Getting gigs sorted for the year

Derek Allan and Shaggy
Derek Allan and Shaggy

Northumberland musician Derek Allan continues his weekly diary.

January 8

It is such a cold time but it looks nice from the window out in Northumberland. I have to keep walking the miles to keep everything ticking for the summer charity walks and indeed for our wellbeing. After school I did the usual walk with Ellie. I have been working on songs for this year too, a cover and a few songs I have written.

The walk was great. Lots of frozen puddles for Ellie to look in and crack. Life is wonderful when you need not focus on so much of the wrong goings on in life.

I have no idea how Rebecca does these winter running sessions but she does it.

I love to watch her, it truly is inspiring. Ellie has been working on sprints and so on for her cricket too but just at the side of the running class. Shopping was great fun as it always is.

January 9

I’m trying to help us, Sam and some music friends as much falls to pieces in January, dry January doesn’t really help the venues.

This time last year I lost five gigs, this January only three, but it is not so easy. Playing lots of music as we work. Melanie likes pretty much any song I play, not so much the heavier music but I rarely play it anyways ‘80s and ‘90s songs are always a safe happy bet. They remind us of happy times then and happy times now.

January 10

It is always good to stop working and go for a few hours to record with Shaggy. I am looking forward to hearing the album.

By the time six months or a year has gone I can never remember the songs I have written. I just write them, record them and move on. It was a good day and Melanie took me for chips on the way home, always a bonus.

January 11

We got the letter saying Ellie has been successful in getting a final trial date for Northumberland. She had experience with Durham under 11s but is happy whoever she is able to play for. If she is successful she will be playing for the North in the end anyway.

She has trained so very hard and still wants to captain England and walk for charity to help save the world. Ian Botham would be proud but he was the person that inspired me to walk for others.

Me, Mel and Rebecca spent some time looking around shops while she was put through her paces.

All we can do now is wait and see if she is succesful. Good luck to Ellie!

January 12

Booking gigs and finding new ones for later in the year. Many summer offers but lots of it is booked up.

I am looking for an Alnwick venue to put on one of the Travelling Buskers charity nights on so I hope to be back there some time soon.

January 13

Rebecca is reading to me The Far Away Tree, it is great and Ellie is reading Narnia. All of the series. I love hearing them and being with them and I get to hear great stories so it is a great hour or two.

We went to watch Treasure Island in the loft. It was a great Saturday.

January 14

Ellie and Rebecca took turns reading all the David Essex poems from his book. Then we all went to Tynemouth for the Head Of Steam Sunday afternoon gig. Garry Featherstone was support.

It was a nice gig. No sales but a few new Spotify followers, which is still nice that someone wants to play your songs.

This is why we start out, write songs, play them live and have them heard around the world. I love this life, it is all I know. I love this county, it is perfect for every season.