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: Notice Board

Current page: Notice Board

Notice Board - a.k.a. Latest News



MAGNA CARTA - BILSTON, 20 October 2018

















THE MARQUEE... 1969-1970



MAGNA CARTA - BILSTON, 20 October 2018

"MAGNA CARTA acoustic folk/rock band" (as they are presented on Facebook) was one of the few English acts I was smitten by in the seventies, with a string of albums that remain favourites to this day, especially "Magna Carta", "Seasons", "Songs From Wasties Orchard", "In Concert" and "Lord of the Ages". Their unique brand of "folk" music was no doubt made accessible to my ears by the obvious influence of Simon & Garfunkel and American country and blues.

I got to see the early band just once, around 1976, perched on three stools in a small coffee shop in Egremont on the edge of the Lake District. Sadly I didn't take my camera or tape recorder and can remember next to nothing else, except that we really enjoyed the show.

Fast forward a few decades, during which I thought Magna Carta had simply disbanded, and then it was catch up time - leader Chris Simpson had been plying his trade around the globe with a revolving cast and was still at it, although by now just staving off full time retirement. It was great fun tracking down all the albums I'd missed and reading many tales of the studio and the road. And so it was a delight to see the band again last month for the second time in a couple of years and to hear Chris's trademark sound through songs new and old. Here's hoping for more - as one of Chris's songs puts it, there's "Life in the Old Dog" yet.

I've just added a few pic's from this month's gig at Robin 2 with joint billing from Matthews Southern Comfort, who played a typically pleasant and melodic set, laced with anecdotes from Ian Matthews.

MC band
Wendy Ross
Chris and Ken
Matthews Southern Comfort

With best wishes, Text and photos: Peter Cross


Chris Simpson received the message below, from John Heaton, about the new Magna Carta album "Love On The Wire". John gave his permission to publish it on this website, thank you for that John!

Landed yesterday & I was right!

Just as you can’t have too much beer or chocolate, you can’t have too many Magna CD's. A sort of Best Of, if you will, but with the difference that it’s live recordings.

Any live performance - be that sport or music - has an excitement level that TV or studio finds hard to replicate, so this double album is more than welcome.

At the risk of sounding like a psychophantic old git, your music has been one of life’s great pleasures for most of half a century. I don’t think a day goes by without me humming Magna songs to myself, so this particular album brings back all sorts of happy memories of Magna gigs across the years.

Nearly all in the north of England or down in London. Back in the late 70s there was another Chris Simpson who attended Magna gigs in London. A student at Kings, if I recall, so tracking yourself at so many years range!

It’s great to hear the slight style differences between the different eras, but underlying it all is the same beautiful weaving together of words & notes in harmonious fashion.

My only tiny carp is that you’ve written so many great songs that they can’t all be got onto a double album!

Lord of the Ages, Two Old Friends, Wish it was, Putting it back together, Wild Bird, Strangers in the Land of Ulysses, Mixed Up Sensations, Greenhow Hill, etc.

Yes, there’s got to be room for a Live on the Wire 2, says he cheekily...

In the meantime, the yesterday face with the Stan Gordon moustache is smiling down on you.

Have a great weekend - whatever you’re getting up to. As a Northerner in exile, I will be going to Ebbsfleet to see the local team play Harrogate Town.

Another trip down memory lane. 50 years plus since I watched them on Wetherby Road.

See you!



Two British concerts, one in November and one in May 2019, have been added.

All information can be found at the Calendar page!



Repertoire Records has just released a new Magna Carta compilation album, entitled "Love On The Wire – BBC Sessions, Live & Beyond"

• 36 performances charting the career of Magna Carta

• Compiled by Magna Carta’s Chris Simpson, featuring newly remastered BBC sessions, live tracks and more.

• Includes booklet with new liner notes by Spencer Leigh

Yorkshire Dalesman, Chris Simpson, founded Magna Carta in 1969. He and they, are still one of the greatest acoustic legends in the world, with 78 countries toured; from the Royal Albert Hall to Kathmandu and 25 albums netting 9,000,000... so far.

This timeless collection begins in the folk clubs and follows Magna Carta as they shot to prominence in a relatively short time. It was the Seasons album that put them there with Lord of the Ages confirming their legendary status. As Rick Wakeman put it, “One of the finest albums of it’s kind ever made.”

Simpson’s versatility as a writer is much in evidence here, for he refuses to be confined to any one genre. You will hear many influences from Dylan to J.J. Cale; the rich tapestry of the Blues and Country music and dipping into the glories of the Folk tradition. Fred Dellar of MOJO, named Simpson “the English Paul Simon”.

A timeless album for all seasons. Play it again and again!

Love On The Wire – BBC Sessions, Live & Beyond

CD 1

01 Love On The Wire - Live in The KPM Studio, 1982

02 Parliament Hill - Live at The Royal Albert Hall, 23 June 1971

03 Sea And Sand - Live at The Royal Albert Hall, 23 June 1971

04 Shades Of Grey - BBC Nightride with Jon Curle

05 Daughter, Daughter - BBC Nightride with Jon Curle

06 Wayfarin’ BBC Session, Live at Wavedon

07 Sponge - BBC Session, Live at Wavedon

08 White Snow Dove - BBC Session, Live at Wavedon

09 You - Live at Hartlepool Arts Centre, 2001

10 Airport Song - Live at Grassington Festival, 2000

11 Elizabethan - Live at The Royal Albert Hall, 23 June 1971

12 Highway To Spain - Live at Grassington Festival, 1998

13 Winterlude / Ulysses - Hatch Farm Studios, 1998

14 Terminal Case Of You - Live at Grassington Festival, 1998

15 Seasons In The Tide - Live at Grassington Festival, 1998

16 Life In The Old Dog - Live at Hartlepool Arts Centre, 2001

17 Isle Of Skye - Live at Newcastle City Hall, 23 September 1971

18 Some Kind Of Man - Hatch Farm Studios

19 Sun Ain’t Gonna Rise - Live at Grassington Festival, 2000

CD 2

01 Cajun Cannonball - BBC Cambridge Festival, 1988

02 9lb Hammer - Live at Paradiso, Amsterdam, 1986

03 Living With A Woman Like You - BBC Cambridge Festival, 1988

04 Wind On The Water - Live at Grassington Festival, 1988

05 Time For The Leaving - Live at Grassington Festival, 2000

06 Tomorrow Is A Long Time - Live at Grassington Festival, 2000

07 When All Is Said And Done - The Van, Spakenburg, Holland, 2000

08 Evergreen - Live at Grassington Festival, 2000

09 Greenfields - Live at Blue Strike, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, 1988

10 Country Born - SPR, Hilversum, Holland, 1991

11 Pictures In My Pillow - Live at The Klif, The Isle Of Texel, Holland, 2002

12 Blues For A Long Road - Live in Grassington, North Yorkshire, 1998

13 In Tomorrow - The British Council, Live Session in Damascus, Syria, 1992

14 3 Into 2 Don’t Go - Live at The Klif, The Isle Of Texel, Holland, 2002

15 Columbus - Live At The Klif, The Isle Of Texel, Holland, 2002

16 Magnolia (One For JJ…) - Live at Blue Strike, Harrogate, North Yorkshire 1984

17 Epilogue - from The Fields Of Eden, 2014

Repertoire Records REPUK1365

Release: September 2018



The video page on this website has been refreshed and several new (mostly live-recorded) videos have been added.

Simply go to the video page and enjoy!

And... do YOU perhaps have one or more Magna Carta videos? Please contact the webmaster - Thank you!

Please do come back later as well, because MORE videos will be added!


Unfortunately the concert on Thursday September 6th at the Bourgh Theatre Abergavenny has been postponed!

More at the Calendar page!

(September 3, 2018)



When someone special passes away and over to the other side it is a time for sadness and reflection. We lose someone and it only goes to show how vulnerable we are. Very much so. 'Man born of woman hath but a short time to live', and never was it more true than the times in which we live.

'Poldy' I met on a few occasions when he was playing guitar for Elrieke. It was a composite, gentle sound and I recall he was a fine guitar player.

He could also be incredibly funny and that is also one of the several lovely things I remember about him.

It is a long time since last I saw him, but it is not a case of gone and forgotten- his strengths and his melodic guitar playing will stay ever with me, and Poldy, wherever you are, play on, as indeed you should.

Chris Simpson. August 2018.

(photo: Harry Pater)


On the 8th. of August 2018 Dutch musician Leopold Geldtmeijer sadly passed away. The gifted guitarist and singer/songwriter was known and loved by many, who knew him as 'Poldy'. He regularly played with singer/songwriter Elrieke van Gelderen and together with her and former Magna Carta singer Linda Simpson as the Sisters In Song. More about Poldy can be found on his website.

Poldy was born September 28, 1950. May he rest in peace!


Poldy with Elrieke and Linda as Sisters In Song (photo: Harry Pater)


Unfortunately some of the Welsh dates in September that were announced previously have been cancelled. Details of the remaining concerts can be found at the Calendar page.


The challenge as ever, is to attempt something you have never done before. In this case, based on an idea of Kate's the Festival organiser, to take the narrative of my book, The Visitor, adapt it for stage and have Magna Carta injecting acoustic music into the programme. The narrator was the unsurpassable Andrew Jackson, one time Grassington Doctor, man of many parts, vineyard connoisseur, mystic, Morris dancer, playwright and all round jolly good egg. He read The Visitor and as it stands, it was too long for a show. So he began the arduous task of whittling it down to fit. This resulted in meetings and correspondence back and forth.

I asked Ken (Nicol) and Wendy to join me on the boat and we sorted out the music. Once again the boat proved to be ideal for acoustic rehearsal and it came together relatively easily. On the day we were in the Hall for 2.0 PM and having decided to DVD it, Dennis rolled up at 3.0 PM with cameras.

Neither Ken nor I used amplifiers. Wendy and the superb Will Stock on bass were slightly amplified and the whole concert relied on sensitivity, through ambient mics, rather than volume. It was tricky making sure the lighting followed the mood, the music and the superb Andrew. And the cues were lined up.

Showtime and in came a sell-out crowd. Many familiar faces (God bless them) and my book publisher and record company executive, also turned up. As it neared the cliffhanger ending the emotions were very palpable.

It was great to party afterwards, say hellos and goodbyes and then Cathy and I wandered down the cobbled square of this beautiful village, and dropped into the Foresters for a nightcap. Then on to Andrew's house for another nocturnal noggin, and a feeling of relief that we had done it. Phew!!

Chris Simpson, July 4th, 2018.



Norfolk, Nelson's birthplace, has an old time feel about it. Ancient peat diggings gradually flooded down the centuries to become lakes, waterways and rivers we call 'the Broads'. Sharrington is a tiny place of flint and brick cottages. It contains the silence that Wilfred Thesiger remarked 'we have largely driven from our world.' It sleeps and on that day shimmered in the heat.

So where did they all come from? Much of it is down to the lovely Chris Abrams and his wife, Annie. Cathy and I rolled up the day before. You are in the Eastern corner of England here, close to the sea, and 180 miles from our home in the North. Their kindness was stunning. Just wonderful. A BBQ when we turned up and it took about five minutes to feel we'd known them all our lives. Conversation and memories- and drinks until 2.0 AM and beyond.

Ken and Wendy rolled up on the morrow to find a lovely soul had lent them a cottage for the night. Soundcheck with an excellent sound team, and then showtime. We played our hearts out, noting a lovely couple from the Grassington concert. They had come down England to catch MC again. Afterwards, more wonderful hospitality. Then, bed.


The following day they took Cathy and I to a bird sanctuary on the coast. We said fond farewells to these lovely people and set the controls for Yorkshire. What a time, and we did The Fields of Eden with Andrew's voice on CD. It brought the proverbial roof down... and they want us to go back. Does a fish swim? Is the Pope Catholic?

Photos: Chris Abrams

Chris Simpson, July 4th, 2018.


On Friday June 29th Linda Simpson-Taylor will be appearing at the first Vijfzinnen Festival 2018 (=Five Senses Festival 2018) at Theater De Vijfzinnen (formerly known as Schouwburg De Nieuwe Doelen) in the city of Gorinchem in the Netherlands.

Linda will be accompanied by Ian Diment (keyboards) and special guest Matt Barnhoorn (violin/mandolin), formerly in Magna Carta, now very busy with his band Sue The Night, they just finished a successful German tour.

Acts appearing are Kelten Zonder Grenzen, Robert den Hartigh and Fiddle 'n Drum. Other activities: market, Balfolk dancing, demonstrations and tasting whisky.

The festival starts at 19.30. Tickets are € 10,--. More info here!



Jorge Pato filmed two songs on the annual Gouveia Rock Festival in the city of Gouveia in Portugal on May 6th, 2018, where Magna Carta played. To watch these: simply click on the song's title!

Wish It Was

Walk Away From Heaven


Chris Simpson writes:

This took some organising across some three months, but I have to say that Rui Da Eufrazia, the head man at the Art Centre (and seemingly everything else) turned out to be efficient beyond belief. On top of that, when I eventually got to meet him, he proved to be one delightful soul. Bit by bit we pieced it all together.

There was one setback, which certainly made a difference. When they booked the air flights it was easy: a morning flight out of Manchester to Lisbon,and return. Then came Easter. By the time they got to confirming the flight, it was booked out, so we had to go via Düsseldorf. This lead to a chronic early morning and off in the dawn. But it was ever thus...

Gouveia lies in rolling wooded hills and the villages have a sleepy timelessness about them. They also seemed devoid of people, which made it all the more amazing as to where the audience came from. We arrived in the evening, met Rui and had dinner; then that most necessary commodity... sleep.


Sunday morning we had the soundcheck. The building is very old and a magnificent granite structure. Once a stately home it is now Rui's artistic nerve centre. There was a huge ornamental pond and the stage constructed over the surface. Everything I had asked from drum guitar stands was there. We sound checked and then lunch.


We took the stage in front of a sell-out crowd at 5 PM. One man had come some 600 kilometres to be there..another couple had come from Vienna. Excellent sound, and we got that 'rush' that comes from knowing it was connecting with the audience then, the tell-tale drops of rain starring the surface of the water.

Disaster. or so it seemed. The stage crew rushed to turn off the power, as electricity and water do not mix. It was such a come down as we had seemingly come all that way to be rained off. Before my mic was turned off, I asked the audience to stay. They did. Crowding into the main building and colonnades. We took the instruments to the top of the huge staircase, the audience packed in below, and played acoustic with just a power supply to Will's bass. John played a snare; Wendy, violin, and Ken and I on very acoustic guitars.


The audience couldn't believe it having figured the show would be rained off. We rose to the occasion and this is, I suppose, after so many years on the road, there is a certain performance blueprint, and when the three part harmonies kicked in on "Sun ain't gonna Rise" the response was deafening. Reverberating back and forth from the granite walls. What I figured would be a disaster as the rain came down proved otherwise.


Signing hundreds of albums new and from way back, and such loving people. A memory that will be with us forever. Steve Hackett was in the main Hall, and we caught some of his high tech show. Very tight, and together. And he didn't have the rain. We did and given the extraordinary response, I think in the long run it did us no harm at all.

2 AM and off down the road to Lisbon again. Apparently, they want us next year!

Chris Simpson, May 16th, 2018.


We received quite a few photos from the concert and the soundcheck. You can see them on this special page! These great pics were made by Jorge Pato & Fátima Alcobia, António Olivieira and Nelson Vieira da Silva.



The 1979 Magna Carta album No Truth In The Rumour will finally be released on cd and digital by Talking Elephant Records

The original LP version (on Ariola in Germany and the Netherlands) featured ten songs, this release has fourteen (14) tracks and is available in digipack. The original artwork was white letters on a black background, this version is just the opposite, as you can see above.

Musicians on this album (all songs written by Chris) are Chris Simpson, Doug Morter, Lee Abbott, Tom McConville and Will Jackson (to name but a few).

Tracklisting: No Truth in the Rumour, Strangers in the Land of Ulysses, Sting of the Gin, Written in the Wind, Jigsaw Man, Wind on the Water, McKenzie, Rings Around The Moon, Call Me, All Our Yesterdays, Workin’ on the Road, World in the Palm of my Hand, Stoney Rose, Living With a Woman Like You


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

Notice Board for 2017 Right Arrow