Procol Harum

the Pale

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Heineken Night of the Proms 1993

More Rock Meets Classic for GB

Performances of Holland's 'Heineken Night of the Proms' were on 27 October 1993 at MECC, Maastricht, and 30 and 31 October at 'Ahoy', Rotterdam. The conductor was Robert Groslot.

The orchestral programme included pieces by Richard Strauss, Rossini, Smetana, Tchaikovsky, J Strauss, Katchachurian, Offenbach; the choir joined in with Gershwin, Borodin and Elgar. Organist Luc Ponet joined them for some Saint-Saens, Albinoni (the Procoholic Adagio), and JS Bach.

In the rock part of the programme the principal vocal artists were Gary Brooker (pictured, above), Sting and Colin Blunstone, with special guests Barry Ryan and local hero Frank Boeijen. They were accompanied by 'The Electric Band' which was constituted as follows:

Richard Cottle

(ex-Jagger, Clapton, Wham, Seal, Rod Stewart, Paul Young, Bowie, Right Said Fred, Joan Armatrading, Foreigner, Bad Company, Peter Frampton)

Laurence Cottle

(ex-Clapton, Black Sabbath, Alan Parsons Project, Mike Oldfield ... and of course a one-off bass-player with Procol Harum)

Ian Bairnson

(ex-Pilot, Alan Parsons Project, Kate Bush, Chris de Burgh, Mick Fleetwood, Tom Jones)

Stewart Elliott

(ex-Cockney Rebel, Alan Parsons Project, Kate Bush, Bonnie Tyler)

Gary performed The Long Goodbye, A Whiter Shade of Pale, and Into the Flood.

If you have the recording apparently depicted here, perhaps you could let BtP know?

We're not confident about the existence of a CD depicted in a programme that must have been printed before the performance such a recording would commemorate.

See BtP readers' answers below!

Giorgio Rizzarelli writes to BtP from Trieste in Italy

'I'm a big fan of The Alan Parsons Project, with many contacts in the fan community. Well, first I confirm that a recording of Proms 93 does indeed exist. At least this is true for the two Blunstone tracks (so its likely that an entire night was recorded, inclusing also Brooker and Sting). I don't have a Brooker track from Proms 93, but if the recording exists for the Blunstone part it's quite likely that all the night was filmed. Knowing that it likely exists is a step.
I also have a copy of Best of NotP 2006 in which Brooker does A Whiter Shade. I must add, that even if I don't have a Brooker track from Proms93, I have one from Proms90 ... Brooker does Limelight, as he did it on the album Stereotomy: see here; actually Brooker sang also on another song in that concert, the final one, Don't Answer Me, sharing the lead vocals with Lenny Zakatek (and The Flying Pickets): see here

Thanks, Giorgio (hear him here)
Pat Keating writes from Kansas:

I have the Night of the Proms '93 CD, which includes Brooker doing AWSoP and The Long Goodbye.  My CD does NOT include Into the Flood.  I also have a recollection that this is the show where Gary performed Unchained Melody, but that is not on my CD either.

Jan Smulders writes to BtP now from Eijsden with the full tracklisting of the above album 

Night of the Proms '93
1 Danse du Sabre / Orchestra
2 The Moldau / Orchestra
3 A Whiter Shade of Pale / Gary Brooker
4 The Long Goodbye / Gary Brooker
5 The French Can-can / Orchestra
6 She's Not There / Colin Blunstone
7 Overture La Gazza Ladra / Orchestra
8 Eloise / Barry Ryan
9 Toccata and Fugue / Luc Ponet
10 Symphony No 3 / Luc Ponet
11 Moon over Bourbon Street / Sting
12 Land of Hope and Glory / Orchestra with choir and public
Bonus tracks
13 Kronenburg Park / Frank Boeijen
14 Paradijs / Frank Boeijen

Fred Schröter writes to BtP (March 2009)
I also am an owner of this Night of the Proms CD. Pat Keating writes that he thinks this is the concert where Gary performed Unchained Melody. But I think that that was a few years earlier. Gary performed with the Jan Rietman Band (programme was called "Los Vast" I think) and after playing some solo and Procol stuff (Conquistador?) he performed a duet and I think that was the time when he performed Unchained Melody. I can't remember exactly but the other singer could have been George Kooijmans of the Golden Earring. As an encore Gary put on a leather jacket and sang River Deep Mountain High and was assisted  by the Dutch Anita Meyer and again I think George Kooijmans. Gary performed a few songs (including the title track) from (No More) Fear of Flying (but got his verses wrong with some of them, and background vocalists sang something completely different). Gary played an electric piano, it could have been a Fender Rhodes. This was never put on record and I am afraid that my tape-recording of this performance did not outlive me. Hope this is some useful information.


Gary Brooker's page at BtP

Rock meets Classic, Part II


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