Sad goodbye to open-mic night

Derek Allan with his daughter Ellie.
Derek Allan with his daughter Ellie.

In 2013, the Gazette published excerpts from the diary of Derek Allan, one half of the acoustic duo We Steal Flyers. After taking 2014 off from being a diarist, Derek, from Broomhill, is back again.

January 1

I feel the good feelings of a whole new year. We are all in this life together and this year is our own.

I feel this way every year and I try to carry this feeling as long through the year as I can before I get the burning of excitement for Christmas again.

I enjoy every season for what it is and as long as I am in it then I am doing well and giving it my best.

Last week, in the music business all the people I usually talk with for gig bookings and promotions were busy with all of the festivities.

I did not bother them and very few bothered me so for this week I got to relax. I did not worry about much work wise.

Last year, many venues put a stop to music due to lack of interest and realising that food still sells best.

We also lost out on gigs due to my musical partner losing his voice for many weeks.

However, there is little point in writing about how bad life was or is or how bad it can be when I can write of happy times.

The year was another hard working year filled with people and music in so any places.

The search for endless happiness is the greatest adventure.

January 2

The first gig for We Steal Flyers is here and it was a great start to the year.

When 90 per cent of the people are there to see/hear you, it is a great feeling.

It makes it more special when it is in Chester-le-Street. I love Durham as a place, but mainly for my love of cricket.

Ellie is eight years old now and she loves cricket as much as I do.

She did some cricket at Morpeth and at Durham last year to see if she liked it all as much as she thought, she loves it as much as she loves walking. She still wants to play for England.

Durham could very well be the place we move to should we move from where we live now.

The gig brought a nice feeling all day and night.

It is good to know that the new songs for the third album are written as we always sell a few albums at gigs. It will be great for our fans to have another one to buy.

After four years, The Trap open mic night has ended.

It was a great run and averaged over 20 people a week on a Wednesday, up to 40 people a week at times, but the last few weeks of the year it died right down and new local open mic nights arrived and were tried and liked so there was no longer a need for The Trap night.

We were sad when we were told but we could see it coming and could not help it.

We will be using these Wednesdays to record the album and play a few extra online gigs. A great thing to be able to do, gig to fans around the world.

january 3

There is still very little I can do for bookings.

A second walk of the lake with Melanie, Ellie and Rebecca was brilliant.

I try and fill my life with what I would miss if I did not have it.

Melanie is preparing a collection of some of my poems as we are asked by many people if they can read some of the thoughts in print. I have been walking and writing a lot again and I love doing both.

I very much love where we live and pausing to write is like standing still in an amazing magical work of art. I feel it.

Every step is the perfect photo, painting. I love Northumberland.

january 4

The second gig of the year was in Tynemouth.

A nice afternoon gig and this means the kids can go.

Ellie and Rebecca love the trips and sharing the magic.

The gig was a good one and we were running through new songs and very much looking forward to the new album and the new year.

Back from the gig early to watch the darts final and some more recorded Twenty20 cricket from Australia.

I love the magic of the people playing these sports and the people that make it so I can actually see this all from home. People have always amazed me.