Mark Knopfler Privateering Tour was in Dijon on Sunday June 30th, 2013. I have wanted to see him in concert for simply decades and have never had the chance. Luckily, at long last that has changed. It so happened that the date coincided with the end of school year for my wife. We simply had to cross the Jura Mountains, have a stop-over in Dijon to take in the concert before travelling up to Calais and crossing over to England to see our son who lives there.
We arrived in good time & checked into the Balladins hotel we had booked through booking.com. We chose the hotel as it was just a 10 minute walk from the Zenith concert hall. They also accepted dogs so our Golden Retriever, Beau was able to stay there without a problem.
The concert opened up with a young Canadian, Ruth Moody and her band. Ruth Moody is a talented singer songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. She plays guitar, banjo, piano, accordion and bodhran. Her band features Adam Dobres (electric guitar), Adrian Dolan (strings, mandolin, accordian) and Sam Howard (bass, vocals). On the evening they were a tight-knit group providing an excellent opening to the Mark Knopfler Privateering show.
The Dijon crowd warmed very quickly not just because of her wonderful act but also as Ruth speaks fluent French. After her act she personally signed copies of her latest album, ‘These Wilder Things‘.
After a short break to reset the stage Mark Knopfler entered, kicking off with ‘What it is’ from his ‘Sailing To Philadelphia‘ album. There had definitely been an air of expectancy and Mark didn’t disappoint. Within 3 songs he and his band played the title track of his latest ‘Privateering’ album, demonstrating his folk roots. In fact most of the songs played throughout the show were from this album. The album has a wide variety of styles ranging from folk to blues to country to rock.
His group comprises of:
- Guy Fletcher (keyboards)
- Richard Bennett (guitar)
- Jim Cox (piano)
- Glenn Worf (bass)
- Mike McGoldrick (whistle and flute)
- John McCusker (fiddle)
- Ian Thomas (drums)
All are top musicians and most of whom have been with Mark since the mid-1990’s. Of course, the longest serving member is Guy Fletcher who joined Dire Straits in 1983 as announced by Mark during the show. Ruth Moody who also appeared on the album, returned to the stage to join Mark and sang vocals on three of the songs.
Mark hasn’t lost any of his talents, neither in song writing nor in guitar playing and we were thoroughly left in awe during the whole performance. Those expecting to hear solely old Dire Straits numbers may have been disappointed as only three were performed. These were ‘Romeo and Juliette’, mid-way through the performance and ‘So Far Away’ as the first item of a 2 song encore. But without a doubt the show stopper was the last song of the main part of the performance, ‘Telegraph Road’. By the end the crowd were on their feet calling for more!
I have to say this was the one song I had hoped he would play and the moment the intro started I had goose bumps!
So at the end we left, me with a sore throat, feeling well-entertained for the best part of 3 and a half hours.
Brilliant evening – great memories!
By the time we got into our bed at the Balladins there remained only 4 and a half hours left before the alarm was due to sound and we were to continue our journey across France.
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