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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Rock > Procol Harum - Live In The Union Chapel

Procol Harum – Live At The Union Chapel

 

Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: C     Concert: B-

 

 

A Whiter Shade Of Pale is the lone survivor into modern times of the many hits of Procol Harum.  From 1967 to 1972, they had many Rock radio hits, but only three Pop hits.  Those hits and more are here on their latest DVD offering, Live At The Union Chapel (2004, taped December 12th, 2003) from Eagle Vision.  This one offers DTS sound, like the EP DVD from 2003, but this is full length.  Here they are 35 years later, and we once again have a band that can play their music, but their lead singer is struggling.

 

To their credit, the concert is a long one, has many songs that show their talent, contribution to the Rock genre and drive as follows, with a few tracks designated to work with the DVD multi-angle function denoted with a ^:

 

1)     Underture

2)     Shine On Brightly

3)     Pandora’s Box

4)     An Old English Dream^

5)     Grand Hotel

6)     Homberg

7)     Quite Rightly So

8)     Simple Sister

9)     Weisselklenzenacht (The Signature)

10)  Shadow Boxed

11)  The Question

12)  Wall Street Blues

13)  This World Is Rich

14)  As Strong As Samson

15)  Every Dog Will Have His Day

16)  A Salty Dog

17)  Conquistador

18)  VIP Room^

19)  Whisky Train

20)  Good Captain Clack

21)  A Whiter Shade Of Pale

 

 

These are very well written thinking-man’s Rock and their integrity is unquestionable, as is their sincerity.  I was never a fan of any kind, but certainly respect the talented survivors who seem massive versus who and what we are getting today in or out of Rock music.  They are for real and their cohesion as a band is evident as they go from song to song.  Some bands have this no matter what and they are one of them.  Despite some misgivings, Live At The Union Chapel is worth a look for even the novice.

 

Another reason for this is the presentation.  The anamorphically enhanced 16 x 9/1.78 x 1 image is not bad for being shot on High Definition video.   The concert was shot on the dark side, but this still looks good with that, where it could have easily went wrong.  The DTS sound is the most impressive thing on the DVD, bringing the music and musicianship home in a way this disc cannot in either Dolby configuration (5.1 or 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds) can.  It is nicely mixed and reveals subtle details that show just how good these guys still are.  Extras include eight questions answered by lead singer Gary Booker, a foldout inside the DVD case and two featurettes connected to the concert.  That adds up to a quality disc where surprises help offset a few shortcomings.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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