Procol Harum

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One-Eye's Procol Proxy gig, Budapest

18 July 2004

Procol Harum's Budapest gig was cancelled, but this was no deterrent to fans from the UK and the USA who had specially made the journey to Hungary's imposing capital.

Pictured: twin lions, gravely guarding the gate of the Palace Court on the castle hill, sense the approach of US impressario Allen 'One-Eye' Edelist ... who has arranged to stage a compensatory entertainment.

The courtyard that the lions are guarding is all but deserted as the evening's scheduled gig-time approaches: not a vestige of the staging, the sound gear, the seats and the lighting from the previous night's concert

Mr Edelist pays off the driver of the vehicle in which he and his equipment have been hauled up
the weary hill which dominates Buda from his smart hotel on the Pest side of the river

The correct site for the gig is determined: this is exactly where the Hammond of Dave Greenslade had been sited the previous evening. Tonight's show, however, will be even more sparsely-attended than Colosseum's was.

One-Eye checks the batteries in his CD player (specially purchased for the
occasion, as was the PH CD it contained) and his mp3 player

The two devices are duly linked up to the PA ... a smaller unit than Colosseum had
used, but adequate to the immediate purpose.

Last-minute adjustments are keenly watched by some nice bits of statuary

Other faces look on, awaiting the
start of the music.

Suddenly the show is under way, or 'under weigh' if you prefer the nautical spelling. The atmosphere of the ten live Procoloid tracks (a choice selection by One-Eye!) is greatly enhanced by the backdrop, supplied by the forthcoming Union Chapel DVD and its lavish pictorial liner.

A bit of context: One-Eye's PA system is indicated by the red arrow. At this distance the sound was a wee bit tinny but still surprisingly clear ... no doubt at all what song was playing (it was Kaleidoscope at this instant). No-one was obliged to listen from here, of course: there was no difficulty getting right up close to the stage.

A shot from backstage shows that the audience are blown away by the recital.
A disused cobblestone keeps the band themselves from blowing away as well.
The swirly carved roundel depicted on the DVD itself is perfectly in context in this imposing setting

The audience's calls for an encore are satisfied by some tasty Bach which also wows a passing pigeon (not illustrated). We can only hope that Procol will play here in person one day, with somewhat larger attendance.

And of course, as the assembled fans left the arena they were eagerly looking forward to meeting again at the Amorbach gig in a week's time. It was hours before we learnt that that one was cancelled too.


As the tinge of sunset ushers the fans on their way, it's the lions who have the last laugh


More about this preposterous episode

Procol Harum concerts in 2004: index page

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