Show anniversary gig was a treat

Derek Allan, with Rebecca and Ellie, at Rochester Village Show.
Derek Allan, with Rebecca and Ellie, at Rochester Village Show.

Northumberland musician Derek Allan continues his weekly diary.

September 22

A lot of preparation goes into a gig like the one we had tonight.

A year ago it was booked, then we needed to make sure people knew online, that posters were out and that radio and press helped out. Together with word of mouth, this reaches hundreds of thousands of people. We hope that 100 people want to come and be part of the night.

Miles Hunt is the frontman of The Wonderstuff and is a great performer. Four times we have brought him with Acoustic Magic. Erica plays violin and is top class. She also plays with The Proclaimers and The Levellers. Together, they were two wonderful people playing in Newbiggin.

Sam Bosworth played support and was more than happy. Paul Liddell also played support. I chose him as the first time I booked Miles he told me he was his hero.

I like doing nice things for nice people. The simplest thing can change many lives forever.

September 23

The usual push for next year’s gigs continued, then Melanie took me to Witton Gilbert.

It was an early-start gig and not many were in, about 20, but it was calm and nice.

We Steal Flyers play all kinds of gigs in many places. This was our first time here, but Melanie has been running all-day events here for years.

A man came to talk to me about how great we were. He told me that he helped to start off musical education as a degree many decades ago at Durham University. He was a very nice person, but best of all, he was the voice at Durham cricket.

We got a photo with him and he told many more stories. He lit up my heart. Roger Haselhurst was his name.

September 24

Today there was another Flyers’ gig. We met Shaggy there. It was a village show celebrating its 130th anniversary.

It was so nice to be there with people a few fields from Scotland. They were very much “together”. It was nice seeing them happy, sharing jokes.

There was a wheelbarrow race with beer as a prize. There were a lot of sheep, arts and crafts, and vegetables – a traditional show.

Music takes me to many places, mostly because I make it happen, but these are the best days for me . This is where I always feel I belong.

It was a great gig and we will return next September. Thank you to all in Rochester.

September 25

This was a strange day off and I did not really know what to do with it. There was an hour of work, I wrote a new song, played for an hour, and read some of my book and some poetry by Lord Byron, ST Coleridge, Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling.

I felt so good about life. Reading others’ views on life is always inspiring.

I feel very much a Northumbrian and I want to get my new poetry book published for early 2017.

September 26

Now that we have decided against touring Switzerland, this is the last mini-tour coming up, and I am pleased.

Shaggy is too as driving is bad enough without the UK roadworks, and Melanie is pleased as she won’t have to plan our accommodation or lose our car for a few weeks.

We are getting in some nice home time, reading, walking, and watching sport, cookery programmes and nature programmes.

We are playing board and card games, with music in the background whilst we make plans for our year ahead – places we would like to go, gigs we want to do, players we would like to book, and planning charity events.