Procol Harum

Procol Harem [DVD EP]

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Major Procol Harum fans will get enough out of this 75-minute DVD bootleg collection of archive footage to find it worth viewing, though it lacks the professional quality that it could boast if it were done right. The clips (none of the dates and sources identified) span the late '60s to 1976, taking in footage both live and lip-synced of some of their most familiar songs ("A Whiter Shade of Pale," "Conquistador," "Shine On Brightly") and some less heavily exposed numbers. In both color and black-and-white, the image quality is quite watchable, but obviously not taken from the best available sources; sometimes it's a bit like watching a television set with weak reception or an antenna that isn't doing 100 percent of what it should. Some fans might be disappointed to find that most of the clips don't feature Robin Trower, but the band does play well throughout, the focus usually being on singer/pianist Gary Brooker. As another problem that should have taken the compilers just a little more effort to fix, much of the footage comes from three lengthy clips, but instead of showing each excerpt start to finish, they're broken up and the sequencing zigzags back and forth between them (and others of the clips, for that matter). As a final insult, the disc comes to an abrupt end by breaking off in the middle of "Souvenir of London" in the 1976 segment. Hopefully someone else will run with the ball and do a documentary or video anthology of the band that gives the material the respect it deserves.