Marseille, France

I've had requests about what instruments I'm playing and my guitar set up. Not being a very technical type (let's be honest, I can turn on an amplifier and that's about all) I've never used much in the way of effects or anything too complicated in the set up. There are two reasons for this, 1) I simply cannot cope with the technology, and 2) I've always been a recording musician and have found through experience as well as listening to thousands of records that my favourite, best and biggest guitar sounds are the simplest and not too processed before hitting a microphone. What you do with the signal after that is quite another thing, but instruments with loads of effects through the amp before it hits a mic sound small and thin on a recording. End of rant. With that in mind my set up is a very simple pedal board consisting of and in series; amp boost, delay, vibrato and volume pedal. I rarely use any two effects at the same time and when I do it will be delay and volume pedal. On "Boom Like That" I use delay and kick in the amp boost only for a lead figure that comes up a few times in the song. For most of the tunes that I play electric on I use nothing at all. I alternate between two amplifiers, a Vox AC-30 and a Fender Vibroverb with a single 15" speaker, depending on which amp suits the tune best. For this tour the electric guitars I'm using are a 1954 Fender Stratocaster re-issue, 1954 Fender Telecaster, 1957 Gretsch 6120, 1958 Gibson Les Paul and a red Mark Knopfler signature Fender Stratocaster. I'm playing with my fingers for the most part as does Mark and it works well with his style. For fear of train spotting I'll leave the acoustic instruments for another 'notes' entry.

For those who couldn't give a rat's ass about gear, I apologize for the previous paragraph. I will tell you that the pink has returned to many nauseous faces and those faces were returning to the catering tables experimenting with solid food again and bragging that their jeans were feeling a little big. It's good to have them all back among the living. We played to a sold out house of 9000 tonight at Le Dome in Marseille. After the gig we were all talking about how great the audience was, how they were with you all the way, but really listening intently and then exploding in ear splitting appreciation when the song was finished. Another shoulder to shoulder standing floor in an odd building, very shallow but wide. A real steamer, completely soaked by the end of the show. Rocking, rocking, rocking, everybody playing like lives depended on it.

So long,