This month, The Dire Straits Experience will play all your old favourites at venues around the country.

The band, which comprises of original member and saxophonist, Chris White, along with some exceptionally talented session musicians is currently touring Australia and New Zealand.

Joining White will be vocalist and guitarist Terence Reis, Paddy Milner and Richard Cottle on keyboards, Ralph Salmins on drums and bassist Mick Feat.

All world class musicians, members of The Dire Straits Experience have played and recorded with the likes of Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, Robbie Williams, Mick Jagger and Van Morrison – this isn’t your average tribute show.

Chris White rocks out with The Dire Straits Experience.
Chris White rocks out with The Dire Straits Experience.

After a successful season in Wellington, NZ, an enthusiastic Chris White said he is really looking forward to bringing the show to Australia, a place he remembers fondly.

“I love Australia. In fact, after the first Dire Straits tour, I wanted to move to Australia but immigration didn’t want me because I was a musician,” he laughed.

“At the show in Wellington last night, everybody was up, dancing, cheering and shouting. It’s amazing. It’s just like what it used to be back when it was Dire Straits. The amazing thing is that I’m encountering people I encountered in 1986! It’s a strange experience but a very happy experience.”

The idea for The Dire Straits Experience came from a charity event a few years ago when White put a band together called The Straits.

“The original concept came about three and a half years ago when I was asked to put a band together for a charity concert at Albert Hall in London,” he said.

“The reaction we had was quite amazing and quite humbling so what was going to be a one off gig turned out to be requests for more; so here we are three and a half years later with a new formed band playing gigs.

” The 59-year-old musician who once played Live Aid at Wembley Stadium to 72,000 people is clearly humbled and ecstatic about the response The Dire Straits Experience has received so far.

But with a set list of all of the Dire Straits favourites, plus some very early numbers, and a vocalist/guitarist who sounds almost identical to Knopfler himself, the tour is set to be a showcase of exceptional talent.

“We’ll be playing Telegraph Road, Private Investigations, Brothers in Arms and Romeo and Juliet,” White said.

“I guess there’s kind of surprises in this one because we’ll be covering songs from early days when Dire Straits were just a four piece. Any songs you think you want to hear will be there so come along and hear it!”

And White believes vocalist and guitarist Terence Reis will do the songs justice, as he was hand picked by original Dire Straits keyboardist, Alan Clark.

“Alan was flicking through people singing on the Internet. He heard Terence’s voice, did some research and called him. Alan said, ‘This is Alan Clark from Dire Straits’ and Terrence said, ‘Get out of here, who is this?’ and all that went on for five minutes!”

Despite the similarity, White believes Reis has brought his own flavour to the popular songs.

“It is uncanny how similar his voice is to Mark’s, but Terrence is an exciting player in his own right and brings something new to it. He’s brought the songs back to life,” he said.

The Australian leg of the tour kicks off in Perth tonight with dates in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.

You can book your tickets on The Dire Straits Experience website or through the venue.

Where and when:

3rd October: Perth – Perth Concert Hall 8pm
4th October: Adelaide – Adelaide Festival Theatre 8pm
5th October: Melbourne – Palais Theatre 7pm
8th October: Brisbane – QPAC Concert Hall 7:30pm
9th October: Sydney – Sydney State Theatre 8pm

Interviewed by Libby Parker
Photos by The Dire Straits Experience