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Level 5 t-shirts
:: Posted by Mikhail664 on September 08, 2015
Ive seen them in pictures of sister Fripp, where can I buy one, I will buy two
:: Posted by AndrewJohn on September 08, 2015
..it’s so good to hear that John Wetton was at the Brighton bash and fit enough to support KC. May ’appy days’ continue to rain on after all.
:: Posted by emory0 on September 08, 2015
"I never liked pre Discipline Crimson."
What? Blasphemy! Burn the heretic!
Actually I know what you mean. Though I eventually learned to love Red, SABB and LTiA, the pre-D Crimson was never "my" band. And prior to LtiA, though I appreciate and even like many of the songs, a lot of that is too proggy for me. I don’t even own a copy of Lizard. Faeries? Witches? Rainbows and unicorns? Nah...
:: Posted by Spingere on September 08, 2015
Time to come clean.
I never liked pre Discipline Crimson. Ok, I liked some of Red but the earlier stuff never touched me.
Then I saw the seven headed beast and it all made sense.
The older songs deserved this band. Robert’s ’hot date’ analogy was spot on and now all I want is another date, or three.
I don’t care (much) if this band makes an album because I will always have the memory of this insane, ridiculous, wonderful group.
Now it’s time for me to dip into the back catalogue again.
:: Posted by PigletsDad on September 08, 2015
The closing music on the ITV4 coverage of the Vuelta a Espana on Monday 7th September was a version of 21st Century Schizoid Man - I only know the original album version, and it wasn’t that. Did anybody else see the programme, and recognise what it was?
Parenthetical (RED) and New Material
:: Posted by caseyjbye on September 07, 2015
I’m probably asking a question without an answer, but does anyone know why "Red" is listed in parentheses only on the Sept. 1st date? My guess is it was on the list but not played. Can anyone confirm? Sorry to nerd out over this, but I can’t help but be curious.
Secondly, I haven’t heard much (actually anything) about the new material in any reviews of the tour so far. Any thoughts, descriptions, comparisons to other KC material? Come on, people--this is the first new Crimson material (outside of percussion pieces and short improvs last tour) using the official KC moniker since 2003! Someone has to have something to say!
Love letters & Hot dates
:: Posted by gasmrv on September 07, 2015
Just got back from the first London gig at the Hackney Empire.
RF says that a live recording is like a love letter and attending a live performance is like a hot date. Tonight’s performance was certainly a hot date; the ’Live at the Orpheum’ CD does not come close to a love letter.
Stunning performance. Only wish the drums had been mixed a little lower as they not so infrequently drowned the other instruments. I had a third-row seat pretty much in the middle and had a perfect view of all musicians.
Fascinating to see, observe, hear and listen to 3 very distinct drumming and drummer personalities. Gavin Harrison was my personal favourite; Bill Rieflin’s restraint and impeccable timing were quite impressive; Pat definitely belongs in KC.
Jacko was a wonderful surprise.
I saw KC in 2000, also in London, and, as much as I absolutely loved tonight’s performance, I cannot honestly say it was a ’hotter date’ than that very, very memorable one of 3rd July 2000, even when tonight’s repertoire would suggest I should prefer tonight’s.
Crims in London
:: Posted by barnetfez on September 07, 2015
Hackney Empire gig tonight - as near perfect as I could have hoped for (to my ears anyway). Thanks guys.
:: Posted by Wilbert on September 07, 2015
Happy Birthday Mel,
My favourite Mel Collins Sax-moment is: the Groon Solo on the Eartbound elpee. This hooked me onto Jazz, as a 15 years’ old.
My favourite Mel Collins Flute-moments are: the solo’s on "Lady of the Dancing Water" + "Cadence and Cascade" and Kokomo’s "Happy Birthday".....
(and much more)
:: Posted by davidc on September 07, 2015
Why three drummers? It has been discussed on these pages many times. Live at the Orpheum seemed a little underpowered and raised more questions than answers. Like Crimson itself, one could only guess that the percussive powerhouse was conceived as a performing proposition. And so it has proved.
For just over two hours at St David’s Hall in Cardiff on Thursday evening, I sat utterly captivated and – yes – entertained by a trio of fifty-somethings at the top of their game. The interplay was astonishing, precise, flamboyant, breathtaking and very, very playful. It’s not for nothing that Robert has pushed his muscle men to the front line, and it brought a smile to my face to watch the guitarist, a man not renowned for ostentatious displays of emotion, overseeing his protégés from the back, chuckling and beaming with pride in equal measure.
Over the course of around fifteen or so numbers, the vast majority from the 1969- 74 era, we saw the three drummers’ personalities emerging, taking shape, bouncing off each other and showing off a little – just a little; this outfit is way too smart to get sucked into some sort of a dick-waving battle of the bands. (That was all left behind in 74.) They’re old enough and comfortable enough in their own, ahem, skins.
On the left, ladies and gentlemen – mainly gentlemen of course, but with a decent proportion of young ‘uns – it’s the slightly deranged college professor-looking Pat, like an excitable puppy, eager to deliver any number of pops, crunches, scrapes, bells and whistles from his kitchen collection. All delivered with a manic gleam in his eye that brought to mind a distant memory of a boggle eyed Jamie Muir whirling pipes around his head when I saw him at Greens Playhouse in 1972, a near lifetime ago. Fortunately no blood capsules though.
Then in the centre stage, looking particularly smart and controlling is the majestic Bill Rieflin. (Everyone in the new Crimson looks smart, but especially Bill – and of course the Peter Pan that is Tony Levin.) He’s the drummer that features the least because of his duties with the mellotron – or, as I believe it’s known these days, the iPad app. White haired and besuited, he resembles a skinny Colonel Sanders. He’s a terrific drummer – I remember being mightily impressed when I saw him with REM in 2008 – and seems the least deranged of the three, wearing a big grin as if he can’t believe his luck at being part of this most unconventional combo.
And on the right is the astonishingly accomplished and very intense Gavin Harrison. I was amazed to learn later that he is in fact 51 years of age – you’d never guess from his the look of him, slightly hunched and moody, bringing to mind a Holden Caulfield-like figure of teenage rebellion. He was finally allowed to explode magnificently during the encore of Schizoid Man, but for me his most important contribution came twenty minutes earlier during the regular set’s climax - Starless.
You see, as entertaining as the trio may be, I have a beef about the three drum set up. It’s TOO LOUD. And this isn’t old fogeyism – I don’t mind loud, it’s the balance that’s the issue. When the three kits are deployed to maximum capacity it is absolutely thunderous. The sad but inevitable downside is that the back line (remember them?), the guys carrying those beautiful, subtle, complex tunes, tend to get lost in the mix. It seems to me that the sound engineer is on a hiding to nothing: there’s no way of getting the mix right in a medium sized hall like St David’s. The drums can’t be made any quieter – they barely need to be amplified as it stands. The alternative – pumping up the back line to eleven – would make it ear-bleedingly loud and quite probably illegal.
So what’s to be done? How can the triple assault work most effectively? Well, the solution became clear during the most successful number of the evening, thanks to Gavin Harrison’s aforementioned important contribution: for the first half of Starless he did absolutely nothing. Nada, zilch, zero, just sat in gloom like a coiled spring waiting for his moment. Pat took the drum lead, while Bill did the iPad app. Gavin just waited for his moment. His patience made me think of the beautiful improvisation Trio from Starless and Bible Black, recorded live I think in Amsterdam in 1973. It was a violin / guitar / bass improv, but the sleeve notes listed a fourth contributor – Bill Bruford the drummer, designated as admirable restraint. Like Bill Bruford in Amsterdam forty-two years ago, Gavin Harrison understood that the best way of making a great song even better was to do nothing at all.
Starless showed the new Crimson at its most eloquent, powerful and moving. It was unbelievably good. The slow, broody initial song section – with an achingly beautiful vocal from Jakko – featured just one kit, Pat on drums, with Bill on iPad app and Gavin waiting patiently. It was hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck stuff. Then as we enter into the descent / ding-dang-a-lang, Robert and Jakko seamlessly morph into each other and the three drummers gradually build up their contributions. By the time we hit the fast jazzy sax driven section, all three kits are going like the clappers, relishing the unorthodox time signatures, and the adrenaline is raging. Finally, the song turns full circle, slows down a fraction and we return, gasping, to the main theme with Bill returning to the iPad app – redemption at last! – with some seriously heavy bass playing from Tony and the two remaining drummers playing like men possessed.
It’s visceral, complex, haunting and desperately sad; all in one song. It’s all about death of course, and maybe it has become especially poignant forty years on, now that its performers and indeed its audience are generally much closer to recognising that cruel, twisted smile. But if I ever hear a better live performance I’ll be amazed.
But – getting back to my point – the reason for its power is the dynamic range in the live mix. We go from one drummer, build to three, then drop back to two at the end to allow the lead melody to soar and the bass line to threaten. It is the perfect use of all three drummers, and indeed the seven piece King Crimson. But it’s made all the more powerful thanks to Gavin Harrison’s admirable restraint.
Contrast with, say, Red, which was probably performed really well, but it’s hard to tell from row K as the drums are so dominant. I’d love to see the full three -pronged attack used more sparingly. Less is more.
Of course the sound balance issue only applies to small and medium sized halls. I would love to see this band firing on all cylinders for bigger audiences in bigger halls. They have the power, the skill and the material to connect with a new generation – not just preaching to the converted, like they’re doing on the current tour. How wonderful it would be to see them moving out of their comfort zone at the high altar of Crimsoid fandom and, dare I say it, play the festival circuit next year. The very first King Crimson broke through supporting the Stones in Hyde Park in 1969. Few had ever heard of them, but by all accounts it was a brave and ballsy performance that trumpeted a major new arrival. The tradition of King Crimson as a living, breathing creative organism – and not just a tribute act like so many of its contemporaries – deserves to be noticed and continued. Now we have the perfect line up ready to challenge and blow the minds of fans of Alt-J, Tame Impala or Muse.
The IP and other control issues may send shivers down Robert’s spine, but wouldn’t it be fun to for the band to let rip for a broader audience at, say, Glastonbury? I’d even be happy to stay in a tent for that one…
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