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Harrogate music legend for Grassington Festival

Yorkshire music legend Chris Simpson with his Magna Carta including Wendy Ross on violin.
Yorkshire music legend Chris Simpson with his Magna Carta including Wendy Ross on violin.

A Harrogate music legend is to give a rare performance in words and music in this year’s Grassington Festival.

It’s the 38th year of this annual arts festival and its music line-up is possibly the best to date.
Martyn Ware, one of the founders of both Human League and Heaven 17, will be performing with British Electric Foundation on June 29, 70s and 80s pop hitmakers Smokie on June 27 and indie-rockers The Fratellis are to headline a new venture in Field Day on June 30, a whole day of music and entertainment for all the family.
But topping the bill will be veteran Harrogate-born musician and author Chris Simpson, 75, who will combine musical performances at a special concert on June 19 with a rare reading of his poetic Yorkshire book The Visitor whose fans include Sir Patrick Stewart and the late James Herriot.
The leader of multi-million selling folk rock band Magna Carta said: “ I never thought that I would ever see this happening - but it is .
“The Visitor caused quite a stir when it first came out 15 years ago.
“When it was re-published last autumn, I was amazed it had the same effect.
“The incomparable Andrew Jackson will delivering a new adaptation of the story in his inimitable style.
“Myself and my band members Ken Nicol; Wendy Ross and Will Stock will provide the music.
“The Octagon in Grassington is a lovely, intimate venue. A splendid time should be had by all.”
Other highlights in this year’s Grassington Festival, which will run from June 15-30, include top comic Jason Manford and a talk by leading BBC political correspondent Chris Mason.