This Procol Harum performance of 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' in 2006 is absolutely stunning

24 February 2021, 11:00

Procol Harum live in 2006
Procol Harum live in 2006. Picture: Getty/Procol Harum

By Tom Eames

In 2006, Procol Harum took to the stage at Ledreborg Castle in Denmark for a truly special couple of shows, culminating in a performance of their most famous song which has continued to stun fans 15 years later.

The English rock band were joined by the Danish National Concert Orchestra and Choir for the show, which was later released on DVD.

On top form as ever, the show featured a performance of 1967's 'A Whiter Shade of Pale', which has been seen by over 54 million people on YouTube.

Always a fantastic song to hear, this version is particularly special due to the orchestral backing, as well as singer Gary Brooker's vocals, which if anything sound even better than they did at the height of their fame in the 1960s.

Watch the performance below:

'A Whiter Shade of Pale' was Procol Harum's biggest hit, and is one of the few songs to have sold over 10 million records worldwide.

Keith Reid got the song's title at a party. He overheard someone at the party saying to a woman, "You've turned a whiter shade of pale", and the phrase stuck in his mind.

Reid later told Uncut magazine: "I was trying to conjure a mood as much as tell a straightforward, girl-leaves-boy story. With the ceiling flying away and room humming harder, I wanted to paint an image of a scene. I wasn’t trying to be mysterious with those images, I was trying to be evocative.

"I suppose it seems like a decadent scene I’m describing. But I was too young to have experienced any decadence, then. I might have been smoking when I conceived it, but not when I wrote. It was influenced by books, not drugs."

Procol Harum are still performing, and released their 12th album Novum in 2017.

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