From the first time I heard them in 1967, Procol made an instant connection with me. I always found them a very charismatic band in every way. Line-ups changed, but my allegiance never wavered.
My first live experience of the band was in 1971 when they
made a British tour supporting Jethro Tull. This was the four-piece
line up, with Copping on organ, bass and keyboard bass, Trower in
a pair of jade green velvet strides playing marvellously, BJ the
most original rock drummer I'd ever laid eyes on, and of course
Gary, the voice and muse of this great band. After this I never
missed a gig when they played in my home-town, Birmingham,
usually at Birmingham Town Hall.
From left: Christina Hermansson (Sweden), Leonard Boehm (USA) Malcolm Gibbons and Fiona Luty (UK)
The chance to celebrate thirty years of this wonderful music at Redhill was irresistible of course, and plans were laid, involving a special friend made through the Procol pages on AOL, Leonard Boehm. We had been corresponding via e-mail and Leonard was to stay with us for a couple of nights after Redhill. We arrived on the Friday night at the Lakers Toby, and finding the Procol early-birds in the bar, we soon felt very much at home. So began an unforgettable weekend, with Procol and their fans from all over the world.
One year on, we still avidly follow the news from 'Beyond The
Pale', and eagerly await any new releases or news of future gigs.
Malcolm with Gary
More Redhill anniversary pieces