A small club, seating about 450 ... quite a change from the
capacious halls Procol have played elsewhere in Denmark. Low lighting from glass
chandeliers ... something of the atmosphere of the Fillmore West. Audience
eager for music ... largely ignoring the merchandise before the show,
but falling on it like locusts afterwards.
I Told on You
The now-standard, twinkling opener. 'You changed the wiring' has all the
mysterious, Pinter-like oddness of classic mid-period Reid.
Bringing Home the Bacon
Ferociously swinging version; the little solo cameos including Gary's
strangely compressed Christmas Camel intro, alongside Josh's growling
Smoke on the Water riff.
An Old English Dream
Gary compounds the Englishness here not with references to Brexit, as
heard in past nights, but with references to the two tour tee-shirts, whose
colours he characterises as 'Imperial Purple' and 'Bridgewater Bay Mud'
(Bridgewater, the unromantic town on the Bristol Channel). The mud there has
the property of making old men's skin feel like a baby's ('You know what a
baby is? A small adult?'). But Gary clarified that he had this information
at second-hand, from a member of the merchandise team who lives nearby
... 'I haven't felt any of these men myself.'
Can't Say That
High-energy stuff, with good interplay between the fretpersons
It's clear now that this song -- though it didn't make the Radio 2 playlists
-- was indeed the perfect lead single from the Novum
album; as Josh said backstage, he wishes he'd added the plaintive
Hammond half-way through verse two as he now does. Tonight's version
restored the piano to the intro, taken last night on Montage strings only.
It all builds beautifully and earns lavish and protracted applause.
The Hammond solo at the end continues the current trend of relying less on
sheer speed and more on an intriguing melodic contour.
Impressive and pleasing clapping from the audience, which for a while
hit only the third beat of each bar. By the 'Cool Jerk' bass solo
section, however, it was back on 2 and 4. A superb guitar break from GW
who'd earlier said he feared he'd be 'too tired to play a note'. Later he advised BtP
he had been 'running on fumes ... you can quote me on that.' But where can
we get these fumes, Geoff?
A Salty Dog
The song was dedicated (not by name) to a great drummer friend of GB's,
who had -- as he remembered -- died on exactly this date.
Shine on Brightly
Played with notably elastic tempo; very warmly received.
Fires (Which Burnt Brightly)
As last night, this featured the excellent Matilde
Isabella Arenholt Mosekjaer, singing the Christiane Legrand parts, onstage
from the outset, in fetching Bridgewater Bay tee-shirt and leather trousers. A
consummately professional and beautiful performance, revisiting the
previous night's triumph, and again accomplished with only one sound-check
run-through. Smiling band, standing ovations. Quite rightly so. Do other
bands have fans of this calibre?
Also warmly received, and with standout Hammond snaking about behind
the chorus vocal in the manner of the original single, but not particularly
revisiting the notes of that recording.
Still There'll be More
A much-anticipated addition to the tour (which is named after the Boxed
Set, not the song itself). This had been sound-checked a few times, but only
tonight made the stage. Starting with Geoff Dunn's jungle drums, Gary's
hard-edged vocal and piano heralded an uncompromising performance from Geoff
Whitehorn, really digging in to a song from the album that got him hooked on
Procol Harum (and which many fans still consider the band's masterpiece).
The Only One
Still a spooky rumination on solipsism, with its haunting throwaway
lines from a non-existent deity ... 'now figure that one out'! The
ensemble-playing grows organically, as on Sunday Morning, but to much
darker effect. A great number.
In soundcheck, aided by his 'valet' John Magner Gary often locates a
accordion sound on his touring Yamaha stage piano, but I don't recall ever
actually hearing it in performance. Some interesting new fills on both
keyboards tonight, and the now-standard ending with pistol-pointing from GW
and JP, and a snare-shot from GD. How long before performances
include the ghoulish Brooker laughter that followed his gunshot in the
studio at the end of the original recording?
A heavy, soulful song ... but nevertheless preceded by an enquiry,
'Ready, duck?' to the totemic waterfowl that squats on the faux
grand, eyeing the audience with its non-existent surveillance camera.
Full-force guitar from Geoff, accompanied by vengeful facial expressions on
the power-chords. A magnificent performance!
Cerdes (Outside the Gates of)
It seemed unlikely that Geoff would top the excitement of the forgoing,
but he did, twice, one solo making liberal and surprising use of harmonics.
Marvellous vocal too, great bass and drums as well.
Prefaced by Gary's apposite remark, 'How long have you got, while Procol
Harum have an argument about who stole the bottle of Gajol?'
A Whiter Shade of Pale
Two verses, intricate, Baroque-inspired organ solo ending with a
fetching rising scale in tenths; typical
preamble about the 'hypnotising' effects of the descending bassline,
starting with Senza Madonna, then a good long chunk of Air on the
G String, reaching the second subject before faltering, then Percy
Sledge and Bob Marley. 'All these writers are dead, except me!' quipped
Brooker. Great end to a mesmerising concert.
Conquistador and others ... in hilarious yet convincing cocktail jazz style
Still There’ll be More
All This and More
Don’t Get Caught
In Held 'Twas in I
(with a broad Brummie ‘Held Close’ from
Matt, and informal Grand Finale harmony choir courtesy of Kim, Matilde and
Roland by the sound desk)
The Teddy-Bears’ Picnic (piano and guitar only)
Fires (Which Burnt Brightly) feat. Matilde
I Told on You
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