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Mark Knopfler's classy act at the LG Arena

Birmingham | | Published:

Mark Knopfler's trademark fingerpicking style and unmistakeable tone are still able to enthral as he brings his Het Lucky tour to the LG Arena.

Mark Knopfler

LG Arena, Birmingham

Concert review and photos by Ian Harvey

It's been 15 years since Mark Knopfler called time on Dire Straits, the band that all but launched the CD era with the multi-million selling Brothers In Arms.

Since then the guitarist-singer has built a critically acclaimed collection of solo albums and arrived at the LG Arena last night to promote his latest, Get Lucky.

Typically low key, Knopfler started the show with Border Reiver, the opening song from the new album, and a song which exemplified much of the set; contemplative, melancholic in places and with a folky air about it.

But it's an approach that the fans lapped up, getting a chance to see a guitar master at work, Knopfler's trademark fingerpicking style and unmistakeable tone still able to enthral as his band of multi-instrumentalists wove a tapestry of sound around him.

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Knopfler performed the whole set from a guitar stool after having suffered a trapped nerve, joking that the audience would have to forego "my usual pirouettes and high kicks".

Other solo songs, including What It Is, Speedway At Nazereth and the lovely Sailing To Philadelphia were received enthusiastically but the biggest applause was saved, unsurprisingly, for the salvo of Dire Straits classics that peppered the second half of the set.

Romeo & Juliet gave way to Dire Straits' breakthrough hit Sultans Of Swing, with the mighty Telegraph Road closing the main set.

Knopfler encored with Brother In Arms followed by So Far Away and then closed with the new album's closing song, Piper To The End, marking two hours of sheer class.

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