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Procol Harum: In Concert with the Danish National Concert Orchestra & Choir (DVD)

Now this is what the combination of rock band and orchestra SHOULD sound like! Leave it to those cagey veterans Procol Harum to once again (they did it to great effect back in 1974 with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra) put together a stellar live event utilizing this odd pairing and making it work in spades. Set in the gorgeous backdrop of Denmark's Ledreborg Castle in 2006, complete with a moat, lush green grass, trees, and a few thousand fans, this show features the Procol Harum line-up of pianist/vocalist Gary Brooker, drummer Geoff Dunn, organist Josh Phillips, guitarist Geoff Whitehorn, and bassist Matt Pegg (son of former Jethro Tull bassist David Pegg), along with the Danish National Concert Orchestra and Choir.

The audio and camera work on this DVD are stellar, paving the way for the treasures that lie ahead as you make your way through the set. Though Brooker is the only original member in the band these days, he's assembled a fine cast here, and they bring to life such classics as "Grand Hotel", "Somthing Magic", "Butterfly Boys", 'The VIP Room", "Simple Sister", "Homberg", "A Salty Dog", and of course "A Whiter Shade of Pale", "Whaling Stories", and "Conquistador". Brooker, even at his 'elder statesman' age, is a revelation and an inspiration, his vocals powerful and melodic througout this set, clearly sounding as good as he ever has, especially on the wonderful "Fires (Which Burnt Brightly)", the emotional "Sympathy for the Hard of Hearing", and a truly unforgettable version of "A White Shade of Pale", the latter which brought a tear to this writers eyes. The orchestra added that magical touch to "Conquistador", "Into the Flood", and really just about every tune here, helping to make this concert even more of a grand and magical event. The band Brooker has assembled here are tight and do these songs justice, and mention needs to be made of guitarist Whitehorn, who plays a mean slide guitar and does his best to replicate the bluesy licks of Robin Trower, David Ball, & Mick Grabham from the original recordings. He even throws in some Van Halen-ish two hand tapping technique from time to time for a neat effect.

As an added bonus, you get six songs from a 1974 Danish TV performance, back when the band had Chris Copping on organ, the lethal guitar skills of Mick Grabham, drummer BJ Wilson, and bassist Alan Cartwright. This show is set in an almost cafe/bar/coffe shop atmosphere, in front of a small, quiet crowd sipping their beers, and the band runs through a few songs, such as "Grand Hotel", "Butterfly Boys", "Bringing Home the Bacon", and "The Devil Came From Kansas" among others. It's a welcome addition to an already fabulous DVD.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful stuff here.

Track Listing

  1. Grand Hotel
  2. Something Magic
  3. Butterfly Boys
  4. Homburg
  5. The VIP Room
  6. Fire (Which Burnt Brightly)
  7. Nothing But the Truth
  8. Into the Flood
  9. Simple Sister
  10. A Salty Dog
  11. An Old English Dream
  12. Sympathy for the Hard of Hearing
  13. A Whiter Shade of Pale
  14. Whaling Stories
  15. Conquistador
  16. Bringing Home the Bacon-bonus
  17. Toujours L'Amour-bonus
  18. Grand Hotel-bonus
  19. The Devil Came From Kansas-bonus
  20. The Idol-bonus
  21. Butterfly Boys-bonus

Added: June 27th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 2385
Language: english

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