Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum in London, UK

Setlist 13 May 2017 Fifty Years since AWSoP

Brooker, Dunn, Pegg, Phillips, Whitehorn
If you were able to be at this show, please send photos, and souvenirs to for sharing with the wider world

I Told on You [GW sporting a new guitar that he 'bought from a bloke in Margate last Friday. 'Nice to be back in civilisation', said GB]
Homburg [Sung by GB,  watched by a sea of phones, in a new, dark, circular, flat, raffia-work hat of his own design ... 'I dreamed it up myself']
Still There'll be More
[Faster than last night's slightly lugubrious version, with sizzling organ solo and great rhythm work] 
Don't Get Caught [preceded by a pleasant taster of Beethoven's so-called Moonlight Sonata]
Pandora's Box
[GB's band intros included a bonkers genealogy of bassists starting with Joshua Pegg, 'an Irish maniac', who begat Hezekiah Pegg, the orchestral player ...]
As Strong as Samson
[a verse ends, there's a pause, another verse starts: not continuous, like the 1974 recording. But the seesaw singing is still the same!]
Sunday Morning
[there had been some talkers at the back of the standing area. They went silent for the whole of this spell-binding performance]
[some very groovy sounds coming from GW's guitar, or the associated box of tricks!]
A Salty Dog
[as great as ever ... high vocal glide at the climax, from a man who turns 72 this month!]

In the interval, as we have found at every gig, the audience pours out of the auditorium like locusts and strips the merchandise
stand of CDs and LPs, signed and unsigned. Presumably they heard some new music they liked during the first half! Tee-shirts too,
and the impossibly desirable 'Fiftieth anniversary' Procol Harum brass/nickel/enamel badges.

Image of the Beast [really striking piano solo, GW now wielding his third guitar of the evening, the Les Paul]
An Old English Dream
[As a country we have our dreams ... 'One day we'll do well in the Eurovision Song Contest'. Splinters of Puppet on a String and Congratulations are played. OED greeted with applause]
Grand Hotel
[GB waxes nostalgic; whereas today he had the MacDonald's breakfast, 'discounted, because it had gone off.' Great playing from everyone, daftly-voiced spoken words from GB near the end.] 
Can't Say That
[Fantastic in every way ... a huge belter, specially enjoyed by the gentleman in the Deep Purple tee-shirt. Matt Pegg plays a blinder. GB speaks of having dinner in Moscow ... 'very nice, if you like Sturgeon]
Cerdes (Outside the Gates of)
['One of my favourites', confides Franky Brooker ... standing/dancing behind the back row of the circle ...a sentiment apparently shared by much of the crowd. Sensational Whitehorning!]
[Executed with sturdy panache. GB invites the audience to 'join in the subliminal bridge.' Dennis Weinreich and a webmaster do their very best to get some offbeat clapping going]
[rip-roaring, brings the crowd to their feet. Supernatural fluency of Josh on Hammond!]

The Only One [magnificently sung, with great ensemble-playing and restraint; bass and drums wonderful]
A Whiter Shade of Pale [An ocean of phones; a man openly weeping; three verses, piano solo, great and subtle guitar break. Crowd exceptionally happy. Fifty years and a day since it came out!]

18 songs altogether: 2 From Procol Harum   from Shine on Brightly
1 From A Salty Dog 1 From Home   from Broken Barricades
1 From Grand Hotel 1 From Exotic Birds and Fruit 1 from Procol's Ninth
  From Something Magic   From The Prodigal Stranger 1 from The Well's on Fire
8 From Novum 2 non-album tracks Thanks to the late Kellogs, for putting Linda and Roland on the guestlist at this venue in August 1995, 'which brought us to what we're doing here today' so happily.

Fantastic to see Procol pack out a top London rock venue ... a lot of last-minute ticket sales presumably resulting in part from Gary Brooker's tireless interview schedule ... and partly from the success of the Festival Hall show in March. Five nights into the UK tour, the new songs are splendidly integrated into the programme and were very well received by the throng.

The show was preceded by a really nice Palers' Gathering, with fellow travellers from (no particular order) the USA, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Poland, Italy, Portugal, Australia, Italy and of course the UK.
Many thanks to Peter Christian, and to the Defectors Weld public house for providing such appetising food.

Click on the photo (kindly sent to 'Beyond the Pale' by Peter Chow) in order to see more, larger shots

Procol dates in 2017 | Booking

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