A busy week of gigs near and far

Derek and Shaggy, of We Steal Flyers.
Derek and Shaggy, of We Steal Flyers.

Northumberland musician Derek Allan, of We Steal Flyers, continues his weekly diary.

April 2

It was a lovely, sunny day for an acoustic magic gig near Netherwitton at The Gate.

This was a great start to the spring, with Garry Weeks and our long-time friend Carl Cape, who also does a Saturday radio show on Lionheart and every year for the last 10 years I have done his Christmas Special.

When you play music and run events you are mostly looking for nice places, with nice people, and this was one of those places. This is going to be a new monthly gig on the first Sunday of the month. This is where writers, poets, musicians write about and hope they find it.

April 3

Went for a walk to the doctors to get a health check well in advance of the 24-hour walk I am doing with my friend Shaun, then the 100-mile walk with my daughter Ellie. All is as well as can be and both events are getting lots of attention. Melanie is doing her usual hours making sure all the right people know and that we have everything for the walks.

Blyth Running Club was great tonight, again, and Rebecca is so happy running for the under 11s. She only turned nine last month so it’s a great achievement.

I walked two miles with Ellie before the running club and she did some batting and bowling for cricket practice.

April 4

It was the last open mic night in Stakeford. They were good nights, but people did not want them and taking money to run an empty room is not a great feeling. I said we would give it a go over the winter and it helped a little, but it was never going to last.

We made a few new friends and the venue is a great place to be, all new inside. Melanie still has Acoustic Magic nights there so the music will live on.

I’m getting in more 10-mile walks now with Ellie, also five gigs in a row on the way.

April 5

Three good days of gig booking for Sam, Acoustic Magic and We Steal Flyers. Some good new tour dates are being set up for next year, from January to April.

It was mostly movies and board games today, before the business starts.

April 6

The first gig was at a venue Melanie books for, a nice day of work and then a nice drive. Chris, our driver, was back behind the wheel, and there was a good gig in Hartepool. Three separate tables of fans travelled to see us. This is always good for everyone.

We were back for 1.30am as usual so a few mellow reading hours and catching up on the cricket and darts before sleep.

April 7

The gig tonight was in Wingate. After the gig we drove an hour to our hotel as we neared the Yorkshire gig, organised for Saturday. I usually travel with food to save pennies and for health reasons, but I just walked into the shop, the lady asked what I wanted and I ended up with something I never eat, a pizza. It was ok and the room was too.

Talked to Shaggy for a few hours and at around 2am we were sleeping in Yorkshire once again.

April 8

A great, sunny morning. This Spring is the first in years that to me has actually felt and looked like spring at the right time. It makes people happier and dozens of people say as I walk past: “You see, sun comes out, shorts come out.”

This gig was North Yorkshire and it was brilliant. Some gigs are just great from start to finish and this was one of them.

We were there all day and watched the Grand National. Shaggy won his first horse bet so it was a good day all day.