Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum at Helsinki, Finland

Setlist and BJ tribute • 8 October 2013

Brooker, Dunn, Pegg, Phillips, Whitehorn

If you were able to get to this show, do send in photos and concert reviews

Shine on Brightly
Pandora’s Box
Beyond the Pale
As Strong as Samson
('Roland' ... not a song: explanation below)
Nothing That I Didn't Know
Grand Hotel
Simple Sister

The VIP Room
A Rum Tale
Missing Person (The Brooker solo song, not Procol's Missing Persons, as shown on the setlist)
Broken Barricades
Whaling Stories
A Whiter Shade of Pale (two verses and really bluesy guitar solo)
A Salty Dog


18 songs altogether: 2 From Procol Harum 1 from Shine on Brightly
1 From A Salty Dog 2 From Home 2 from Broken Barricades
2 From Grand Hotel 2 From Exotic Birds and Fruit 1 from Procol's Ninth
  From Something Magic   From The Prodigal Stranger 1 from The Well's on Fire
2 non-album tracks 1 Brooker solo song

Drunk Again ... scheduled but not played

This was the first gig in the newly-refurbished hall; the sound system served the central section of the packed-out audience (c. 1650 people) very well, but it probably needs resiting with the peripheral seats more in mind. The moment Procol came on stage the atmosphere crackled: songs were clapped when they'd barely begun; standing ovations were not infrequent; the Commander's surreal patter was warmly received. Geoff Dunn was in outstanding form on the drums and the audience was from time to time a writhing sea of air-octopuses in bathtubs, or octopuses in air-bathtubs. Octopi, even.

8 October 2013 is the sixteenth birthday of 'Beyond the Pale', which went on line, in 1997, purposely on the anniversary of BJ Wilson's death. Jens and Roland (in collaboration with the excellent Pirjo Aalto from Espoo, who provided a lovely and very appropriate bouquet) were invited on stage to place flowers -- on behalf of Procol Harum fans worldwide -- on the drum riser, and Gary Brooker said a few words before playing Nothing That I Didn't Know with the band as a memorial to the great percussionist. The second verse started, 'Did you hear what happened to Barrie James?' and concluded by rhyming 'died / pride'. Very moving.

Below, a shot of Pirjo with her bouquet behind on the drum riser, and a closer shot of the flowers themselves.

At the end of the show the band members took blooms and stems from the bouquet and presented them to the rapturous audience, in a magical gesture. You might be able to view or download a clip of this happening: try here


Procol dates in 2013 | This show

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