Procol Harum

the Pale 

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BtP's Curry Night with Procol Harum

Pictures from Alan Garmonsway's camera 

A little while before the Islington concert, 'Beyond the Pale' asked for a show of e-hands from anyone who would like to do something interesting after the band had played. Such was the response that we were able to book an entire Indian Restaurant – the Rajmoni in Islington's Upper Street (thanks, Kamal) – and invite band, crew and management to join us as our guests.

It was very nice indeed to be able to thank Procol Harum in this way for a wonderful year of musical activity: the joint-hosts, who in a sense represented all PH fans, were Elspeth Allison [Scotland], Charlie Allison [Scotland], Christine Ayre [England], Sam Cameron [England], Peter Christian [England], Stefano Ciccioriccio [Italy], Linda Clare [England], Roland Clare [England], Al Edelist [USA], Alan Garmonsway [England], John Grayson [England], Sue Green [England], Dave Knight [England], Axel Leonhardt [Denmark], Juliette Leonhardt [Denmark], Mike Masterton [England], Jill McMahon [USA], Don Milione [USA], Jens Anders Ravnaas [Norway], Sue Reid [England], Unsteady Freddie [USA] and Ken Stasion [USA]. Thanks to all of these for funding the feast and making it such a happy occasion: it was nice to see how many of the fans were known to the band – Gary indeed made a point of recalling people's places of origin, family news and so on, and mysteriously dubbed Peter Christian 'Del-Boy' ... an indication of the merriment of the evening.

Our guests were Gary Brooker and Franky, Matthew Fisher, Geoff Whitehorn and Annie, Mark Brzezicki, Matt Pegg and Tammy, Chris Cooke; Keith Reid and partner sent their apologies, as did Carol Fisher and Mark Lundquist; and the crew, Graham, John and Derek, were embroiled in technical tasks that looked set to stretch long into the night after the last notes of music had been played. It was nice also (at risk of starting to sound like Hello magazine, which BtP has of course never perused) to welcome to the feast Gary's own guests, Wix Wickens and Margo Buchanan, and Spencer Zahn (he of the Grand Hotel and Echoes in the Night artwork) and his partner. The photographs on this page were taken by Alan Garmonsway, and you may also note the reflected image of Jutta Buedel, who arrived with a friend in the later part of the evening.

Palers reached the Restaurant some while before the band and dutifully refrained from eating
until our guests were present. But not, as the picture shows, from drinking ...

After the webmasters had welcomed the guests and thanked the co-hosts, the band responded.

First – and, it must be admitted, most hilariously – the Commander himself, who was on superb form despite having had such a long day, from The Palace onwards ...

Mark Brzezicki was next, since the band spoke in alphabetical order. He was not certain
whether or not he should stand up, for fear of bashing his head on the ceiling. Mark spoke
briefly but very warmly about the friendships in the band.

Matthew Fisher thanked everyone for their support ... and provided a dramatic
colour-contrast with the restaurant's unforgettable dιcor

Mpeg – with a remarkably tiny drink – expressed a fervent hope that the future would hold
more Procol music for everyone ... as Mark had indeed done before him.

Geoff agreed again ... and added that it was great to know that the fans were 'as bonkers as we are'.

He also made the claim that 'they know the songs as well as we do, as we heard at BB King's Club in the Summer'. Hmm ...

Procol Manager Chris Cooke wore a telling shirt: 'I can only please one person each day.
Today is not your day. Tomorrow doesn't look good either.' Nonetheless, his work with
the band has evidently pleased many people per day since Procol started the 2003 tour

Toward the end of the evening a fair bit of signing was done, and Procol were given various
albums recorded by some of the co-hosts ... which we hope compensated the band for the fact
Palers' Project No 2 is not available yet.

Alan Garmonsway had himself pictured with two keyboard-heroes ... Matthew in very appropriate rainwear

... and Gary in the stellar tee-shirt

Alan also insisted on photographing this aged duo from Bristol, attending
probably their twenty-first Procol Harum show together since 1972

(thanks, Alan!)


Procol Harum concerts in 2003: index page

 Another BtP curry supper with the musicians


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