Author Topic: King Crimson  (Read 9510 times)

Barry Island

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King Crimson
« on: November 02, 2018, 08:04:32 PM »
A little bird and a post elsewhere tells me Mr Heatley has a soft spot for the boys. Here is my review of their gig in Cardiff on 31.10.2018.

Those of you that know me will be aware I go to quite a few gigs. When I said I was going to see King Crimson in Cardiff in October a disturbing number of friends and acquaintances asked me to let them know what it was like. Unprecedented and ironic as I normally post dodgy videos but none available from last nights frivolities very clearly forbidden!! Here is a link to the set list so you know what they played.
https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/king-crimson/2018/st-davids-hall-cardiff-wales-739612f9.html
The gig was split into two halves and they played for approximately 2 hours 40 minutes.
Last time I saw them was at The Cardiff Capitol in 1972 when they played two shows a matinee and evening gig. Classic line up with a bunch of extroverts in the band (with the exception of Robert Fripp) not least percussionist Jamie Muir who chewed blood capsules and flailed around with lengths of chain during the set. Also in the band were Bill Bruford, John Wetton and David Cross. There is a clip here if you are interested https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhudDa3JAyc
It seemed fitting that I would go back and see them in Cardiff again at St Davids Hall. This time there were 8 in the band in a fairly settled line up Robert Fripp was there obviously and it was good to see original member Mel Collins on saxophone, flute etc. This time there were 3 drummers which was very exciting beforehand but in actuality sometimes less is more and I would have preferred a bit less of the old cleverness with the sticks. It was also a little disturbing as Pat Mastellotto is a dead ringer for Rolf Harris. It did however enable the band to seriously blow one away during the mega power bits of the Concert. What was great was that they did lots of stuff from all the way through the various incarnations of the band loads from In the Court of The Crimson King and Lizard with that great old mellotron sound.
At no stage did the band interact with the audience the only dialogue being a pre-recorded introduction from Robert Fripp announcing the show and telling us not to take any pictures or film (in sleeve notes etc Robert Fripp often notes how the band get distracted by what is happening in the audience funnily enough he also notices the female members of the crowds). Occasionally they would stop and soak up the rapturous applause from the auditorium but no words at any stage.
The audience were rather elderly the array of shininess in front of me made me suspect I had strayed into a convention of tonsured monks. These were obviously a hardcore following prone to standing up and applauding wildly at various intervals. To be fair you could hardly blame them as the band were fantastic. I refrained from asking them if they thought the band were a collection of pretentious twats way up their own backsides or were genuinely eccentric and dedicated to the music. On balance I tend to think the latter Robert Fripp is undoubtedly very eccentric but a mere dabbler in the band like me will probably never know how the truth. I dare say there are many theories amongst the better informed.
Well that is it if you want to know what the music was like then I suggest you rush out and buy a copy of the concert recorded in Mexico City in 2017 3 CDs and a Blu Ray recorded with the same line up. They had a copy in Spillers when I was in there. Here is one track from it     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpZxwe4SXY8
Go and see them if you ever have the opportunity a life affirming experience to be sure.
Before I end  I managed to visit several of Cardiffs hostelries pre and post gig and would recommend them in the following order 1. The City Arms 2. The Cambrian Tap 3. The Old Arcade. 4. The Cottage.

Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense

Jon M

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 08:56:58 PM »
Friday night at the Palladium and what a night; I doubt if you will see a better band performance.

Yes, a chance to see Crimson live, a Crimson with 3 drummers all at the front of the stage in a reversal of the usual location, Frippesque twist. The band plays two sets with plenty of old stuff, mostly pre-74, 2 tracks from the 80s incarnation and, sad to say a 20 minute modern section, devoid of melody,  which sounded like a brutal mathematical workout, almost enough to make me walk out.

Back to the good stuff.

For me the great Crimson lps are Lizard and islands, when he mucked in with Keith Tippett and modern british jazz.

No surprise that the best for me, as I never thought I would hear these tracks played live, was hearing side 2 of Lizard and a good chunk of
Islands including the low key title track.

Almost as good was Starless with its one note guitar solo which is so boring/difficult to play that Jakko started playing it and after a while handed it over to Fripp.  Unsurprisingly that is the focus of the song, the death of prog. However, the one person who kept going through out, no break, was Tony Levin who turned the song into an amazing display of bass playing, making you realise where the heart of the song lies. He was the best musician on stage (?).

It finished off with 21CSM where Levin let go in a true freak out. The rest of the band is tightly controlled by Fripp but Levin has been granted latitude.

Easy money was good too, lengthy with a lighter touch as the band is willing to take a chance rather than play the songs straight.   

Followed on Sunday night by Damo Suzuki of Can at the Lexington, also extraordinary but in a different way
He was backed by the Great Electric who sounded great, Neu Floyd so to speak; a band to watch out for.     

Allan Heron

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 11:29:18 PM »
I've got Crimson to look forward to this coming Monday night.

I will most definitely not be doing a Heatley 😜
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Colin Salter

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2018, 02:11:56 PM »
Tony Levin is a joy to behold whoever he's playing with. His work with Peter Gabriel over the years has always been awe-inspiring.

Rob W

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2018, 05:15:47 PM »
I've got Crimson to look forward to this coming Monday night.

I will most definitely not be doing a Heatley 😜

Maybe if you do "a Heatley", it will cause you to go Crimson

(where's the icon with crimsony red cheeks when you need it?)

 ;D

Olly Goodwin

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2018, 05:43:48 PM »
Bournemouth 10 days ago was an extraordinary experience, the sound quality was amazing, for an eight piece with three drummers, the light and shade and subtlety was amazing. I agree with all the positive views above, but would also praise the work of Mel Collins who added so much to the original sound, Jacko has to cover the style of at least five distinctive vocalists, which he does with aplomb, and the three drummers / percussionists took the music to a different place - indiscipline, for example.  There is a common thread with Man, the commitment to improvisation, which you would only fully appreciate with Crimson if you saw them every night / they toured all the time. But the recent clutch of three concert CDs give a flavour. The set lists seem to be varying quite dramatically, too.
I could go on ( but won't, thankfully) 

Rob W

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2018, 05:56:52 PM »
Bournemouth 10 days ago was an extraordinary experience,

I once had an extraordinary experience under the pier in Bournemouth. It was a lot longer than 10 days ago.

Sorry about that. Memories eh?

As you were  ;D

Barry Island

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2018, 10:44:32 PM »
Just pushing the envelope here. My favourite Gentle Giant album has to be Octopus. Symmetry of some sort for Michael. Spooky indeed!
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Michael Heatley

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2018, 10:27:12 AM »
I just had an annual reunion with two school pals from 1967. Three Friends. Mr Kinsman should have been there but was unavoidably absent. I remember him bringing the album into the Sixth Form in 73...

Barry Island

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2018, 12:52:06 AM »
I carved their name in so many desks back in the day. Man as well obviously.
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Mike Cross

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2018, 09:34:14 PM »
I think I can say that it's thanks to King Crimson that I became a fan of Man, and many other non-chart bands...

WARNING: Long nostalgia trip, involving old money!

I started paying attention to music in 63/64 when I was 10/11, and spent the 60s listening to chart stuff, buying a small number of albums by people like Herman's Hermits, The Supremes, Burt Bacharach, Kenneth Williams(!), those cheap Top of the Pops collections that weren't by the original artists. I liked the hit singles by the Shadows, Beatles, Stones etc but never bought any albums.

In late '69 I was in the first year of the sixth form at school, & we had one period a week which wasn't A-level oriented, the teacher kind of let us do what we wanted some of the time. We could play records, if the songs had some social, or maybe political, 'message'.

One day someone brought in 'The Court of the Crimson King' and played 21st Century Schizoid Man, and Epitaph. I was totally blown away, a 'Road to Damascus' moment! I started listening to evening Radio 1 shows, and especially John peel's Saturday afternoon show... with a cheap reel-to-reel tape recorder (courtesy of a small premium bonds win) cued up for every track, aborting after a while & rewinding if it wasn't interesting.

That's where I first heard Man, Caravan, & so much good stuff.

I HAD to own the TCotCK album, so I saved my pennies til I had 32/6d plus return bus fare into town. i went into town one Saturday, went to the record stall in the market, found the album.... disaster! It was 39/-, probably due to the gatefold sleeve. I checked the record shops nearby, but they all had the price tag.

I just had enough to buy it at 39/1, and have enough for the bus fare home.

Got home, put it on the family record player. Mum who was always been interested in my music purchases, wasn't impressed by the cover, & much less so when Schizoid Man came out of the speakers. It was the first album I bought that she hated! Time for me to have my own record player!

For Christmas '69 I asked for, & received, UmmaGumma, my first double album.

Easter 1970 my Dad's job moved from Leicester to Hull, so we went with him. No-one in the sixth form at my new school had TCotCK, so I lent it to all & sundry, receiving all sorts of strange & wonderful loans in return.

Spring 1970, I bought Layla, and In The Wake of Poseidon when they came out, and I was off on a musical journey.

Rob W

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2018, 10:27:41 PM »
Great post, Mike. Lovely to read. Was looking forward to when you told us how it lead (led?) to Man. But the post came to an end. So come on Mike... please?  ;)

Olly Goodwin

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2018, 07:57:58 PM »
Rob, give Mike a break ; he has just owned up to going from Kenneth Williams to King Crimson in a single bound !
Also, Man are in the post, via John Peel, if you look hard enough.

Mike, ditto, but 7 years later ( not Kenneth Williams, in any form ).
One person to make the Connection from Kenneth Williams to Man, anyone ?
( Spoiler; Sid James, who met Man, and interviewed "Deacon" Leonard.........)

Olly Goodwin

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2018, 08:01:29 PM »
If you omit the " the" s, the acronym for KC's debut is COCK.
That can't be right?
Mind you, that Pete Sinfield was a bit of a saucy one, sometimes, when it came to lyrics.......

Rob W

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Re: King Crimson
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2018, 09:34:18 PM »
Rob, give Mike a break ; he has just owned up to going from Kenneth Williams to King Crimson in a single bound !
Also, Man are in the post, via John Peel, if you look hard enough.

Yes I did look hard enough, which is surprising as I do have the attention span of a gnat, which is probably being unfair to the gnat. I want to know what was the lightbulb moment that got Mike to think "I know what, I'm going to buy a Man album", and what was that album.

I'm nosey like that.. ;D