Procol Harum

the Pale

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Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings

Some sparkling press from Sweden, 12 May 2001

Thank you Mr Wyman

Now I can just as well lay myself down and die.

After having heard A Whiter Shade of Pale with the original Gary Brooker, what more is there to listen to?

Rhythm Kings was an experience far over the ordinary. Absolutely fantastic! There are not superlatives enough to describe Saturday's show in an almost full Concert hall ..."

Stefan Andersson in Gevle Dagblad

Wyman on stage: a feast

A giddy audience, beside themselves with joy, gave a standing ovation for encore after encore and really didn't want the concert to end (even though it was well over two hours).

The audience was served everything from old 50s rock, soul, blues, rhythm'n'blues and even some rockabilly and country, relaxed and superbly self-reliant. With musicians like Georgie Fame, organ and voice, Gary Brooker (ex-Procol Harum) on piano and voice, and Albert Lee, guitar and voice, there was an ability to take on almost anything.

There were many climaxes ... Georgie Fame's version of JJ Cale's Anyway the Wind Blows was a swinging thriller with guitar by Martin Taylor, which left the audience amazed and smiling. Perhaps Martin Taylor, with his red guitar, was the biggest surprise in the band. Every fill, every solo, was of the highest class, with humour, and extreme dexterity ... His interplay with Georgie Fame was just so good.

I Put a Spell on You with Beverley Skeete almost made the glazed tiles fall off the front of the concert hall ... very intense and a glowing sax solo from Frank Mead.

Then even more hits, one by one. Gary Brooker's version of the old Hit the Road Jack ... Albert Lee's I'm Ready ... Beverley Skeete's fine version of Love Letters. And when Gary Brooker, towards the end, thunders along in Breaking Up The House, that's just what you fear: that the walls will tumble down."

What about encores? A fine version of Georgia on My Mind with just Georgie Fame and Martin Taylor. And yes, Gary Brooker sang A Whiter Shade of Pale with only his piano and soprano sax. Beautiful.

The audience had an evening they will talk about for a long time.

Lars Westin in Arbetarbladet

Article a few days before the concert: Westin interviews Wyman over the 'phone:

"There won't be any tunes by the Stones, but perhaps the jazzy Melody . But with a little luck, the Gävle audience may hear Gary Brooker sing A Whiter Shade of Pale. We sometimes do it as an encore. Gary comes in alone on the stage and sings it himself. . That is very powerful, says Bill Wyman."

also by Lars Westin in Arbetarbladet

A lesson in rock history

Really, I've never been that impressed by the English 's contribution to rock history. There have been plenty of good instrumentalists, but they have never really put something together that touched my rock-and-blues nerves. ... Today, those feelings are, to put it mildly, completely reversed.

Rhythm Kings is, quite simply, a super-group ... (lots of praise here for guitarists, for Brooker and Fame, Beverly Skeete, Frank Mead, etc ...)

First encore was Georgie Fame in Georgia on My Mind, with just Martin Taylor's brilliant guitar. After that, Gary Brooker replied with A Whiter Shade of Pale, also that with a different soundscape than we're used to. Unfortunately, wonderful is short. After two hours I wanted to listen to this band for even longer.

The normally rather quiet audience was very present. I have not seen such enthusiasm in the concert hall since I – for unknown reasons –attended a revivalist meeting ... We have had Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and now Bill Wyman & the Rhythm Kings, all artists of the highest world class.

That means we're very spoiled here in Gävle, but I can't possibly imagine what could be better than Saturday night."

Jan Fredriksson in Gevle Dagblad

Thanks, Jonas, subscriber / translator

Order the single Love Letters from Amazon UK

Rhythm Kings: 1998 tour, 1999 tour, 2000 tour, 2001 tour. For other 2001 dates, see the Bill Wyman website

More Rhythm Kings information here

Rhythm Kings on record

Wyman / Brooker interview excerpts here.

Bill Wyman talks to Record Collector about Gary Brooker

Order this CD from Amazon UK


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