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Reunited: Alan Clark and Chris White

Alan Clark and Chris White, original members of the legendary British rock band Dire Straits, have reunited and are touring the U.S. for the first time in 20 years. They have formed The Straits with five other musicians and will perform at the Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg March 12.

The five other band members are Terence Reis, Steve Ferrone from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Mickey Féat, Adam Phillips and Jamie Squire.
Clark and White began the process of reuniting the band two years ago in Rome.  Since then, they have been touring Europe and are starting their U.S. tour in March.
The Loudoun Times-Mirror recently interviewed keyboard player Alan Clark.

LTM: Everyone thinks going on tour is great fun, but what is it really like?
AC: This is my 10th U.S. tour, but for Jamie Squire, the youngest member of our band, this will be an absolute thrill for him. I relish playing to American audiences. It will be nice to come to the U.S.

LTM: What is your favorite place to play?
AC: There is a venue in Dublin called The Olympia. It is the most amazing place to play. The audiences are incredible. It might be my favorite place to play ever - also Royal Albert Hall in London.

LTM: What is it like to be back after 20 years?
AC: We have been on the road for the past two years with The Straits. [We] just finished a U.K. tour. I am enjoying the comforts of my own bed before we jet off to the U.S. We use less equipment than in the past, and we use ear monitors, like TV anchors use, to receive information from the producers.

LTM: How hard is it to replicate the original music?
AC: The Straits is a seamless continuation of Dire Straits. The guy who replaced Mark [Knopfler] is Terence Reis, and he is pretty dammed amazing in his own right. He can do the Mark thing, but he also remains true to himself. It is a perfect balance between the two, which audiences absolutely love. We try to rearrange the songs and play them in a different way, with a new approach to the music.

LTM: What track gets the most reaction, and what is your favorite song to play?
AC: Money for Nothing, Telegraph Road, Tunnel of Love generate a lot of energy and excitement. My favorite is Private Investigations. I just like the arrangement.

LTM: Aside from rock, what other genres do you like?
AC: Sheila, my partner, and I like Keith Jarrett, the jazz piano player. If we see him playing in certain exotic places, such as Barcelona, Paris, Northern Spain and London, we will travel around and watch him. Also, we like to go and see Steve Earl.

LTM: Who has inspired you the most?
AC: Stevie Wonder. I was rubbing shoulders with him at the NAMM [National Association of Music Merchants] show in Anaheim, Calif. He was wandering around with his entourage and he came up and stood there. He is a really big guy, big in every way.

LTM: Are you still sporting the headbands?
AC: No headbands, I tend to wear a lot of hats, though.


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