How a passion for Dire Straights became a widely successful tribute

Money For Nothing, Dire Straits tribute, at Winter Garden in Eastbourne

Money For Nothing, Dire Straits tribute, at Winter Garden in Eastbourne

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Tribute band Money for Nothing bring the music of Dire Straits to the Winter Garden on Sunday March 12.

Formed in 2000 as a tribute, Money for Nothing is a band which continues to grow, says co-founder Derek Bisset.

“The three of us have been doing this for 17 years now. We try to show the variety of what Mark Knopfler did and that he was such a great player. Myself and the bass player were playing a small festival just outside Cardiff, and this young guitarist was just doing a lot of solo work there, doing all this Knopfler stuff, and we were just blown away. Me and Paul were with another band at the time, but we heard him and we thought we just had to get a project going. He was only 19 at the time, sounding like a young Knopfler.

“The band has built since then. It has grown year on year. We were doing a lot of different gigs back then, but now we are doing the theatre shows. We have been doing them for about ten years now. It’s a step-up. People come along paying good money and knowing what they expect.

“With Dire Straits, there is a song for everybody. They were the first stadium rock band in the UK. Mark Knopfler had his own way of playing and his own feel. It’s the way he picks. He uses a finger style. He doesn’t use a plectrum, and it is that finger style that has made him world famous as an individual player.

“Dire Straits last played together in 93, the year of their last tour. We are playing some of the versions of the songs they did on that last tour in our theatre show. We do like performing the stadium stuff. Obviously, the 15-20 tracks we do are the ones that people really like and look forward to. The way we do the show is that we do the first few from On The Night which was their last tour, and then we start going into the others. This year the band will be doing about 70-80 theatre dates.” Last year the band went to Bahrain and Dubai, and they have also played in Bangalore in front of a devoted Dire Straits crowd.

The show features all the hits from first single Sultans of Swing via Brothers in Arms and Walk of Life to the last single released in 1992, The Bug, plus Money For Nothing which was the first-ever video played on MTV. Tickets £19.50 from 01323 412000 or www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk