Procol Harum

the Pale

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Danish Procoholics celebrate in Odense

Johnny Peter Justesen

After a concert with a local blues band called Working Mojo, I had a conversation with the manager of the venue, Jazzhus Dexter. We discussed a lot of music, and to my surprise he appeared to be a Procol Harum fan (actually, I should be ashamed to be taken by surprise). I was quite astonished when he told me that a bunch of more or less crazy fellows meet here in Odense once a year for dinner and Procol Harum music. Needless to say, I happily accepted the invitation for this event, which took place on Friday 20 January 2005.

My colleague Carsten (a PH fan since 1967) and I were a bit excited to learn what this was all about, as the party would take place in Odense Junior Club, I mean – we are both 55. Well, we arrived to find out that there were approx. 45 males plus one Australian terrier, and the average age was probably just below 50, partly due to the presence of the terrier.

We all got a pre-dinner beer, and everybody seemed to be in a very good mood. Both before, during and after the dinner we were entertained by a variety of music CDs and DVDs, the latter shown on a huge wide screen. It was not entirely PH, but also Cream and some nice blues. Some of the guests had brought some rarities, like a very nice PH concert in London in 1975 (?) which had been taped from Swedish TV.

As a nice finale to the dinner we were all singing AWSoP, accompanied by a Danish Radio recording of PH's concert in Aalborg, Denmark in November 2003. I think everybody agreed that Gary Brooker should not fear any competition from our side.

It was the ninth time that this party had taken place, and in previous years some of the fellows had created new AWSoP verses. But that did not happen this time, probably due to a more than steady consumption of beer and schnapps (45% vol.). But maybe next year to celebrate the anniversary ...

After the dinner we went into the adjacent room. Some of the participants had brought their instruments, and a long-lasting jam session took place, quite good musicians among them. Though a trio set-up with guitar, bass and drums playingAWSoP was really much more rare than beautiful.

Even if not every single participant was a lifetime fan of Procol Harum, everybody showed a true interest, which made the evening very exciting. So, come on Procol Harum, let's see you in Odense in near future ... the audience will be ready.

The following Sunday night I was watching Danish Television, who made a portrait of the 60s. Yes indeed, we got the nice old video of PH's AWSoP. A suitable end to the week.

Thanks, Peter

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