The Dire Straits Experience is a project by the legendary British rock band’s saxophone player Chris White and guitarist/vocalist Terence Reis. The group will kick off their 2017 world tour playing a concert at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall on March 3.
For White and Reis this will be their second performance in Russia. Several years ago they played in Moscow as part of a band called the Straits, which also performed Dire Straits classics.
“The Straits finished two years ago. Terence and I were approached by a promoter who wanted to do more concerts. We reformed the band as the Dire Straits Experience and carried forward,” White said in a phone interview with TASS ahead of the concerts in Russia.
White said he did not expect the band would end up touring the world for so long, performing the music of Dire Straits. Initially, he put together the Straits to play only one charity concert, the musician emphasized.
“When we did the charity concert I thought it would only be one show. What happened was that the audience liked it so much. It was very successful and people started saying: “Please keep it going, play some more.” The only reason we are going is because people want to come and see and hear this music live,” he explained.
Members of The Dire Straits Experience
White said he is not the only original Dire Straits member in the Dire Straits Experience line-up:
“We have Chris Whitten on drums. He was also part of Dire Straits on the On Every Street tour. Alan Clark (original keyboardist with Dire Straits – TASS) is not with us. We have Danny Schogger, who produced and wrote songs for Celine Dion. He is a phenomenal player. We also have Simon Carter, he spent a lot of time with Jamiroquai and a great bass player called Paul Geary. I am very happy with the band,” White said.
The band is very lucky to have such a guitar player and singer as Terence Reis, White added:
“I did not think it would be possible to find anyone that could do what Mark (Mark Knopfler – guitarist, singer and songwriter of Dire Straits – TASS) did. But we found this guy Terence. He was living in South Africa at that time. We found him through the Internet and he is just without trying sounds like Mark and he plays guitar the same way. He is a phenomenal guitar player. I can’t think of anybody else I know who could do what he does. He does not try to copy, he does not try look like Mark or be like Mark at all. He just sounds so similar.”
About playing with Dire Straits
Chris White joined Dire Straits in mid-1980s, when the group was in the heyday of its glory and performed with the band until the end of its last tour in the early 1990s. He highlights Dire Straits participation in Live Aid (legendary charity rock festival concert – TASS) on July 13, 1985 in London as one of his best memories with the band.
“I have to say that for all kinds of reasons that was a very special moment – for me anyway – and for the band – we were all very happy to be involved with that,” he said.
The musician said it is difficult for him to choose the most favorite Dire Straits songs.
“It is very hard! I think Brothers In Arms is a great song. I got to play saxophone on Romeo and Juliet, which I always thought was a great song. When Mark decided to put saxophone on it, I was very happy to play on that one. I also like Private Investigations and Telegraph Road. And also Your Latest Trick is a really cool thing and it always goes down very well with the audience,” White elaborated.
He added that in this tour the Dire Straits Experience will also play Once Upon A Time In The West and On Every Street.
About future of rock and pop music
When asked why people prefer to listen to good old songs today rather than to look for something new, the musician said:
“Maybe because the world is a bit uncertain at the moment there are many people who want to listen to the things they know and love. People remember important events in their lives and often they associate them with a song – so I think it is completely understandable and right that people want to hear those things. But I also think, here in the UK anyway, there is a lot of exciting music,” he explained.
White follows the current music scene in the UK:
“There is a band called Fat White Family, which I like. These are young, very new. Also there are some great new singers songwriters. For example – a woman called Nadia Sheikh who I think is really good,” the rocker said.
The musician believes that pop music will still evolve and “there are always great new songs and great new styles to come”.
“I don’t think it is finished. I think people will always want to hear new stuff. They won’t like everything but some of it they will. That is the nature of music and art and being creative,” the musician concluded.
On March 4, the Dire Straits Experience is to play in Ufa, the capital of Russia’s Bashkortostan.
History of Dire Straits
Dire Straits was founded in 1977 in London by guitarist brothers – Mark Knopfler, who also acted as the band’s lead singer, and David Knopfler. They were joined by bass guitarist John Illsley and drummer Pick Withers. Dire Straits became one of the most commercially successful bands in rock music history with over 120 million copies of their albums sold worldwide. Mark Knopfler officially disbanded Dire Straits in 1995.