that Procol Harum (known for the 70’s classics, ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ and ‘Conquistador’, among many others) are currently planning to invade the former colonies in mid-to-late 2014. The talk of the town also includes hints of a special performance or two.
2017 marks an energetic jubilee for Procol Harum, the unique British band whose illustrious and influential career began in 1967 with the worldwide success of A Whiter Shade of Pale, one of the most recognisable and most-played songs ever.
The band commemorates ten years of its present, superb line-up with a new album, Novum, and concert dates in their home country, and Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and more. They’re wowing audiences with classy new material as well as much-loved favourites such as A Salty Dog, Grand Hotel, Homburg and Conquistador. Milestones like these helped define the progressive rock genre, but they blossomed from Procol’s roots in blues and soul.
2017’s packed-out London shows – The Royal Festival Hall in March (with orchestra and chorus) and The O2 Shepherds Bush in May (the unadorned Procol five-piece) – were ecstatically received by fans and critics alike: ‘prime choices from across their illustrious catalogue’ (Record Collector); ‘the original symphonic rockers still at the top of their game’ (Music News). The band’s live radio and TV performances draw new fans in, demonstrating how their material – never written with fashion in mind – has never dated.
At the heart of Procol Harum’s evolving musical force Gary Brooker MBE has been singer, pianist and principle songwriter since day one; his side projects include collaborations with George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Kate Bush, Wings and even Lonnie Donegan. Geoff Whitehorn has been Gary’s right-hand man for 25 years, as well as supplying lead guitar by appointment to the British rock aristocracy in the form of Roger Chapman, Elkie Brooks, Paul Rodgers and Roger Daltrey.
Hammond organist Josh Phillips is also a composer of TV music (such as the award-winning theme for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing) and has played live with The Who, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Jeff Beck and many more. Bassist Matt Pegg (son of Fairport’s Dave Pegg) joined Procol in 1993, after depping for his father in Jethro Tull; he has played with Francis Dunnery, Squeeze’s Chris Difford, The Drifters, and The Stone Roses’ Ian Brown, and is currently bassist for Rick Wakeman as well as for folk-rock supergroup The Gathering. And ‘new boy’ Geoff Dunn, who joined Procol Harum back in 2006, has also been the driving force with luminaries such as Jimmy Page, Dave Stewart, Van Morrison and Manfred Mann.
Well-established by concert tours throughout Europe and North America, Procol Harum has released several live albums in the past ten years, and has seen its whole back-catalogue of classic studio albums – all so different in intriguing ways – remastered and released with eagerly-awaited bonus tracks. Critics are at last seeing the band in its proper perspective: Classic Rock magazine noted that ‘it’s small wonder The Who’s Tommy and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody can be traced to Procol’s influence’. The present jubilee will be marked by a major boxed set in various formats, including previously unreleased live recordings, radio and television sessions: a true celebration of Procol Harum’s ‘unique entertainment’.
Novum’s new material presents yet another step forward for this constantly-progressing band. Gary Brooker shares the composing with Phillips and Whitehorn, and Pete Brown (famed for supplying words to Jack Bruce and Cream) builds convincingly on the band’s inspired tradition of startling, sometimes darkly surreal songs, with his own droll and thought-provoking lyrics. Producer Dennis Weinreich (who’s worked with Supertramp, The Walker Brothers, Queen, Talk Talk, Jon Anderson, Mick Taylor and many more) captures the ensemble’s stunning musicianship, and Novum has been hailed as ‘the best-sounding Procol album ever’.
Gary Brooker’s team of musicians have no need to imitate their illustrious predecessors; but they do honour Procol Harum’s past achievements while bringing their own musical personalities to the party. For their ever-growing legions of fans all round the world this is the true Procol Harum, shining as brightly as ever, half a century after their unforgettable début lit up the late 1960s.
Beginning in July 2012, legendary rockers Procol Harum will be taking the summer by storm with 23 concerts across the U.S. alongside YES, another prodigious progressive rock band from the early 70’s. When these two ‘innovators of their time’ join forces it is sure to be one of the most […]
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We are very excited to announce that Procol Harum and very special guests, and fellow prog innovators, Renaissance, are set to share the stage for the first time ever, June 16, 2010 at the Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA! Show starts at 7pm Tickets on sale NOW @ Ticketmaster.com
British Rock legends Procol Harum, featuring the voice and songwriting of, revered, Gary Brooker, will be “special guests” on select dates between June 8th – 20th with fellow Prog Rock pioneers Jethro Tull. The two bands will join forces to create one of the most talked about Rock events of […]