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Mark Knopfler announces retirement in Barcelona
By thinkSPAIN Team Fri, Apr 26, 2019
FORMER Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler announced during his Barcelona concert that he would no longer be going on tour, saying: "This is a beautiful way to say goodbye."
"I'm old," Knopfler argued - three times, in fact, in the course of his show at the Palau Sant Jordi stadium - referring to the fact that he would be 70 in summer; certainly not old in today's money, but perhaps after decades of live performing, enough of an age to want to call time on jetting all over the world and having it large on stage almost every night for more than a year.
Over 13,000 fans hung onto Knopfler's every word during a performance they would never see again.
After opening the show with Why Aye Man, the talented Scot - who famously lauded Spanish flamenco-rock legend Paco de Lucía before his death, saying he 'realised he could not play the guitar' after hearing him - announced he was 'thrilled to be back in Barcelona', a city he 'adores'.
Fans for whom the farewell announcement has come as a shock can still get their fill of him live before he hangs up his guitar for good: Knopfler will be performing in five more cities in Spain before taking off around Europe and then heading to the USA.
The tour is aimed at promoting Knopfler's new album, Down The Road Wherever - since he has no plans whatsoever to give up his musical career for good - but the concert also included classic hits from his Dire Straits days and many of his best-loved solo tracks.
After Why Aye Man, from his 2002 album The Ragpicker's Dream, he performed Nobody Does That, My Bacon Roll and Matchstick Men, all three from his newest collection.
This new album sees Knopfler return to his roots, combining rock with blues and folk, and featuring lyrics that wax nostalgic about his childhood in Newcastle, as the concert's opening track suggests, and the beginning of Dire Straits in the London borough of Deptford.
Fans who plan to catch him at later concerts this year can expect to hear early Straits hits such as Once Upon a Time in the West, Romeo and Juliet, Your Latest Trick, On Every Street and Telegraph Road, as well as tracks from Knopfler's eight previous solo albums.
The Geordie, who studied at Manchester's highly-prestigious Chetham College of Music, rounded off his Barcelona show with two encores of Money For Nothing and Going Home.
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