Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale 

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Much pleasure, some pain and a can of paraffin

'NL' in a local Croydon paper, 1968


Procol Harum, best known for their hit, A Whiter Shade of Pale, gave a free performance for Croydon Art students at the Dening Hall on Saturday. They took part in a show which, given no title, could best be classed as 'an evening of entertainment.' It included poetry readings, classical guitar, modern jazz and a comedy act.

Procol Harum are a workmanlike group, but like so many others they fall into the volume trap. Their harmonies are sufficiently intricate and well thought-out to lift them above the average pop group, but they waste their effort and spoil the enjoyment of the audience by turning up the amplifiers.

At one point the high notes of the organ, played by Matthew Fisher, of South Croydon, gave me physical pain and I was sitting well back in the audience.

In spite of this, the Procol Harum played several magnificent numbers, some of which they had composed themselves. The tunes, although simple, were well embroidered with harmony and cross-rhythm, which served to make them more attractive, even if the basic cloth was a little coarse.

When the Procol Harum eventually turned off their amplifiers to the accompaniment of three minutes of applause, the stage was taken by a bearded Scotsmen, who swung his arms and declared, 'All the World's a nut.' This unexpected character, Ron Geesin ...[went on to sing into a paraffin can ...]

  (Thanks, Chris Groom, for letting BtP have material from your 'Local Procol' Croydon exhibition)


More Procol History in print at BtP 

 

 

 

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