It has been more than 40 years since the opening line of “Sultans Of Swing” was first heard being broadcast around the world. In the process, it introduced us to a magnificent guitar player and songwriter in Mark Knopfler, and to what has become a musical universe unto itself: the music of DIRE STAITS.
Over 25 years have passed since DIRE STAITS disbanded, leaving a catalogue of some of the finest compositions and musical performances that the heyday of rock ever produced. If anything, their reputation has only grown with time. Record sales of more than one hundred and twenty million albums continue to increase as new young fans discover the music and join the band’s massive worldwide following. A trend that is echoed in their 2018 inauguration into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
It was against the backdrop of a two-decade break - and an increasing demand to hear one of the most dramatic songbooks in rock history played live again – that former members of DIRE STAITS, Alan Clark, Chris White and Phil Palmer formed The Straits for a charity show at The Royal Albert Hall in 2011. With the prolific Knopfler enjoying an incredibly successful solo career, Alan Clark called upon the singer songwriter, Terence Reis to front the band in his absence. By the time The Straits ended, three and a half years later, the band had played more than 150 shows in 25 countries around the world.
However, an invitation to play a series of shows in New Zealand and Australia has seen Chris White and Terence Reis collaborating again for THE DIRE STRAIT EXPERIENCE. Joining them is a stellar band of some of the finest professional musicians the UK has to offer. Between them they have worked with an enviable list of rock royalty that includes, amongst others, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Sam Brown, Elton John, Joe Cocker, Nik Kershaw, George Michael, Jamiroquai, The Killers, The Waterboys, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Midge Ure, Albert Lee and Tom Jones.
Chris White, who worked with Mark Knopfler from the early ‘80s on film scores, joined DIRE STRAITS for their record-breaking Brothers In Arms world tour in 1985. This included their performance at Live Aid and, later, the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday concert in 1988. He went on to play on the final DIRE STAITS album, On Every Street, and was again part of the two-year world tour that produced the live On The Night album and DVD. Having experienced the audience response to a live DIRE STAITS show at the height of the band’s popularity, he speaks fondly of the fans today.
And of the years playing alongside Mark Knopfler? Chris appreciates that it was always going to be an almost impossible task to bring any sense of authenticity to these extraordinary pieces of music without Mark Knopfler.
“When I was first approached to put together a band to play the DIRE STRAITS songs at the Albert Hall, I didn’t believe it would be possible to find someone who would be able to stand in Mark’s shoes without sounding like an imposter. I was wrong.
In Terence Reis, I think we may have found the only person on the planet that is able to play and sing like Mark but maintain his own integrity and identity. I think this is the very essence of why the fans have been so accepting of what we do. They believe in Terence as his own man. They know he is not trying to be Mark. Because of his respect for Mark, Terence can perform these songs in a very honest way that allows his energy and talent to come through. This is exactly what allows the performances to feel alive and fresh. Not slavish copies of a bygone time. Without Terence, this would simply not work.”
Upcoming Public Shows
May 23 - Openluchttheater, Eibergen (NED)
May 24 - Cinema Cinecity, Vlissingen (NED)
Jun 29 - Groove Festival, Avoine (FRA)
Jul 06 - Les Nuits d’Istres Festival, Istres (FRA)
Jul 20 - Scone Palace, Perth (UK)
Aug 02 - Capesthrone Hall, Siddington (UK)
Aug 17 - Temple Island Meadows, Remenham (UK)
Nov 16 - Arena , Brest (FRA)
Nov 17 - Le Liberté, Rennes (FRA)
Nov 18 - La Cité des Congrès, Nantes (FRA)
Nov 19 - La Seine musicale, Boulogne-Billancourt (FRA)
Nov 21 - De Maaspoort Theater & Events, Venlo (NED)
Nov 23 - Ethias Arena, Hasselt (BEL)
Nov 26 - Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht (NED)
Nov 27 - Theater Heerlen, Heerlen (NED)
Nov 28 - Podium Victorie, Alkmaar (NED)
Dates concistently added !
So please check back on occasion !