70s rock legend's cracking line-up for Ripley

Ripley date - Legendary Dales musician Chris Simpson takes a bow on stage with his million-selling band Magna Carta.
Ripley date - Legendary Dales musician Chris Simpson takes a bow on stage with his million-selling band Magna Carta.

Perhaps the last of the 1970s as yet ‘undiscovered’ classic rock bands is coming to Ripley giving music local fans the first chance to see them in 40 years.

In just over a week's time Yorkshire acoustic rock group Magna Carta will be making their the first-ever appearance at Ripley, at the fantastic town hall.
Still led by Harrogate-born Chris Simpson, the band sold more than eight million albums in as many years back in their late 60s/early 70s glory years, including six gold and three silver records.
Now aged 75, talented singer, songwriter, poet and author Simpson has assembled a crack band from years of touring internationally.
Included are Wendy Ross, Will Stock, John Shephard, Iain Stewart and ex-Steeleye Span and Albion Band member Ken Nichol.
Of the latter, Chris Simpson simply says: “Ken’s told me he’s bringing his mandolin for the Ripley gig but he’s said that he’s not that good on it.
“If he’s not that good on the mandolin I’d like to see what he’s not really good at playing!”
The veteran musician should know what he’s talking about. Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone was a key part of Magna Carta in the early 70s, at a time when the band’s producer was Gus Dudgeon and the likes of Rick Wakeman also made musical contributions.
Simpson’s musical encounters over the years also include figures such as George Harrison, Scotty Moore, David Bowie and John Lee Hooker.
Magna Carta’s debut concert at Ripley Town Hall on Saturday, September 2 will feature tracks from across its formidable back catalogue of 25 albums, includingthe proggish Lord of the Agewith its famous Roger Dean cover.