Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procul Harum - a shot of vitamins in the English pop world

Dagens Nyheter (The Daily News) 27 August 1967

Dagens Nyheter (The Daily News) in Gothenburg: from special correspondent Björn Lundholm

Saturday afternoon, five modest, suddenly rich Englishmen, landed in Gothenburg. Their pop group, called Procul [sic] Harum after the name of a friend's kitten, in May suddenly found that the first record of their career, A Whiter Shade of Pale, was worth an enormous capital. In a couple of short months the record sold more than 3 million copies worldwide. The group was not prepared for the success and collapsed. Two of the members quit or were fired; the group changed manager and record company and stopped playing in public.

On Friday, the new-formed group made its first public performance - in Brussels - and Sunday evening will be their Scandinavian first night at Liseberg in Gothenburg.

Caption: Matthew Fisher is an organist, poses here in front of the other members in Procul Harum: from the left Barry [sic] Wilson, Gary Brooker, Robin Trower and Dave Kniths [sic].

Click picture to enlarge it

'We knew we'd score a success,' the group's young founder, frizzy-haired 21-year old Keith Reid said at a quiet press conference in Gothenburg.

'But yet the enormous success took us by surprise. Suddenly we were of international fame, and had to sit down and think about how we should meet the expectations.'

In an age when pop music is divided into beat music and flower power, Procul Harum refuses to put any label on their music.

'We simply play music,' the group's singer Gary Brooker says.

Not even a year ago, Gary quit as singer in a little-successful group, The Paramounts, and instead tried to sell lyrics [sic] to other groups and music publishers in London.

'But nobody wanted my works. They probably regret that today.'

The five in Procul Harum are the jack-in-the-boxes that suddenly surprised the pop world with an immediate and unprecedented success. Do they worry for the future? Afraid they won't meet the demands of the pop fans?

'Not a bit,' Keith Reid says. 'We play what we like. The audience will have to decide if they like it or not.'

That is a cliché answer that you - for once - believe. You also believe these five when they say they're not attracted by pop because of the economic possibilities.

'We are not worried about bread,' says Keith.

Procul Harum, which translates to something as cryptic as "outside of everything, in a feminine way", is due to release a single and an LP. According to reports from England, the material is of the same class as A Whiter Shade of Pale, and that means that pop has found a new world-class act, and that English pop has got the shot of vitamins that it has needed for such a long time.

On Saturday, the Gothenburg audience can decide for themselves. Then the group will play two concerts, together with Harlem Kiddies and Gonks from Malmoe.

Many thanks to Jonas Söderström who found this and translated it into English for BtP

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