Old cripples’ show at Äänekoski: Legendary British rockers pull crowds to Keitelejazz
Thursday’s headliner Procol Harum have had their share of
disagreements over the course of years. Organist Matthew Fisher left the group a
few years ago, seeking a more substantial share of publishing royalties for A
Whiter Shade of Pale through court action. In the current line-up of Procol
Harum, Brooker is the only remaining original member.
On Thursday evening he was also the weakest link of the band. However, this was not down to gig fatigue but a broken rib. Brooker had fallen over the day before and managed to hurt himself rather badly.
Because of severe pain and strong medication Brooker, 64, was only able to sing a few songs in their entirety. The other members of the group rose to the occasion as lead singers alongside him.
Particularly significant was the role of the guitar player Geoff Whitehorn who managed to win the crowd over with his self-assured stage antics and spontaneous between-song banter.
As for their instrumental performance, the band worked like a well-oiled machine. The wondrous chord progressions of such classics as Homburg and A Salty Dog aptly reminded of Procol Harum’s resonance in these parts. Their songs have been covered in Finnish by Topmost and Maarit Hurmerinta, and a certain group called Wigwam were initially modelled after them.
Many thanks to translator Jari Missonen, who adds, 'I am
particularly baffled by the last bit which mentions Topmost and Maarit
Hurmerinta – whose Procol covers are by no means the best known
recordings of Procol tracks.