The tour is not a-changing - Bob Dylan continues Never Ending Tour in 2011 with UK arena dates featuring Mark Knopfler

Posted: 18th July 2011
Mark Knopfler

That headline really isn't a joke, either. Bob Dylan tagged his live shows with The Never Ending Tour as far back as the late '80s, partly because the man has been performing fairly constantly since the release of the 1988 set, "Down in the Groove". All that has changed since those days are the backing musicians, the setlists, the vocals, the arrangements - er, pretty much everything then.

Known for being cantankerous with his critics and audiences, Bob Dylan is still, without a doubt, one of the most important literary figures ever exported from the States, becoming a voice for civil rights and anti-war protests in the '60s, as well as a songwriter with consistent results. "Mr Tambourine Man", "Like a Rolling Stone", "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Maggie's Farm" - they're all a timeless reminder of Dylan's oeuvre in his heyday. It's a heyday that has continued throughout the past five decades with the albums "Oh Mercy", "Time Out Of Mind" and 2009's number one set, "Together Through Life", as well as the continuing series of official Bootleg and Live collections.

And so, that Never Ending Tour is about to swing by these shores once more in October, starting with Dublin on 6th October, followed by two shows in Glasgow on the 8th and 9th and one show each for Manchester, Nottingham, Cardiff and Bournemouth. We have tickets available for all UK dates now - they went on sale this morning priced at £60 which might make a few of you gasp for breath - but Mark Knopfler, himself a proven musician and chart-topping songwriter for a few decades, will be in support along the way. Tickets for Dublin go on sale Thursday morning at 9AM, ranging from €60.45 to €91.

The more astute of you will notice the glaring omission of London (he did play Fèis earlier this year, though) and the inclusion of Manchester and Nottingham, two cities he hasn't headlined for aeons. The former might have fans recalling the infamous "Judas" spat between a fan and Dylan at the 1966 Free Trade Hall show, though the 70-year old singer is unlikely to give a monkeys this time around. Demand for these shows will be as high as ever, while yet another generation discovers and investigates the jewels this troubadour still has in his locker.

Update: London dates added!

The tour will now extend into November, with the addition of three dates in London, at the Hammersmith Apollo from Saturday 19th to Monday 21st November. We will have tickets from 9AM on Friday 23rd September, costing £65 or £75.

Paul Pledger