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No, not me - I'm not leaving. (Do I detect disappointment? Sorry, no dramatic exits today!)
This blog title is actually a song title - a song by Magna Carta, to be precise.
Over the past years, I've become good friends with the present members of the band - a band that I initially thought didn't exist anymore. But as it turned out, Chris Simpson managed to keep the band and their music alive for what is almost fourty years now - an impressive feat in my book, and maybe even some kind of record!
I first came across Magna Carta's music in the seventies, and was immediately impressed with it. It had such a unique sound and was so poetic, it appealed to me a lot. And some of their most successful early records, Lord of the Ages and Seasons, are still among my all-time favourites. Their greatest hit, the Airport Song, always gets me singing along, something I don't do very often with other music.
Anyway, a couple of years ago I was very surprised to see that the programme of the local theatre listed a concert by Magna Carta. I couldn't believe the band still existed! Excited, I reserved tickets for me and my wife. And then I thought how nice it would be if I could take some photos of them. So I contacted the theatre and asked if photography was allowed during the concert. They said it would have to be approved by the band, and quickly came back with the reply that I was welcome to take as many photos as I wanted.
Well, one thing led to another, and I ended up on their "guest list" for concerts in the Netherlands, meeting with them backstage before concerts, etc. I have come to regard Chris, Linda and Matt as good friends, and it's always a joy to photograph their musical activities.
I went to one of their concerts again last night and had a great time. And I came back with some photos I'm really pleased with. One does learn, doing this concert photography thing often enough! You may see some appearing in my portfolio over the next few days...
Anyway, the band has now existed for 39 years, and is preparing to go out with a bang when they hit 40. Their present autumn tour is the last one in Europe, hence the tour title "Time For The Leaving". In May 2009 they will perform one last time together at the renowned Theater Carré in Amsterdam. It promises to be a very special event, and I can't wait to cover it!