Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler announces big homecoming gig

Mark Knopfler, the legendary leader of Dire Straits, has announced his first North East show in four years.

Monday, 22nd October 2018, 11:09 am
Updated Monday, 22nd October 2018, 11:23 am
Mark Knopfler has announced a homecoming show at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle next May.
Mark Knopfler has announced a homecoming show at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle next May.

The guitarist, who has sold more than 120 million albums in a career spanning five decades, will play at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Sunday, May 19, next year.

The date on the Down The Road Wherever Tour will be his fourth appearance at the venue in the city where he grew up, and his first since May 2015.

The tour, with a full band, begins in Barcelona in April, then comes to the UK and Ireland with seven dates in May, before heading to Europe and then the US.

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Knopfler, who enjoyed huge success with Dire Straits in the '70s and '80s, releases his ninth solo studio album Down The Road Wherever on November 16.

He has always viewed touring as an integral part of the process of releasing an album, going from songwriting through recording and ending up on the road performing old and new songs.

"My songs are made to be performed live," he said. "I love the whole process of writing them alone and then recording them with the band, but ultimately the best part is playing them to an audience live.

"I enjoy the whole circus, travelling from town to town, and interacting with this group of players is a total pleasure. I’m really looking forward to it."

Knopfler, who recorded the new album in his west London studio, will be performing with an expanded 10-piece band, most of whom have been working with him for more than 20 years.

The line-up is Guy Fletcher (keyboards), Richard Bennett (guitar), Jim Cox (piano), Mike McGoldrick (whistle and flute), John McCusker (fiddle and cittern), Glenn Worf (bass), Danny Cummings (percussion) and Ian Thomas (drums). New additions will be Graeme Blebins (saxaphone) and Tom Walsh (trumpet)

The tour will see Knopfler and the band play a selection of new songs, mixed in with some nuggets from his back catalogue, which includes gems like Money For Nothing, Sultans Of Swing, Romeo & Juliet and Walk Of Life.

Tickets for the Newcastle show will go on sale at 9am on Friday, November 2, online, from the booking hotline 0844 493 6666 or 11am in person from the Arena box office.