Procol Harum

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The Ideal Procol Setlist

Twenty-six fans' opinions …

The message went out on the Procol list: would Palers like to suggest "The Ideal Set", of about two hours, for Procol Harum to play live in the year 2000? Fans voted for their top ten PH songs in 1998 (see here) but this is a different question: the Ideal Set wouldn't necessarily be all favourite songs and hits : it could feature neglected masterpieces, dramatic contrasts, instrument-swaps, whatever you think fittest, and most closely corresponding to classic PH gigs in memory (or here).

Here are some of the fans' suggestions, in the order in which they came in: please send more if you wish! Needless to say BtP can send the best of these to GB in the hope of whetting his appetite for the PH gig he's promised to play this year [details here]!

Beverly: Ah ...<drool> <slobber> <drool> excuse me for salivating. Is this one of those, 'so it will be written, so it well be done'?

Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of) – Ringsted '95 / Simple Sister – Vienna '76 / A Salty Dog – British Biscuit '76 / Shine On Brightly – can't decide / Delta – short version ;-) / Power Failure – Boston '74 or Vienna '76


Holding On – Barbican '95 / Whiskey Train – Vejle '95 / The Blue Danube – Vienna '76 / Whaling Stories – Boston '74 or Vienna '76 / Repent Walpurgis – Utrecht '92 / In Held 'Twas In I – Live '71


I'll Be Satisfied – any version / So Far Behind – version for 2000 ;-) / A Whiter Shade of Pale Within Our House version with Maf

Encore ( we can have two encores, can't we?)

Homburg – stereo version / Wreck of the Hesperus from ASD, of course.

AW ... what the hey ... play everything! Do it all!

Oo ...for once I think it would be great to hear Wreck of the Hesperus as an encore. Dueling boards ... then, Maf and Gary walk to center stage, wave and bow while we all explode and shower them with everything we've got! Ah, I can taste it! <G>

When and where is what I want to know? Shine On Procol Harum!

Larry Pennisi

Salad Days / All Our Dreams Are Sold / Kaleidoscope / Milk of Human Kindness / Broken Barricades / New Lamps for Old / Cerdes (Outside the Gates of) / Quite Rightly So / Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone) / Pilgrim's Progress / Too Much Between Us / A Christmas Camel

Just for the first set ... ... though I know the night has fallen, and I am now quite late. How could I forget Barnyard Story. I have always yearned to hear this live ... I would be plowed under if it happened. I do think Limelight would be splendid as well.

Alick Leslie

Can I put in a request for Maff's Poke Stoges [sic]. It would be good to see how the band coped with it after 30 years.

Have to say, though, that the Redhill set came very close to perfect, I kept on doing a 'they can't be playing this' when the next song rolled along.

It would be great to hear Ghost Train done by a proper Procol line up. It certainly seems (to me) to be more of a PH song, more than much of the Prodigal album.

Dietmar 'Nik' Clever

Seem To Have The Blues All The Time / Juicy John Pink / Lime Street Blues / Long Gone Geek / Whiskey Train / Power Failure / Simple Sister / The Unquiet Zone / I Keep Forgetting

Unfortunately that's only for about half an hour I think. Long live Rhythm 'n Blues ...


Homburg. I'd like them to start with Homburg, because it gives me goosebumps. I'm sure I'm not alone. Then I'd like that song to blend into the "Omm" of In Held 'Twas In I. Nearing the end, the stage lights lower until all we see are candles in candelabras all over the place. Then we hear the first notes of Grand Hotel. Wouldn't it be nice to have a real violin and a couple of graceful dancers twirl across the stage?

Next, Gary can tell a joke (about smut and tums, perhaps?), before we go headlong down the rabbit hole with the fantasies of Cerdes (Outside the Gates of), Kaleidoscope and Salad Days (Are Here Again).

Now, let's give Gary a break and have Matthew bring the house down with Pilgrim's Progress followed up with Song Without Words (hey, it's my set list. And who WOULDN'T want to hear it?)

Should they take a break? OK, five minutes. I had an idea that maybe Matthew should stay on stage and do a few more of his solo tunes ... but let's give the guy a little break, too!

Back again – A Christmas Camel, Broken Barricades, Luskus Delph, Barnyard Story (is this one included in the soundtrack of Chicken Run?) Whaling Stories, As Strong as Samson and let's get into the beer hall mood with Beyond the Pale.

Finally, In the Wee Small Hours of Sixpence, Shine On Brightly and the best Repent Walpurgis ever.

When's the show? Be seeing you …


In Held 'Twas In I / Shine on Brightly / In The Wee Small Hours of Sixpence / Rambling On / She Wandered through the Garden Fence / Whaling Stories


The Worm and the Tree / Piggy Pig Pig / A Salty Dog / Grand Hotel / A Rum Tale / New Lamps for Old / Power Failure


Homburg / Pilgrim's Progress / A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Bye all!

Richard Beck

Assuming that this fictional concert is conducted sans orchestra these are my suggestions. (If an orchestra is used, then they should be banished to the break room for tea and cakes for no less than one hour of the concert.)

The Truth Won't Fade Away / Last Train to Niagara / All our Dreams are Sold / Broken Barricades / Kaleidoscope / Luskus Delph / Beyond The Pale / Piggy Pig Pig / Whaling Stories / A Rum Tale / A Whiter Shade Of Pale / Homburg / Bringing Home The Bacon / Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of) / Grand Hotel / Something Magic / Skip Softly (My Moonbeams) / Simple Sister / Holding On / Wreck of the Hesperus / A Salty Dog / Barnyard Stories / Fires (Which Burnt Brightly) / Nothing that I didn't know / Repent Walpurgis

Of course, any of the above suggestions would be well served if replaced by an equal number of songs from a new Procol Harum album. Short of that, a couple of juicy versions of Fisher / Brooker solo works would certainly be cool.

And in my opinion, a rousing I'll Be Satisfied would bring the house down. (Poison Ivy will not!)

Tormod Ringvold

My Ideal Set ('A Journey Through The Classics') would include:

A Whiter Shade Of Pale / Homburg / Something Following Me / A Christmas Camel / Quite Rightly So / Shine On Brightly / Rambling On / In Held 'Twas In I / A Robe Of Silk / A Salty Dog / Pilgrim's Progress / Still There'll Be More / Whaling Stories / A Rum Tale / TV Ceasar / As Strong As Samson / Wizard Man / Adagio di Albinoni / Perpetual Motion / Last Train to Niagara

And who will play with Gary ? Matthew is a must. What about David Knights on bass ? (By the way: why wasn't he at Redhill ?)

Julius J Saroka

Conquistador (gotta start with a BANG!) / all of Grand Hotel

(not in any order)

Boredom / Pandora's Box / As Strong As Samson / Nothing But the Truth / Power Failure / Homburg / Shine On Brightly / A Salty Dog / Pilgrim's Progress / All This & More / Quite Rightly So / The Devil came from Kansas / Whaling Stories / Blue Danube / Adagio


Last Train to Niagara / A Whiter Shade of Pale

Thank you for your time and attention.

Bert Saraco

The ideal concert set-list? Whew. Whatever we put on the list, there's all of the rest of it that we'd love to hear anyway!! Let's see ... in no particular order, the ones that I'd really love to hear:

Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of) / A Rum Tale / Fires Which Burnt Brightly* / Bringing Home The Bacon* / Drunk Again (always a 'barn-burner' live) / Whaling Stories / Barnyard Story / Adagio Di Albinoni** * / In Held 'Twas In I * + / Nothing That I Didn't Know* / Thin End Of The Wedge** / A Robe Of Silk / Skip Softly My Moonbeams / All Our Dreams Are Sold / Fool's Gold / Skating On Thin Ice / The Idol** / Pandora's Box / Grand Hotel** / Toujours L'Amour* ** / Memorial Drive (yes) / Simple Sister / A Salty Dog* / Wreck Of The Hesperus + / Pilgrim's Progress + / Too Much Between Us (think of it!) / Conquistador / Quite Rightly So / Homburg / Shine On Brightly / Repent Walpurgis + * / and, oh yeah - A Whiter Shade Of Pale

I'll take 'em any way we can, but wouldn't it be nice if the ones marked * could have BJ on drums, ** with Mick on guitar, and + with Matthew on Hammond? The unfortunate part is all of the great stuff left off the lists! I suppose I could stand 'losing' Eight Days A Week. Hey ... Strangers In Space! Yeah, that's always good live - nice atmosphere. ... hmm … come to think of it, King Of Hearts is usually really nice in concert ... hmm

Jens Anders Ravnaas

Hi Palers: I have tried to compile my dream setlist, and have to agree with all those of you that have found it difficult because of all the songs I have to leave out. Anyway, I'll try and I figure that two hours will allow for about 20 songs including IHTIA. Here it comes, in the order of album releases:

Cerdes (outside the Gates of) / Something Following Me /Repent Walpurgis /Shine On Brightly /Rambling On /In Held 'Twas in I /A Salty Dog / Pilgrims Progress / The Dead Man's Dream / Whaling Stories / Broken Barricades / A Rum Tale / For Liquorice John / Fires (Which Burnt Brightly) / Beyond the Pale / As strong as Samson / New Lamps for Old / Strangers in Space / (You Can't) Turn Back the Page / The King of Hearts / Perpetual Motion / A Whiter Shade of Pale (4 verses)

And for the encores, why not play some of the best solo works?

Ghost Train because in my mind it's as close as a Procol Harum song as you'll ever get / The Long Goodbye because It's already been released as a Procol Harum song / She Makes Me Feel because it's the most beautiful love song ever written.

Shine On

Maleine Lemoine

Bonjour tous, so here's my ideal set list - from someone who hardly knows Procol live :'(

A Whiter Shade Of Pale / Last Train To Niagara / A Christmas Camel / Cerdes (Outside The Gates Of) / The Idol / All This And More / Shine On Brightly / As Strong As Samson / Pandora's Box / Homburg / Whaling Stories / A New Song ... / About To Die / Barnyard Story / Grand Hotel / Beyond The Pale / Broken Barricades / In The Wee Small Hours Of Sixpence / A Rum Tale / Heartbreaker / Nothing But The Truth / A Salty Dog

Et voila ... il ne reste plus qu'a trouver des musiciens (please no backing vocals, or 'superflus' synthesizers...)

I'll come to the concert only if they play A Rum Tale >;->

Au travail Monsieur Brooker !

Bises to you all

Joan May

RE the players – Gary and Matthew (the indispensables); Mick on guitar; and a drummer – (Graham Broad or perhaps someone new like Simon Phillips – who's been instructed to study all of BJ's works and emulate his style as much as humanly possible. RE the instrumentation – no orchestra, no synths, no sound effects. And please – a Grand Piano, not that block of cheese-on-legs that Gary played through most of the 90s.

RE the repertoire – I'd love to hear the best tunes from Echoes in the Night

Saw the Fire
Ghost Train
The Long Goodbye
played with the Classic Procol instrumentation.

And my favorite parts of In Held 'Twas In I:

In the Autumn of my Madness
Look To Your Soul
Grand Finale
with no vocal chorus and the Hammond loud in the forefront on Grand Finale. This arrangement actually happened in 1971 with Chris and Dave and sounded quite good, and I think it could be even more powerful with Matthew and Mick.

Wendigo's idea of Matthew doing a few solos is an excellent one. I've always longed to hear the Theme From Separation arranged for solo (and very LOUD) Hammond.

Jeremy Gilien

And it should be a 9 foot 6 inch Bosendorfer Imperial Grand with the low C. That's no hunka' cheese!


John Overall

As I tear up my 345th list (not easy to do when it's on a computer monitor - I'm hopeless at Borgashmorgs (as Mason Reese used to say) too). Until the final choice, I do want to put in a plug for Stoke Poges (I wonder if Toby ever did it at the Church for the Millennium?)
Salad Days (Are here again) (the original 1st LP one, of course): Harlequin I don't think anyone requested this.


Band: GB, Fisher or Copping, Knights or Cartwright, Whitehorn, Broad or any Kayak or Van der Graaf drummers

Barnyard Story (reissue - full organ) / Something Magic / Quite Rightly so / Still There'll Be More / Memorial Drive / All our Dreams are Sold / The Idol / She Wandered Through the Garden Fence / About To Die / Simple Sister (Full Version) / All This and More / A Rum Tale / Truth Won't Fade Away / A Salty Dog / Salad Days / Bringing Home the Bacon / A Christmas Camel / The Piper's Tune / Nothing But The Truth / Toujours L'Amour / Beyond the Pale / Rambling On / Last Train To Niagara / Drunk Again / For Licorice John / Dead Man's Dream / Shine On Brightly / In The Wee Small Hours of Sixpence / Cerdes (Outside the Gates of) / Backgammon + Kaleidoscope + Learn To Fly / Robert's Box

Encore I

Ghost Train / Into The Flood / The Long Goodbye

Encore II

Magdelene (My Regal Zonophone) / The Pursuit of Happiness / Typewriter Torment

Encore III

Monsieur R. Monde / Fires (Which Burnt Brightly) / A Whiter Shade of Pale (4 Verses)

PS: Perhaps some of the unfinished or left-out boots sprinkled in as a teaser for things to come!

Mirek Plodzik

My ideal "real" set list of Procol 2000 show is:

Something Magic / Shine On Brightly / Bringing Home the Bacon / As Strong As Samson / Cerdes (Outside the Gates of) / Fool's Gold / Fires (Which Burnt Brightly) / Whaling Stories / Holding On / The Devil Came from Kansas / The King of Hearts / Your Own Choice / A Salty Dog / A Real Attitude / Rambling On / Simple Sister / Grand Hotel

Encore I:

Truth Won't Fade Away / A Whiter Shade of Pale

Encore II:

Lead Me to the Water (or Conquistador) / Repent Walpurgis

Charles Allison

I dream of a Year 2000 concert in three parts.

1. Orchestra


2. Orchestra


3. Band only

1. & 2. largely a re-run of the Barbican with addition of A Christmas Camel. Would include Grand Finale, tacked on to The Long Goodbye.
Fireworks at the conclusion, perhaps.

3. An hour of band-only tracks to demonstrate the best, most versatile group of musicians in the world. Repertoire - largely the same as Redhill.
They would certainly have to play a full AWSoP in this set and finish with Repent Walpurgis - best I think as a group only performance! (with boards held up instructing ignoramuses in the audience not to clap until it is really finished!)

I agree with others that some "Gary tracks" should be performed - Ghost Train & Mr Blue Day are two I'd like to hear.

It would have to be in London I suppose, but perhaps they could they play in each of the four home countries? And what about TV? Or would that be sharing the secret of their genius too widely?

It would be a long night for Gary & the Band - but immortality beckons.

Richard Solly (see here too)

The ultimate Procol set-list? … with one eye on the future and one on the past.

Something Magic / Bringing Home The Bacon / Pandora's Box / Shine On Brightly / Homburg / The Hand That Rocks The Cradle / New Lamps For Old / Cerdes (Outside the Gates of) / A Salty Dog / Piggy Pig Pig / Broken Barricades / Last Train To Niagara

Tea Break

Quite Rightly So / Fresh Fruit / In The Wee Small Hours Of Sixpence / Holding On / Grand Hotel / Butterfly Boys / PROCOL 2000 Medley: 1) So Far Behind 2) Nothing But The Truth 3) Typewriter Torment / A Whiter Shade Of Pale - 4 Verses / Conquistador


I'll Be Satisfied / Toujours L'amour / One Eye On The Future, One Eye On The Past

This was a mammoth task ... so much has been left out.

Jim Krapf

There must be a way to lure Robin back for one last time. His playing should inspire everyone. He is the soul of PH. Maf is also essential and it would be nice to have Mr Copping unless he is retired. Need an original sounding drummer, not someone who attempts to imitate certain of BJ's beats without the contextual patterns. Here's a go:

Man With a Mission / Salad Days (Are Here Again) / Piggy Pig Pig / The Devil Came From Kansas / Toujours L'amour / Pandora's Box / All Our Dreams Are Sold / Song For a Dreamer / Nothing But the Truth / Wish Me Well / Kaleidoscope /

Intermission (Delta though the sound system)

Something Following Me / Bringing Home the Bacon / New Song / Rambling On / In the Wee Small Hours of Sixpence / New Song / Whisky Train / As Strong as Samson / New Song / Cerdes (Outside the Gates of)

1st Encore

Homburg / Well I

2nd Encore

Shine On Brightly / Still There'll be More / AWSoP (4 verses)

The boys need to rest now.

Mike Lee

Something Magic / Wizard Man / Beyond the Pale / Pandora's Box / Blue Ribbons (ok not Procol but I love it) / The King of Hearts / Man With a Mission / Good Captain Clack / Whiskey Train / Simple Sister / As Strong As Samson / Whaling Stories / Grand Hotel / A Whiter Shade of Pale


Lime St Blues / This Old Dog

Ok so I always had strange taste, but what the hell!

Jimmy Lloyd : see here!

Unsteady Freddie

My ultimate set list for the lads is as follows: (Pomp and Circumstance should be playing over the loudspeaker house system before the band hits the stage; should come out and play into it, become a part of it, etc.)

Start hot:

Whisky Train / Shine on Brightly / Simple Sister / Bringing Home the Bacon / The Devil Came from Kansas

Slow it down a bit:

The Truth Won't Fade Away / All This and More / Barnyard Story / A Rum Tale / Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone) / Homburg

Get funky:

Paramounts Medley / The Hand that Rocks the Cradle / Pandora's Box / Nothing but the Truth

"Man/Men" Portion:

Wizard Man / Man with a Mission / The Dead Man's Dream


Classical intro medley: Bach / Walpurgis; Blue Danube; Adagio / A Salty Dog / Grand Hotel / The Mark of the Claw / Whaling Stories


A Whiter Shade of Pale

Encore 1:

In Held 'Twas in I

Encore 2:

Pilgrim's Progress

I omitted The Wreck of the Hesperus ...sorry … someone squeeze it in there for me somewhere?

Jose Rios

Conquistador / A Christmas Camel / Toujours l'Amour / Beyond the Pale / So Far Behind / Luskus Delph / Magdalene (my Regal Zonophone) / She Wandered through the Garden Fence / Cerdes (Outside the Gates of) / Fires (Which Burnt Brightly)/ Shine on Brightly / Rambling On / Simple Sister / Broken Barricades / Bringing Home the Bacon / A Rum Tale / TV Ceasar / A Salty Dog / Nothing But the Truth / A Real Attitude and a couple or more new Procol songs!

See you maybe in the concert !

Humbly submitted with the hope that it, or some resemblance of it, will soon be played. (I request the right the make final changes)

A Whiter Shade of Pale / Homburg / In the Wee Small Hours of Sixpence / Conquistador / Salad Days (Are Here Again) / Kaleidoscope / Repent Walpurgis / Shine On Brightly / Quite Rightly So / In Held 'Twas In I / A Salty Dog / All This and More / Stoke Poges / About to Die / Fires (Which Burnt Brightly) / Toujours l'Amour / Nothing But The Truth / The Piper's Tune / So Far Behind / Ghost Train / Goin' Down Slow

Of course it remains for the songs to be thoughtfully put into appropriate order. Finally, I am sorry if I have exceeded the 2 hour suggested limit (well ... not really very sorry.)

Ian Hockley
Few idle minutes here to spare, here's my dream set-list;

Line-up: Brooker, Fisher, Trower, Copping, Broad

In this order:

Nothing But the Truth / Bringing Home the Bacon / Simple Sister / Nothing That I Didn't Know / Shine On Brightly / As Strong As Samson / Wreck of The Hesperus / Too Much Between Us / Luskus Delph / Piggy Pig Pig / For Liquorice John / Whaling Stories / Grand Hotel / Butterfly Boys / A Salty Dog / A Whiter Shade of Pale / Robert's Box


The Truth Won't Fade Away / Green Onions (that'd be great) / High School Confidential + Breathless / Drunk Again

More Features at BtP

Setlists that the band actually played

Fantasy concert reviews

Did the fans ever expect to hear their ideal setlist played live? - See poll results here

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