Hans Veen, better known as Turf, was one consummate artist who’s paintings enriched the lives of so many in his native Holland.

Hans ‘Turf’ Veen [photo by Harry Pater]

Hans was also a gifted guitar player so it was only a matter of time before our paths met (or as some would say, collided) with wonderful results. In retrospect, I think we all inspired each other, and at the very beginning when we first met him at Het Pand in Gorinchem, he was Godilot the clown.
He came out on the road with us and we had amazing times, although to be fair, I think his main reason for taking the highway with Magna Carta was to devour, every morning, a Full Monty English Breakfast to sustain him before heading out to the next concert.

He was a deeply sensitive soul who wrestled with his conscience over the innate lunacies that bedevil our world and yet he had some truly delightful habits. One such pastime was appearing through the dressing room door, making a beeline for the lady- or ladies sporting an exquisite fresh rose.
He certainly had the capacity to ‘charm t’ducks off a pond’ as my Dad would say, and we will all miss him so very much.

Chris at 70 - portrait by Hans Veen
Chris at 70, portrait by Hans Veen

In our house in Yorkshire, there is a full portrait of me, and he loved beautiful hands, and noting Cathy had exquisite pianist’s hands, they were duly painted. and so there we have Hands by Hans. He had a rare gift for dredging up absurd pieces of English and addressed me as ‘your Bletheringness’. A word that sent the spellcheck into Widdershins.

I loved him. We all did and the world is the poorer for his passing.
But, I am sure, as the desolate winter wind sighs across the flatlands and ‘frost rims the pools with ice’ this is the land that spawned Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
His wonderful talent does not go unnoticed, and the Saints, I’m sure, will appreciate his capacity to transform beauty on to canvas.
Go well beloved Turf, and I know in my heart of hearts, ‘the world was never made for one as beautiful as you’…
God bless and keep you,

Chris Simpson. Magna Carta.

VideoHans performing ‘Vincent’ @ De Melkweg, Dordrecht 20-07-2003