Procol Harum

the Pale 

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A fan's Procol tour diary: West Coast

2 August 2003 : Al 'One-Eye' Edelist in Portland, Oregon


It's 7:00 pm with the show is due to start in one hour.

MF playing around on Hammond while others get set up.

Vancouver security tossed everyone out of the airport for 150 minutes. Crewmen Barry, John, and Graham had to take a separate flight.

The band got in and went to an autograph signing at a local record store, Music Millennium.

Now they are helping each other finalise the instrument setups as John isn't here yet to help Jules. Mark's kit is getting serious attention from Matt and a substitute soundman.

We're delaying entry until almost 8:00 pm for a completed soundcheck and to reset Mark's kit.

Tony and I have told the crowd outside of the Aladdin of the reasons for the delay.

MF starts playing Money. Then the band ... Emperor's New Clothes, VIP Room, Bringing Home The Bacon.

The show begins at approximately 8:20.
Gary apologises for the delay and promises to tell about it later.

"Do we speak English out there or Norwegian?" Starts to speak some fake Norwegian.

"That's life on the road: sometimes it's fun, and sometimes it's real fun."

Says they had to tell the promoter they had to go to the hotel and freshen up and squeeze one out. Been at the hotel since the morning.

'We all had a pension fund since we started in 1952." Starts Wall Street Blues by singing "Money gone and savings" to the opening beats.

Prior to The Blink Of An Eye, Gary states about the George Bush doll, "We know we don't want him, and sometimes we want to poke him.

Gary talks about fishing, and a few of his fishing buddies are in the audience.

"We hand it over to over the most illustrious, clandestine man on the Hammond organ, Matthew Fisher" as Gary introduces Weisselklenzenacht as "The Signature'.

VIP Room starts the set rocking.

Gary tells of cleaning out pubs, Safeways, liquor stores, and then the weekend starts. Then Whisky Train.

Gary tells the Norwegian/Arctic Circle story of getting lost dropping acid and finding Valhalla while in search of the holy grail. Then they play Beyond the Pale.

Gary comments that Whaling Stories is the story of a sail through the Agaean, 400 BC; "Think about it." Geoff gives an amazing solo and great bird chirps. Geoff sings backing vocals on "Shalimar." Standing ovation.

"We've come up here to not only lose money, but to promote our new CD: it was in the top 10 for 40 seconds and got knocked off by Elton John's Ave Maria. Now we're in Portland eating ribs."

Gary stops Geoff and they rehearse an operatic "Tonight we stay at Hotel Grand." "Hotel Ritz" the second time around is operatic, and Geoff bows.

Gary comments, "baited breath" is a very good fishing lure.

"We wish to play this, of which the words are based on nothing." Shadow Boxed.

Momentarily it occurs to me that this is a somewhat dull crowd. But now 5 to 10 people are dancing. That number increases as the set ends and the encore is played. Now deafening standing ovations throughout the balance of the show.

Final note of the night
(a preview of the forthcoming Epilogue, Fire And Brimstone - Ghosts And Spirits)

The exit light by the stage to my left (Stage Right) has been blinking on and off all night and many times to the beat. Very eerie in BJ Wilson country.

oe, the monocular one

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