Planning ahead for gigs in 2019

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After a summer break, the diary of Northumberland musician Derek Allan is back.

September 24

It was the usual Monday of booking tours – more than 60 dates booked for 2019 since last week. I have to move fast before the venues are booked, and linking up three to five-date tours is about timing and luck these days.

I had another great walk with Ellie; the autumn is here. Yesterday’s walk for asthma, with Shaun Watts and Ellie, was great. Only a couple of people turned out, but Twitter saved the day, with around £90 in online donations.

Blyth Running Club went well. Melanie was fielding as we stayed out of the way so Ellie could do a little batting practice for cricket.

Then it was shopping and the usual fun as we walked around the shop.

September 25

Mel dropped me off for my final day at Durham Cricket as they battled through day two of a county match.

I listened to Marty Emmerson on the BBC. He interviewed the great Paul Collingwood on his last few days as a cricketer.

It was a great morning and a great day, but very windy and cold. Ellie was dropped off for the final hour of the game.

Another great season, with so many nice memories of cricket at Alnmouth, Durham and Northumberland County. We’re so proud of Ellie, and so happy for her.

I am now reading the diaries of Angus Fraser, who played the first series on Sky in the West Indies. It brings back nice memories. Seeing cricket overseas was, and still is, a great feeling, very exciting.

September 26

It was a busy day catching up with gigs, posters and online event pages for Melanie.

We have so much going on, but we are setting up next year so we can relax over Christmas when venues are too busy to book gigs.

It was a nice day at the Northumberland County Cricket presentation night, lots of new friends and great to see Lizzie Scott and Harriet Robson doing well.

We then ran an open mic night for Berry Burgess in Gosforth. Lee Anderson played a set. We paid him a split of the fee so I did not have to play the night alone. Shaggy was at The Sage.

September 27

The last game on Sky Cricket was a great game with Surrey and Essex.

Then we headed over for the next Travelling Buskers charity night at The Crafty Cock in Billingham. It was a great night. Around £60 was raised for MIND. It all adds up.

September 28

A drive took six hours to the festival at Derby that should have taken three-and-a-half. The traffic and diversions are so bad, but there is nothing we can do.

We played a very cold gig in a nice-sized tent. It was a great gig, then we talked around a fire and sold a lot of albums.

We Steal Flyers were on tour for the last time this year. All gigs for the rest of the year are in the North East.

September 29

It was a nice morning so we went for chips by the canal, then to Sheffield with Spotify playing. Drives are much better when you can hear your own choice of music.

We set up, got free food and coffee. There was a DJ, then we played for two hours, got a few new Spotify followers and a few friends. We talked in the cold to two fans, now friends.

Mel and the kids were at Blyth Running Club Juniors’ presentation night.

The kids have done so well, Ellie getting a trophy for breaking a javelin record for the club, and Rebecca getting two awards for her efforts, breaking a relay record for the club and being the best ‘All Rounder’ for her age group.