DEREK’S DIARY: Gigs and album sales picking up

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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.

April 10

Today was film day, we watched lots of films and played lots of music.

These are bonus days when gigs cancel and everyone is all walked out. We all needed some home time.

Also there are some busy months coming now right up until the Christmas week off.

april 11

Ellie loved her cricket two hours and is now a member of Morpeth Cricket Club.

She is so happy and happy people are the best people.

Today was a mellow day and almost the end of the relaxing holidays.

April 12

Many months pass and we book so much, we do all we can to promote events for the days, nights and players everywhere. Then all of a sudden they arrive. Up at 8am to pack the car and off to South Hetton to set up the all-dayer Acoustic Magic gig with 10 players. I am on the door with Ellie and Rebecca, colouring in, reading, playing board games and mostly having a laugh. Melanie is in the room doing the sound. She is well loved for her kindness and her sound. She does a great job and everyone lets her know, it is nice to be honest when it is nice. It was a great success. Taking an empty room and filling it with people, music, hope and happiness. Music is winning again and people are heading out to get some once again.

april 13

Monday Magic music nights in Dinnington are great nights. I love to sit at the back and watch the room, the night, see its past and hope for the future of great places like this social club room. These have all you need for a great music night, they set up, everything but the people. We get to hear some good and even better players doing what they love to do.

I can be with Melanie, Ellie, Rebecca and music.

We all share the room with nice people. Four players tonight and another nice night. It was a good start to the week.

April 14

Ellie and Rebecca are back at school. It is so confusing. I feel like doing everything and nothing. No noise...no questions. I need to fill the silence.

I ran through some songs on the guitar and worked with Melanie on booking up players for dozens of Acoustic Magic nights.

It is all going very well and now we decide how far to go.

Acoustic Magic could now travel as planned and go beyond 100 music nights a year.

Making a little money a lot of times is the only way to make a living from what we do.

Sam Gibson gigs and tours are going well and he is always wanted back for return gigs. We Steal Flyers are now in demand more than ever.

A three-hour walk with Ellie and some cricket practice today too.

April 15

Facebook and Twitter are doing okay now too. Acoustic Magic over 2,000 followers and We Steal Flyers over 10,000. This helps always somewhere down the line. I do not fully understand the point in Twitter, but publishers and so on are interested in me having an account as I live the life I do and I mean what I say. I like making people happy, think, and be hopeful. I believe we should all do just this but I am not the boss. I have more than 500 Twitter followers after my first year...it is working. I imagine it will help when the novel goes out, the poetry book and also when I travel more and write travel books.

april 16

No turning back, five gigs remaining of the six gigs in one week. I love it being busy like this. A tour from home, amazing. Acoustic Magic night tonight in Newbiggin. This night is two years old now and going steady.

The bigger names are on the way, May has Rod Clements, the Nizlopi andJohnny Dickinson dates are ever closer.

Tonight was a great night, it had a great feel to it. Sam Gibson, Steve Chapman-Smith from Yorkshire. He is worth looking up, a full-time musician and a full-time nice, friendly, helpful person. Miserable Les ended the night. Melanie is doing amazingly on the sound and on the bookings.

We are going to buy a new sound system. I wish there were more days in the week when things go well.

April 17

Back with We Steal Flyers in Sunderland. A beach-front gig called The Smugglers Inn.

I played there three times a year with my old band Clear Blue Skies and I love it still now.

We are packing places and playing to people that want us which makes the gigs amazing to be a part of.

Our albums are going out twice the speed of last year and last year was brilliant.

We have hit a nice patch and we are stepping it up.

Melanie ran the new Acoustic Magic night at The Waterford in Seaton Sluice and this is now a twice-a-month gig. This is great news for the team.

April 18

Home life is always busy as every family knows. Busy in a good way. Melanie took Ellie to her second cricket coaching session at Morpeth today. Ellie is so good at cricket and is loving it more and more. I love to see her face as she takes a great catch and listen to her talk about a game that I love too. Two of our great friends asked us to play for them at their wedding tonight. They are nice wonderful people and being a part of nice days is what life is about. It was nice to be back in Alnwick too. I love our places in Northumberland. I did not live there for long as a kid, two six-month spells I think. I love going back. I love the thought of Barter Books. I think that Harry Potter was only filmed there because Alnwick is filled with magic.

April 19

The last gig was in South Shields and was early evening. Melanie took the kids to the amusements and had a great time. I played our last gig of the week with Shaggy. It was a good end to it all and this is how it is when things go well. Our new album and plans are moving on too.