Steve Felix, whose band , Everyone, opened for PH in New Jersey in 1971, writes to BtP:
My wife and I were in Cannes on a business trip. I had gotten tickets well in advance for my first-ever rock concert in Europe. We ended up sixth row, dead centre. I have seen Procol Harum since the very, very early days and numerous times. I believe this may have been the best Procol band I have ever, repeat ever, heard.
Why? The positive energy brought to this ensemble by Josh Phillips was very evident to me. I read the notes posted on the website and while I'm not looking for every critical thing, nuance or nose blowing to report I feel it is very accurate. The room was exceptional and the sound very good.
I think that sitting so close to the stage is the reason that I
did not hear the subtle organ playing, especially in the first set. I boldly
went up to the main soundboard and mentioned that I was missing that part of the
mix. The main mixer seemed to take my comments with a 'F*ck
you J*ck' kind of attitude. However, for some reason or another, in the second set the organ was more 'there'.
Some observations re. the set list and notes posted
Crackling sound during Grand Hotel was due to a bad battery in one of Geoff's pedals. Obviously it had been a problem during the sound check and he simply took his jack from that pedal and went directly into the amp.
This band was having fun that night. The interaction between Matt and Geoff is entertaining: they're obviously having a splendid time and are a great stimulant to a touring band.
Mr Brooker seemed to really enjoy himself and did an exceptionally good job of speaking to the audience in French. They loved it. He was in fine voice, funny and classy all at the same time. His playing was free and easy.
This was my wife's first PH concert, although she knew a number of the songs. She was totally blown away.
While the whole band kicked ass I cannot say enough about Josh. Not only was his playing superb but his stage presence reflects what rock and roll should be all about: the music and having fun. While my own playing has been influenced by people like Matthew Fisher, Garth Hudson, etc. I associated closely with Josh's playing (it reminded me of my own). It can't be easy to join a band where you are replacing a 'legend', audiences being fickle as they are (such as people asking for Repent to be played) are, well, audiences ... not musicians. Josh added both sound and enthusiasm to every song.
I took away many more feelings but no photos or any other stuff. I had a premonition and 'called' Shine on Brightly to start the second set. I thought for some reason that they would play Still There'll be More but was mistaken. I did call a good friend, longtime musical collaborator and PH fan in the states and had him listen to his favorite new PH song: Shadowboxed on my mobile phone. He should have been here and I think he and I need to see these boys one time together in Europe in hopefully as special a venue as the one in Aix. It was a grand night.