Procol Harum

the Pale

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home

The Procol Harum Project, 27 December 2008

Text and pictures by Thomas Raa Olsen

From the very start it was clear that the crowd would call out for more – it wasn't just people accidentally dropping in – it was connoisseurs!

We were gathered in the hall of an old cinema were Procol Harum Project took up a quarter of the space. The time-schedule was tight. What was supposed to be an interval was announced by Søren like 'Anyone for the loo?' and after 1.5 seconds, 'No, I thought so,' – and on they went.

Poul played the well-balanced drums very delicately in the little room. Gunnar handled the bass steadily with a smiling face and was very 'present' to the audience. Benny had a good balance between the two keyboards (when used eg in Salty Dog and Grand Hotel) and worked as always concentrated with the material. Søren had troubles with the Hammond sound but apart from that he gave us the nicest piano you could wish. The vocals (the greatest challenge of all, playing Gary Brooker's compositions?) was mainly Søren (thumbs up) with Poul and Gunnar as choir. In some parts of the concert the guitar was not just a guitar, but a kind of extension from Claus's brain throughout his arms and fingers. Amazing improvisation in Toujours l'Amour!

The second set went kind of 'smoother' than the first. The contact with the audience was well established and in the small venue the band could feel the admiration one must have towards five men with so much love and respect for the original material.
As a gesture to me ('our Tommy' as Søren put it) the band played Nothing But the Truth and explained the reason why. This difficult song went particularly well, even having the Ledreborg-version from the Danish TV transmission two days ago in mind.

Of course you could hear, every now and then, details which needed to be rehearsed, but it really is amazing what these five men have achieved in two years: a full-scale Procol Harum concert programme.

Thanks for a wonderful afternoon – It was worth all the 750 km I had to drive.



Benny Tworek at the Hammond

Søren Borello, Claus Nielsen, Poul Achton and Gunnar Midtiby

Poul Achton on drums and Claus Nielsen on guitar. Guess which song they are playing right now?

Claus, Gunnar, Poul and Benny

Søren, Claus, Gunnar, Poul and Benny

Søren Borello on piano, Claus Nielsen on guitar

Borello, Nielsen, Achton and Midtiby

Claus, Poul, Gunnar and Benny

Claus and Poul

Smiles on the faces of Søren Borello piano / lead vocal; Claus Nielsen guitar; Poul Achton drums / backing vocal;
Gunnar Midtiby bass / backing vocal; Benny Tworek Hammond / keyboard

A glimpse of the setlist (see here also)


Have a look at Procol Harum set-lists | Setlist for this show

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home