News

Compiled by Terry Kilburn

Olympia Park

Friday, July 12, 2019

Mark has taken time out from the DTRW tour to impress his hand-prints and autograph into concrete for display in Munich’s Olympia Park Walk of Stars.

MOWOS – Mark Knopfler verewigt sich.

Walk of Life nun beim Munich Olympic Walk of Stars. 🌟Gitarrenvirtuose Mark Knopfler hat sich gestern mit seinen Händen 🙌 bei uns verewigt. Seine Platte findet ihr in ein paar Wochen am Olympiasee gegebüber des Olympiaturms.

Posted by Olympiapark München on Monday, July 8, 2019

Autographs

Monday, July 8, 2019

Unfortunately Mark will no longer be signing guitars, scratch plates or any other musical instruments. This is a direct result of those people who are not fans, taking the autograph and using it to make money by selling it on Ebay, through autograph companies or privately to fans. The image below is one example – the seller has even gone to the trouble of removing the ‘Squier’ wording and replaced it with a Fender transfer in order to try and increase the price.

There are also various other unauthorised and unofficial items with fake signatures listed for sale on line, such as lyric sheets, posters, photographs, albums etc. As always, we advise you approach such listings with caution.

Thanks for your assistance and co-operation.

Crockford Management

Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 1st July 2019 – Oberhausen

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Right in the middle of the Ruhr industrial region of Germany lies Oberhausen, a working class heartland, one of a line of cities making use of the Rhine, Ruhr and Lippe rivers. Nicknamed Germany’s Detroit, Oberhausen is at the tail end of decades of decline and is now known for Europe’s largest shopping centre and the most prestigious avant-garde film festival known simply as the ‘International Short Film Festival Oberhausen’.

Unusually, the gym session felt really good, maybe a corner has been turned. God knows what we’d do without hotel gyms on the road. They are life savers. We left the Vienna Park Hyatt, one of THE best hotels, and headed for the airport one last time. Our beloved White Asparagus was nowhere to be seen. It seemed a fault had prevented her from operating and she was unceremoniously replaced, crew and all. We were greeted by the lovely Mina who proceeded to serve up coffees etc. whilst we waited for our slot clearance. This is a similar plane, another Challenger with a slightly different internal configuration. A jet is a jet, right? Well maybe. I did read about the new Gulfstream G6000 now in production this morning but that’s in the realms of jet-porn. We were soon airborne and dodging the many thunderstorms that were forming fast in the area.

Having landed at Dusseldorf’s busy airfield, Goran’s team conquered the heavy traffic, there was much weaving and exploitation of clever convoy driving, and got us to the venue in time for all the usual procedures…soup, sound-check, dinner and show. On the menu tonight was Tournedos Rossini, a French steak dish, named after 19th century composer Gioachino Rossini. Basically, Fillet steak with Fois Gras and a Madeira sauce. Ridiculous, and in my book, unmissable. It was eye rollingly sublime. Dave in catering pushed the boat out on this one. (Top Tip – Dave uses Egg Yolks in the Mashed Potato)

Relaxing in the dressing rooms before the show, Paul came in and reminded me that Christoph Kemper was here. As many of you know, we have no guitar amplifiers on or off stage. We are using Kemper profiling Amps. Mark’s Guitar tech, Glenn Saggers, Mark and I spent many months profiling Mark’s amps and cabinets at British Grove (mostly Glenn) to great effect. We are really enjoying what these things can do and we are always tweaking and improving. I took Christoph up to stage left and we chatted about the Amps with Tim Myer, Richard’s tech. It was soon time for the show and with a slow walk-in, we delayed until 8:15. All good though, another fab show in what I thought was a tricky venue for sound. I assume Dave at FOH conquered it and the reports coming back this morning are all good. Some of us had a few minor in-ear issues, nothing major. Then it was time for a 35 minute drive back into Dusseldorf and a quick late Monday evening session at our favourite Altbier bar, the Uerige, Obergärige Hausbraurie. I’m sure you all know that Altbier (German: old beer) is a style of beer brewed in the historical region of Westphalia and around the city of Düsseldorf, Germany. Its name comes from it being top-fermented, an older method than the bottom fermentation of other lagered beers. Delicious!

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

 

Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 29th June 2019 – Ljubljana

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

However you look at it, we are the lucky ones. Anyone who stays at such a lovely hotel as the Park Hyatt, Vienna, should consider the same. This is high end luxury and should never be taken for granted. Occasional reminders appear, as this morning, a particularly emaciated young girl comes up to Mark and I outside, begging for money.

Vienna airport is not far from the city so it’s one of the better ‘hubs’. A sort bus ride to the plane and we were airborne and ‘en croute’ once more. Touchdown in Ljubljana and Goran’s team ‘A’ met us airside and whisked us through beautiful countryside to the venue that from a distance, looks more like a clam than an arena. As we drove in, I had a flashback to Fish and Chips. That’s what Dave and team prepared in catering the last time we were here in May 2013.

Arriving as we do, in plenty of time before sound check, Steve in catering led me to the huge, unused space below the venue as there was some interesting graffiti on the concrete walls. This space must have been planned as a car park but it had clearly never been completed and looks to have been untouched for a long while. Being careful where I stepped, I wandered the eerie space taking photos. Sound check was next up, then a ‘small’ bite in catering (Schnitzel) then a show to an audience that were up for it from the word go. It seemed to us that the average age was lower and as a consequence, there was noticeable, youthful exuberance. We had an absolute blast up there and didn’t want to leave.

Ljubljana airfield is remote and late at night, there aren’t many people on duty. It seemed pretty deserted. When we pulled up in our  post-show black Mercedes convoy, the gates opened as if automatically and our tarmac escort arrived swiftly. With luxury of ramp-access, still in stage clothing, we boarded the WAJOJ (White Asparagus Jet Of Joy) still buzzing from the intense Slovenian reception at the gig. When our pilot closed the plane doors, he took his seat and with tower permission, thrusted forward. The twin engines roared a small percentage of their 8,500lbs of thrust (each) and the plane lurched violently, enough for half of the band to spill our drinks onto the carpet. We all knew it was caused by something unusual and sure enough, the pilot confirmed that one, or a part of one of the ‘chocs’ was left in front of the undercarriage. Cockpit safety systems showed there was no apparent damage and we continued our exit from Slovenia unhindered.

A day off in Vienna followed, and for me and Alex (team ‘B’ lead driver) it was golf at the beautiful Schloss Schönborn Golf Club. What a beautiful setting, the only issue was the heat. It was 35 degrees Celsius. We used buggies, conserving our energy all the way round and by the time Alex dropped me at the hotel, the band were convening for another Schnitzel-fest round the corner. I showered and donned the lightest Hawaiian shirt and joined the party. It definitely is the thing to eat here and we demolished plates of it before word of an Irish bar session round the corner came from Mike. Old friends of his were in town and the bar was only 5 minutes walk away. Guinness flowed.. After-band dinner sessions don’t come any better. The Bodhran player let me have a play and before you could say “fiddle de dee” I was initiated into the folk world, well that’s what it felt like. The funny thing is, the session carried on in ANOTHER Irish pub round the corner. Both pubs are within 2 blocks of our hotel. As I write, the session continues elsewhere, a 5 minute cab ride, another Irish bar, deep into the night.

 

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

Tour Diary of Guy Fletcher: 28th June 2019 – Vienna

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Wiener schnitzel. Need I say more? You cannot come to Vienna and not have this traditional dish, vegetarians excluded. We hadn’t been in the hotel half an hour before plates of it, with Truffle Mayonnaise, were laid out on tables in front of us. More on that below.

In Prague this morning, the weather was perfect, as it has been across Europe this week although in some parts, namely the South of France, it has been dangerously hot. I read that an all time heat record was broken as a  temperature of 114.6 Fahrenheit was recorded in Gallargues-le-Montueux. Lucky for us, we endured no such extremes and our short hop to Vienna was as usual, blissfully trouble free. Stand-in stewardess, Sandra from Germany made sure we enjoyed a light lunch before landing at Flughafen Wien, crowded with business jets, Gulfstreams, Bombardiers and Embraers everywhere.

Each time we land here, I’m reminded of the great wealth of Vienna as we navigate our way on a transit bus between the multi-million dollar jets. Our little White Asparagus looks a little out of place but she packs a punch and we love her. Into the cars and vans we get and off to the venue, the old Stadthalle, for soup and sound check. Soup today was Sweetcorn Chowder…‘just so you know’.

Now the Wiener Stadthalle is a charmless venue and with no catering area per-se, the tables are laid out behind the stage in the load in bay, yet it always sends us away with a great feeling. The audiences here are as you’d expect, educated, respectful and on a Friday night, slightly boisterous.

Even in this hall, which is notoriously unforgiving sonically, we enjoyed a great onstage sound, if a little wild. There were a few odd moments but after all, it IS live.

Reconvening after the show ‘runner’, our long-serving German promoter, Marek Leiberberg, with whom we have enjoyed Germany and Austria since the early 1980’s when it was MAMA concerts, had laid on drinks and food in the sumptuous Park Hyatt hotel bar. What a beautiful hotel, what a beautiful bar. We are lucky men indeed.

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