• Video: Dire Straits Legacy set to bring sound track of a generation's life to Napier later this month

Video: Dire Straits Legacy set to bring sound track of a generation's life to Napier later this month

The silky sounds of Dire Straits are set to rock Church Road Winery later this month as Dire Straits Legacy, a tribute band made up of former band members of the original, takes a trip down memory lane during their New Zealand tour.

One of the members of the band is Alan Clark, the original keyboardist in Dire Straits. He told Hawkes’ Bay App in an interview this week that he is looking forward to touring New Zealand and coming to Church Road Winery on Friday, 29 December.

“I don't think I've ever been to Hawke's Bay before, but I'm very much looking forward to it. And I think that our New Zealand tour in general is going to be a load of fun. One of the things I'm looking forward to is a break from the winter in the Northern Hemisphere. But I love New Zealand. It's one of my favourite countries I've ever been to.”

Dire Straits Legacy is coming to New Zealand as part of the summer concert series, A Summer’s Day Live. Headlining alongside Dire Straits Legacy is Scottish rock act Nazareth. Kiwi favourite Hello Sailor will support throughout the tour.

Dire Straits Legacy consists of Clark; Phil Palmer and Danny Cummings, who both recorded ON EVERY STREET; Mel Collins who played on singles ‘Love Over Gold’ and ‘Twisting by the Pool’. All have performed live with Dire Straits on multiple global tours. The band members will all continue the legacy of Jack Sonni, after his recent untimely passing, with the upcoming shows a special tribute to his life.

Other Dire Straits Legacy members include bassist Trevor Horn (The Buggles, Yes), one of the world’s greatest record producers; Primiano Di Biase, Europe’s most in-demand and sought-after keyboardist; and frontman Marco Caviglia, who is widely regarded as the world’s leading authority on Mark Knopfler’s unique guitar-playing style.

Clark has toured New Zealand before with Dire Straits and he says the audience at the concert can expect to hear all the old favourites from the heyday of Dire Straits.

Clark says: “All of the hits, all of the songs everyone expects to hear, Tunnel of Love, Brothers in Arms, and then one or two other lesser known ones, maybe, Down to the Waterline, Right Across the River, Setting Me Up, songs that weren't hits but which are great songs from the early album also as well.”

Clark has fond memories of playing with the legendary Mark Knopfler, but has no illusions about replicating his vocal and guitar-playing ability in Dire Straits Legacy.

“It's impossible for someone get up there and do what Mark Knopfler does, because Mark Knopfler is so damn good and so damn unique. But the guy we have doing it makes an excellent job of it. And all I can say is the audiences we play to absolutely love it.”

Clark says that Dire Straits Legacy began “as a bit of fun about 10 or 12 years ago on a ski mountain in northern Italy”.

“We did this crazy gig up there. I was invited by Marco Caviglia, who plays the role of Mark Knopfler in the Dire Straits Legacy. He had a Dire Straits cover band, and he invited myself and John Illsley, the bass player in Dire Straits, to if we'd be interested in joining his band to play a gig to open the ski season on top of a mountain.”

“And we thought it was such a crazy idea, John and I did it. And we played a gig in ... I think it was 14 degrees below. It's just been a load of fun. And other members of Dire Straits became interested, and came and went. And here we are, 10, 12 years later, in the middle of a world tour. We've been to Brazil, the US, China, Italy, Germany, Romania, all sorts of places.”

Asked what his favourite Dire Straits is, Clark says that if he had to name one, it would be Private Investigation.

“It's just a beautifully crafted song, very clever. And I played a substantial part in the arrangement of it. And it's a piano-based song, so it suits me very well. So I like playing that one. I like them all. Tunnel of Love is a great song to play. Telegraph Road obviously is a great one that I enjoy. They're all great.”

Asked what he would say to encourage people to come to the concert at Church Road on December 29, Clark said: “Well, just that we make a damn good noise, the Dire Straits Legacy. We're a bunch of really good musicians. We do it for fun, and I think that comes over. And so we all have a great time up there, and that makes the audience have a great time.”

The tour is presented by The Sound and The Breeze.

A Summer's Day Live ft. Dire Straits Legacy, Nazareth

<![if !supportLists]>-        <![endif]>Friday December 29, 2023 - Church Road, Napier

w/ Hello Sailor and Scarlett Eden

<![if !supportLists]>-        <![endif]>Saturday December 30, 2023 - Wharepai Domain, Tauranga

w/ Hello Sailor and Wildlanes

<![if !supportLists]>-        <![endif]>Tuesday January 2, 2024 - Matakana Country Park, Matakana

w/ Hello Sailor and Uncommon State

<![if !supportLists]>-        <![endif]>Wednesday January 3, 2024 - Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth

w/ Hello Sailor and Darkwater

Tickets available from www.trademarkgroup.co.nz

Watch the accompanying video to see the full interview with Alan Clark of Dire Straits Legacy.