Gig review: Mark Knopfler, Glasgow

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The one over-arching feeling in the air while Mark Knopfler played was a sense of quiet but powerful respectfulness.

Mark Knopfler - SECC, Glasgow

* * *

The sometime Dire Straits guitarist and singer isn’t the kind of artist who seems to inspire wild, vocal adoration, yet his fans – with whom the SECC was packed – have stuck by him with a supreme loyalty over the years. Of his seven solo albums released within the past 17 years, only one (2004’s Shangri-La) failed to crack the UK top ten by a place, while the recording of his latest work Privateering was interrupted briefly in 2011 to allow him to play tour guitar for Bob Dylan, bringing him closer to classic rock’s firmament.

Of course he was also born in Glasgow, which may or may not have helped. This show was unfussy and professional, with just a simple diamond-shaped truss of multi-coloured lights overhead and the occasional spotlight picking out a featured player in the darkness, while Knopfler and his bandmates went about the show with a minimum of ceremony. The only grandstanding came when he would delve into a lengthy solo at the end of a track, his guitar turned up loud to give his playing a respectful distance from the rest of the music.

Most of the songs were drawn from Knopfler’s solo output, and his audience seemed familiar with them all, but the few Dire Straits songs (Romeo & Juliet, the sparse Telegraph Road and a sandpaper-voiced So Far Away) were the ones that inspired the most excited responses. Closing the show with Going Home from the Local Hero soundtrack was the biggest open goal in a show filled with them.

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