Getting ready to sort Christmas

Derek Allan (Photograph by David Gerrard)
Derek Allan (Photograph by David Gerrard)

Northumberland musician Derek Allen continues his weekly diary.

November 15

I ran through my solo set, the solo Chillingham Arms night is getting closer, December 16. Mel and I are trying hard to save live venues because when they are gone they stay gone.

We ran Sam’s open mic night in Newbiggin tonight. It was good to be back and nice to share with so many nice people. Ellie and Rebecca read a lot. They love reading and Ellie started and finished a whole book by David Walliams.

November 16

Another good day of bookings and promotions today for Melanie and I. It is going steady. Then off to Prohibition Bar in Gateshead for a gig with Garry Featherstone as support. It is such a nice venue and I hope it makes it through and keeps going. A good start to four gigs in a row for We Steal Flyers.

November 17

So much to sort before Christmas. It is exciting on and off the stage. The home life is so busy these days but always worth it. Very much looking forward to Lionheart Radio Christmas special at 1pm on December 23. I have been there every year since the start of the station with Micky D being the first person to ever interview me. “Bird In Bush” gig at Elsdon was great tonight. It was a slow start and then we had to play an extra set. It was a great Friday.

November 18

With four weeks out of five with some kind of cold it is not easy gigging but we are getting through them and no one has noticed our voices being broken. Rebecca wasn’t well enough to run today with the cold illness. The gig in Billingham is always brilliant, we have some great fans and friends there, such nice people and they want live music to live. The car costs too much to stay on the road but it has to happen, brake discs are breaking now. Ellie and Melanie write letters today to Melanie’s Grandmother and she loves it, getting a letter of love from your family. They should happen more, it makes a big difference to someone and this is something that keeps us humans alive.

November 19

Today is the last gig of the week. Four great gigs in a row. Darlington is an area in our country where live music means a lot to people. It is a great place to play. Our albums and t-shirts are selling better than ever. Next year we are releasing two albums. Life should be enjoyable and we should always help others to be happy and enjoy life.

November 20

A festival with over 5,000 people have booked us in. Melanie did the weekly posters and we did lots of usual promotion for future gigs for music lovers, musicians and venues. Still a tough business but still all we know. Then a seven-mile walk with Ellie and then running club with Rebecca. An amazing Monday as usual. We did a little more Christmas shopping and in need of my royalties to save the day. Not too long now.

November 21

Melanie took the car to be fixed again. It is once again ruining our lives and making everything happen at the same time.

Another gig came in, Consett, for next year.

November 22

Many calls and messages for future gigs but no joy. The year is pretty much over for bookings for next year as everyone prepares for christmas. A seven- mile walk in the dark and the rain with Ellie which we love. Then the test match. I have never missed a game on Sky TV since England and the West Indies in 1990. Sadly, someone bought the cricket and no one I know will see it – I know 1,000s of people. But I have always missed the Test Match Special cricket. I love this team, Mr Agnew, Phil Tufnell and so on. I love so much Henry Blofeld.

He is a massive voice in cricket and indeed in millions’ of lives.