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Dire Straits’ guitarist joins top line-up at Louder than Words Festival

Home » To do & see » Dire Straits’ guitarist joins top line-up at Louder than Words Festival

Dire Straits’ bassist, John Illsley is among the speakers at this year’s Louder than Words festival.

Illsley was a founding member of the rock band, along with his close friend and lead singer, Mark Knopfler remaining in the line up from 1977 until 1995 when they decided to call it a day after phenomenal global success that saw them sell more than 120 million albums. He’ll be talking about developing the Dire Straits’ sound, with classic tracks such as ‘Money for Nothing’ and ‘Sultans of Swing’ as well as giving an insight into life on the road, playing Live Aid and his friendship with Knopfler.

Other names joining the festival’s weekend line-up include Echo and the Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant, Anthrax’s Frank Bello and musician and author, Chris Jagger, who is also the brother of Rolling Stones’ Mick.

The festival, now in its ninth year, is back in the city this year following an online move last year during the pandemic. However, alongside its new home at Innside Hotel, guests can also join the talks, panel discussions and performances online.

The festival kicks off on Friday 12 November with a typically elastic, eclectic collection of events, from esteemed designer, Malcolm Garrett talking all things Buzzcocks through to a junglist panel and DJ set.

Saturday sees Daniel Rachel discussing his best-selling Oasis book; Eleanor McAvoy previewing her new film and playing live, Kevin Cummins discussing his Joy Division photography and Jordan talking about life as one of the original punks. On the music performance side, is it possible to get a more varied selection than one that runs from Frank Bellow from Anthrax to John Illsey from Dire Straits via Will Sergeant of Echo and the Bunnyman?

And Sunday rounds things off in the same spirit, with panels discussing subjects as varied as gender, Shane MacGowan, skinheads and Ravi Shankar, with renowned authors on all those subjects such as Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson, the award-winning Daniel Rachel, Roisin Dwyer, David Hepworth and Paul Morley. If that wasn’t enough, how about tackling Dylan, Lennon and God? Well Sleeper’s Jon Stewart will attempt to do that… all at the same time, within one panel, in conversation with Martin James.

There is a lot to listen to, but it is also a great space to socialise and chat with people you usually only see on stage. And if you think your music knowledge is up to it, there’s also a quiz.

Louder Than Words also celebrates future voices, announcing the winner of the Wilko Johnson Writing Award, celebrating young music writers under 25.

Louder than Words is at Innside Hotel, Manchester from 12-14 November 2021. Tickets are available as weekend passes, day passes, or event tickets, ranging from £5 for an event to from £75 for a full pass to the whole three-day weekend (prices are subject to a booking fee). See website for details.

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Written by
Carmel Thomason
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Avatar photo Written by Carmel Thomason