“Last time I was in India, I had a backpack and a girlfriend… On my second visit, I am hoping to leave India enchanted with my music,” saxophonist Chris White, an original member of British rock band Dire Straits said at the beginning of his address at a gathering in Westin hotel in Sector 29. Guitarist Terence Reis was by his side and they are touring the country with a host of other musicians as members of Dire Straits Experience.
In a first, the duo and other band members — Tim Walters, Simon Carter, Danny Schogger and Paul Geary — will perform at ‘Play for a Cause’ concert at the Leisure Valley Park on Friday as members of Dire Straits Experience.
Mark Knopfler, the lead guitarist, songwriter and lead vocalist of the legendary band, Dire Straits, had performed twice in the country earlier. The Dire Straits disbanded in 1995 and Knopfler went on to have a successful solo career. White and Reis collaborated to form the Dire Straits Experience on an invitation to play some shows initially in Australia and New Zealand.
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The concert will start at 7.30pm and its focus is on providing drinking water to seven villages in Rajasthan from the revenue generated through ticket sales. The band will perform at Bengaluru on Sunday.
Recalling their experiences around the world, the two musicians spoke about their roots, evolution of music and the competition for upcoming musicians with the advent of the internet.
Ahead of their inaugural performance, White spoke about the effect of music that extends beyond boundaries. “India has always been on our list and we are excited to play here. The power of music is incredible and brings together people from across nations and cultures.”
Terence predicts that Friday’s performance will be an “extraordinary feature”.
“I can’t wait to contribute to a noble cause and get the live fan experience of Indians. I am just counting down to the show,” Terence said.
The duo had their own take on comparisons between music of the 1970s and the contemporary era.
“Things have changed a lot, especially in terms of the incorporation of technology into music. The evolution has helped the band in modifying and embracing symphonic changes to our 1985 album, Brother in Arms, during our live performances,” White said.
For Terence, the band’s music remains intact with its roots.“Dire Straits Experience has a great blend of ancient music that in its essence continues to emit lyrical inspiration. I am a traditionalist and trace the band’s roots to a fusion of cultural mix present in England of Funk, American and Jazz that combined with rock to form the band’s originality,” the guitarist said.
White also spoke about the evolution of the internet as a threat to upcoming musicians and music in itself coming a ‘full circle’.
“The upcoming musicians have started performing at pubs and restaurants, similar to musicians of the 1970s, taking music a full circle…They (upcoming musicians), however, have to cope with the vast competition introduced by internet which has made it harder for the young generation to come up. There is stiff competition as anybody can become popular by uploading his or her performance online and become an overnight
White said that earnings through music will be a challenge for this generation. Owing to the competition, he feels there is a “great chance of losing talent” though there will always be an abundance of stars.
“Music is a live thing... There can never be a void. If there is a star presently, there will be another one tomorrow. Every generation will have a new star,” White said.