‘Magic’ music nights with friends

Derek Allan pictured with Dobermann, with the band's singer Paulo de Bello on the far right.
Derek Allan pictured with Dobermann, with the band's singer Paulo de Bello on the far right.

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

September 22

Every daytime is busy so that early evening, when the kids come home from school, we can all be together.

We need to work hard so that all of the gigs can go ahead for We Steal Flyers, Acoustic Magic and Sam Gibson – between 400 and 500 dates a year on average.

Mel and I work fast in our work hours.

This evening we are off for conkers, I love this annual event.

Then we went back to the Christmas jigsaw, a few hundred pieces are in place now.

There was more dancing with Ellie and Rebecca in the kitchen.

September 23

There was an afternoon festival in Beamish for a one-hour slot, then we drove to The Scotland for the next gig. It seems like most gigs are two hours away these days. It’s always nice to play in Yorkshire.

It was an ok drive there and back. I spend so much of my life in the passenger seat. I kind of wish I could drive some day, but I know I am not well enough.

My epilepsy is still with me from time to time.

From the beginning, when I was in that confused place and I used to wonder if I was having a fit, I would try to balance on one leg. If I fell, I was going to have a fit and I had to try to find some calm.

I always had a book to read in the small of my back.

This is why you see me stand on one leg at gigs sometimes.

September 24

People in sport inspire me a lot. They give so much of their lives to live. Liam Plunkett taking five wickets for England is an example of this, another player who came through the Durham Academy.

Today I went to see Whitley Warriors ice hockey with Ellie, it was a great win.

I finished off the Charley Boorman book and started on a new book, a gift from last Christmas, The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher.

I love every season and I try to get from them everything I can get.

I can feel the cold outside and I know that winter is here and that I am alive.

September 25

I love Dinnington Social Club Acoustic Magic nights. They are Magic Monday nights and we are going to be working with a few more bands.

We lost a venue that asked us to pay an extra £20 an hour so Dinnington is the best place we have to help bands on tour. It’s a shame that there are not more interested, but if people don’t go, it all ends.

Twister just headlined the main stage at Newcastle 02 Academy. It was great.

Another player pulled out today so we got to meet and hear Paul Jeans. He’s great and we were pleased to meet him. He was in the band Jeans Go Pop when I was in Clear Blue Skies. We had a manager for a little while and he loved him.

Sam Gibson also played this evening. It was a brilliant night and good of them to play a Monday with us.

The plan is far greater and involves getting bands that support us into Europe and so on. Twister have stood by us and now we pay them back.

September 26

Another band we are helping is Italian rock band Dobermann. We got them into Darlington, then went to see them. They were great. Two nights of watching rock bands.

The singer is a friend of mine of 11 years. We are both friends with Adam Bomb, once of Geffen records, another genius I brought to Northumberland. He is touring America and Europe. Paulo, the Dobermann singer, was his bass player.

I wrote a song with him for his new album. The album is selling worldwide and the video has had 3,000 plays in a week, Dobermann, Taking In The Out Takes.