Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale 

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Procol Harum : 'Live at the Union Chapel' 

Review by Luiz de Boni


SUPERB, MAGIC, FANTASTIC, AWESOME!

You don't need to be a Procol Harum fan to enjoy about two hours of an unforgettable performance from this outstanding British group! Two hours of fine music, fine playing, fine audio and images!

From the Underture to the final song (the famous three-verse version of A Whiter Shade of Pale), the band plays a collection of their best compositions, mixed with some of the new Well's on Fire CD, and everything just works perfectly. The drum and bass grooves, the precise and inspiring guitar playing, the mystic organ lines, the orgasmic piano and vocal, all together make this an Eyes, Ears and Heart experience that you can try over and over again, thanks to this new DVD era!

Mark Brzezicki is an up-to-date drummer, but his playing of the classic Procol Harum songs also shows inventiveness, and his drum-soloing on Whisky Train is remarkable. Matt Pegg sure holds on the bass lines, filling the audio spectrum with the exact amount of bass notes, and his stage presence is brilliant. Geoff Whitehorn's guitar work is gentle, strong, precise and full of energy at the same time: his brain and fingers know exactly when to play each and every note and chord, for how long, and with what feeling and intensity this man sure knows how to rock and roll ...

Matthew Fisher and his Hammond organ seems to be an one-and-only entity! He appears to have some sort of symbiotic relation with the instrument, the way he looks natural playing those wonderful notes! He makes us believe that playing a Hammond is such an easy task, which in fact isn't at all! Gary Brooker is the Maestro of everything! His piano playing and compositions are majestic , his voice is getting better and better over the years (how can it be? Maybe, like with the wines, the older the better!), and you can notice how the members of the band follow his feelings within the songs, from the very start to the end of each one. Keith Reid's new lyrics are as intriguing and clever as ever: and even if you're not an English-born fan, and have a fair English speaking/understanding (which is the case of a great number of PH fans worldwide) you'll understand 99% of what he's trying to say through his poetry.

At Union Chapel (as a fan put it, the perfect place for a prefect show), Procol Harum showed us that it's still possible to hear some great music in
this days of Loops, Rappers and DJs! If you're an old fan, or have just discovered the Procol world, this DVD is a must!

(thanks, de Boni: check out his Procol music here, here, here and here)

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