Current page: Portugal at Last
Current page: Portugal at Last
On 19 June 1998, Magna Carta played at Porto in Portugal. The concert was one of the several concerts programmed for the local festivities of Saint John. To play with Chris and Linda Simpson two other brilliant players came to Porto: Jonathan Barrett and Paul Burgess. The concert was in thhe open air, in the Gardens of Palácio de Cristal.
After several weeks of faxes and phone calls, Jonathan Barrett was the first to arrive in Porto, on the morning of 18th of June carrying his bass. At the evening, it was time for Chris and Linda Simpson to arrive.
That night Chris and Jonathan went to see the place for the concert, since there was another one on that night; after that they took a quick look around to the city.
Paul arrived on the day of the concert, and all of them went to do the sound check; during the travel to the concert location Paul and Jonathan were stopped in the heavy traffic of Porto for about 20 minutes.
During sound check, they met all of the organisation staff, and the sound and light one. All of them were great, and Chris really liked their job, very professional and friendly. During the sound check, there was time for some jokes, even with the man responsible for the sound.
Magna Carta records are very hard to find in Portugal, so the audience didn't know exactly what Magna Carta sound like. Some people remember them for "Lord of The Ages". Most of them had heard of the concert from the radio, for there had been a 45 minute special program on Magna Carta the previous Sunday, or from the Portuguese newspapers.
The concert should have begun at 10:30 pm, but only started half an hour after that, with Linda Simpson and Paul Burgess on stage with the song "Moving On". For more than an hour and an half, Magna Carta played lot of songs, including the old ones "Airport Song", "Sea and Sand", "Time for the Leaving" and "Two Old Friends", and the more recent "Seasons on the Tide", "For the Gypsy", "Sting of the Gin", "Fool by a Promise" and also the J.J.Cale song "Magnolia". But a magical moment was a song that Linda learned in Palestine, that they call the "Arabic Song". These are only some of the songs of that night. The stories of Chris and good humour on stage were always present, as an example Jonathan asked the audience to get close, so he took a photo of them from the stage.
During the "encore" some people on the audience asked for "Falkland Grene", but none of them wanted to sing it, Chris make a small joke, singing the first verses in a very quick speed - as someone wrote in a newspaper, at 78 rpm.
In the audience there were people that knew Magna Carta old songs, but also lot of young people that probably met them for the first time. But most of them were enjoying the concert, clapping hands marking the rhythm and balancing the body with the music, and some of them dancing in some songs. At the end of the concert, it was very good to see some children asking for a signed booklet of Magna Carta, or to have their signature on a T-shirt or on the concert ticket.
After the concert, we all went to eat and drink something, at the only place open all night in Porto, and where different people go, including young people, business men, prostitutes and travesties. So Chris was amazed by this "zoo".
Saturday was the time for leaving for Paul and Jonathan. Chris and Linda stayed some more days until 24 of June, so they went to visit some of the Portuguese locations to try some traditional food and learn some Portuguese culture.
24 June 1998