Gig review: John Illsley at his own East End Arms Pub

Gig review: John Illsley at his own East End Arms Pub

John with special guest Robbie McIntosh.

Dire Straits bass guitarist – John Illsley chose his own New Forest pub where he made a little gig and played some of his songs from album “Testing the Water”.

John who is bass player, this time performed two 45-minutes sets on acoustic guitar in East End Arms Pub. That night John celebrated the 25th anniversary of buying the pub.

On this event the audience was selected which had a great time. John joked: “This is a bit of an experiment. We’ve been here 25 years so I thought it was about time I played the place!”.

“Testing the Water” album had the same energy like others Dire Straits albums. John played tracks from that album including the first single “When God Made Time” which is an amazing song and John told us that song was 12 years in the making, and based around a turn of phrase he heard while touring in southern Ireland.

John and his band were given an enthusiastic welcome by the lucky locals who snapped up just 30 available tickets to enjoy on this intimate gig with family and friends of John and music journalists. The opener song was from Dire Straits and it is the classic one – “Walk of Life”, and also they played covers of Leonard Choen’s – “First We Take Manhattan” and one classic song from Neil Young – “Southern Man”.

John with special guest Robbie McIntosh.

John also added – “The last few years have been so turbulent politically, militarily and personally and I wanted to try to create some songs that reflected these strange times and perhaps were worthy of sharing with others.”

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