Navigation image Click here to return to the welcome page Return to the welcome page Click here to see a list of Magna Carta's recorded works Click to see list of forthcoming events See the Guest Book, and make a contribution Hear some clips from the band's albums Click here to see articles written about and by the Band Click to see the story of Magna Carta Click here to see biographies of Chris, Linda, & friends Thanks to all who have made this web site possible Click here to see the Notice Board Click here to see our privacy policy Click to find the Magna Carta management and adminstration details See the site's Hit Count statistics See a photograph of Harvey Sprout

Current page: Concert Diary 2006

Current page: Concert Diary 2006

Concert Diary 2006

Stamford Bridge - House Concert - 10th February

Linda Simpson writes - So what's a house concert?

It's a terrifying event when friends, fans or complete nutcases (or any combination of same) ask us to play in their own home, to entertain them and their guests for an evening.

The terror is down to the fact that we have no way of knowing whether the guests will know or like the music we make and, if they don't like it, they are generally close enough to pour their beer into the guitars and poke us in the eye with a cocktail stick (specifically saved from the buffet).

Of course this is 'tongue in cheek' but, joking aside, a house concert is far more daunting than playing to thousands at a festival. There is nothing nicer than playing without any equipment, but then there is nothing to hide behind and, when your audience is so close, they are privy to every nuance and 'private' exchange which would usually go unnoticed on a stage.

So now you know what it's like you might ask - so why do it? The answer is quite simply - we love it - and if you can't play to a room full of people, you have no right to get on a stage in the first place!

When 'Turkey Phil' asked us to play in his home a couple of years ago, we said yes. Since then we have done another 3 such concerts for him and made some lovely new friends along the way.

Matt was with us on the last one and, when he heard that Phil wanted us to play again, he said he would pay for himself to come over from Holland because he didn't want to miss it.

Matt duly arrived the day before the concert and had a lovely time that evening meeting up with all his friends in The Clarendon pub. Matt enjoys the local brew and is now an honorary 'Hebdonian'. All was well with the world.

The following morning we were alarmed to find that young Matt had turned a strange shade of green and was feeling rather ill. Nothing to do with the local hostelry - this was a bug transported from Holland, possibly in his violin case. We sent him to bed and told him we didn't want his filthy germs (no sympathy of course) but we did rather hope he'd be feeling better by the afternoon. No such luck I'm afraid and, having spent a fortune to get here, all he could do was wave goodbye to us as we set off - poor Matt.

We were in good time at Phil's so I helped him to put the buffet out and Chris got involved in lighting the fire. We had time for a chat before the guests arrived and I'm sure Phil won't mind me telling you that he is well into his local history and quite an authority on the subject.

Amongst the guests were a lot of familiar faces, people that we have come to like very much through knowing Phil. Everyone was disappointed that Matt was poorly and they all sent their sympathy - which we didn't pass on of course - we don't want the lad getting soft do we?

It was a magical evening, the atmosphere was warm and everyone seemed to be very relaxed. It was a joy to play and when Phil got up to play a couple of songs himself that put the cream on the cake. We honestly don't know where the time went - we only felt as if we'd been there for a couple of hours but suddenly it was midnight. Isn't that just the best indication of an enjoyable time? - it just never goes on long enough.

No photographs this time - it would be too much of an intrusion.

Normally we would have stayed at Phil's but we felt we should get back to make sure that Matt hadn't wrecked the house or had a party while we were out (yes that was a joke) so we drove back and found that he had hardly moved. We told him that he had missed a great night and that we were much better without him - he did manage a weak smile at that!!

The following day Matt was feeling a little better so he packed up again and Chris took him to the airport for the 5pm flight - all that way for a couple of pints of Yorkshire beer - hardly seems worth it does it?

Come back soon Matt - we don't mean it.

Phil has been in touch to tell us that everyone seemed to have enjoyed the night as much as we did, and he sent me a handful of bay leaves from his tree as a bonus.

Thank you Phil, I hope we'll see you soon.

Left Arrow Concerts 2006 Saffron Walden concert Right Arrow