2019 News

Extra RAH tickets

May 17, 2019

Royal Albert Hall 21st & 22nd May For those who missed out on tickets to Mark s Royal Albert Hall shows next week, a very limited number of production seats have now been released for sale

DTRW Tour – New Date Added

May 14, 2019

Mark, along with special guest Bonnie Raitt, is adding a performance at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden on September 25.

Tickets are available for presale to fans on Wednesday, May 15 at 10:00 am Eastern Time (3 pm BST) at both http://tour.markknopfler.com/ and http://www.bonnieraitt.com, as well as via Live Nation on Thursday, May 16 at 10:00 am Eastern Time (3 pm BST).

The general public can purchase tickets beginning Friday, May 17 at 10:00 am Eastern Time (1 pm BST). Each ticket comes with a copy of Down the Road Wherever.

The best way to buy tickets is from http://markknopfler.com where you will also find details of safe fan-to-fan resale sites. You are urged not to purchase tickets from resellers whose authenticity of tickets/prices cannot be guaranteed.

Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 12th May 2019 – Strasbourg

May 13, 2019

After a beautiful Milano show, the band stayed put whilst the trucks and buses drove back across the Alps to Strasbourg. I had lunch with a dear friend of ours, Alessandro Ragni, who always looked after us whenever we visited Italy for promos. Alessandro is Mister food and wine. A trained Sommelier and a portal into everything beautiful about Italian food. Then a brief shopping spree amongst the thousands of ‘Alpinis’. Milan, this weekend, is the backdrop for the colourful parade and rally marking the centenary of the National Alpini Association, the famous Mountain Warfare Infantry Corps. of the Italian army.

Later in the afternoon, the predicted weather system loomed on the North West horizon. The ensuing thunderstorm lasted over an hour and did not disappoint. By the time we were ready for dinner, it had passed leaving the air crisp and clear. This was our third visit to a family restaurant just around the corner called Rovello 18.

Sunday morning and the cars and vans negotiated their way out of central Milan with its many blocked streets ready for the day’s Alpini marches. We were at the GAT at Linate and on board the Joy bird in no time. A short, bumpy hop over the Alps and we landed in the beautiful Alsace. Cars and vans ready and waiting, we transferred and were at the venue in 15 minutes where Mark once again stopped and signed a few things for the hard-core.

A cleansing, healing bowl of Minestrone soup and we were ready for another Zenith sound check. A small but significant set list change and we were done, leaving the stage once more for Juke Ross, our support in France…and the U.K.

Computer screens by the side of the stage were showing live streams of the top two Premiership football matches on what is the final day of the season. Simon, Laurence, Dave and other crew boys were getting excited as Man. City were 1-0 down to Brighton. Not for long though.

Evening approached and for us it was a 9pm show time. We enjoyed a beautiful, listening audience that went quite wild once we got into the encores. Once again, it seemed like we could have stood there and waved goodbye forever but we had a plane to catch and another short hop up to Cologne. Again, much toasting and clinking of glasses as we reflected on yet another special day in this band.

 

Guy Fletcher’s full Tour Diary, including photos and more tour diary entries, can be found here.

Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 10th May 2019 – Milano

May 13, 2019

Milan. Well, it seems there’s hardly time to draw breath before we are on the move again. With this incredible touring machine now in full swing, we find ourselves in Italy once more and in front of the fabulous Milanese crowd. The evening concert at the Mediolanum Forum was another night to remember. We don’t often applaud each other in the intervals between encores but tonight we did. There is an emotional thread running through the band these days, for obvious reasons.

Incredible as it seems, this team of people (band and crew) is the largest we’ve had since the heady Straits days and in view of what this tour means, we are frequently reminded of those early tours, nearly 40 years ago. Of course Mark started touring before I did and I’m sure he lost count of the numbers a long time ago. I know I did.

Late breakfasts are now a regular theme and the morning Dolder treats were delivered to my room. Having had my ‘breakfast club’ membership revoked (for under-use), I breakfast alone every morning. Mark, Glenn Worf, Paul Crockford, Tim Hook and St. Peter Mackay are the core of the morning club. I did once venture down to their combined shock, funnily enough, in Milan, in 2013.

At 2:45pm the band met the drivers and we left the Dolder, only for a couple of months though as we’ll be back in July (hooray). At the airport, Peter alerted us to the fact that every suitcase had been searched by security. Unsure as to why. Maybe they were bored. It didn’t delay our departure and we were soon in the air again, heading over the snow-capped Lepontine Alps towards Milan where the weather was a balmy 73°F.  We ‘deplaned’ and headed for the venue in some quite heavy traffic.

No time to waste, a horde of soup dragons were crowded around the pot for our customary pre-sound check, pre-dinner treat. Today it was Cauliflower, Caraway and Shallot. Dear God! Nothing to report from sound check, just another boomy hall from which we are mercifully protected by our in ear monitors. It was an after show runner for all this evening and the van dropped us off at the hotel whereupon most in the entourage gravitated to my room for an evening of beautiful Portobello Gin, courtesy of Mark, music, celebration and laughter.

Out on my hotel balcony, Mike and I embraced the Milanese evening air and raised our glasses to this moment in time. This tour is a celebration of so many things and we all cherish every waking moment… as my morning headache will doubtless testify!

Guy Fletcher’s full Tour Diary, including photos and more tour diary entries, can be found here.

Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 9th May 2019 – Zürich

May 13, 2019

Standing in the general aviation terminal, commonly referred to as ‘GAT’, Paul Crockford demonstrated his impressive fiddle technique to an unimpressed John McCusker. A possible future folk tour line-up? Whatever that future may hold, we said cheerio to Bordeaux and squeezed into a van to be taken to the ‘Joyjet’. 9H-JOY is her tail number. On board was a light Carpaccio lunch for a rare ‘travelling’ day off. Regular readers will know we usually fly after shows in order to be in the next city, fresh and ready to play on show days.

We were heading for Zurich and what is unanimously our favourite touring hotel, The Dolder Grand which overlooks Lake and city of Zurich is a cut above others with possibly the best spa in the known universe. Built in 1897, the luxury hotel was renovated in 2008 by a team led by British architect Norman Robert Foster. Only last week, The Dolder also became the first luxury hotel to accept crypto currency in the form of Bit coins as payment. Such luxury naturally comes at a price and with a standard room service Club Sandwich and French Fries weighing in at 49 Swiss Francs (43 Euros), hotel checkout can be a nervy prospect.

In the evening of our travel day, the majority of the band assembled in the main hotel bar and made short work of local draught beers. I suggested we eat in the cheaper of the two hotel restaurants (the other one has two Michelin stars) and went to book a table and grab a menu for perusal. Upon short examination, it was clearly way beyond the means of mere musicians’ so I suggested Club Sandwiches for all in the bar. You only live once.

Surroundings as we ate were slightly surreal as the evening’s entertainment in the form of a Geordie pianist/singer arrived to serenade us with his repertoire of ‘standards’ that inevitably included Sultans Of Swing. We were his only audience in the dark, sparkly cabaret bar and we generously applauded every attempt as we all, to a man, have ‘been there’. We devoured our Club Sandwiches which were quite tremendous, almost worth the money.

Show day in Zurich and most of the band spent some time using the spa facilities before we assembled and headed for the Hallenstadion. Now we must have played here ten times now both as DS and MK. Ben Byford is photographed here replacing a rattling microphone on my Leslie cabinet which was noticed by many band members during the last show. Sound check was fun. We were working on a slightly altered approaches in ‘feel’ to ‘Done With Bonaparte’ and ‘Why Aye Man’. If any fan buys more than one USB recordings, it would be worth noting the differences before and after Zurich. Which reminds me, I need to listen to some mixes. Another great show, our tenth, possibly our best to date and an audience that relished every note. Thank you Zurich.

 

Guy Fletcher’s full Tour Diary, including photos and more tour diary entries, can be found here.

Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 7th May 2019 – Toulouse

May 13, 2019

Morning sunshine pours relentlessly through a small gap in the poorly drawn curtains, committing me to fully fledged membership of the day ahead. I creak out of bed, half blinding myself opening the curtains fully and head to the outdoor pool over which the room looms. Completing my, wait for it, ten lengths, I lay back on a towel and top up on natural vitamin D, direct from source.

Every extended stay in a country hotel is special but this has offered unusual levels of serenity. The band depart, re-energised, in convoy once more to Bordeaux airport where we take a very short hop to Toulouse. Tijana, our flight attendant served up lovely, small Charcuterie plates which were despatched without hesitation. On the ground we headed for the Zenith and as we have done at the entrance to every venue so far, Mark stopped the car to sign a few things for some particularly faithful fans. A signature Les Paul AND a now pretty rare Martin ‘Ragpicker’ acoustic were waiting for Mark’s ‘actual’ signature. Mark happily obliged.

Recollections of Toulouse are hazy although the Zenith seemed familiar once we rolled into the backstage area. The Toulouse Zenith is another typically French, acoustically friendly arena. A swift ‘Google’ revealed we were last here eleven years ago and the place doesn’t appear to have changed at all in that time.

Congas? How hard can they be to play? We should ask Mike McGoldrick. Today before sound check, Danny Cummings gave him a lesson upon which I eavesdropped. As is often the case with seemingly simple things, there’s a whole lot more to it than you think. Danny of course makes it all look so easy.

In ear monitors were a revelation when we first used them back in 2001 but the advances that have been made in recent years are something else. We now use ‘Ultimate Ears’ UE7 Pro’s. They are extraordinary. The whole band love them and now that we have no amplifiers or cabinets on the stage at all, apart from our two Leslie cabinets for the Hammonds, the sonic potential is huge. It’s a long way from anything we’ve used in the past. I think we also now have a PA to match. That would appear to be the case, certainly if based upon the audience reactions this evening. Merci beaucoup, Toulouse.

 

Guy Fletcher’s full Tour Diary, including photos and more tour diary entries, can be found here.

Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 6th May 2019 – Bordeaux

May 13, 2019

Vineyards extend in every direction in probably the most prestigious winemaking region in the world. Bordeaux is certainly the heart and hub of wine production in France. Today we found ourselves in another brand new arena, which opened only a year ago. Once again, superb facilities and a beautiful, acoustically designed hall. A luxurious rarity for touring bands. Sound check was lengthy as we wanted to run a few things we’re not currently playing in the set, to keep them fresh. We did, however, insert ‘Brothers In Arms’ in the show for the first time on this tour.

It was soon time for us to vacate the stage so our first support act of the tour could sound check. Juke Ross, originally from Guyana, has a dusky, captivating voice and is quietly making a name for himself in the singer/songwriter world. Backstage, catering was gearing up for dinner service with another selection of unmissable dishes and desserts. In the production office, Manager Paul Crockford had his curiously swollen knee packed in ice and up on the desk. He’s seen the doctor and it’s nothing serious. In true showbiz fashion, it didn’t deter him from his duties and MC at the beginning of the show, kicking off the evening in his own inimitable way.

New technology surrounds us on this tour, none more so than our PA system. Dave Dixon, our Front Of House soundman is at the helm of the brand new L Acoustics L-ISA multidimensional PA array system. It’s a long way from Stereo and unlike a traditional layout, it is based on a horizontal arrangement of loudspeaker arrays that are distributed across – and often beyond – the full width of the stage. This Frontal configuration relies on overlapping coverage so that as much of the audience as possible hears all the arrays. A Frontal System consists of three systems: the Scene System, subwoofers and the Extension System. The venue this evening was the perfect host for such a system and the audience was clearly captivated for the duration. Except, of course, for the encores where they were allowed to stream to the front. There were many familiar faces in amongst the happy audience in the front rows.

Speeding away from the Métropole Arena in Alex’s ’S’ Class with the rest of the band in close pursuit, Mark, Glenn and I all agreed on one thing. We had a great time up there. There were some wonderful moments with Mark enjoying more freedom in his playing than ever before alongside this musical magic carpet ride of a band behind him. Arriving at our glorious country hotel where we’ve been hubbing from for the past few days, I suggested une petite soirée in my room. Pete, AKA Saint Peter, had pre-prepared a couple of bags with wines, beers and glasses for such an occasion. It was a full band turnout, that required some improvised seating. Dr. Fletch is back in business… now fully armed with the new Orbitsound E30 Dock, a studio quality compact speaker with Airsound technology. It has multiroom WiFi, wireless charging and USB-C fast charging, the DOCK is a little powerhouse of technology that looks, feels and sounds superb. Here’s the evening’s playlist –

 

Guy Fletcher’s full Tour Diary, including photos and more tour diary entries, can be found here.

Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 5th May 2019 – Pamplona

May 13, 2019

Against a backdrop of blue, the city of Pamplona appeared on the horizon as we approached from the North. AGUR is the ‘traditional’ Basque word for both hello and goodbye, somewhat appropriate I thought, for this evening. It has been 27 years since our last visit. Our shiny, new venue was only finally inaugurated on 29 September 2018 despite being 9 years under construction. The Navarra Arena nonetheless, impressive as well as extremely accommodating to touring crews with full access and ample space behind the stage for trucks. What did strike me as odd, was the seating on the floor. It was as if it might have been an afterthought….

Garden chairs were deployed, lined up and strung together with ‘cable ties’. After so many years in the build, you would imagine someone might have considered floor seating. Maybe they did!? However, we were made to feel very welcome and the staff and security were courteous and efficient.

Unusual flavours is something we are accustomed to on recent tours with resident chef Dave Eskinazi today producing a particularly ‘killer’ dish of Giant Red Gambas with Atlantic Cod in a delicate broth and Saffron Potatoes. As usual with notable culinary presentations, after finishing, I head for the kitchen to quiz Dave about the creation of the dish. I asked if he used Pernod in the broth as the French do, he said, not Pernod but Pacharán La Navarra, a sloe flavoured liqueur drunk in this region. I headed for the dressing rooms along with other band mates, thus avoiding further temptations.

Running of the bulls, as it is known, is the practice in Spain and other countries, of the audience rushing to the front of the stage at some point during our shows. Last night it was quite clear that the security had misunderstood our briefing as no one was allowed to do this. That was a shame but it didn’t appear to dampen spirits in any was as the audience was spectacular, as they have been for every show we have played in Spain. It is with immense sadness to think we are at the end of an era. Spain has been somewhere we have loved visiting over many years and the people have always been very special. “Eskerrik asko denagatik” – “Gracias por todo”. We were soon being delivered to the aircraft after a very swift security check at the airport. Drinks were waiting and we were in the air before we knew it. Time moves so swiftly when the enjoyment levels are this high, it’s hard to grasp it all, but we try. Mark, Glenn, Danny and I clincked glasses and the toast from Richard and the seats behind us was “to the best days of our lives”.

 

Guy Fletcher’s full Tour Diary, including photos and more tour diary entries, can be found here.

LOCAL HERO PRIORITY BOOKING FOR MARKKNOPFLER.COM

May 8, 2019

Beginning Wednesday, May 8 at 12:00pm noon BST, there will be an exclusive 24-hour priority booking period for MarkKnopfler.com members for performances happening at The Old Vic in London from 18 June – 22 August, 2020.

To take advantage of this opportunity, head here at the time of the priority booking period. Create an Old Vic account, and then login using the promo code OVEARLYHERO to access tickets ahead of public sale. If you have questions, you are invited to contact the Old Vic box office directly at 0844 871 7628 or visit their website at OldVicTheatre.com.

Local Hero is based on the Bill Forsyth film. Directed by John Crowley with book by Bill Forsyth and David  Grieg, and music & songs by Mark Knopfler.