DEREK’S DIARY: An incredible three-day tour

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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.

MArch 27

Car packed by Melanie and my food’s packed for the journey. I have marmalade sandwhiches for walks now and strawberry jam and bananas will be for this tour.

Mel dropped me off and Shaggy was ready. Melanie has adventures with Caroline heading home and Shaggy drove us to Derbyshire with the new Steve Earle album on.

The venue was perfect, large stage and lighting and sound, key parts to a show. The first person i talked to used to run The Hermitage pub in Warkworth 20 years ago. I didn’t know him but I do now. I’m interested in the people and stories on the road.

Two friends/fans travelled from Seaham to see us play. This tour was different and we went through three promoters. Katie was the one we spent most time with and she looked after us. She is a wonderful person.

The first gig was done, many albums out there and more gig offers. We were taken to a massive bar, free food and drinks (although I don’t drink), but the feeling of kindness and trust is the greatest. Whole building was ours.

MArch 28

We woke and went walkabout to music shops, charity shops and wherever it felt right.

It is a very nice place and the people were kind and easy to understand. We try chip shops every area we go, the one we chose today was very good. No hard or old chips, awesome.

The gig we played was close to a pizza cooker so we had a fan on us to keep us cool, I felt like Beyonce – few know this, but I dance like her too. The gig offers come in here and we accept. Four new festivals from Donnington to Beautiful Days festival with The Levellers. New Derbyshire gigs, house gigs and some in Nottingham. The tour offer to Greece was also accepted. Our lives change from day to day and the more we tour, the more we tour.

MArch 29

It is not easy meeting so many people and saying goodbye so often. There are so many good people in the world and you need to know this from time to time. The gig was fantastic in the afternoon. This was the greatest gig for albums in the UK this year. Amazing. We had to play three sets. Three-day tour over and it went so very well. Enough gig offers coming in to book up lots of next year now. A mini tour of Germany is almost set up too. I know I inspire people and this makes me try a little harder always to be the greatest me. People all inspire me. Life is everything to me and I live it like I mean it.

MArch 30

The journey back from the gig last night was nothing short of a nightmare. We were asked and paid to play on with an extra set at at 8pm. Our tour of Derbyshire was over and it was a happy and very successful one. Sat nav said we would be home in 3 hours and 19 minutes. Awesome. We bought a few home snacks and a drink and set off once again into the secret UK roadworks that they put up for a long time every night and hide from us. The diversions kept us still for over an hour and the journey home took five hours. After a tour you start to drain as soon as the last chord is strummed, you know the tour is going to catch you so time is yours to race.

MArch 31

Today was awesome. Melanie dropped me off and I recorded another song with Shaggy. The new album is going well when we get time and are not ill to get in and record. Back in with a new song on Wednesday.

Shaggy loves sound and recording so once I have done my part he likes to spend time with the songs and do what he does.

More walking was also done today. Like the Christmas holidays, Easter involves people in pubs being too busy. I am happily forced to not attempt to get new gigs in. Extra time with the kids on their holidays.

april 1

When picking up posters from Ashington on the way to the studio Shaggy said he had his daughters and the bug had arrived so there was no recording today. Ellie and Rebecca were off swimming. So Melanie dropped me off near Newbiggin and i walked home along the coastline. It was a brilliant walk, a lot of cold wind and rain, but it put my Karrimor outfit to the test. I felt good and then the rainbow arrived and the sun stayed a while so I wrote some more poetry. The new poetry book will make it out this year if I can keep up with time once again.