Gary telephoned 'Beyond the Pale' on 2 March 2005 partly to confirm the arrangements for our Aftershow Party at Bloomsbury. We took the opportunity of asking if he had a message for the fans who are flocking to hear Procol.
Looking forward to seeing everyone! You got a good party of Palers going to be there?
BtP assured him that there would be plenty of friendly faces.
And you're in the middle of rehearsal?
I'm in the middle of a glass of wine at the moment.
I suppose you can't tell us if there are any surprises in store for Sunday's gig, or they wouldn't be surprises.
Well what should I say? Being Procol Harum we don't like to play the same set as we did last time. So we're not coming out with the same songs as the Union Chapel set ... that would be rude. We always like to give ourselves some sort of challenge, that's Procol: never complacent, but obliging.
Obliging, eh? Then we look forward to hearing In Held 'Twas in I all the way through, please! (Thanks, Gary, for obligingly playing exactly that!)
(Loud laughter) Well we've been rehearsing, and as you know sometimes you can try something and it works very quickly, then you spend time honing it. But if you've got six songs that you've got to smack away at, you're setting yourself a lot of work. And remember we've got Josh on the organ, though it would have been the same with Matthew Fisher because of course there are songs that he didn't know. So we'll play the ones that feel natural. Three chords. Fresh Fruit!
Well we haven't heard that one in a long while!
Ensuing conversation covered the fact that BtP has booked a large number of Procol fans into Gary's Tsunami Relief Gig ('put the girls down the front, Roland!') and included the idea that GB will arrange to have some tickets available for this at the Palers' Party.
He confirms that the lineup will be Gary Brooker (voice and piano), Henry Spinetti (drums), Andy Fairweather Low (guitar), Matt Pegg (bass) and Stephen Farr, the Guildford Cathedral organist. In addition, of course, Chameleon Arts will be providing the choir and strings, and Paul Jones ('ex Manfred Mann', GB explained) hopes to put in a musical appearance early in the show.
|Sale of Procol merchandise at the Palers' Party|