THE BRITISH BLUES BAND
David Pick Withers [ Dire Straits ] Zoot Money, Dave Kelly, Peter Emery, Gary Fletcher, All Stars made the line up for a night of Blues Music that ONLY MASTERS OF THEIR TRADE CAN GIVE.
Each of the band gave us the audience a chance to hear music that even the buildings poor acoustic interior couldn’t suppress, everyone of the players had in the music scene, been there and had the scars to prove it. They enjoyed what they were doing and played and sang each of the well known songs with the talent and expertise as the label said, ALL STARS.
For myself it was seeing for real David Pick Withers behind a drum kit, I wrote the lyrics for the Dire Straits Album in 1975 that is now some 40 years ago. I’ve only seen Mark Knopfler and John Illsley as solo artists, maybe if I can get to a David Knopfler gig I will have actually seen for the first time the Dire Straits line up.
Mark Knopfler said he could see himself as a old man on stage playing the blues, and happily doing a Tommy Cooper and keeling over into the Great Rock Hall of Fame in the heavens. Well I can assure him none of the All Stars arrived by Private Jet, and I think they set up their gear themselves and carried the equipment from the boot of their cars.
Maybe just the thought of that heavy lifting, micro waves, ovens, would put that type of demise well of the radar for him, and anyway he’s now into the Folk scene, or as he says returned. Well I came late into the Folk scene just as it was finishing in1963, even with Newcastle being behind the rest of the music scene only having the Animals and a few more good Rhythm and Blues groups. The Knopfler brothers must have been the youngest Folk singers in a scene that was becoming defunct in the pubs and throughout the country, in fact David must have still been at school, and Mark being a few years younger than me would not have been eighteen and not allowed into these dens of heavy drinking Folk circles.
Then of course there’s the story about the pub Mark said he used to frequent in Newcastle, where a stunned regular shocked at the revelation stated, ” Ive been coming into that bar for thirty years, and Ive never seen him in there,”…
Don’t tell me even that’s just another story, he also said David Pick Withers friend because of the poverty both he Mark Knopfler who was working as Lecturer, and John Illsley the Bankers son and owner of a Music shop, and poor David Knopfler a Social Worker were living in at Deptford. Well since it was myself who suggested the name Dire Straits, if a band was ever formed, and I’d never met David Pick Withers until the The British Blues Band night, though I’d like to be a friend of his, surely its not another Knopfler myth.
Maybe the guy in the pub was too busy listening to David Knopfler singing folk songs in the snug bar, that he didn’t notice Mark downing the Newcastle Browns in the bar, NO I’m just getting the Blues maybe Mark will return to his dream, it is a dream Mark isn’t it.