Procol Harum at Canandaigua, NY, USA
17 June 2010 • John Giblin for BtP
John Giblin (President of United Graphics in Buffalo, not the
bass-player in the mid-80s Gary Brooker band) writes to BtP (June 2010)
Procol Harum was the first band I discovered on my own. I had an older brother
who was into The Beatles, Stones, The Who, etc and I listened to and liked those
bands (and still do). But when I was about twelve years old I heard
Conquistador on the radio and was instantly connected to it. I saved up and
started buying Procol Harum records, working my way back thru' Broken
Barricades, Home, A Salty Dog, Shine and Brightly and
Procol Harum. Continuing forward with the band thru' Procol's Ninth.
I have had a list of bands that I have wanted to see – a musical 'bucket
list' of sorts, dating back to my teen years, bands I really wanted to catch
live, a least once. All of the other bands on that list had been checked
off: from The Stones and The Who ... to Kinks ... Clash ... and on and on.
But the band that was at the top of the list was never checked off.
I finally got the opportunity to see Procol Harum last night and they did
not disappoint. I knew, as the opening band, their set would be
abbreviated. But they came out and instantly sounded perfect and kicked
their way thru' old and new ... obscure and hits, and seemed to be having a
great time doing it. Gary Brooker was in fine voice: he sounded as good as
he sounded on the many bootlegs
listened to of Procol Harum from the 70s. Whitehorn was amazing! The rest
of the band was incredibly tight.
I have seen comments on the net like 'they shouldn't do Simple Sister
without Trower' or '......certainly isn't as good on the Hammond as
Matthew Fisher'. But it doesn't matter: these guys can play whatever
they want as Procol Harum because they are Procol Harum. It was
obvious to me last night that they love playing together, love the music and
work to both make it sound like the original, and also make it their own.
I did not see the Procol Harum of 1970, but I saw Procol Harum: a living,
breathing, vibrant band that can play amazingly well together. I hope they
make it back to the States soon and can keep playing as long as they want
to. I crossed them off my 'bucket list', but can't wait to see them again.
I only regret I cannot make it to Toronto tonight to see them.
Thanks for your wonderful website, setlists and reviews.
Procol Harum concerts in 2010: index page