Magna Carta - In Concert,
Recorded at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on November 4th, 1971, this was the fourth release from Magna Carta, and was yet another gold record. The line-up by now was Chris Simpson on acoustic guitar and vocals, Glen Stuart on glockenspiel, harmonium, and vocals with Davey Johnstone (credited as a guest) on acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, sitar, banjo and vocals. The set starts with arguably their most well-known number, “Airport Song”, which was on ‘Seasons’, but strangely enough for an album just a little more than a year old, there is only one other song from that set, “Ring of Stones”.
Magna Carta made their name and reputation from playing in folk clubs and dives all over the UK for a few years prior to this recording, so it is of no surprise that they are incredibly tight. With no drums, yet Davey’s electric guitar, combined with wonderful harmony vocals they created a sound that was very much their own. The songs are strong, and there is a relaxed feeling that only comes from musicians who have spent many hours working together, and an all-pervading warmth that invites the listener to settle back in a comfortable chair with a strong gin and let the sounds just wash over them. It may not be as dynamic as many live albums I normally listen to, but is sheer delight from start to end.