Dire Straits star Mark Knopfler Steeled for Hall debut

British musician Mark Knopfler performs on the Stravinski Hall stage at the 44th Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland.
British musician Mark Knopfler performs on the Stravinski Hall stage at the 44th Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland.
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Award-winning singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler will break new ground when he takes to the stage in Sheffield later this month.

The 65-year-old is returning to perform at the city’s Motorpoint Arena for the first time since a Dire Straits show in 1991 – and he will be the first artist to play the venue’s new reduced capacity The Steel Hall.

Mark Knopfler.

Mark Knopfler.

The 4,000-seat Steel Hall, housed within the Arena’s main hall, is designed to bring the audience closer to the event.

Knopfler, who shot to fame with Dire Straits in the late 1970s, is on tour after the release of his latest album Tracker in January – but has vowed to perform some Dire Straits classics during the show as well, such as Sultans of Swing or Walk of Life.

Knopfler says: “The thing about the old Straits songs is these things are signposts for people’s lives.

“Obviously I’ll play things differently here and there to keep it alive and meaningful to me, and away from a cabaret thing.

“But there are things, like the twiddly bits at the end of ‘Sultans,’ if you don’t do your twiddly bits, the world’s not right for people.

“I like playing the old songs, I wrote them and people like to hear them, it’s as simple as that.”

Knopfler will be performing with a seven-piece band, most of whom have been working with him for the best part of two decades, including Guy Fletcher on keyboards, guitarist Richard Bennett, pianist Jim Cox, Mike McGoldrick on whistle and flute, fiddler John McCusker, bassist Glenn Worf and drummer Ian Thomas.

Knopfler plays Motorpoint Arena on Sunday, May 17.Tickets are on sale now, in person at the venue box office, by phone on 0114 2565656 or online at www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk.

Tickets purchased online and through the ticket hotline are priced £55 and £49.50, including booking fee. Tickets purchased in person are £52.50 and £47.25 including booking fee.

A multiple Grammy award-winner Knopfler continues to combine his wry lyrics with his guitar prowess and has created such major hits as Money For Nothing. He has collaborated with many other artists, as well as scoring several films.