My mate David, who had made the trek from deepest Dorset, and I were amongst the thousands who flocked to the Royal Albert Hall in London last night to pay homage to the Sultan of Swing, Mark Knopfler. On the London leg of his European ‘Privateering’ Tour, the RAH was rocking to an eclectic mix of recent material as well as some epic contributions from his Dire Straits days. Of course, it’s all minus the headband and long hair these days; rather like the audience – demographically skewed towards seniority. In fact the overall amount of hair on display (audience and band) was on a distinct downward trend, and what you could see was mostly one of fifty shades of grey.
Nevertheless, the maestro gave an outstanding performance of his unique guitar style, and had the old folks whooping and yelling, in a rather dignified manner, as they relived memories of earlier times when Dire Straits ruled the world. Everyone was able to have breather during the quieter, folky material that is more typical of MK over recent years.
I can still remember hearing ‘Sultans of Swing’ for the first time, and thinking ‘that’s not the way to play a guitar’. My word, as far as I was concerned, guitar playing moved into another dimension overnight. And it’s great to see that MK can still knock it (and us) out. The boy done well.