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Mark Knopfler announces new tour including Metro Radio Arena show

The former Dire Straits front man is to play the Metro radio Arena after the release of his new album

Mark Knopfler who is perform at the Great North Run Million opening ceremony
Mark Knopfler who is perform at the Great North Run Million opening ceremony

Fresh from his appearance at the GNR Million celebration beside the Tyne, Mark Knopfler has announced a new European tour.

It will bring him to the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, on May 20 next year.

He will perform tracks from new album Tracker which is to be released in January through Virgin/EMI.

The star, born in Glasgow but brought up in the North East, is currently putting the finishing touches to the album in British Grove, his studio in London.

The former Dire Straits frontman will take to the road with a seven-piece band.

The musicians, most of whom have performed with Knopfler for years, are Guy Fletcher (keyboards), Richard Bennett (guitar), Jim Cox (piano), Mike McGoldrick (whistle and flute), John McCusker (fiddle and cittern – a Renaissance-period stringed instrument), Glenn Worf (bass) and Ian Thomas (drums).

Tracker will be Knopfler’s ninth solo album and the first since Privateering in 2012.

His first solo album, Golden Heart, was released in 1996, shortly after Dire Straits was disbanded.

Tracker will feature guest performances by Ruth Moody, Bruce Molsky, Nigel Hitchcock and Phil Cunningham.

Knopfler, one of the stars of this month’s spectacular performance marking the one millionth finisher of the Great North Run, is the winner of multiple Grammy awards.

Ahead of the new tour, which begins in Dublin on May 15, Knopfler promised fans they will get to hear some of the old hits as well as the new tracks.

“I like playing the old songs,” he said.

“I wrote them and people like to hear them. It’s as simple as that.”

Tickets for the Newcastle gig – number five on an extensive tour schedule – go on sale on Friday at 9am.

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