Choosing their gigs carefully and avoiding a large London venue, Procol Harum are playing such provincial fun palaces as the Hemel Hempstead Pavilion and attracting capacity audiences. Last Saturday at Hemel a thousand people crammed into listen rapt and spellbound to every note this by-now legendary band played.
And they were rewarded by one and a half hours of fine music that included an encore featuring the Beatles' Eight Days A Week [see here] and the song that began it all for Procol, A Whiter Shade Of Pale. The sound system was working excellently last Saturday and Gary Brooker was in especially fine form. During their performance of Grand Hotel he included a medley of hotel and cabaret tunes into what is anyway a piece of difficultly-timed music.
But it was lead guitarist Mick Grabham who really stole the night's honours. His playing was quite simply brilliant. In The Devil Came From Kansas, he tastefully but dramatically slid from note to note to the sheer delight of us all. And throughout the evening it was his guitar solos that won most acclaim.
Procol chose two numbers from their most recent album, Exotic Birds and Fruit: Beyond The Pale and The Idol before playing their forthcoming single The Poet.[sic]
Thanks to David Knight
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