates, making sure it can work for them, us, the venue, and so on.

Sam Gibson is in America and having a great time. I ran his Open Mic night in Newbiggin and it was a great, easy night, filled with friendly people.

It is always nice to be with nice people.