Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Procol Harum play Bramhall, UK

A look at the ambience of the 22 June 2002 gig


Yes, these pictures are a bit fuzzy ... we hope they are worth looking at nonetheless. It was an unusual gig.

Fans wisely evaluate the contents of the burgers on offer, after the Veggie Special is
disgustingly revealed to be compounded from animal flesh

An opportunity to glance at the stage set-up: a Roland RD 600, Gary Brooker's piano of choice, awaits him

Substantial bass rig! It was less fuzzy in the flesh, of course. The gear was all provided by STS, who had catered for the Palers' Band in Manchester 2001 ... when Procol Harum sat down unexpectedly at the amateurs' gear and treated us to The Dead Man's Dream and a Pilgrim's Progress jam.

The C3 and Leslie, for those who like to contemplate such matters. This was a different organ from the one the Palers' Band used at Manchester; and Matthew Fisher was evidently not delighted by the onstage sound he was getting from time to time. The band was not in the hands of Ron, Graham and Wee Pete ... the regular team. However audience members asked the sound-desk to lift the organ in the mix, which was duly accomplished: it sounded a lot better further back in the tent.

Diehard fans colonise tables in a good sound position ... we figured that being right by the sound desk could not be a bad idea, though the fact we were in a tent did leave a lot of uncertainty as to how the acoustics would be. Some preferred to listen from the bar end. Jane chats here to 'the other' Keith and Gary ... Messrs Barrett and Hagarty! Also visible, further up the table, Mal and Joe, Croydon veterans.

Darkness falls in the marquee, and little spangly stars come out over the stage. The younger members of the Clare family contemplate Ruby Turner's dynamic set. The orientation of the tables obliges punters who are there for the music to listen at this rather odd angle.

Elsewhere in the huge marquee the BtP / 'Shine On' team struggles to meet the demand for Procol merchandise ... looks as though Roland is counting the evening's customers on the fingers of one hand, and John Grayson doesn't need any of his at all. This was not a regular gig ... normally one is swamped ...

This murky photo shows something of the audience, who were there more for a chat than for the music!

The band at the end is not visible, but this shot does give some impression of the curious un-rock'n'roll ambience of the gig

'Twas a huge tent ... and very full. Acres of diaphanous fabric, inside the tough canvas hull of the structure: and lighting diffusing through it from above. The Marquee festival has done good business with big names for years, but the local crowd were not entirely ready for headlining Procol, and Gary's whimsical MC-ing. It has to be said, though, that PH played a storm for the benefit of those who thronged the immediate stage (the dance-floor!) and gave ear.

Plenty of action at the bar end! Regrettably not pictured, the highly decorative and charming bar staff

John's Bumblebee van brought all the Procol merchandise up from London, struggling through clotted traffic to sell rather little. However the van did transport Geoff Whitehorn back to the hotel in the wee small hours folded neatly away in the back under the shelving, with John Grayson on a higher rack ... and a webmaster soberly taking the helm ... full account here

 


 Procol Harum concerts in 2002: index page

Sharper shots from the same show


PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home