Procol Harum

the Pale

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Procol Harum at Basel, 18 June, 2005

Photographs from Andreas Havlik

Basel. I love the town, spent some time in my life here, so when I saw the concert date I packed my bags and fled. The Z7 is a very nice location, a factory hall with huge doors in the front, which kept open during the concert, so we got a little feeling of an open-air concert. The show started with the (meantime) classic opener Bringing Home the Bacon (I always love Mark's drum work here brilliant! BJ must be satisfied in the upper audience!).

The sound was not very good in the beginning, the vocals were distorted but it became better and better and ended up in a perfect performance. But then: OH MY GOD! Cerdes (Outside the Gates Of), one of my all-time favourites, which I didn't hear live a long long time! It was just a blast! My wife beside me got restless: "The guitar," she was gasping, "the guitar sings again!" Yeah yeah, Mr Whitehorn started his show. He was unbelievable again this evening. And now, Mr Whitehorn, it's time to admit: You made me forget Robin finally (sorry Robin). Really Geoff, you're the man! You were fantastic again!

The interloper behind the organist, during 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'Whaling Stories I really can't remember such a powerful and precise live-version of this song. Gary's voice was clear and fresh, well tuned as usual. No way of ageing go on, Gary, go on.

Second set. After the first song VIP Room Gary started his 'request-thing', and I shouted Simple Sister which was soon prompted by this unique guitar riff. Geoff was breathtaking again, and Matt and Mark did a very very nice rhythm job. When I was jumping around playing on my good old air-guitar I suddenly discovered Roland (Clare) in the audience. I knew him from some pics around, but he only knew me from some email-contact. Time to say hello it really was him, hehe! During the AWSoP-encore I took a close picture of Josh, and when I watched the pics at home, there was Roland in the background ... HAHA ... Ijust felt like this photographer in the Antonioni-movie Blow up. Very funny!

Oh, Gary reached 60 - some happy birthday tunes were sung and he got a nice cake there. All right Commander, I will follow your footsteps. Procol Harum lives and will continue. I will be there. Great concert, great memories, I love you! 

The Commander, of course

Gary sings AWSoP in front of the band

The audience was astonished!

Matt obviously amused

Bizarre smoke-ring in the background

Geoff in his one-eye tee-shirt, in The VIP Room

Great shot of Mark in action

Backing vocals from the fretsmen

Gary in full voice

Josh studious at the B3

Procol Harum concerts in 2005: index page

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