Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum off Trondheim, Norway

Setlist: 31 March 2005 (private concert)

Brooker, Brzezicki, Pegg, Phillips, Reid, Whitehorn

As on the previous day, Procol played one public gig and one private one arranged by a large, corporate sponsor. Norgesfisk Industrier proved to be a generous host and the band got plenty of seafood to eat before the show! The public show setlist will be shown at BtP as soon as it is available

Dawn: and the band sets off by launch for the Norgesfisk factory-ship Havgløtt:
Matt, Josh, Mark, Gary and Geoff. Keith Reid was to join them later, by helicopter

The west coast of Norway is home to several offshore fish-processing plants, huge industrial installations of oil-rig proportions whose crews – who stay aboard for months at a time – are understandably starved of live music. To the best of our knowledge this was the only the second gig Procol have played while afloat (the first was in Canada) and the ambience brought out some of the band's most nautical repertoire (see below)


The Commander spotted a shoal of chubb and had the launch pause while he reeled in a few. Little did the band realise
they would be playing on a stage normally devoted to the gutting and mulching of 1.6 million such fish every week! 


Mark insists on throwing this chubb back, as it is not quite dead

Continuity: Procol's new organist is another fisher

Band set-up. Note the red tarpaulin, stretched the length of the killing floor. In the shadows the odour-reduction plants are working overtime,
and this is probably what tripped the power just before the show was due to start. It proved to be an irrecoverable fault in the ship computer's
operating system and virus-checking software was immediately sent for.

The Commander ... the eye in the middle of his head may be faintly visible

Once the power was down it was virtually impossible to get a decent picture down in the bowels of the ship. All credit to Procol for continuing to play a largely acoustic set. Luckily the fish-master's upright piano was pressed into service, and an accordion was found for Josh. Geoff and Matt played the traditional waterproof Norwegian guitars. The only trouble was that the drums were just as loud as usual so Mark Brzezicki was the only musician who could be heard most of the time, certainly at the back of the killing floor. Our correspondent Enøye was permitted to squat on a pile of sodden nets sidestage and heard the entire show from that privileged position. 

Opening the deck hatches let a bit of light in (and also mitigated the stench of fish). However Gary was advised not to play A Salty Dog for fear of luring in the seagulls that follow the Havgløtt in menacing swarms.

Last minute clear-up in the dressing-room.

Shine on Brightly (by candlelight!)
The Angler
I Saw the Light (the Todd Rundgren number)
Whaling Stories (pt I: standing ovation)
Musical Fish (great surprise!)
In Held 'Twas in I (Keith Reid's helicopter was delayed but two old men from the fish-processing plant knew some of the words)
Grand Hotel (part of)
Someone Following Me (dedicated to One-Eye)
Trick of the Night (Norwegian words)
The Worm and the Tree (part, adapted as 'The Worm and the Sea' ... text read by the author)
Happy Birthday to You (dedicated to the retiring Fish-Master, 31 years at sea without sight of land) (It was not his birthday)
A Whiter Shade of Pale
(less than 1 verse ... a storm warning obliged the band to cut this number short, or their hovercraft would not have been able to get back to Trondheim for the evening's show)
'When the show is over ... '


If you work on Havgløtt, please send us pictures, memorabilia, interviews and so forth!


songs altogether:


From Procol Harum


from Shine on Brightly


From  A Salty Dog


From  Home


from  Broken Barricades


From  Grand Hotel


From Exotic Birds and Fruit


from Procol's Ninth


From Something Magic


From The Prodigal Stranger


from The Well's on Fire


non-album tracks


New songs

Enøye adds: great atmosphere, sensational concert, ovations every  number from dozens of fish-workers. But of course disappointing it had to be cut short due to weather. I always thought such things only happened in Los Angeles. The power outage was not such a disappointment since drums are my favourite instrument. I had a great time hanging with the band and had my photograph taken in the dark with almost every one of them in turn. Gary told me that he had written several numbers for his new solo album on the way across the Straits in the morning. Mark and Josh revealed that they are working on another project together, this time with Keith West, to finish another excerpt from his Teenage Opera, which was started before either of them was born. Geoff vouchsafed to me that he has joined six more weekend bands to play R&B covers in the Gravesend area. Matt confided in me that he is indifferent to certain kinds of sprats and anchovies. Keith was talking to one of the fishgutting apprentices but he did shake my hand briefly. The sound crew invited me to the Fishing-Master's cabin for the traditional glass of Aquavit that is consumed every time the ship crosses the Arctic Circle; I waited a while but nobody else turned up. Consequently I missed the first four or five numbers from the set but the crew informed me that they were mostly new songs including That's the Way to Do It, Crocodile Tears, Not So Much a Sausage, and several other titles in a language that Keith Reid has made up, called Luskuspeak, which sound too rude to write down on a respectable webpage. More from me in a few minutes' time.

Thanks, Enøye

Safely ashore with the Fish-master, and Procol proudly show that, despite the
storm, not one of those sick-bags has been filled






This setlist and gig-report posted 1 April 2005



Have a look at other set-lists

Procol Harum concerts in 2005: index page

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