Diary to tell story of touring musicians

Derek Allan.
Derek Allan.
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A north Northumberland musician will be sharing the highs and lows of life on the road with a diary detailing a year in his life.

Derek Allan, from Broomhill, is one half of the hard-touring We Steal Flyers, who play around 250 gigs a year in the North East, the UK, Europe and beyond.

The 38-year-old plans to write a diary starting on January 1, 2013, which will tell the tale of his year, including three tours of Europe and playing at a festival in Texas, with bandmate Shaggy, real name Jason Vare.

And the Gazette will be publishing updates from the diary as the pair criss-cross the world, planning tours, playing shows and meeting people.

But as Derek will be writing every day, it will not just be a record of the glamour of being a musician on tour, but a peek behind the scenes and what else takes place to make it all happen.

Derek has always enjoyed writing, having produced 4,000 poems and 13 novels, and has been playing music for 18 years, so this project will combine the two.

“Words come to me and I thought it would be interesting,” he said.

“People always say ‘I wish I had your easy life’, but I work 40 hours a week booking tours and gigs.

“I’m booking it now, I just have to book up a year and make it exciting.

“We do some good gigs with some good people along the way, and that will be interesting for people too.

“And I thought if I’m writing a diary, I will try to get to a few crazy places; I’m thinking about doing a lighthouse tour.”

The timing for the start of the tour is good, as We Steal Flyers are putting out a new album, Sidecars and Sideshows, at the start of next year.

“That’s the plan, put that out and tour it with all the merchandise,” Derek said.

And before that, the pair will be heading off on their seventh tour of Europe next week.

But for those a little closer to home in north Northumberland, Derek said they are hoping to be playing some shows back here in November and December in the run-up to Christmas.

For more on the group, visit www.facebook.com/westealflyers or www.youtube.com/westealflyers.

And look out for Derek’s diary in the Gazette next year.