The word "classic" is being used way too much in music these days, especially when the latest "flavour of the week" song is called an "instant classic"; what the heck is that anyway? No, folks, a true classic song has to stand the test of time and is usually a great song to begin with. Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" is officially a classic song. The British music-licensing group PPL recently named it the most played song in the past 70 plus years, that's not bad for a song that's actually only 41 years old! It closes off this DVD and the reason I start at the end is because no matter what else I write here, the pleasure of seeing and hearing the extended version of this song alone makes this DVD worth buying. To see Matthew Fisher perform his magic on the Hammond organ is an awe-inspiring experience. This was his last performance with the band as he and founder Gary Brooker faced off in court over the rights to the song, making this DVD a "must have" even more so. Oh, by the way, there's also two hours worth of other songs as well. The live concert features cuts from the band's "The Well's On Fire" album and overall the songs are really good; some just pure fun-some more thought-provoking, such as "An Old English Dream" and "This World Is Rich". For comparison sake, you could easily make someone believe these songs are by Dire Straits. Of course, Procol Harum predates Dire Straits by at least a few years!
The real gems here though are the oldies; "Conquistador", "A Salty Dog", "Quite Rightly" and of course, the classic song mentioned in the first paragraph.
The setting for the concert was the Union Chapel in Islington, England, which is impressive and slightly foreboding with its intense gothic architecture, which adds to the look of the performance. The sound quality on the DVD is amazing and special features include an interview with Gary Brooker, comments from the punters and alternate angle options for some songs. A statement on the back of the DVD case says it's "a truly magical performance". It is.