DEREK’S DIARY: Top tour sadly draws to an end

Derek Allan coming home to meet his daughters.
Derek Allan coming home to meet his daughters.

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 4

This is a nice bar once again but you are able to smoke. It is not easy to sing or breathe performing in a smoke-filled room. The people are very kind and love our music. Music in some parts of the world is everything and we are adored. We always play as many places as we can and always return where they want us.

MArch 5

A long drive up the mountains to Davos Mountain. The sights and drive are breathtaking. Singing in Switzerland in the mountains is not easy. You need to breathe differently in new places as the altitude changes. Energy is different too. Our musical sets are longer and people never want you to stop singing. Your voice can go at any second and it is not something that is easy to explain to people. It feels like you have a cold all of a sudden and no sound leaves your mouth. This happened to Shaggy then me. We are fearless though so we made it once again, but it is a scary experience. We once again met some more amazing people. Home for 4am again. It was good to not be woken up too many times by housekeeping today. This is a bad part of touring, we don’t get much sleep. Why do hotels ask you to stay then tell you to leave so early. We pay to sleep and I don’t even like sleep, it pauses the dream.

MArch 6

Staying motivated and inspired by people and places takes you many miles. Playing in a venue in another country with the finest cars parked outside and a room filled with millionaires is a strange feeling for two Northumbrians by a piano. Winning them all over is not a strange feeling. Our tours overseas need to go up now. Our music is loved so much over here and we now have a following here so very strong. This has been time well spent with my friend and we are keeping people happy and sharing life and music in all the right places.

March 7

Irish bar in Switzerland. Moving around ends now and we leave tomorrow. Set up early in the day and a long wait in the sun. It is a great feeling heading home, but sad leaving people and places as often as we do. I wanted my life to be special and to give everything I could. I learn from so many people. This was a fantastic end to the tour. Packed venue again and loving us in many languages and accents. People are wonderful and should know that they are. We are here to share life and happiness and it is this simple. We played an extra set...four sets to end the tour. Melanie had an Acoustic Magic gig back home that also went very well.

March 8

Home time. The amazing Steff got us to the airport. She helped and shared most of our tour. She loved it, but found it tiring as well as exciting. We Steal Flyers have a lot more to look forward to. It is a good year and the new album is close. Getting onto and off the plane is the least good thing in my life. Flying is always amazing, how is this possible? Seeing Mel, Rebecca and Ellie is the greatest. Two-hour drive home is a long drive after a tour. It is nice to see other countries and other people. It means a lot to people to know that others care about them and what they do. You can look at the life we have made and think many things. One thing I know for sure is that we are no longer cavemen and cavewoman.

MArch 9

Yesterday I was heading home from a very successful tour of Switzerland. I could not sleep. My body clock is all messed up. I stayed awake all night and watched the Cricket World Cup so I’m not complaining. I know you must know by now but I love cricket and the way it is played these days. The Acoustic Magic Dinnington gig was brilliant. Five performers this evening. Enough people to make some noise for the players and enough people realising what going to see/hear live music is all about. It is very rare that someone goes home from a night disappointed and the more you like it the more you will love it. You will for certain see someone who really does have the X factor and has what it takes to do this for a living.


It is hard to get used to being home in the UK when back from touring. The calm and the busy of touring is over. I very much looked forward to watching Rebecca running again and tonight she was back and loving it too. She still has two weeks left of these Tuesday nights.


There are a lot of tickets needing ordered for the Nizlopi, Johnny Dickonson, and Rod Clements Acoustic Magic gigs and so on. It is a great feeling sorting these gigs and then the little worry comes in and questions, what if no one goes? Mel and I are used to busy and empty nights now. We still want to bring to Northumberland all we can and help out musicians in the North East as well as the whole country. Charity events are needing set up too. It is hard to sort all of these nights out as we are happy to help everyone and everything but we can not afford to take weekends off from gigs so we try and find different ways of making money for the people. I still want to find something big to do and I am still looking up for different ways to make much money to save the day. I know there are people out there with too much money that would like to make a difference, I am willing to do all of the work if they are willing to give me the paper to make it all so.

March 12

I finally got to walk with little Ellie in the winds of Northumberland and we loved it. I miss these times when I am away. I want to walk Europe.

march 13

The Barrels Ale Bar gig in Berwick is one of the greatest bar gigs we have ever played. It is a perfect gig. The people in the room want you there and you want them there. They are wonderful people and it is the perfect gig to play when we get home. Back in Alnmouth Red Lion on April 4, this is another lush place wth great people.