DEREK’S DIARY: Not easy to do 200 gigs a year

Derek Allan and his daughters on the stepping stones at Druridge Bay Country Park.
Derek Allan and his daughters on the stepping stones at Druridge Bay Country Park.

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 19

Not a lot of gig bookings going on today, but we are calling and writing to many places. As Melanie is now full-time Acoustic Magic, it means we need to focus a few extra hours to that too. There is a lot of paperwork involved behind the scenes for Acoustic Magic and for We Steal Flyers. Luckily Melanie is able to do this. Taxes are this week’s crazy works. Also every Monday Melanie writes out posters for the next few weeks’ gigs.

January 20

I am loving the cricket world as always, but Ellie being involved has changed everything for me. Having season tickets for Durham is an exciting feeling. We may have to move closer to Durham for the future plans we have. More cricket for Ellie and I is only a good thing. Writing a cricket book at Durham seems more likely now. A few gig replies in for Sam Gibson so a little more joy.

January 21

Strong winds and illness are taking away walks with family and recording time. I have been unwell for a few days. No gigs for a few days though so hopefully will recover in a few more days. We Steal Flyers bookings are looking good for mini tours as we seek out a big UK route for next year with longer tours. More than 70 per cent of the venues that we perform in book us more than once a year. They say that there are more people in the bar on the days we gig for them. This is a good feeling, we are doing it and doing it well.

January 22

Ellie struck ill and was awake all night with the fever. Having to stay up all night is simple enough, we are lucky this way. I regularly go to bed at roughly 4am, it all depends if I am done with my works and writings. Very handy tonight as only few more hours and Melanie can wake up and take over nurse duties. I also wrote a new song...bonus!

January 23

Hasting Arms in Seaton Delaval today. The gig was really nice and it was a good first visit there. More CDs went out into the world and more bookings. Going for 200 gigs a year is not an easy mission.

January 24

Everything about Alnmouth is good for me. A great bar in a great place in a great county and so on. It is nice playing for people that like you playing for them and meeting back up with fans and friends. Also as people travel to Alnmouth we meet people from many places. A couple saw us while we were doing 100 gigs in 100 days a few years ago. They are from Fife in Scotland and they loved us. This year for a Christmas gift the lady booked a room for the night at Alnmouth’s Red Lion so they could stay there and then hear us play. What a nice thing to hear.

January 25

A walk near the ocean and some hours away from work. There are a lot of preparations for Monday needing done as usual. Acoustic Magic players needing selected for new up-and-coming nights. I feel January has been a good start to the year. People around me seem happy and this is very important. My dream has always been to be a part of the dream. Never just my dream, never just your dream.

Read the next installment of Derek’s Diary and here’s the previous installment, if you missed it.