Interview with Chris White of The Straits about 'coming home' to The Albany in Deptford

Left to Right Chris White, Alan Clark, Terence Reis

Chris White

First published in Community
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

THE Straits member Chris White has described next month’s gig in Deptford as ‘coming home’.

The world class saxophonist and former member of Dire Straits, has also revealed the first time he played the instrument it was “an old one that had been lying round for years in a sack at school”.

The concert on March 9 at The Albany, in Douglas Way, is seen as a landmark event for the band which includes two members of Dire Straits who played their first ever gig in Deptford in 1977. The gig forms part of the iconic venue’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

There is even a commemorative blue plaque at Farrer House, in Church Street, as the original birthplace of the group.

Former Deptford resident Chris joined the group in 1985 and has also collaborated with Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker and Robbie Williams.

He said: “I lived in Deptford for about eight years and it was such an exciting area particularly around the Albany. There were a lot of creative people living there and a lot of wacky theatre.

“I also lived in Sydenham for around five years. Even though I live in West Berkshire now I still go back to south-east London quite a bit because I have friends there and it’s really buzzy.”

The saxophonist is still passionate about doing live gigs.

He said: “I love being in front of a live audience and, fortunately, people are enjoying seeing us. It’s just an amazing feeling performing on stage.

“I first started playing the saxophone when I was 14 and I’d seen someone playing it on the telly the night before and they looked really cool.

“The next day I went into my school in Bristol and said to my teacher, ‘I want to try that’. Luckily they had an old one in a sack that they let me use and it went from there.

“That was 43 years ago, I’m 57 now, which is a scary thought. It makes me want to go and have a lie down for a bit.”

He added: “We have got some great destinations coming up for the tour – we’re going to Johannesburg at the end of the month, as well as France and Singapore. 

“We’re definitely clocking up the air miles. It’s a busy time but it’s great.”

The Straits will be performing at The Albany in Douglas Way, Deptford, on March 9. Tickets cost £25 in advance.

For more information, call 020 8692 4446 or visit thealbany.org.uk

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