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Along with Mark Knopfler, John Illsley was a founder member of the legendary band Dire Straits who, during their time together, sold over 120 million albums.
John Illsley rose to fame as the bass guitarist of the critically acclaimed band and played a major role in the development of the Dire Straits’ sound. John and Mark Knopfler were the only founding members to remain in the line-up of Dire Straits right through from 1977 until they decided to call it a day in 1995. They still remain close friends and recently produced a programme ‘Guitar Stories’ for Sky Arts. When Dire Straits took a couple of well-earned breaks John released two albums; ‘Never Told a Soul’ (1984) and ‘Glass’ (1988), both featured Mark Knopfler as a guest musician.
John says, “Having Mark Knopfler as songwriter, singer and guitar player in the band gave Dire Straits its unique character. It was a pleasure for me to be able to contribute to the distinctive sound of the band, and enjoy the friendship and musical journey that Mark and I shared.”
John Illsley’s show at The Apex on 25 March is an evening of music & memories. It will feature classics from the Dire Straits history and include a Q&A led by Paul Cummins (ex-Dire Straits management), during which John will reveal the story and development of the band from its humble beginnings in a council flat in South London, where songs like ‘Sultans of Swing’ and ‘Wild West End’ were created, to playing all over the world to millions of fans and working with some of the world’s most influential and creative musicians and producers.
John will also be joined on stage with fellow musicians from his band who will play music from the whole Dire Straits’ back catalogue including, ‘Money for Nothing’, ‘Brothers in Arms’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Sultans of Swing’.
It promises to be a special, intimate evening looking into the life and times of one of the biggest rock & roll bands of all time.
John Illsley is at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Monday 25 March at 7.30pm. Tickets are £24, ring the box office on 01284 758000 or see www.theapex.co.uk for more details.