It is a saying in the English language (in itself a polyglot collection of aphorisms and sayings) that the natural elements of our world can in their very existence present a truth and shine a light into the dark corners of our souls that otherwise would leave us all too often puzzled and despairing.
The road is a hard taskmaster and so easily, like a runner at the forefront of a race, one can find oneself, stressed and confused.
The years seem to have piled up one on top of another and the singer-songwriter can, I think, be forgiven for daring to consider bringing the tumbling years, the crazy hours and the sheer uncertainty of the life as a thing of the past.
It is so easy to take a pessimistic view, particularly in the early days when much of the impetus hearing oneself on the radio could only persuade the would-be artist that there are others out there so much better and welding greater talents.
We played the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Davey Johnstone, and prior to that The Royal Albert Hall with The Royal Philharmonic and afterwards guests of Princess Margaret.
We also played the Festival Hall and then the Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam, and so on.
We changed our ranks from time to time and in particular meeting up with the British Council we ranged across the world, from the jungles to the coral archipelagos and so forth.
From left: Doug Morter, Wendy Ross, Chris Simpson and Eddie Jackson
Then it came to the dread expression, ‘the Final Curtain.’
What were we to do?
Ultimately we had eight concerts in our beloved Holland and never knowing what fate would bring, We were four of us.
The Magna Carta sound was based around two acoustic guitars. A year before this tour, I went down, as did so many, with Covid. It hit the muscles and much of my muscular system.
There was Dougie Morter: guitar; Wendy Ross, violin; me just singing and harmonica and Eddie Jackson on fretless bass.
Cathy joined us and we had a superb time, with the box set for an enthusiastic crowd.
It was a happy tour, the best way to describe it.
Everywhere the places were packed out and so now we have the final curtain….
I never conceived of a concert without guitars, but we did it, and loved it.
So will we ever do it again…?
Watch this space!!!
Chris Simpson, April 12, 2023.