Getting ready for open mic nights

Derek Allan collecting conkers with his daughters Rebecca and Ellie.
Derek Allan collecting conkers with his daughters Rebecca and Ellie.

Northumberland musician Derek Allan continues his weekly diary.

September 27

Ellie had her trials for Durham Cricket Club Under 13s today. She was great and loved it. She is aiming to be in the North East women’s team, Northumberland, Yorkshire and Durham have one team.

Melanie booked our tickets for Disney On Ice, I love it there. She also booked a room for the mini Tour for WSFlyers.

September 28

A great gig in Thirsk, met some more people, sang some more songs and sold more albums. A lot of driving involved all day, got into our hotel room around 1am and Shaggy was sleeping as he was tired from lots of drinking the day before when in Glasgow watching Nick Cave with his other band members Adam and Daz. They go to see some great bands. I did some relaxing with Twitter. It is a great place to visit.

September 29

A few hours in the hotel lounge room. There was a Macmillan coffee morning around the country so coffee and cake for a donation and we relaxed for the day time. We went to sound check and because of some kind of mess up we were there a day early, madness. The festival organiser got us on a 10pm slot which was great but a lot later than expected meaning we got home for 2.30am. A musician swapped his slot for us, how kind of everyone. It was a great gig and dozens of albums went out.

September 30

Up at 8am and off to Wrekenton for the first Harriers League cross-country run for Rebecca this season.

She was great. She came last but she is still very young and the quality of runners is very high. She wants to train more she says. I am excited by this, I love her running world. Thousands are involved. She runs for Blyth running club and they love her.

We then went over to the Rochester festival in Northumberland. We love it here, a proper old style Northumberland Festival with great people. I love days like this, a little cold but I am a Northumbrian.

October 1

Ellie got a fever otherwise we would have been out walking with Shaun Watts at Simonside as a part of our charity walk preparations for Coast -to-Coast next year.

The Acoustic Magic gig at The Gate was brilliant and always will be. A nice room, nice people, nice log fire. Steve Wilkinson and Miserable Les were so good. I love to share life with people and when you are there you know that other people like to share life too.

October 2

Mondays are still my calmest days. Once the days work is over, Ellie and Rebecca are home. I like to do a two-hour walk with Ellie. Then Blyth running club for Rebecca. A little cricket training with Melanie and Ellie in the cold. Then food shopping for the week and we always have a laugh. Ellie and Rebecca are really funny people and spending time with them anywhere is good for you.

They picked out their Halloween costumes today and we can hopefully buy them next week.

October 3

We are sorting out the whole travelling open mic nights again. So many people in this life are ill and leaving and it is too sad. A lot of people and venues are asking us to help raise some money for charity. So the best way is to set up the travelling open mic nights. Maybe not 30 in 30 days or 100 in 100 days like I have done in the past.

It should all be set up by Christmas and I will have an idea of how many charity days I can do with Melanie. In February it should be rolling.

The Hastings songs writer nights are brilliant every time. Garry Featherstone, Bill Sharp and Hassle tonight.

It is so good that there is a place for these people to play. Maybe as it all becomes so rare it could pick up and music lovers will seek out these nights.