Peter Skorpik, from Austria, reports to BtP:
One day after having returned from a 10,000 ft. peak in the Alps we went to Udine to celebrate the end of our ten-days mountain tour. We (my wife Friedi, our three children and me) entered the area of Udine's Castello at around 4.30 pm where we got to know that the sound-check should start at 5.00 pm. It became 6.15 but nothing happened.
In the meantime Friedi and the two girls went down the Castello-hill to be told where and when we could get our tickets. After short time she informed me by mobile telefone that the band's car is stopped by a folk-dance performance at the city-centre. Gary and Co. would conquer the hill by foot and she has already got autographs of each member of the band. When Procol Harum and my remaining family arrived at the concert area the security wanted us to leave. They didn't reckon up my cleverness because I had already reserved a table for dinner in the castle's restaurant where also the band would be boarded. So our consumption of delicious Italian pasta was accompanied by the sound-check of my favorite band.
Just as we left to fetch our tickets I had to welcome Geoff whom I already got to know from past Procol events. After small conversation we finally left the area and moved downhill to the entrance from where we returned after short time to occupy the best seats: first row, middle of the stage. Now there were nearly two hours left till the beginning of the show at 9.30 pm.
During that time I always kept an eye on what was happening at the blocked area where the band had their refreshments. I hoped to get a chance to present a CD with my orchestral version of The emperor's New Clothes to Gary [this will be heard on the new Palers' Project CD]. When I saw Geoff sitting on the wall and busy with his digital camera I thought: now or never (or after the show ). Supported by my son Oliver we approached but were unhappily stopped by the security. I looked at Geoff to help us defeating the "enemy". Geoff only said : "It's OK" and so we passed over the broken barricades to take a seat beside our rescuer. After Gary had finished his telephone conversation there was time for me to present my CD to him and to explain its content. What I didn't know was that my daughter Tamina was taking photos of those exciting moments.
Back on our seats in front of the stage (8.30 pm) Matthew appeared with an organ-technician and seemed very unfortunate about the instrument. They tried to find out some technical problem but I think failed.
Maybe the fast vibrato of the Leslie didn't work correctly. During the gig the organ was not loud enough to sense what was wrong, but when MF started his own piece Weisselklenzenacht we heard a very strange sound-registration and he stopped after the first bar, went to Matt Pegg's microphone and told the audience that the organ would not work regularly but he would do the best he could.
(There was also bad noise from Geoff's Marshall when playing the first song Bringing Home The Bacon, but it was soon eliminated by the technicians.)
In spite of such troubles the concert was an outstanding musical event. The crowd showed high emotions and honored the band by standing ovations.
A last amusing note: Matthew was so angry that he knocked down the Leslie after the last encore. After the roadies had put it upright again he poured out his beer over the Leslie and left. Only now the roadies dared to clean the instrument.
Peter presenting his orchestral version of The Emperor's New Clothes to Gary
Matthew complaining about the organ (Mark Lundquist in attendance in his blue shirt)
(Above) Matthew always veiled with dark mystery and (left) 'What are they looking for?'