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Current page: Biographies - Chris

Current page: Biographies - Chris

Chris Simpson

Chris Simpson - photograph by Terry Logan

Chris grew up in the Yorkshire Dales, in a 16th century stone house lit by candles where, in the words of his song Wild Horses:

No T.V. or electric light
And the darkness fell like a Winter's night
Silence was a friend you did not question...

He is a true Dalesman. His influences are an eclectic mix of Steinbeck, Dickens, Buchan and Hemingway together with Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee and Chuck Berry. He has experienced a wide range of jobs, including butcher's boy, millhand, postman, farm worker, and post-mortem assistant.

He went to London University, where he started to play the guitar. There he met Lyell Tranter, an Australian guitar player, and Glen Stuart, an actor with a five octave range. They played at Coalhole Folk Club in Cambridge in May of 1969, and that was the birth of Magna Carta.

Chris Simpson is the heart of the band, and has written most of the band's songs.

Full details of the band's remarkable story can be read in Chris Simpson's own words.


Chris Simpson, portrait by Hans Veen

What a year so far. The lady Catherine and I married on April 23rd. Then for two glorious weeks along the Nile revelling in ancient wonders. Home, and I felt kind of torn in two. Must finish the book 'Seasons in the Dale'. But what of my songs and the music. You cannot ride two horses in midstream.

Below: Chris and Cathy with champagne on ‘Seasons’

Chris and Cathy on ‘Seasons’

So I have stripped out the stories and am currently re-aligning the whole book. It is harder to re-write than go for virgin territory- but I will. The idea is that out goes the book with a studio CD 'The Fields of Eden' attached. Great piece of marketing, and I want to do this. I am on with it right now and very excited about it.

Thanks to a Narrow boat neighbour, I met Hugh McGouran, a lovely man and I said to him, 'can we take all this and make it work?’ We figure it can and the first thing he did was get me on to John Foster's interview on BBC Tyne/Tees last week with an hour of the Magna story. He was blown away. Great interview for he had really done his homework. So right now it is 'book' and at last I am loving it. Take it from me, it follows on from 'the Visitor' and it will be OK. Trust me.

The whirlwind goes on. South Africa looming up with Laurens in September. More music. I have a primitive one shot DVD of Nick hall and I in Kalk Bay, Cape Town. It is called 'From nowhere to Obscurity', my working title. It is simple, but good on a one shot, and at the end the wonderful, gorgeous Lucas Maree, who loved MC and recorded some of my songs so well. He has moved on now, but what a soul; what a spirit; Rest in piece and know, Lucas, as a spirit, and as an interpreter of my song. Also in South Africa we are re-printing 'No truth in the Rumour'.

Also- and this just came in the other day from Thierry in Denmark, a disc of Magna Carta from the Crypt in St Martin in the Fields church in London from 1970. Crude. Taken from a cassette, but contains the very first public airing of 'Seasons.' 'The sky is the limit' as the tortoise said before it fell on him.

Below: Chris, Cathy and Danny Dreef [photo: Lenie Dreef]

Chris, Cathy and Danny Dreef [photo: Lenie Dreef]

Folks, MC is far from past and gone. Ever the optimist with the half full glass in front of him (and there have been one or two of those) and the half empty forgotten… the best is yet to come.

With love always, it is all there is.

Chris Simpson, August 2nd, 2012