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Current page: Concert Diary 2006

Current page: Concert Diary 2006

Concert Diary 2006

Café Cambrinus, Horst - 12th November

Linda Simpson writes - We were all out last night, Chris and I went out with Piers and Ineke for a very nice Chinese meal while Matt went out to join his friends at a party. As it was Matt's birthday today - we arranged to have bubbly together after midnight. Chris and I got home at about 11pm, we watched a film to pass the time a bit and then we had a drink, and we waited. At 2:30 am I decided that it was a bit late for me to be drinking bubbly and after calling Matt on his mobile to wish him happy birthday I headed off to bed. By this time it was about 3am. Not long after I got into bed (I was still drinking a cup of tea) Matt arrived back with a couple of 'The Desperados'. I knew that if I got up we would all be up until dawn so I decided to stay put. The guys went home, I shouted 'Happy Birthday' to our boy and went to sleep. I woke at about 5am as Chris and Matt were saying 'Goodnight' to each other - then turned over and went back to sleep.

Matt and his flower

The alarm went at 9:45 am so I got up and showered before making tea for two comatose individuals. Lots more shouts of 'Happy Birthday' and Matt emerged to go for a shower, then Chris. We were still eating breakfast when Jan arrived at 11am. Jan brought presents for Matt from himself and his family but there wasn't time to spend opening things (we also had extra presents for him) so we decided that the opening could be done when we got back. As a compromise, Matt did take a paper hat and whistle out of the bag for the trip.

Off we set. I was really looking forward to this as we know Jan and Hennie quite well now - and we knew that after their last dog, Ringo, passed away (he was a dude) they had found a puppy of the same breed. The puppy, Arrow, was not taking Ringo's place, but helping to fill the huge hole that is always left when a beloved pet dies.

We arrived at 1pm - and they were all waiting at the door, including Arrow, to greet us. Missing Harvey as I am, I'm afraid I made a fuss of the dog first, who can resist a 7-month-old puppy? He's so friendly and loves to play - I was happy to oblige.

We started by having a coffee (what else) and then got on with setting up. I think Chris shot some video but I haven't looked yet.

Matt started to read a review, that Jan had given him, from the 'Leidsch Dagblad' in Leiden where we did the concert with Iain Matthews. It was anything but complimentary to us and it was clear that the writer, Suzanne Lammers, had understood very little in terms of our lyrics and music. The fact that we do not take ourselves too seriously was taken completely the wrong way and our music was dismissed in a desultory fashion. It seems she doesn't realise that is not necessary to have a long face to be serious about music. We are not the only ones of that opionion!

I do so hate small minded individuals who feel they have the right to pass judgement in this way on an act that has proved its worth down more than thirty years, has worked in 60 countries and sold millions of albums. I don't mind constructive criticism but it was clear that Ms Lammers simply didn't like us and perhaps me in particular. I would have respected her much more if she had simply said so. I would also suggest that there are far more people who derive pleasure from listening to Magna Carta music than to her opinions.

Sorry about that 'aside' but it is obvious that more people read that article than came to that particular concert and of course it brought us down. We're not insensitive and we had a concert to do. The sound check was a bit fraught and it was difficult to lift our spirits up again.

Luckily we were amongst friends and the people who filled the place were there to enjoy the music. We had to get on top of it. It was Matt's birthday too and we wanted him to have a good time.

We didn't have any problem with the mandolin so we assume it was just an intermittent fault, it happens. We worked on getting a good sound and by the time we took the stage we were in a better frame of mind.

Matt celebrating his birthday at midnight

We did enjoy it, but sadly the sour taste left by the review did affect us in that we made more mistakes this afternoon than on any other concert so far. They were all little mistakes and I'm sure that they mostly went unnoticed but we knew, and it seemed impossible to get anything completely right.

In the interval we met a really nice guy, a photographer, Brendan van den Beuken, who, along with a friend, Ron Bosmans, is putting together a book entitled 'Why Music?' where the musicians say why they do what they do for a l iving. It was then that I realised that music is all I ever wanted from the age of about 5. That really lifted my spirits and the 2nd set was much better.

The audience enjoyed the love and fun flying around the stage and, giving Matt his presents on stage (a pineapple and an oversized flower), drew everyone into the circle - it was like one big happy family and at the end it seemed that no one wanted to go home.

So that's what we do and although the way we do it might not be to everyone's taste; that's only to be expected. It would be a boring world if we all liked the same things.

Jan and Hennie had prepared some tasty food for us, which was really nice of them. We ate and sat chatting for a while, I also had a last game with Arrow and then it was time to go. We waved a fond farewell and hope that it won't be too long before we see them again.

Special place - special people.

We got home at midnight and Jan came in to see Matt open the rest of his presents. Just in case you think we're being mean to him, we did get a proper present for Matt a few days ago but we had bought him some more jokey things and Jan's goody bag was also delightfully silly with Noddy biscuits and bubbles and a balloon.

The Noddy biscuits went down really well. Chris started calling Matt 'Little Noddy' at the start of this tour and somehow it has stuck, hence the references in the guest book. So that's it - a lovely day and a good birthday for Matt.

P.S. I will get some more details about the book and let you know what's happening there. It appears that they still need a publisher so if you know of anyone that might be interested, please get in touch.

Our audience
Left Arrow Enschede, Holland Velp, Holland Right Arrow