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The Paramounts, live in Southend

BtP's first report from Saturday 17 December 2005


Roland reports, in words and pictures, from the Paramounts gig in Southend last night:

Club Riga, Dec 17 2005
Steve Cattermole kicked off a fabulous evening, introducing Mick Brownlee, the Paramounts' original drummer: Mick started by thanking everybody who got this fabulous night going. He introduced Len Trower and the Blonde Shirley: Len had raised the mortgage and done the building conversion to create The Shades club and Shirley had served coca-cola and let the clients, and artists, cry on her shoulder about broken romances. There was a bouquet for Shirley and a bottle of champagne for Len to the delight of both Mick Trower and Robin, in the audience. Among the other accolades and acknowledgments there was a round of applause for BJ Wilson.

First up was The Fabulous Rockerfellers as a lightly-bearded Gary Brooker said, 'the reason we all started playing'. Three-quarters of the original band, who come from nearby Romford, played a great set, with Tony Sumner in conspicuously excellent voice at the piano. Guitarist Dave Barnes ('a more than passing resemblance to Gerard Depardieu' said Chris Copping') played a neglected looking Strat though a Watkins Copycat ('probably still got the original tape in it' said Chris, a great admirer of the band's authenticity and intensity.

It was interesting to see his fan behaviour, standing at the front photographing the band with the same glee and devoted admiration that the Palers would later bestow upon his own performance on a borrowed bass from Dave Bronze.

The piano also was supplied by Dave, since Gary had broken 'at least four' keys on his RD600 during the band's very brief run-through of songs at Mushroom Studios the day before. BtP would happily have lent Gary an RD600 though not if he busts notes at that rate! In the event Dave's P150 was a useful stand-in until Gary 'saw some pretty coloured lights and pressed on of them' which shut the piano down completely. Bronzie had to be summoned from the audience to re-activate it, which was accomplished thanks to the help of One-Eye's spectacles

Anyway more later. It was a fantastic show with superb atmosphere in the very crowded Club Riga. Palers in attendance included Jens and Titti, Jill McMahon, One-Eye and Pat, Linda and Roland, Peter and Ingelise from Denmark, their countrypersons Axel and Juliette Leonhardt who now live in Scotland, Phil and Janette Thomas from Worcester, Gordon Sumner, and no doubt many more. Up front with us was Andrea Trower, photographing her husband's superb endeavours throughout the second set. But did anybody get a photograph of Brooker and Trower embracing at the end of this historic occasion? Time will no doubt tell.

We were a brilliantly lucky audience to have been able to hear Procol Harum and the Paramounts in the same year! As Riga host Steve Cattermole said, 'Southend has about as much culture as a yoghurt except where it comes to music'


Index page for the Paramounts reunion, 17 December 2005

More about The Paramounts

Procol Harum concerts in 2005: index page

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