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 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

De Engelstede, Engelbert - 2nd December

Chris Simpson writes - We are going back up north again.

Last night was the Bond Theatre in Oldenzaal and we finally crawled into our beds around 3.30 am. Bliss and still the wicked wind moans in the trees outside my window. You then get up in the winter daylight with every idea of doing something useful and somehow fate conspires to slow you down, hit you with a large disorientation stick, and leave you burbling like a complete ninny over a matured Douwe Egberts coffee.

Spray flying across the motorway like spindrift from the trucks rolling north into Germany and the short winter day is soon gone and we travel on with Jan into a stygian blackness.

I propose a 'holiday' which is our euphemism for a roadstop in a gas station.

No krokets BUT, - meatballs in gravy. We all have some and then I point out that on the contract it states that the venue will provide a meal.

The place is but eight miles away, so what on earth are we doing filling ourselves up with meatballs?

We find the venue in a one horse town. I shout above the howl of the wind, 'one rock n roll band out here'.

Jan and Chris enjoying a coffee before the gig

A voice from within answer and the doors open.

We meet Rienks. Thick rimmed glasses and very curly hair and a smile to match his welcome.

What a place.

Normally the audience stands and as I look around the posters on the walls of those who came; played; and hopefully conquered, it reads like a who's who of vintage rock n' roll.

Rienks points out that he has put seats out in our honour. Old cinema seats; upright chairs; the odd armchair and so on. This is a place of music history. There are a few left like them and they are unique.

He says the soundman will be 'here at seven'. Why, then I wonder, are we here for a soundcheck at 4.30?

To greater or lesser degrees we all have a mild flu and Linda insists on no smoking in the venue. It is agreed.

Carry the costume bag downstairs; set up the backline i.e. amps; guitars; stands etc etc. A pretty lady called Bianca is behind the bar and Rienks brings out our dinner. Huge plates of pasta with salmon, eels and herring. He even serenades us on a Taylor guitar after a conversation about Cliff and the Shadows.

Linda is not keen on fish so that was a let down for her. Matt, Jan and I found it was delicious, BUT why, oh why had we eaten the meatballs in the gas station.?

The sound man, Bob, rolled up early. We found out we had worked with him before and he is very good.

'Fields of Eden', etc. he was well on the case, and we went on down several flights of well worn wooden steps to a huge room under the audience above. There seemed to be an awful lot of them coming in, judging by the footfalls.

More posters of greats, past and present including Ike Willis, Frank Zappa's guitarist.

We get changed and wait for showtime.

At the back of the room some aspiring artist had copied a Breughel onto a kind of tapestry sheet. There were old vinyl albums screwed to the wall, Beatles and Kinks etc and a fireplace with no chimney outlet.

When you work a theatre, like we had the night before, it is to time precision. If the contract says start time at 8.15. Then that is it.

I loved here the way Rienks said on our request as to the exact start time, 'oh, about ten past eightish'.

We sneezed and coughed our way through the first set, but it went over well. Behind me a large photo of Marylyn Monroe pouted at our turned backs. Poor Norma Jean, even with the rainwater that had run down her right cheek from the parched roof above, she had that rare gift of star quality.

The thunder of feet above our heads in the pause, and CDs are selling up there too.

On again for the second set, and we finish on 'Paradise Row' which still hits them like a hammer.

It is all over with 'Airport Song', and just as last night, they are up on their feet at the end.

We sign CD's and DVD's and chat to people who have clearlly had a good time. This to me is every bit as important as the show.

We have a drink and pack up, a Beatles compilation running while we do, and we are loathe to leave it but for the two hour run back in a growing storm.

It is really gratifying that our Matt loves the Beatles and saw the Stones in the Summmer.

Danny De Jong's band at the Eekhoornnest all love the Beatles and it only goes to prove that their kind certainly will not come this way again.

Goodbye to Rienks,- he was a great host and character and off down the road being blown hither and thither by the gale.

Great radio show this time of night playing everything from Robert Johnson to Steel Dan called 'For the Record', and programmed by Leo Blockhuis.

Another show done; another few miles to add on, and hey, it is 3.45am again.

Some  of our audience
Left Arrow Oldenzaal, Holland Vlaardingen, Holland Right Arrow