Procol Harum

the Pale 

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Procol Harum in Edinburgh, 11 February 1977

What was the exact venue?

Alick Leslie writes


I think [this] date was actually played at the Odeon on Clark Street, not the University. I wasn't there myself but others might confirm that.


Robin Tetlow counters
I am pretty sure it was at the University in a building on the north of Potterow which I have found on a map (I only visit Edinburgh infrequently these days so I cannot be clearer).  I was at Heriot-Watt University at the time;  I do not so easily recall the names of the Edinburgh University buildings.
Henry Scott Irvine attests

Procol certainly played at 'the refectory' in Edinburgh University in 1977. I was there! I possibly even have a track listing. They did at least seven songs after they came back on stage. Ian Cranna of NME did review it, and also worked at Edinburgh Uni. A great encore was Old Black Joe. Six of the seven encores were R'n' R covers. Despite this being the year of Punk, Procol were popular with the students. I met the band afterwards on their bus, and chatted with B J Wilson and Chris Copping. The only faux pas of the evening was the long dreary performance of The Worm and the Tree, which got boos from the audience! Pete Solley was rather loud, too. However, his keyboard playing was sensational, despite his liking of Yamaha keyboards over Hammonds!'
Andrew Leslie confirms

I agree with Henry. I'm pretty sure it was at the Health Centre in Bristo Square, opposite the Teviot Row Union. That's where all the "studenty" bands played – I saw everything from Pink Floyd to Jude (yes, indeed) there – and many more. I was a student at Edinburgh at the time but missed the Procol concert for a reason I can't recall.

On a sadder note in a way – Procol were not that popular in 77. I was the only person I knew who liked the music (other than Alick [kinsman: see above]). In previous years (1976 I think) they played Stirling University Union with John Miles in support (Grabham in fine form). Well attended, even crowded, I recall.
The Odeon was for bands like Wings, and later the Police (at their height in 1979) – there was also another venue called the Empire Theatre in Nicolson Street which is very close (I saw Elton John and Mountain there 71/72 ish). Both of these these theatres were too big to be likely candidates for Procol in 1977.

Procol did not seem to venture north in their heydey – I had to go to Newcastle in 1972 to see them, but they did do the Usher Hall, Edinburgh at one stage – I can't remember the year, but somewhere between 73 and 75 (the ticket is not dated). About time for another visit to Scotland I think.

Hope that helps. Not that my memory is improving.'

Gordon 'Gordibhoy' Chalmers differs on a point of detail

I was at this gig in what we called the Teviot Row Union building. The stage was on the ground floor of what I took to be the dining hall, and the audience was on two levels, in front of the stage and on the balcony above.

Yes, the band did do seven songs in the encore, ending with AWSoP. Many people had not got the Something Magic album if indeed they knew anything of PH other than AWSoP, but I don’t remember anyone booing at The Worm and the Tree although everyone got a little restless at this self indulgence.

Andrew Leslie retorts I agree more or less with Gordon. I was at Pathfoot, Stirling Uni in 1976 – as I recall no seats, everyone on the floor, and Grabham started something in the wrong key. Anyway I possess a ticket for the Usher Hall, but the concert was earlier than 1974 – the ticket does not have a date on it, but it cost 75p.

1977 gigs for Procol Harum | Have your say on this Scottish Question.

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