Procol Harum

the Pale

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The Gary Brooker Ensemble


Taken from the programme for the Aldershot concert of ‘Within Our House’

Gary Brooker
had already been in a couple of high school bands when he formed The Paramounts in 1962 with his guitarist chum, Robin Trower. The band was to gain a lot of respect among the cognoscenti of the burgeoning British R'n'B scene which was to give us The Beatles, The Animals, Spencer Davies Group, The Rolling Stones and many others. The Stones, in particular, were great Paramount fans and championed their cause by giving them guest billing on several memorable shows in the early 60s.

Fame and fortune, however, were destined to elude Gary until the band split to re-form, with a few personnel changes as Procol Harum in the summer of 1967. Their first hit single A Whiter Shade of Pale was to be a world-wide No 1 smash hit and the band were to make 10 widely-acclaimed albums in as many years.

Gary continued, after the band split, to record several solo albums and he also played piano and sang in Eric Clapton's band for two years during the 80s.

1991 saw Procol Harum re-formed and making the excellent album The Prodigal Stranger for BMG. Although the record, chock full of wonderful Brooker / Fisher / Reid compositions, did not set the charts on fire, it did show Brooker singing well. Indeed, some say better than ever before. The group's touring activities were relaunched around the world.

Gary has recently been at work producing The Symphonic Music of Procol Harum with dynamic new orchestral arrangements of many of Procol Harum's best songs performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra. The album was released by RCA Victor in the USA in 1995. In early 1996, as part of a short European tour with Procol Harum, Gary orchestrated for and played a one-off concert in London's prestigious Barbican Theatre with the London Symphony Orchestra and Voci Cantanti. The show was a complete sell-out and Gary and the music were met with massive approbation by all who attended.

1997 sees Gary having just finished work on the new album Within Our House which continues his innovative style of combining rock and classic music – this time the line-up is the Gary Brooker Ensemble with choir and strings. Released on Gazza Records, it's another little gem from the man who has been turning them out for some years now!

In the summer of 1997, Gary toured the USA as a member of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band together with Jack Bruce, Peter Frampton and Simon Kirke. They were hailed by Ringo, critics and fans alike as the best he'd ever had.


Gary is now 'working on new material for the next round'.

Robbie McIntosh
began his career straight from school in 1976 and is comfortable both on the stage and in the studio, playing most styles of music.

He is highly regarded for his work with The Pretenders (1982 –1987) playing on the albums Learning to Crawl and Get Close, and touring extensively worldwide.

In 1989 Robbie joined Paul McCartney's band with whom he undertook two major world tours and recorded two studio albums.

Throughout his time with these two major artists, he found time to work with many others, including Paul Young, Talk Talk, Tears for Fears, Paul Carrack, Tasmin Archer, Roger Daltrey and Daryl Hall. Robbie currently still does session work, plays gigs with his own Blues / Rock outfit and occasionally performs solo, playing acoustic guitar.

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Dave Bronze
is a professional bass player with over twenty years’ experience in all aspects of the music industry. He has toured extensively at all levels from clubs to arenas world-wide. His recording studio experience includes albums and tracks for many name artists, film soundtracks, advertising jingles and music for television. He is also involved in record production, engineering and songwriting.

Credits include The Art of Noise, Procol Harum, Nik Kershaw, Gary Barlow, Bryan Ferry, Robin Trower, Roger Daltrey, Dr Feelgood, Duane Eddy and many others. Dave is currently a member of the Eric Clapton band, performing on all tracks on the 1995 platinum selling album From the Cradle, and touring internationally. He is also a member of Paul Carrack's band.

Mark Brzezicki
is a drummers' drummer, respected globally by his contemporaries. A member of Big Country since its formation in 1982, they have scaled the heights of success with No l albums, top 10 singles, international headline status and as a special guest on the Rolling Stones' tour of Europe in 1995.

Outside Big Country, Mark has performed and recorded with an illustrious array of artists which includes Phil Collins, Pete Townshend, Elton John, Peter Gabriel and Eric Clapton to name a few.

Michael Bywater
has been so busy of late that neither photograph nor biography was forthcoming! However, as we go to press, we do believe that he is a Boeing 747 pilot, a national Sunday Paper columnist, a Doctor of 'Something' [unfortunately our sources are not too clear on what!] and a great musician.

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