The Sultan Of Swing Comes To Madrid

Kimberley Bailey talks to Rock´n ´ Roll Hall of Fame inducteee and Dire Straits co-founder John Illsley about his forthcoming concert in Madrid at Joy Eslva on October 12th

Perhaps a cliché question, but what inspired you to put a tour together now?

Its a long time [27 years] since Dire Straits played in Spain, so now seems a good time to revisit.

How did you even begin choosing the incredible line-up for your band?

I have been playing with these musicians for about 5 years now, it works well together.

How long has it been since you’ve been on tour like this?

We have been touring in Europe these last few years in Holland,Germany Switzerland and France, there are a lot of people who like to hear the Dire Straits music played by original members.

How long have you been preparing for this? In terms of both the music and executing and organising the tour itself.

All tours take a lot of time to organise, we decide quite early what songs we will play, mostly Dire Straits music but also music from my 6 solo albums.

What are you most excited about? And what are you most apprehensive about?

My memory of the Spanish audiences was very positive they loved the Dire Straits band and I am looking forward to bringing to life the Dire Straits sound for these concerts.

How will compare to tours you did with Dire Straits?

The Dire Straits tours were very big obviously, I am now singing so this is also big difference, I understand the feel of the music so it will be good to listen too . 

What are some of your favourite tour memories?

So many to remember, but playing with some wonderful musicians over the years with Dire Straits, and playing in so many different countries it was an honour and a pleasure.

How has the music industry changed since the days of the Dire Straits and now?

In essence nothing has changed , musicians still want to make music , write songs  and perform, the way music is delivered is different, musicians have less control than they did before. ,it is more about business than the music and also a lot of the music sounds the same because radio demands this.

How much do you keep in touch with members of the Dire Straits?

I keep in touch with Mark and Guy Fletcher often , less often with the other members

In your own words, what can fans expect?

A very exciting concert of musical memories of Dire Straits plus some original songs played by very good musicians, who have worked with other great musicians.

How would you sum-up this whole experience? And how has it differed from your previous tours?

Well things change over time and you have to adjust to suit the situation, I am still loving playing in front of people and the audiences seem to love what we do.

Do you envisage doing another tour after this?

I will continue to do small tours depending what comes up 

How’s your pub, the East End Arms, going to cope without its landlord?

The pub is doing very well thank you but I don’t stand behind the bar serving drinks, they will manage quite well without me ! 

Have you been to Madrid before? What do you anticipate from the crowd?

I have visited Madrid many times over the years I love the food, the architecture and the Art Galleries I am sure that the people who come to the concert in Madrid will have a wonderful time, this is a great band!! 

For more information on times or to buy tickets please click on the link

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