Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Procol-fans from all over the world in Lejre

Dagbladet Roskilde 19 August 2006

Words and photos by Rita Vestergård

Fans have been pouring into Lejre over the last few days to see legendary the Procol Harum with DR Underholdningsorkester at the Ledreborg Castle concerts. About 110 have turned up for partying and jam-sessions in the Felix culture-house at Bygaden in Lejre after the concerts. But already 24 musicians, from all over the world, have spent days rehearsing the well-known and beloved songs in the culturehouse.

24 musical fans rehearsing for their own concert of Procol Harum music

'We are not a fan-club, but a gathering of fans who meet at Procol Harum concerts around the world,' say the Norwegian Jens Anders Ravnaas and the UK's Roland Clare.
The two of them have been running the website 'Beyond the Pale' for nine years, and an amateur band, The Palers' Band, that has a shifting personnel from all over the world.

 These three made it possible to have jam-sessions in the Felix culture-house at Lejre. From left to right, the Norwegian Jens Anders Ravnaas, Henrik Gøttrup from Lejre, and the UK's Roland Clare.

They met last in Los Angeles and the band in Lejre consists of musicians from England, USA, Oman, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Scotland, Holland, Germany, Norway and Denmark.

'I was surprised to realise that I'm the only Dane,' says Søren Borello, music teacher at a school in Fredensborg where he lives. Likw all the others he is a great admirer of Procol Harum's music, which has not aged with the passage of time.

Søren Borello from Fredensborg is the only
Danish musician in the Palers' Band at Lejre.

 'When we meet new musicians we are already old friends. Since the age of fourteen we have been listening to the same music, and we all feel the same about it,' says Roland Clare about the fascination that Procol Harum music still exerts on him and on so many others.

'Procol Harum music isn't just about love and hurt, or juvenile uproar, stuff that would seem naive today,' Roland Clare puts it. 'Many people are just as excited about the words as about the music – a mixture of blues, church-music, classical music and soul. All with a bit of black humour,' the two very busy Palers explain.

Most of the gathering 110 visitors are attending both concerts in Ledreborg and partying afterwards in the culturehouse in Lejre. And this is the work of local fan, Henrik Gøttrup, who lives in Gl. Byvej in Lejre.

He is member of the 'Procoholics', and immediately volunteered when he heard that Procol Harum were coming to Denmark. He contacted the website, and he – and his local knowledge – were welcomed. And as a result he and his wife Helle Frandsen – together with other volunteers – have spent many days cooking for the numerous musicians and Palers from all over the world.


Sisters Helle and Annette Frandsen are among the volunteers

A breathtaking display of musical fireworks is expected from 3 pm today and tomorrow. Procol Harum and DR Underholdningsorkester will be playing A Whiter Shade of Pale, Conquistador and A Salty Dog with a full symphonic backing – just like the famous concert with The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 1972. This was repeated only a very few times, and never before in Scandinavia.

 Legendary Gary Brooker has many fans at the Ledreborg Castle concerts during the weekend
  Support act is Benny Andersen and Povl Dissing with their wonderful Svantes Viser: a more relaxed music, but beautiful as well. 22,000 people are expected at the two concerts at Ledreborg Castlepark.

Translated by Henrik Gøttrup; pictures from newspaper by Charles Allison and Hans Tammes


More about the Ledreborg concerts here | More about the Paler's Revels here | Procol dates in 2006

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