Procol Harum

the Pale

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home

Procol Harum - Leeds University

2 October, probably 1974

Thanks, David, for this illustrationDavid Wilkins kindly sent this poster-shot to BtP (November 2007) before he listed it in an eBay auction. It doesn't specify a year, but 2 October fell on a Wednesday in 1968 and in 1974. In 1968 the price would have been listed in pre-decimal currency, and Leeds University it would have been a very unlikely gig for a band who were largely gigging in the USA at that time; in 1974 they'd been elsewhere in England in preceding days, ands of course the poster's artwork has a strongly early-70s feel to it.

75 pence was cheap for a Procol gig at that time, but presumably this price was subsidised by the Students' Union at Leeds, to make it an attractive prospect for new students. It's slightly curious to think of Procol supplying music for a 'hop' however, and one might wonder whether – since the gig is not listed by Procol's then tour-manager in the list he supplied to this website – it actually took place at all. [July 2009: evidence that it did take place: a good gig report and setlist here]

David's eBay listing includes the following text: "I bought this poster at auction earlier this year with several others.  It’s a very rare survivor and may even be unique.  This kind of locally produced poster was never intended to last.


I can’t tell you the exact year that the poster was printed since the year is not included in the date, and even the very well researched fan-site at does not have this gig in its comprehensive list of the band’s concerts.  We can guess that it dates from after 1971, since that is when decimal currency was introduced into the UK (there had been a phased introduction from 1968 onwards but prices between 1968 and 1971 were usually given in both old and new currency).  It can’t be more than a year or two later than 1971 though, partly because the design and colour scheme of the poster are so absolutely typical of that early 70s period, and partly because the ticket price is so low at 75p.  If any ex-Leeds University student can put a year to it, I’d be very pleased to hear (and so would the people at incidentally).


The poster is a good size for framing and display at 19 inches by 26½ inches (48 x 67 cms approx).  It may be screen-printed rather than offset litho and is on relatively thin paper.  It is clean and bright and has suffered no fading.  It does have a fair amount of creasing, which I have tried to show in the photos but will look absolutely fine under glass I think. 


It did also have three or four closed tears (no paper loss) when I bought it but as a collector of prints and posters, I have acquired very competent amateur restoration skills over the years and I have made good quality repairs to it using Japanese paper.  I have shown the area of the repairs in one of the photos below; obviously the tears themselves are much smaller than the area of the repairs.  The white area above and left of the word “freshers’” is an original printing fault.


I hope this description has given you enough to go on but should you require any further information, or more images, please do e-mail.  I am happy to post to anywhere in the world.  Postage and packing within the UK will be £2.00.  Postage anywhere else in the world will be £5.00.  There is no reserve beyond the minimum bid.  I do not surchage either for eBay fees or PayPal fees.  I will not close the auction early regardless of the value of the offer made, and will not reply to e-mails asking me to do that. Thanks for your interest in this auction and good luck if you decide to bid."

With regard to the poster: I can't be a great deal of help with this, but my brother and I definitely saw Procol twice at Leeds University in the early 70s. The first time would have been the 1973 gig....the band were superb. The second time would be the 1974 gig (the time-span between the two is about right). This show was notable for the poor sound mix ... at one point GB threw up his hands and shouted to the sound man at the back of the hall "What the f**k are you doing back there, get it right!" My brother and I are currently racking our brains to think who the support was, this might help if we can do it. [We now think the support may have been Stackridge ... not absolutely sure though! (but see here)]. Can't do a setlist after all this time, but to the best of our knowledge PH did not play anything after the Broken Barricades album at either of these gigs. All the best, Maurice Atkinson

More Procol Harum concerts in 1974 | Bid for the poster at eBay | At last ... proof that this gig did take place

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home