'Procol Harem: Live at the Union Chapel' [Blu-ray]
(Procol Harem / Blu ray / NR / 2011 / Eagle Eye Media)
Overview: Originally released on DVD in 2004, Procol Harum’s Live At The Union Chapel also includes a bonus interview with vocalist/pianist Gary Brooker, an “Earlier In The Day” montage and “Comments From The Bar” in its two and half hours.
Blu ray Verdict: If you've been looking for that perfect Procol Harum DVD (blu ray), look no further. This is the one! The venue is intimate and the cathedral-like chapel is the perfect backdrop for the band's best-loved works. The production is altogether superb on both audio and video. (There are even alternate camera locations on some tracks, like one from the back of the hall.)
The three-part concert is relatively long but you won't notice it, the performances move right along. The band performs a dozen songs from the 60's and 70's (and not necessarily the ones you might guess). They play another eight songs from their latest album, The Well's on Fire, which freshens things up. Gary Brooker's voice is in fine shape and he is playing on a real piano this time out.
One highlight is the song "As Strong As Samson" from the mid-70's which the've reworked a bit, giving guitarist Geoff Whitehorn room to stretch in the middle. He and bassist Matt Pegg play off well against one another. You've got to see how they do the gull sounds at the beginning of "A Salty Dog."
Yes, AWSOP includes the rarely heard third verse. And don't miss the shot of Keith Reid in the audience toward's the end of the main show. All in all, a very rewarding experience. Savor it! [TT] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.66:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, and has been remastered into a crisp Blu ray production.