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Gary Brooker's 'Band du Lac' extravaganza

Peter Cohen reports for BtP from Wintershall, 11 June 2005

The show from this fantastic line-up is available on DVD and Blu-ray. You may order it from Amazon UK by clicking this link (DVD) or this link for Blu-ray

To order from Amazon USA, use  this link for Blu-ray

The Commander at WintershallDeep in the Surrey countryside lies the Wintershall Estate and every so often an outdoor, black tie, charity rock concert has been staged; this year benefiting HASTE (Heart and Stroke Trust Endeavour) and in particular the HASTE wing at the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

Mike RutherfordIn both 1998 and 2001, rain had played a more prominent role than was deserved; this year, the day was bright and clear, and although it clouded over early in the evening, the rain held off save for a bit of drizzle for no more than a few minutes. A good omen for what was to follow!

The Commander had managed to assemble a crack band of troops for the all-star 'Band du Lac' which featured Mike Rutherford, Andy Fairweather Low, Dave Bronze, Henry Spinetti, Paul Carrack, Graham Broad and Frank Mead. Guest appearances were made by Eric Clapton, Roger Taylor, Katie Melua, Ringo Starr, Chris Barber and the Drifters.

Eric ClaptonEarlier in the evening, Rory Bremner had taken to the stage to wittily send up politicians on both sides of the Atlantic before introducing the Jones Gang featuring Kenney Jones on drums. Given his pedigree, the audience were treated to versions of 'Maggie May', 'Stay with me' (Faces), Substitute (The Who), Lazy Sunday, All or Nothing (Small Faces) and many more. A compelling hors d'oeuvre!

Roger TaylorRory Bremner then came back for a second time to enable the stage to be got ready for 'Band du Lac'. He had to use up some of his reserves of material as the change-over was never going to be a two minute job! However this did not affect the high quality of his impressions and the positive response from the audience.

Katie Melua, Mike BattAt last it was time for 'Band du Lac' and during 'Tequila', Gary introduced us to the band. They then played a couple of songs by Paul Carrack of Mike and the Mechanics before Katie Melua came on stage (with Mike Batt of Wombles fame on piano). A 20 year-old with quite a talent and a very promising future.

Richard Starkey aka Ringo StarrEric regaled us with a few of his classics including Lay Down Sally, Willie and the Hand Jive and Cocaine. Roger Taylor came on to sing I Want to Break Free' as well as a new song Say It's Not True written for Nelson Mandela. Ringo included Photograph and With a Little Help from my Friends in his set and interspersed among all of this Gary managed to include This World is Rich (for Stephen Maboe)' and AWSoP with a virtuoso performance from Frank Mead on sax.

The DriftersIt was now past midnight and it was realised that the Drifters had yet to brought on! This was rectified and they gave us Under the Boardwalk and Stand by Me.

With the fireworks now lighting up the night sky, proceedings were brought to an end and although the crowd called out for more, for at least ten minutes, this time there were no encores and a memorable evening had come to a close.

Let's hope it's not another four years before we meet again for this incredible event!

Wintershall photos on this page kindly sent to BtP by Robert Cooper

Procol Harum concerts in 2005: index page Gary Brooker's concerts sans Procol Harum
More photographs from the same camera Technical note about the above concert


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