There are very few bands from the days of my youth that continue to capture my musical interest, but Procol Harum is one of the few. With the issue of Live At the Union Chapel, they prove that they deserve to be numbered among the musical elite.
If you are reading this review, then you probably already have some knowledge of the band and a measure of affinity for their music. If you remember them only the way they were in their heyday, here is an opportunity to see that the band remains a vital unit. The production on this DVD is excellent, the sound largely crystalline, and the ambience conducive to the enjoyment of the kind of music the band plays.
I haven't watched any of the extras, but the quality of the performance alone makes this a five-star offering. There are songs from nearly every album except Prodigal Stranger and Something Magic, but the largest number come from their latest CD The Well's On Fire. My favorites are thrilling renditions of Shine On Brightly, Pandora's Box, An Old English Dream, Homburg, Simple Sister, The Question, Wall Street Blues, and of course A Whiter Shade of Pale. Repent Walpugis is missed, I'd have liked to see it replace This World is Rich or Good Captain Clack, but unfortunately it did not.
Gary occasionally trips over the lyrics and I think that Robin Trower is really missed on Whiskey Train, but those aren't really complaints, just observations. Overall, Live At The Union Chapel is a Procol fan's dream.
If you are a Procol Harum fan, and did not get to see any of the shows when they were on their 2003 world tour, this DVD is a splendid opporunity to see the band's "bookends", Gary Brooker and Matthew Fisher, working on stage together once again. If you were fortunate enough to have caught one of their shows as I was, then Live At The Union Chapel is a fine souvenir of their memorable tour. It is particularly a necessary addition to the fan's collection as Fisher has once again left the band.
Add this to your collection while you can. In my opinion, it is the best and most important DVD of 2004.