Procol Harum

the Pale

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No Stiletto Shoes

Club Riga, Southend-on-Sea

Richard Sanderson writes to BtP:

As a devoted follower of Mr Brooker and his merry men for some 33 years (yes I am that old!) I was indeed there on Friday to see No Stiletto Shoes in Concert.

Some of the faces were familiar (I had seen Dave Bronze and Henry Spinetti before at Procol gigs at the Zero 6 and Barbican).

A great evening, and praise for the support band Arizona too who set things up nicely.

I can't remember the full set list but the Andy Fairweather Low songs Gin House and Wide Eyed and Legless were well received as was an outstanding version of Poison Ivy by the Paramounts. (I have that record too!!). Gary was taking requests but he either didn't hear me call for Pilot from No More fear of Flying or didn't want to play / remember it. At one point they even played Woolly Bully and there was a great blues number that showed what an incredible voice Gary has.

The Down Side - not enough Procol numbers but this is clearly a fun band where everyone enjoys it and after all it wasn't a Procol Gig (but we would like some more, Mr Brooker!). Would have liked some more material from Gary's solo albums as well.

The Up side(s) - a final encore of a Whiter Shade of Pale by just Gary on Piano and Nick Pentelow on sax.

Also meeting Gary and Andy Fairweather Low afterwards. Gary, if you read this I am the guy who got you to sign his No More Fear of Flying CD. Thanks for a great evening, and come back soon.

Finally I can say that I have a very extensive Procol Collection on both CD and Vinyl including three copies of In the Wee Small Hours of Sixpence single on the Regal Zonophone label and a Deram version of A Whiter Shade of Pale. I also have all Matthew's albums on vinyl and most of Robin Trower's. In the 1970s I slept in my car to see Robin for two nights when he supported Jethro Tull.

I have also seen Procol Harum at Crystal Palace, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Palladium as well as the gigs above. Gary pointed me at this website and I am glad to be in touch with all you guys. I do not feel I am talking to strangers, only friends I have not met yet, but plan to
put that right at the next convention.

Hope this is enough of a Rum Tale for you!

Jonathan Nettleton (Gary and Franky's gardener) writes:

As you would expect with the shoes (Gary, Henry Spinetti, Dave Bronze, Andy Fairweather Lowe, Nick Pentalow), we were treated to two nights of maximum rock and roll party music.

Procol purists would maybe have been disappointed with the lack of Procol songs (only AWSoP on both nights) but it must be said that the sets which evolved on both nights included many songs that I haven't heard the shoes play before. Club Riga was sold out both nights (of course) and everyone that I spoke to after the gigs had had a great time.

Saturday night's gig appeared to be full of AFL fans, with one woman asking Andy to autograph her arm (only to return later with some paper and saying something about having to shower again one day). Andy duly obliged his fans with Wide-Eyed And Legless, I Shall Not be Moved, and an abridged version of Paradise.

I will try to get hold of the setlists for the weekend but once again I think that what was written down eventually bore little resemblance to the actual running order. I think it would be nice if The Shoes were to do a mini-tour of small venues like the Riga. What does anyone else think?

One last thing, just for fun. Did Gary catch the Daddy Longlegs at Guildford or not? (I know the answer …does anyone else?)

More Brooker concert pages The September Shoes' gig The last Southend Shoes' gig

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