DEREK’S DIARY: The very busy Swiss tour is here

Derek Allan and Shaggy in Switzerland.
Derek Allan and Shaggy in Switzerland.

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.


Simple day. Spent the day playing X-Box Zombies with Shaggy, we are ranked in the top 4,000 in the world. We made lots of music plans as we played this game online. Great to be friends away from the music too. Now I am ending the diary for the week and watching more of the World Cup cricket. I have loved it as always. England are playing Scotland. I also watch a lot of winter sports now because of my Switzerland tours and the Winter Olympics was amazing. I am inspired by so much in my life and never more than people.


We are preparing for the Switzerland tour now. I leave tomorrow. There is a lot to do before I leave. Melanie gets most of my stuff ready because she is better at it, it takes the questions and worries away. The computer upstairs is also set up again and more work will be done upstairs now. I used to write novels up there, short stories and poetry. Now that all of this is going to happen again we are getting everything ready for when I am home. I still have to put many hours into the life I live, but Melanie working full on alongside me this means we can do even more. So the new poetry book will be worked on once I am at home and I will start a new novel.


It was a good day for gig bookings. A few new gigs for this year and next year. Everything is packed and ready for the Switzerland tour. I am excited about being in Switzerland, so far away and so many friends and fans. It is an amazing country. I have to stay awake all night until I can sleep properly on Wednesday night. Always a strange thing to do is going to sleep on Monday and then the next time is Wednesday night. This is the best way for me to do it. If I have a short broken sleep I usually have epileptic fits. I have stayed calm enough to avoid these for a long time and I don’t want to ruin it now and bring it back. I am eating beans on toast again and watching cricket. It is 3am and I leave in an hour to live with Shaggy for 11 sleeps. We will do eight gigs. Each gig will have three sets. They are usually two sets in the UK. I just checked and we play Barrels Bar in Berwick when we get home. That is a brilliant music venue.


Melanie woke at 3.30am. Maria dropped off Shaggy and then he drove us to Edinburgh Airport. It is a two-hour drive but exciting. Mel drove car back home and got home in time for breakfast. I took a flight to Switzerland. Stephanie, our tour driver and assistant, picked us up at the airport, She is a great person and is actually twice Swiss champion in ice hockey, amazing! Shaggy drove us into France for a coffee and then into Germany. We are playing dates in France and Italy later in the year so we had a look about. We stayed with Stephanie sharing stories and music. The Swiss tour is here.


Shaggy went up into the mountains for an adventure. He loved the views. We have photos always of our tours on Facebook. This is an amazing place and would be an amazing place to live. We meet people from many places when on tour, leaving a part of us with so many of them. The gig was brilliant and the hours after too. I am about to start reading The Hound Of The Baskervilles. It is 3am in Switzerland and is 2am back home. Seven gigs to go.


Another morning waking in Switzerland. A feeling and look of Christmas. The days are always good. There is so much to see surrounded by magic. This gig was two one-hour sets with a duo as support. Good fun before we played. Our following here is ever growing. Northumbrians in Switzerland and doing well. Austria is now being added too later on in the year. We have enough offers for gigs in Europe now to remain here if we wanted.


Back up into the Alps. Another great drive through the postcard country with the look of Narnia. Four sets today. First at 5pm and ending at midnight. I am reading short stories by Ted Hughes too. A lot of travel, many new faces and places. The best way to reach the people is to go to the people.


The gig was a good one. 10pm till 1am with half-hour encore. We are here for people to hear us and look at us and sing along with our songs and covers, so far we are successful in our mission. Halfway through the We Steal Flyers tour and a lot going on here and back home for more gigs and tours. The more we do the more we have to do and the never ending musical adventure is as always the best it has ever been.


A day off in the land of snow. I tried not to work online, but I always reply to my mail. I do not understand the people who use email and simply read it with no reply, making a decision and then not letting you in on it. My mail is exciting I never know what it could be...opportunities big or small. The snow is everywhere and so many skiing. Shaggy is going to give it a go tomorrow. Jens Brenn took us out for an amazing meal. It was a great experience and shared night with friends that were for one weekend not so far away.


Shaggy went skiing with Steffi (Swiss champion ice hockey player and our driver). He loved it. Going up took over half-an-hour. It sounded canny crazy. He fell lots but was not hurt. Photos on our We Steal Flyers Facebook page. I am pleased he got to do this and he was too. I walked for three hours. I love looking around and I am ever happy and warm in my Karrimor everything. I read a few chapters of Hound of the Baskervilles in the Alps. I feel like when I stop reading I leave one adventure and return to the next.

Read the previous instalment of Derek’s Diary: It’s all eyes on Switzerland now.