Procol Harum

the Pale

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No Stiletto Shoes at Ewhurst, Surrey, UK

Setlist • Friday 10 December 2010

Gary Brooker, voice, piano and organ; Andy Fairweather Lowe, voice and guitar; Paul Beavis, drums
Dave Bronze, bass and voice; Frank Mead, saxes, harmonicas, flute, percussion and vocal
With Richard Sharpe, voice and guitar

If you were able to get to this gig, please send us all your pictures, memorabilia and so forth  (notes here on how to do it)

The setting: an ancient barn (restored by Kenney Jones ('Kenney the Face' as Gary Brooker called him)) at Hurtwood Park, a polo club he owns near Ewhurst in Surrey. Christmas lights adorn all the exposed beams. The place is packed so tight that a trip to the bar is a major undertaking. Some listen from an adjoining marquee. Despite the dire weather of the past ten days, it's warm here, and the journey has not been problematic: the most ice seen, in fact, has been on the polo club's own drive.

The band is tightly packed on a small stage specially erected at one end (and not scratching the heated floor). John Magner and Ron Manigley in attendance. A very busy Franky Brooker is much in evidence; among the crowd the BtP team is able to spot Diane Rolph, and Mark Lundquist, who both looked after Procol Harum earlier this decade; Dave Kitteridge of Club Riga fame; Mark Fendt, Peter Cohen, Peter Christian; the great majority of the punters did not seem to be the polo set, but the regular audiences who used to flock to the Brookers' Christmas Shows at Chiddingfold, before that venue was decommissioned. It was good to have the Shoes playing in Surrey again, after three years off.

Gary assured the audience that the tickets and posters billed the night incorrectly. This was not 'Gary Brooker and Friends', but No Stiletto Shoes.




DB Fender Jaguar bass; AFL Eric Clapton signature Strat; GB Yamaha CP piano and Roland VK7 organ; PB, Gretsch kit set up left-handed; FM tenor sax. It's instantly apparent that this is going to be a very tight, nicely-rehearsed show, with new drummer Paul Beavis making an excellent showing, and manifestly enjoying every moment of it.


No Money Down

FM harp


Mary Ann

FM tenor sax


She’s Tough

FM lead vocal and harp


Unchain My Heart

‘Some people say I’m the new Ray Charles. I don’t want to be the new Ray Charles. I want to be me’. FM alto sax


Too Much Monkey Business

FM harp


Travelling Light (very nice!)

AFL lead voice; GB backup vocal; FM harp


Route 66

AFL lead voice; FM harp



GB vox; FM tenor sax; AFL and FM voices, DB goofy basso


Lightning Boogie (title?)

A fast guitar instrumental: AFL lead guitar; GB maracas; FM stuck tambourine


You Got me Running (Baby What You Want me to Do)

GB, AFL, DB voices; FM tenor sax


Raffle for Cancer Research has raised £750, says GB. ‘Nearly two pounds each’! GB forgets what he’s going to say next. ‘Anyone here over 60?’ he quips. DB starts to play the Hamlet Bach bassline, which GB dismisses: ‘I thought that was in D!’ 



GB organ (flexing his wrist somewhat awkwardly, he commented, ‘Let’s warm up next time’) and piano; GB and AFL, voices; AFL long wah-wah guitar solo; FM alto sax. Includes Gary's potato / tomato-gathering mime



Raffle drawn by our host Franky Brooker, with Gary’s god-daughter Georgia Lee. Huge numbers of prizes! Then Paul, a US friend of Gary’s takes the stage, commending ‘No Stiletto Heels’, and says that although GB wasn’t planning to play A Whiter Shade of Pale, he will if we can fill a bucket (a pail, of course) with cash. This starts to circulate in the audience. Gary himself seeds it with fifty pounds (perhaps the only man in the music business who will pay himself to play something he doesn’t want to play … but it’s all for an excellent cause!) The interval is quite long: Gary apologises, saying the band had to visit a Portakabin in the third field away.


Let the Good Times Roll

AFL guitar; GB piano and voice; FM tenor sax


Sea Cruise

FM tenor sax. The number constantly straining to turn into reggae. GB, AFL and DB, vocals. ‘That’s what I call a lyric,’ says Gary, applauding ‘the songs we all grew up with.’


I Want to Walk you Home (title? Fats Domino song)

GB and AFL, voices. FM tenor sax. Segue into …


Blueberry Hill

(Excellent and very well received); FM tenor sax


Will the Circle Be Unbroken / Lay My Burden Down

AFL voice, FM soprano sax; GB calls DB a polo player. DB retorts that he prefers Trebor mints.


I Saw Her Standing There

Feat. Richard Sharpe, young local player, guitar and voice. AFL backing voice, no guitar. FM tenor sax


You Can’t Judge a Book …

FM harp; RS guitar; AFL guitar; GB vox (standing at piano) and maracas; FM takes a solo on bones (‘couple of old cow’s ribs’ says GB)


Poison Ivy (in G, good and slow)

RS guitar, FM tenor sax


Goodnight Irene

AFL vox and guitar; RS guitar; FM alto sax


Old Black Joe

FM tenor sax; GB vox and piano; AFL, RS, DB backup voices


Woolly Bully

GB counts this one in in Welsh. FM tenor sax; GB vox and organ; AFL, RS, DB backup voices


(piano solo)

GB plays a strong, slow, gospel piano. ‘It’s a great introduction, but I haven’t got a song to go with it.’ BtP suspects it’s the chords of a Christmas carol. Rest of the band off-stage.


O Come all ye Faithful

GB, voice and piano; audience participation.


Rise Up Shepherd and Follow

GB, very passionate voice and piano; audience participation


Wide Eyed and Legless

No Stiletto Shoes back on: AFL lead vocal, FM alto sax


A Whiter Shade of Pale

Three verses, of which the first was a spoken, ‘patter’ verse explaining that £1,785 had been raised by the band’s exertions, for Cancer Research [but see here for the final tally]. No organ, FM soprano sax.


God Rest ye Merry, Gentlemen

Surprisingly, the absolute highlight of the evening: the familiar carol played over keyboard sitar/hurdy-gurdy effects, DB getting an amazing Indian drums effect out of his bass; PB playing kit with his hands; FM flute; RS back on again, AFL co-lead vocal, no guitar. The song was long, very slow, and played over a single, hypnotic drone chord. It sounded like the start of Glimpses of Nirvana; think Tomorrow Never Knows and you’re halfway there. Astonishing! As GB said at the end, 'That was thanks to Annie Lennox': but the Shoes had taken the Lennox drone-template to an extreme, suppressing all chord-changes, upping the Indian influence, and dropping the tempo.


Have a look at Procol Harum set-lists | Pictures of this gig | Gary Brooker shows in 2010: index page

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