A famous musician comes to stay

Derek Allan with Kris Dollimore in Newbiggin.
Derek Allan with Kris Dollimore in Newbiggin.

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

August 16

Today is the arrival of an amazing person – Kris Dollimore comes to live with us for three nights and we have three gigs for him.

Sadly, the Berwick venue we had booked for him had to cancel due to a battle it is having regarding noise restrictions. We decided to invite 12 real music lovers and friends over and did a house gig instead. Our neighbours are wonderfully kind people and did not mind about this, or any future dates.

Good people make a good life easier to live. It turns out that the first live band my neighbour Steven ever saw was The Damned, and Kris was in that band too. He signed a CD for him.

The gig was a great intimate night to share with our friends and Kris loved it.

August 17

Kris went into Amble for a coffee. Northumberland looks nice and it is a great place to show off, it takes little effort.

It was a nice day and Kris shared a few stories.

He was in The Godfathers and so many people loved this band, two of them being Johnny Depp and David Bowie. He was also asked to play for Del Amitri, The Damned, Adam Ant, and a month ago, by Roger Daltry of The Who.

Many top bands want this top player and right now we have him for Acoustic Magic with his amazing solo blues set.

Tonight we joined up with Hartlepool promoters Pindrop and took We Steal Flyers as support. It was a great little gig filled with nice people.

August 18

There are more wonderful stories from our house guest. He is one of the greatest people and players I have ever met. If you like music you need to see him. He is a player who can change your life as a music lover or player from one show. You will learn from him.

We Steal Flyers and Steve Wilkinson were the support in Newbiggin and this was a wonderful night.

The view is always great in all weathers and every player wants to return to this venue. So many players are asking for a slot here with Acoustic Magic now. You need to get there and see a Thursday gig some time.

A lot of the nights are selling out now.

It was a great night and everyone arrived and left happy.

It was late night soup and tea for Kris, Mel and myself. Another great memory.

August 19

We were asked many months ago to play 20 miles north of Rothbury in an old school with a few friends and some future friends. It was a great night, a two hour set again for We Steal Flyers.

There are more than 100 dates booked for next year and we have decided to play 150 to 200 dates in all. When we are not ill we can easily do 200 and I can easily book them, but losing your voice and being ill so often did add a little fear to our endless touring life.

I love meeting all the right people in all the right places.

August 20

So many places are worth going back to and your past should always be one of them.

I have set up and have been part of many happy times. This is how I live right now too, making friends and memories in many places. This makes it easier and happier looking back, and it can help you to move forward.

It took two years to get a date sorted, but when Richard and Pete asked if We Steal Flyers could play a gig in Alnmouth cricket club I was very happy. Playing in a great place to a few friends from when I used to play cricket, it was a great gig and we are returning next year. It always feels right for me to be at any cricket ground, especially one where I played.