Procol Harum

the Pale

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Gary Brooker and Friends, Club Riga, Southend

Al Edelist reports on Sunday 18 December 2005

Voice and piano Gary Brooker; bass Dave Bronze / Chris Copping
Guitar Mo Witham; drums Mick Brownlee / Bob Coulter

Well, after Saturday 17 December,  who could imagine any reunion more exhilarating  than The Paramounts at Club Riga?

It wasn't quite that amazing, but what did happen was a very enthusiastic Gary Brooker and Friends. Gary pretty much summed it up as 'Mick Brownlee and Friends'.  For it was Mick who really put the feelers out to get Robin involved. That motivated Gary to send his first-ever email, to Chris Copping. That and The Shades reunion with Len and Shirley Trower on-hand brought many Southenders out from the woodwork.

Chris went through Dubai to get to London from Australia. That's dedication!

The opening band, Oceans 7 was remarkable, offering some of the best '50s with horns and a great singer. Anticipation was high, and the rest of the evening was a brilliant completion to an unexpected weekend of complete satisfaction.

Palers joining in were John Bobin, Jens and Titti, Axel and Juliette, Umberto, and, of course the Los Angeles contingent, consisting this night of Jill and myself. My other eye had been on-hand the prior evening but chose to go back to London.

Whole Lotta Shakin' Mick's bass-pedal breaks or isn't set correctly,  and is fixed among a lot of bantering and laughing onstage
Blueberry Hill  
Hit the Road Jack  
Ubangi Stomp  
Walkin' to New Orleans  
Not Fade Away  
A Whiter Shade of Pale Three verses, sans organ: absolutely full and fantastic. Full crowd sing-along. Crowd went wild.
L'il Liza Jane Mick asks for a break, so Bobby Coulter sits in until the encores. Gary and Bobby do a quick warm-up with a brief bit of Take Five
Too Much Monkey Business  
Goodnight, Irene  
Little Queenie Chris Copping joins in for the next two cuts. Gary asks CC to do bass solo during LQ, which seemed to catch him off-guard
Poison Ivy  


My Girl  

Shake Rattle & Roll

 (thanks, Jill)

After the gig, we hung out a bit and had the opportunity to say goodbyes and give thanks for an incredible weekend of music.

Final points are that Gary was quick to praise the playing of Mo Witham whom he hadn't played with prior to this set [sic: see here]. Mo was very good!

Gary pointed out to me that Procol Harum is very much the badges BtP produced of Keith Reidisms. Taken by themselves, the sayings are a tribute, as well as taken in the whole. I blurted out, "Boiling oil and shrieking steam."

Finally, it will be great to see everyone in Lillehammer, if time and money permit.

If you were able to get to this gig, please send us pictures, memorabilia, interviews and so forth!

More about The Paramounts

Procol Harum concerts in 2005: index page

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