Dire Straits return to Deptford

Mark Knopfler in Deptford. Photo: Jim Barg

Mark Knopfler in Deptford. Photo: Jim Barg

Members of rock band Dire Straits returned to their roots on Thursday to see the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the spot of their first concert in 1977.

Mark Knopfler and John Illsley helped brighten up a grey day on a Deptford council estate where the group used to live.

The Performing Rights Society (PRS) bestowed the new PRS for Music Heritage Award on the group.

Dire Straits’ original lineup featuring Mark and David Knopfler, Illsley, and Pick Withers debuted at a punk festival performed on waste ground behind Farrer House on Church Street in June 1977.

“I’m honoured and delighted that the birthplace of Dire Straits should be marked in this way in Deptford as part of London’s history.” Knopfler said.

Illsley added, “It’s a real privilege to return under such positive circumstances to the place where Dire Straits were conceived and did their first gig.”

Ellis Rich, chairman of the PRS, said: “During their illustrious career Dire Straits sold over 120 million albums and won numerous awards, and it’s humbling to think it all began in a council flat in Deptford.”

Dire Straits are the second band to be so honoured by PRS. Blur, who had their beginnings at Goldsmiths University, received their award earlier in the week at the Goods Shed of the East Anglian Railway Museum.


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