Having seen Gary Brooker on stage yesterday night for a bunch of old r'n'b standards but with some Procol stuff, I re-up bootleg live sets that were lost with my rs account. Here's the first. They are all prime cuts to listen. Catch it here and details below.
One month before the official release of Exotic Birds And Fruits, Procol Harum plays a show in London (at the Hippodrome Golders Green) intended to be broadcasted on the BBC, this the same month that John Peel would have them for a Peel Session. It seemed that the big time was here for the band, quite a surprise in the UK where Procol Harum had never succeeded to impose its singular approach of music. But the future will show that it was only a mirage and that the rest of the year will not see any triumph. It must be remembered what a particular year is 1974, with glam rock reaching its peak, occulting quite everything else except progressive rock. However, the band is here in its best formation to my ears, and their set is strong (as Samson) and precious (as Delilah). Among the 11 songs featuring in this record, only 9 would be broadcasted (the reason 2 have quite bad sound mix since the master is lost). This was released by the BBC only in 1999, after several bootlegs, with weak but not so bad quality, were to be found on the market. But the sleeve of the Strange Fruit recording (funny coincidence that the label of the BBC recording was called as this) was totally crappy. Since 6 among the 11 tracks were a teasing of the Exotic Birds And Fruits album, I thought it was a good idea to give this name to the LP. I chose a painting from the same artist than the original Exotic Birds And Fruits album, Jacob Bogdani, a Hungarian painter born in 1660 and who lived and died (in 1724) in London (go here if you want to see his work). I included the complete painting in the rar file. About the music now. The concert is an opportunity to understand that the band had decided to leave its symphonic and its melancholic sides behind, and was much more in a social rock period targetting most of people having the power on others lives (conquistadors, men of power and money on "As Strong As Samson" and "Nothing But The Truth", Label directors on "Butterfly Boys", idol makers on "The Idol"...). BJ Wilson is shining throughout the concert but it's now tautologic to write this since this drummer is solar. The other great man of the show is Mick Grabham who surely has been the best guitarist of the band throughout his history, and whose Gibson sound is totally my taste (this thick sound that had been the Guy Stevens mark between 1968 and 1972). But I talk too much. Enjoy this show, it's a splendid addition to the ones posted lately, and some others will come.
Bringing Home The Bacon. Bringing home the bacon, Tender juicy steaks Breast-fed baby dumpling Gobbling up the cakes Milk-fed baby dumpling, Slobbering, goo-faced, mean Wet-nursed sour purse spot face, Blubbering in the cream Emperor baby dumpling, Loaded, bloated curse Mighty baby dumpling, Stuffing 'til he bursts
Below, "Bringing Home The Bacon" in streaming because it's a wonderful song to see how great he was, but also because he quite misses some of his effects on this version and it makes him still more touching (he was a human, he could fail). And 2 videos from a German TV show where we can see how the band could play almost anything from the waltzes of grand Hotel to the blues-rock of Drunk Again with the same class. No one able to compete.