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The Straits
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3/15/2014, 7:00 PM

With special guests The Refrigerators
Doors: 6pm - The Refrigerators: 7pm - The Straits: 8pm

"...probably the best live band you'll ever hear."  "...best ever live gig..."  "...like Dire Straits when they were at their best: in the Brothers in Arms era."   "...it was easy to forget we weren't watching the original Dire Straits in its early 1980's prime."

It all began in Rome. Dire Straits' keyboard player Alan Clark and Dire Straits' sax player Chris White were having breakfast beside a hotel pool one beautiful, sunny morning when Alan declared they were going to form The Straits. They'd been presented with the opportunity to play at a charity show at the Albert Hall and as Alan had recently "discovered" singer/guitarist Terence Reis - he'd heard him performing a couple of Dire Straits songs rather brilliantly - the logical thing to do was to form a band around him.

Their first thought was to call guitarist Phi Palmer* who'd played on Dire Straits' On Every Street world tour in '91/92, and that was easy because he lives in Rome. There was only ever going to be one drummer: Steve Ferrone, probably the best rock drummer in the world and a good mate of Alan's - they met way back in 1987 when they played in Eric Clapton's band together. There was a slight catch (besides the fact that he lives in Los Angeles) insomuch that he's Tom Petty's drummer and has been for the past 20 years but they figured Tom wouldn't mind sharing him for a good cause, and that proved to be the case. Next they needed a bass player and wanted to hand-pick the absolute best and so Mickey Feat was recruited on bass. As for the additional keyboard player role: Alan had watched Jamie Squire grow up - his family were neighbours of his in a village in Northumberland - and develop into the amazing multi-instrumental singer/songwriter he is today, and soon he was on board too.

As is the way with things that are meant to be, it all came together very easily. Terence turned out to be everything they hoped he would be and more, and suddenly they had a band; and what a band! They've both played in some pretty damned good ones in their time but they agree this one is probably the best.

The charity show at the Albert Hall was an extraordinary, resounding success: they received prolonged standing ovations; people were in tears - even Alan's hard-nosed music lawyer was in tears; people who work there said they hadn't seen such a reaction in a very long time. It was good, so good, in fact, they couldn't just leave it there. So, they arranged to do some more shows, then some more and now, two years later, they're putting together a world tour and working on record of their own material.

"We've been inundated with letters of support from Dire Straits' fans, and what has become apparent to us over the past two years is how much this music means to so many people, how much they've missed hearing it performed live with the skill, passion and energy they experienced back in the days of Dire Straits". AC

The waiting is over...

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