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Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Current page: Concert Diary 2007

Concert Diary 2007

De Boerderij, Huizen - 14th October 2007

Linda Simpson writes - Saturday night was free and so the Friends of Magna Carta decided this was a good night for Chris' Dutch 65th birthday celebrations. The idea was to go out for a meal and then go back to the cantina at the Eekhoornnest (where we are staying) for a couple of drinks to end the night.

I decided that I wouldn't go to this one, but I did call in briefly at the cantina, to say hi to everyone. Judging by the happy faces, the balloons and the very silly - very large tie that Chris was wearing, everyone had had a great time. I didn't stay very long as I knew we had to be at Huizen at 9:30am for the sound check - that meant a 7:15 start. *****!!??@*^^. I needed my beauty sleep.

Back I went to the cabin, expecting the boys to be close behind. 1am came and went, as did 2am. At 2:30am I decided that I would leave them to it and went to bed. I was soon in the 'land of nod', throwing zeds out of the window. How comfortable the bed, how deep the sleep - until 4:30am when an almighty crash assailed my world and alerted me to the fact that the boys had returned - thanks lads. I shouted 'Hello - did you have a good time?' but stayed where I was and tried to go back to sleep. I soon heard contended snoring from around the cabin - but my own had been silenced and I lay there wondering 'why me?'.

Magna Carta at Huizen - photograph by Hans Veen

7:15 - the alarm cheerfully announced the day, I heard shuffling and mumbling from the youngest member of the entourage. 'Barners' was already at large, in the shower to be exact, so I got up and loaded the gear into the vehicle.

Birthday boy was still lying with his face squashed into the pillow, looking for all the world like a dormouse who was not expecting to have to emerge until at least spring.

Barners came out of the bathroom clean and unrepentant. I too showered and felt some semblance of normality return - then we gave Birthday Boy a prod and were rewarded by a loud shout of 'What? When? What's happening? What time is it?'. And then, obviously exhausted by all this verbage, he fell back to his pillow - out cold. We prodded him again.

By 8:30 we were all three scrubbed, polished and unready to face the world.

We set off for Huizen, all talking, not one of us making any sense.

By the time we got there things were a little better. We had eaten a full roll of KING pepermunt (Dutch spelling) and we found the place with only one wrong turn (not bad as we usually get hopelessly lost in Huizen).

Dick met us in - he did the sound for us last time and had already set everything up ready. What a difference from the previous sound check - it was all done and dusted in no time at all. We had coffee and were just going to get changed when they gave us the bad news...

An art exhibition was taking place that afternoon and, by mistake, they had agreed to start it too early for us to be able to do our normal two sets. In fact we had to be finished by 1:30 and, as we were not due to start until 12 noon, it was going to have to be one set, no break.

We have changed a few things since the start of this tour and so did not have a 1hr30mins performance prepared. Matt had a copy of the set we had done for the White Mountain festival in South Africa so we decided to use that and improvise as we went along.

Hans Veen came along and brought with him two George Formby style Ukuleles. Barners reduced his stress (and increased ours) by trying to work out how to play the George Harrison song 'Something' which sounded like 'Nothing' - at least nothing I've ever heard.

Linda - photograph by Hans Veen

The end result of all this was a panic-stricken, sleep-deprived performance, which was slightly manic by way of compensation for the situation.

That's a bit of a fib; it was actually good fun and Dick did a great job on sound and lights. The audience fully understood what was happening and made it very easy for us. We even managed a short break because everyone looked as tho' they were dying of thirst. The only thing I forgot to do was take a photo of the audience. Luckily Hans Veen was on the case and provided the shot for today.

The new song 'African theme' at the start of 'This time Around' is going down well and we also had requests for 'Lonely Girl' and 'Paradise Row'. We enjoyed the concert hugely. At the end we quickly cleared our instruments from the front of the stage and had chance to talk to quite a few people before packing up the rest of the gear.

The art exhibition was very good and it was nice to have a look at all the paintings before heading out.

Everyone is asking when the new songs will be available on CD. All I can say is that there will be one more studio album, with all the new songs on it, for the 2008 theater season.

For a variety of reasons we have decided to wind down Magna Carta after the next Dutch theater season. We will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first ever Magna Carta gig, on or around the 10th of May 2009.

We are presently hoping to arrange to do this concert at The Carre in Amsterdam and will release more information as and when things are confirmed.

Anyone wanting notification - please let us have your e-mail address. I promise that we do not send out mails for no reason; only for new releases and new tour details.

We've never been home so quickly after an afternoon concert and so we celebrated by having a siesta!!!

Our audience - photograph by Hans Veen
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