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Current page: Notice Board

Current page: Notice Board

Notice Board - a.k.a. Latest News





THE MARQUEE... 1969-1970





The concert is part of the annual progressive rock festival in the town of Gouveia, on May, 6th. The headliner of the day is (former Genesis guitarist) Steve Hackett.

: even before the webmaster heard about this concert, it was already SOLD OUT!

More info on this website


Grassington Festival: 19th. June.

NOTE: tickets are going FAST!

More info on this website

Sharrington Village Hall, Sharrington, Norfolk 23rd June (NOTE: we first published June 30th, but this is the right date!).

More info on this website

DETAILS on Canadian and Welsh dates can be found at the Calendar page!

Canterbury Festival, Ingersol, Canada July 12th-17th

September 5th Burnett's Hill Chapel, Kilgetty. Wales

September 6th Borough Theatre, Abergavenny. Wales

September 8th The Grand Theatre, Swansea.Wales

September 9th Uchelde Theatre. Holyhead. Wales

NOTE: Dates are being arranged for late September/October: Magna Carta & Matthews Southern Comfort

THE MARQUEE... 1969-1970

Chris Simpson was asked by author Robert Sellers, who's writing a book about the legendary Marquee Club in London, to write about his memories of this venue. Here's Chris' contribution:

In my last year at King's College, London I went to a fair few venues in town and saw some remarkable people. Bob Dylan in the Troubadour, Cyril Davies and Alexis Korner in the Round House and the Pentangle in the King and Queen, Foley Street. I started a rock n' roll band before finding my true metier via the acoustic guitar. I recall Vox AC30's and supporting Cream at their second gig in Sussex University. I lent Eric some picks.

A friend of mine who became a vicar, said one day, 'come on down to the Marquee, my brother is singing in a blues band.' I asked 'what band' and he said 'Manfred Mann'. 'What a daft name' I thought and did not rate the first single which I think was called 'Why should we Not'. His name was Nigel Pond and his brother, Paul Pond re-christened himself Paul Jones, and I guess the rest is history.

That night the Mann was taking a break, and gasp, in walked all these old Blues guys. Paul was beside himself. And recognised them all: Sonny Boy Williamson, Matt 'Guitar' Murphy, and names I can't recall. It was a Blues Package and there was such a sense of 'something in the air.' We had to leave before it all happened and a slim young guy with a Les Paul started to play. That was Jimmy Page.

I had been to the Marquee a time or two, as the fever gripping town was 'Rhythm and Blues' about which we knew nothing, but pretended we did. Alexis Korner was the guru. I recall him pushing a new gig venue in Ealing Broadway, and a friend and I went to that. I was fascinated by a drummer that really swung and had an immobile face not unlike a poached haddock. It was Charlie Watts, probably unaware of what was just around the corner for him. Some of Humphrey Littleton's band sat in. Art Woods (Ronnie's brother) did a set and then three guys got up and sat on stools. They were hypnotic and we liked the definite Chuck Berry flavour to the music. That was Brian 'Elmo' Jones, Keith Richards and in the middle a guy with an oversized mouth and long hair. It was not, of course, but seemed like a mane then. My first view of Mick Jagger.

Time went by and I kept body and soul together working for Camden Borough Council, whilst in the evenings I wrote songs and laid down the roots of Magna Carta, with a fine Australian classical guitarist, Lyell Tranter. Together with Glen Stuart we recorded our first album (I never thought we'd make another) and set out on the burgeoning folk scene. Folk, we were not but the influences were there. Danny Thompson played bass on that first record and wrote the sleeve notes. He helped so much, and railroaded us into Pentangle concerts. At a concert in the Lyceum, the sadly, late Gus Dudgeon came to see us and it led to him producing my twenty minute opus,'Seasons'. That broke the world open for us. The times they were a changing and Dylan ruled the waves.

We were stunned when our agent said, 'I've got you a gig at the Marquee.' I thought of the venue's world reputation for Blues and Rock n' Roll, and felt (privately)... we'll get killed. We duly turned up and set up. The venue filled up splendidly and on we went.

I was amazed. The intricacies of the acoustic guitars and Simon and Garfunkelesque vocals and cerebral content seemed to work. At last it was time for 'Seasons'. Ouch, heart in mouth, and the gentle cadences rippling across the room. We had sound effects too. 'Wind' sounds. 'The Sea' and so on.

'Seasons' culled from my Yorkshire Dales background, 'wild Winters and long, hot Summer days,' and another way of life to Wardour Street. It ended, and I thought, 'thank heaven for that.' Silence. The packed crowd seemed like they been cemented to the floor. A few more moments and the the applause exploded around us. 'Good, Lord', they really liked us.

And we went on to play there more than a few times, and a young guy in the audience, Lee Abbott, from Gravesend, told me it was an incredible experience just being there, and hearing us for the first time. Sadly he has passed away, or as I prefer to say, 'moved on', but not before he was on a 30 year long road with us playing superb bass. And it all began at the Marquee.

Chris Simpson, February 2018


Magna Carta's classic song "Lord of the Ages" (from the album with the same name, from 1976) is again featured in the annual Dutch Top 2000 from NPO Radio 2. This year the song is at number 1876; in 2016 it was at 1734 and in 2015 at 1346. The song will be played on December 25th. between 19.00 and 20.00 hours, Dutch time. As usual the top 2000's number one is Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. The full list can be found here.


With the holiday season approaching we now can announce that Chris Simpson's novel "The Visitor" is NOW available in good book stores and websites. As you have been told before, this is a new version of this book, which was long sold out! It's now available as a regular book and as e-book. You can order the book here! (14.11.2017)



You can find other websites on Magna Carta in the Links section.


You can read various articles on Magna Carta in the Articles section (updated).

You can read what Chris, Linda and Matt wrote about the farewell concert at the Carré in 2009

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