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Sunday, February 2, 2020


(Pic by Val Bottomley)

An exhilarating evening spent with The Reals as they entertained a very full house with their thrilling Tribute to Dire Straits. (Review by Adrienne Lansdell)

Performing once again at the Rhumbelow Theatre Durban and Tina’s Hotel in Kloof is Durban’s top rock group with their new revised Tribute to Dire Straits which had patrons dancing in their seats, interacting with the musicians and wildly applauding amazing renditions of Wild Eyed Man, Romeo and Juliet and others.

The first half of the show saw Barry Thomson, lead guitarist and band front man, singing numbers from the first two Dire Strait’s albums such as Once Upon a Time in The West, Lady Writer, Telegraph Road, Private Investigation, and Tunnel of Love which drew huge applause for the guitar playing skills of Thomson, bass guitarist Jason Andrew and rhythm guitarist Shaun Dragt.

After interval, as Thomson explained, it was time to become “less intense” and the band went on to play So Far Away, Brothers in Arms, Money for Nothing, Calling Elvis, the ever-popular Sultans of Swing, and Wild Eyed Man which drew lots of audience participation.

Mark Knopfler, band leader of Dire Straits, formed in 1977, kept the audience well entertained via video clips shown between songs with anecdotes and snippets of information. He spoke of his affection for his first guitar bought when still a teenager and the salesman’s passing remark as he left the store “stick at it’. The group went on to sell 130 million albums and embraced various genres such as jazz, folk and blues.

Thomson is deservedly known as Durban’s best rock guitarist and his love for rock music is palpable. He and his very talented fellow musicians clearly have a lot of fun bringing shows of such a high calibre to Durbanites and deserve our continued support.

Dawn Selby shines in her role as leader, musical director and keyboard player as does Mali Sewell on the drums.

Jason Bird excelled in ensuring the mood of every song through some very clever lighting tricks on stage and kept the artists well lit at all times.

Tribute to Dire Straits is another feather in the cap of Rhumbelow Theatre which consistently brings quality music shows to Durban audiences.

The Durban season runs next weekend (February 7 to 9, 2020), with shows on Friday and Saturday at 20h00 and on Sunday at 14h00. The venue opens 90 minutes before show for picnic dinner.

Tickets R160. Take along food picnic baskets. Braais will be available and food is available to purchase at the venue. There is limited secure parking and booking is essential. A cash bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises). Rhumbelow Durban is situated at 42 Cunningham Road off Bartle Road in Umbilo.

Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland on 082 499 8636, email (also for group booking discounts of 20 or more) or visit - Adrienne Lansdell

(“Tribute To Dire Straits” runs at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof from February 14 to 23, 2020.)