I might just  as well just post a hyperlink to a Youtube clip for this entry. I could do. Maybe I should. Mark Knopfler’s performances need to be seem to be believed. Yet to do so I feel would be a disservice to a supreme communicator. A person who has for over four decades beought joy and excitement to so many people, in so many ways. I don’t know if anybody else does this, but I can suddenly grasp a snatch of a Knopfler song and then be swept up by it, occasionally several instrumental parts at once, and drift off. He grabs the attention. He holds it. So I shall tentatively give this a go. I will try to describe the allure and fascination that I feel towards the music of Mark Knopfler.

I have always been a student of the Arts, for as long as I remember, but I had to turn humbly to the mercurial world of science to find a fitting explanation for the talent of this maestro. Put in layman’s terms (and I am the definition of a layman), there is a faculative symbiosis between Mark Knopfler’s guitar and voice. Listening to recording of him playing is magical. It is as if he has created a language for the guitar (any guitar), that keenly understands the emotions and phrasing of language. In more pared  terms, he is a Fucking great guitar player, and a dynamic yet sensitive front man. I have grown up listening to his music, in two distinct phases. As a child, I absorbed an album (arguably his finest) almost by osmosis, whilst strapped in to carseats. As an adult, I have sought out his albums on vinyl, and still listen to them with the awe and enthusiasm of my childhood self. 

Listening to Mr K play is a very fluid, flowing experience. Like riding the rapids on a raft, he sweeps the listener around bends, across aggressive crescendos, and silkily brings one’s ears to rest at the end of the song. Though his immense skill has crystalized for me in his album Tracker. in this richly textured creation can be found all of his heretofore brilliance: character songs, solos and  an easy, almost louche grasp of the guitar. Yet there is more. This is an album which takes stock, although humbly, of time. Of time passing. Mr K has said himself recently  that ‘I need so few words to write a song’,and with typical grace and insight he has nailed it. He taps in to the listeners psyche to construct a narrative. He understands the guitar and storytelling so very well that they are inextricable. Long may they remain so.


© Tom Tide 2016


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