Gigging hours far from normal

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

Northumberland musician Derek Allan, of We Steel Flyers, continues his weekly diary.

October 19

A lot of rain arrived today so there was no walking, but it was a great time for Yahtzee and other board games, TV and movies.

I ran through my solo set. In December, I play a solo gig and I will be playing more songwriter venues, stages and festivals, but I am only playing when Shaggy has a band gig. I am not setting off to tour the world on my own, I am We Steal Flyers. Mostly, I’ll do Acoustic Magic gigs and solo if there is time.

Next year I’ll be playing a lot of charity dates and setting them up, Travelling Buskers’ nights. There’s still no replies from most venues, but I have many friends in the business and I will be able to do it easily enough.

October 20

It is hard not to get too cosy on a gig night. Your head and heart need to change from home to night life.

Leaving the house around 6pm and getting home at around 1am to 2am is far from normal. We know very few people who live these hours. We are still up for school and daily missions too, but this is the life that chose us.

The Hastings in Seaton Delaval was a good gig and a few more albums sold.

October 21

This was a great day, then a great gig night at Stonehaugh Community Hall in Wark. I love venues like this.

Shaggy was ill, his voice was not right, but we got through it as usual.

We are back on New Year’s Eve. I went for cricket YTS here as a teenager. It is a great place to be and play, and it will be a great end to a year and start to a new one.

October 22

Melanie, Ellie and Rebecca dropped me, the car and the PA at Shaggy’s new house.

They watched a movie at his and we played a Cramlington afternoon gig. It was good fun and a nice end to the week. We went back to Shaggy’s for chippie chips and batter.

This is living the dream.

October 23

We were sad to find out today that one of our annual Christmas adventures is no more. The Polar Express at Weardale was brilliant and got better every year. It was so nice to be surrounded by so much happiness and magic.

I walked with Ellie around seven miles today, then we were picked up by Melanie on the way to running club in Blyth for Rebecca.

Ellie, Melanie and I ran through some cricket while we watched Rebecca run through her amazing routines. Then it was the food shop.

I say it always, but I love Mondays so much. I need more.

October 24

I mostly got work done during the day, then danced to loads of songs in the kitchen. So many amazing songs remind me of nice things from the past.

I love the past, the future can be a worry, but I do try very hard to keep focused and calm.

Roy Wood, The Eels, Red Box, Michael Monroe, Elton John, Guns and Roses, Aerosmith, Greg Holden and so on were playing on Spotify.

October 25

I walked three miles with Rebecca, a small loop, then dropped her off at home. She likes to walk every few months, but not too far. She can run forever though. I then did 11 more miles with Ellie.

Today it cost almost £400 for the car MOT. Melanie cycled back after dropping the car off, but she got a flat tyre and had to push the bike home from Hauxley.

She then got on with her usual hours of online listings and event pages for We Steal Flyers and Acoustic Magic. They don’t help much, but the venues like them to be somewhere. The posters are then written out and sent away.

Melanie does a lot for the music business.