John was inspired to pick up the guitar after hearing the Alchemy version of Tunnel of Love on late night Radio Luxembourg in the early ’80s.
Influenced initially by the fingerstyle guitar of Mark Knopfler, and later by country, folk and blues greats such as Richard Thompson, Jimi Hendrix, Albert Lee, Brent Mason and Chet Atkins, John has played in a variety of bands playing both his own material and covers.
John is a big fan of all things Fender-shaped and for Dire Streets plays a self-built guitar based on Knopfler’s famous red Fender Strat, a Highlander-equipped steel resonator rebuilt by Brook Guitars, a Godin Multiac electro-nylon and a ’99 Gibson Les Paul Standard. John plays through a Kemper Profiler amp.
John says: “Dire Streets is about playing some of my favourite songs to an audience who want to hear them – and hopefully doing the songs justice and giving the audience a good time.”
Dik Chandler describes himself as a “feel/groove” drummer. “What I love about drumming Dire Straits material is the light and shade of most of the songs which suits my natural style”. He especially admires Dire Straits second drummer Terry Williams with his big deep toms set up.
When Terry’s old band “Man” reformed in the 90’s Dik played in a support band to them. They were late and there was no time to set up his own drums so he had to use “Man’s”. However Terry very firmly stated “You can use my kit but don’t move a F*****g thing!”
Dik has been a member of several prominent tribute bands over the years including Gloucestershire based “Wholelottaled.”
Diks biggest influence as a teenager in the Sixties was The Jimi Hendrix Experience. He still occasionally plays and puts his Mitch Mitchell hat on for John Campbell in the leading Hendrix tribute “Are You Experienced?”
For Dire Streets he plays a classic 90s Premier Genista birch kit that has been tuned to sound as close as possible to that big sound of the “Alchemy” period.
Gloucestershire born and bred Dik now lives in The Shropshire Hills with his wife Jackie where he can often be spotted blasting round the lanes in his shiny Morgan Three Wheeler.
After leaving the Royal Air Force, UK-based artist Tom Gene followed his true passion as a professional musician. Tom works with many artists from a wide spectrum of genres, with an emphasis on playing Country guitar for UK-based acts. Highlights have included playing Europe’s biggest Country music festival, Country2Country 2018 with Jeannine Barry and headlining at the iconic Bath Pavilion with Soul and Funk Artist ‘Clyve’
Dire Street’s famous dancing bass player is known for his exuberant stage moves but also aims to do justice to John Ilsley’s clever yet understated bass lines.
Eoin says: “I love playing these songs, musically they are so well put together, the melodies are just beautiful and there are plenty of grooves that you can have a real good boogie to.”
Eoin was a teenager when Dire Straits ruled the world following the amazing global success of the Brothers in Arms album and their iconic performances at Live Aid and the Nelson Mandela Birthday concert.
He says: “It’s a real privilege to play these songs that are loved by so many people with such a talented bunch of musicians.”
Eoin lays down his bass lines using a Lakland Skyline 5-string bass and a Genz-Benz bass rig.
Mark has been a professional keyboard player since 1988, working across the UK and Europe, including a stint as part of GMTV’s Rustie Lee’s band, and has played with Dire Straits’ legendary drummer Terry Williams.
He has been involved in theatre shows, residential holiday parks bands/duos and various cabaret backing bands and also traveled the UK as a solo keyboard/vocalist and with Jumping Jacks dueling pianos UK tour.
Mark is the Welshest member of Dire Streets, hailing from lovely Llanelli. Coincidentally, his second cousin is called Dai R Straits.