Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Procol Harum • 40th Anniversary Concert

Setlist • Friday 20 July 2007 • London, England

Brooker, Dunn, Pegg, Phillips, Reid, Whitehorn

If you were able to get to this gig, please send us all your pictures, memorabilia, interviews and so forth!

The VIP Room

As the song evolves it has acquired a new quiet lull before the final verse – as did Nothing but the Truth in the mid-90s


‘The signpost is too tall’. Sound mix still not quite settled

Typewriter Torment

Very sharp new ending to this piece, which is greatly revitalised by the new drummer

Beyond the Pale

A tremendous ‘Oy’ from the audience at the end

Something Magic

Guitar plays the pizzicato string fills

Simple Sister

A great crowd-pleaser

Robert’s Box

‘Aloha’ vocals from Geoff W and Matt; synth horn solo unconvincing

Fat Cats

(preceded by a few bars of The Final Thrust). Not dissimilar to Conquistador and played with great panache

For Liquorice John

Featured bass solo by Matt in the quiet part before the final verse: very effective contribution to the whole piece

Sister Mary

Haunting, lengthy, rather fascinating. This song first appeared in the context of the mooted Brooker / Frampton / Bruce project, and was later recorded by Procol during the The Well's on Fire sessions (a dry mix exists). It's been heard at soundcheck occasionally since 2003 with words including 'Brother Michael', but these were not sung tonight: the song seems to have been rewritten. BtP asked Keith Reid if there was a story behind this number. ‘Not really,’ was his succinct response.

Pandora’s Box

Extended playout with new (old!) rhythm; great Hammond cadenza

Seem to Have the Blues (Most all of the Time)

Piano solo and notable Hammond solo

Whisky Train

Geoff Dunn’s solo is episodic, unpredictable, stylishly fast and violent

This World is Rich (for Stephen Maboe)

Worked extremely well, though the number has proved problematic in the past

A Salty Dog

Vocally a magnificent performance


A Whiter Shade of Pale

The trick opening quotes Air on a G String but with some unBachian chords interpolated; thereafter the Fisher melody is strongly featured. The arrangement is OK for a novelty.

Missing Persons

Big, busy rocking ballad with late-period Reid words; extended work-out on guitar and organ; good harmony vocals. A bold surprise to close this significant show: does it signify a creative upswing preceding some recording activity; or does it simply look back at some of the missing persons whose musical contributions have helped bring this fine group to its present pitch of performing excellence? Later heard in concert here, here, here, here, here and so on



songs altogether:


From Procol Harum


from Shine on Brightly


From  A Salty Dog


From  Home


from  Broken Barricades

From  Grand Hotel


From Exotic Birds and Fruit


from Procol's Ninth


From Something Magic


From The Prodigal Stranger


from The Well's on Fire


Non-album tracks


Unrecorded songs


Gary Brooker solo track 

A very unusual set; of the two unrecorded songs, Sister Mary is a substantial fleshing-out of something the band has doodled with at soundcheck for years, while Missing Persons (Brooker / Reid) was written within the last fortnight (it’s not to be confused with Missing Person (Brooker / Sutherland) as heard on Echoes in the Night). Note the absence of Conquistador and Grand Hotel: both were featured on the printed setlist, shewn below, as were The Milk of Human Kindness and (You Can’t) Turn Back the Page. Had all these been played, it would have been a truly epic concert; but the heat onstage was very tiresome, and, of course, Gary Brooker had another concert to give the following evening. Very agreeable for one BtP webmaster to hear his own piano being used on stage by the Commander.  [RC]

Procol dates in 2007 | More about the 40th Anniversary celebrations

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