Family and friends are important

After a week’s break we are back with Northumberland musician Derek Allan’s weekly diary.

August 25

Meeting people because you stick with music is always a good thing. It’s one of the things that keeps you going as behind the scenes it is getting tougher. Real music lovers are rare so they are great to know.

John and Sue go to loads of gigs and travel to see live music from top class musicians in great places.

Playing for a birthday gig for Sue in her house was another great gig. They are special and we got to play with the amazing North East touring musician Paul Liddell. He plays a few Acoustic Magic dates a year.

One is next month at Newbiggin with one of his heroes Miles Hunt of The Wonderstuff. It was a brilliant having a house gig and being with nice people for a birthday, being asked means a lot.

August 26

It is really sad that another music venue can no longer have live music but for so many reasons it is going to happen more and more. Without people going to watch it then the fight for live music is almost over because without money it all ends.

Barrells Ale bar in Berwick was and is a wonderful venue, great place to play and known throughout the world of music as a real music venue. We could only play if we were completely unplugged but my duo “We Steal Flyers” can do this, so we did.

It once again turned out to be a great gig in a room shared with great people, people that love live music. We will be back there next year playing a few more completely unplugged gigs.

August 27

The days are filled with work and when six gigs are happening over a weekend and with the general house and family works to get through too, you need to take a deep breath and enjoy it. Melanie had a great all day music event with 10 players at The Sun Inn in Warkworth, such a wonderful place to be is Warkworth, an inspirational place.

I was with Shaggy at Jarrow playing a “We Steal Flyers” gig.Ellie and Rebecca were invited to a sleep over with our niece so we changed our plans to fit around that.

It is rare that we are without them but they loved staying away for the night. It actually took a little of stress away from getting them ready and making sure their day is fun whilst we are busy.

August 28

We let the kids choose where they wanted to be. Rebecca wanted to stay with Melanie for her second all dayer with 10 Acoustic Magic players. Ellie wanted to come with “We Steal Flyers” to play Seaton Sluice with “Knee Problem” the three-piece band, three great friends Rob, Don and Will.

We then helped out at Newbiggin running an open mic for charity and it went very well. This had a pause halfway through so a few hundred people could watch the fireworks at The Tall Ships (a very successful weekend, I am pleased to hear). I met a man tonight who was a mutual friend of a man I knew called Bill. Bill was an artist and a lover of life, he was a great friend.

Around 15 years ago he asked an artist to draw the cover of one of my poetry books. The man I met today was this man. He is a top class artist and a musician so we enjoyed our meeting and story shares and we will share more days and nights in the future.

Good people are all around us. I meet many amazing inspirational people in life. The music business is a big part of my life, being me is all I know. Meeting people is a big deal and you are surrounded by so many people that you have never met before and many are well worth meeting. I believe that anyone can make money but not everyone can make friends.