AN INTIMATE evening of music and memories is set to be hosted by John Illsley at the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis on Saturday, November 23.

A founding member and long-time bass player of Dire Straits, John will share stories from life on the road, tracing the band's history from their humble beginnings to international travel, hectic schedules and huge arenas.

John first toured the Life and Times of Dire Straits show earlier this year, performing at nationwide venues and appearing at Glastonbury Festival. He'll play a series of UK dates this autumn after a string of gigs in Germany, Holland and Spain.

Dire Straits was one of the world's best-selling music artists, with album sales of more than 100 million. Formed in London in 1977, the rock band went on to release six studio albums, with hit singles including Romeo and Juliet, Private Investigations, Money for Nothing and Walk of Life.

Alongside John on the bass guitar, Dire Straits was made up of lead singer Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler on rhythm guitar, and Pick Withers on drums and percussion. The band were active between the years of 1977 and 1988, and again from 1991 to 1995.

Dire Straits' most commercially successful album was named Brothers in Arms, which was released in 1985. It went immediately to number one in the UK Album Chart and spent a total of 228 weeks in the charts, becoming the country's best-selling album of the year. Similar success was found in the US, with the album peaking at number one on Billboard 200 for nine weeks and selling a total of nine million copies. Brothers in Arms remains the eighth best-selling album in UK chart history.

The band drew inspiration from jazz, folk and country music, as well as the blues-rock of J.J. Cale and Eric Clapton. Throughout the 1980s, Dire Straits won three Grammy Awards and three Brit Awards, and in 2018 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

John has also released four solo albums, including two in the 1980s featuring Mark Knopfler as a guest musician. His more recent work includes Live in Les Baux de Provence from 2007 and Beautiful You from 2008. The former was recorded with an Irish Celtic rock band called Cunla, who John happened across in a pub in Leicestershire, while Beautiful You is a collaboration with singer-songwriter Greg Pearle. John's new album, Coming Up for Air, was released in 2019.

Life and Times of Dire Straits will feature a Q&A and live music from 8pm. Tickets are £28 in advance, available from the Marine Theatre website or box office, or £32 on the door.