Procol Harum

the Pale

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Spirit of SormoRock

A German / Italian Procol tribute band • Berlin, April 2015

Carlo 'Jack' Ponissi sends the following information to BtP:

I'm delighted to report that yesterday's concert (Spirit of SormoRock featuring Alfredo Ponissi) went exceptionally well, possibly the most exciting concert of Procol Harum music I've lead since starting this project back in 2011. As said, the concert was with my Berlin formation, Spirit of SormoRock, but augmented by the saxes and flute of my father, the jazz player Alfredo Ponissi, as we used to do occasionally with the old band back in Italy.

My father arrived in Berlin on Thursday 2nd, the plane being one hour late, and we went directly to rehearsal room, managing to go through most of the songs once, then it was concert day already…We performed in a well known music club in the "in" area of Kreuzberg called "Junction Bar".

Concert started around 22.15 and lasted until twenty past midnight, with a brief intermission, everyone played very inventively, with several moments of peak energy, a true highlight became the exciting performance of Repent Walpurgis, the closer of the first set: almost a year since I had brought it on a stage the previous time but it was very well worth the wait!

Audience were very obviously having much fun, with people dancing during the most uptempo songs, band had fun too, so much that some of them will join me, my father and Stefano in the Pan Sound Convertor concert we'll give this evening in Neükolln (Pan Sound Convertor is my semiacoustic situation, we do some procol tunes, some originals and some rock covers).

Spirit of SormoRock will take a short break while auditioning new drummers, now, as, sadly, Silvano is leaving Berlin in a few days, the nextr scheduled gig is on May 30th at the Artenschutztheater, the place the Berlin formation debuted last year.

The lineup for this show was:
Carlo "Jack" Ponissi - Hammond Organ
Stefano Di Puma - Vocals
Francesco De Rosa - Piano & Backing Vocals
Mickey Lietz- Lead Guitar
Peter Schittek - Bass Guitar
Silvano Marcozzi - Drums
Alfredo Ponissi- Featuring on Sax and Flute

And the detailed setlist:
-Bringing home The Bacon (additional sax solo before the "trades", just as at the italian reunion concert)
-Fires Which Burnt Brightly (Guitar solo at the end)
-Pandora's Box (with 2012 breaks but no chordal solo, otherwise as on the SormoRock album)
-As Strong As Samson (closer to the '70s arrangement, but with guitar solo after the organ one, reggae beat afterwards, ending on sax solo)
-The VIP Room (Sax solo near the end)
-M Back (very different arrangement, with a lot of dynamics and solos from organ, sax and guitar)
-A Salty Dog
-Repent Walpurgis (first solo taken by Alfredo's "human sax section", with a terrific buildup), symphonic arrangement from the Bach part, then guitar solo "the Procol way")

-Simple Sister
-Shine On Brightly (guitar solo at the end)
-Salad Days are here again (piano improvisation intro, sax solo at the end)
-Memorial Drive (four verses, solos from piano, guitar, sax and drums)
-The Blink of an Eye (with "pop" piano intro, arrangement similar to the Dominion 2014 one but with sax solo at the end)
-Wall Street Blues (2009 arrangement but with added flute solo)
-Outside the gates Of Cerdes (Starting with bass solo, one more round at the end for double sax solo)
-A Whiter Shade of pale (Slidin' On The Sand Arrangement)

As we were already twenty minutes past the curfew (and with much protests from the audience) no encore was possible.

A decently sounding audience recording was done and a few videos were taken as well, some of it will eventually end up on my youtube channel.
For the moment, I'm sending you an off cuff present: the audio recording of Repent Walpurgis. Feel free to share it with BtP's readers, if you'd like.

Jack Ponissi

SormoRock at BtP

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