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King Crimson Hyde Park 46 Years Ago Today
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Jul 5, 2015

On this date 46 years ago, King Crimson supported The Rolling Stones at the now legendary free concert in Hyde Park. The concert was a crucial milestone for Crimson who at that point had played just 23 gigs.




When Crimson took to the stage they restricted themselves to a truncated set consisting of 21st Century Schizoid Man, In The Court Of The Crimson King, Get Thy Bearings, Epitaph, Mantra, Travel Weary Capricorn and Mars.  Dik Fraser recalls that during the opening number a large framed photograph of Brian Jones fell, almost catching Greg Lake. The bass player shrugged off the mishap, but several people backstage thought it was some kind of augury or supernatural manifestation.



It was a good day for Crimson, however. The newest member of the road crew, Richard Vickers (better known as Vick), recalled in his memoir of that period: "The high point of that gig was the whole audience rising to their feet as one and cheering Ian McDonald solo during ‘Schizoid’ — I remember the hairs on the back of my spine rising in unison as the roar from this huge crowd went up."

In the crowd stood Jamie Muir. Having only recently moved down from Edinburgh, the future Crimson percussionist was then playing with free improvisers such as John Stevens and Derek Bailey. He was impressed by the force Crimson created. "What was incredible was that they just exploded on to the scene fully matured. Most bands come along and then develop but Crimson just came on and exploded with this very adult, intelligent, cutting-edge music. It was just this whole package that went wallop!"

Fourteen-year-old Trevor Lever, attending his first concert, found Crimson perplexing.  "At one point I thought an orchestra was playing but through my binoculars saw only four blokes on the stage. ’Where’s the orchestra?’ I asked a mate. ’Dunno,’ was the informed reply. ’Who is this playing?’  I said to no-one in particular. ’King something,’ I was told.  I made a mental note to check this band out at a later stage."  It was the start of a love affair with Crimson which Lever — who has seen shows by every incarnation of the band — continues to this day.



Crimson finished as usual with “Mars” (complete with an air raid siren being cranked up from underneath the stage by Enthoven and Fraser).  Enthoven, celebrating his 25th birthday that day, regards this as the defining moment of the launch of King Crimson. McDonald agrees that it was the point at which Crimson arrived, but adds: "It would sound blasé to say that this was just another gig for us, though in a sense it was; we were having a great time discovering and enjoying our music, but we were also experienced enough individually not to be too greatly affected by any particular venue."




Sinfield was less than impressed with the set that day, feeling that the band was below par.  Lake disagrees: "It was the first open-air gig that Crimson played and to that extent it wasn’t as sonically controlled as the ones indoors. Pete didn’t have his lights to play with but it was an extraordinary show."  In his diary, Fripp noted: "Standing ovation. Mammoth success, of importance which will take time to appreciate. We’ll look back to see this day in years to come and fully realise its significance."

Lake observes: "I think that even if that Hyde Park thing hadn’t have happened, I don’t think it would have affected the popularity of King Crimson.  The band had spread like wildfire."

Certainly the next night when Crimson played their regular slot at The Marquee, the club was packed. Sinfield regards that gig as infinitely superior to Hyde Park. "The Marquee the next night.  NOW that was a humdinger!  Oh yes indeedy!"  McDonald in his diary notes that the band certainly picked up a few new admirers.  "Went to the Marquee. Did gig. Came back with nine chicks (!)"

Crimson continued to surf a wave of critical approval.  Richard Gott in The Guardian’s review of Hyde Park asserted: "Most of the music, with the exception of a sensational group called King Crimson, was indifferent." And B.P. Fallon in that week’s Melody Maker raved: "King Crimson are going to be giants. Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps. Give it a year and we’ll know. No dammit. Six months will do. Really..." 

A more considered verdict was delivered by Richard Gilbert in The Listener.  "King Crimson played again at the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park and their confidence in careering from the gritty to the lyrical won them a massive and deserved ovation... if their records can match their live performances they will survive all the bandwagon leaping." 

For years it was assumed that there was no footage of Crimson other than a brief glimpse of an off-stage Fripp peering at Mick Jagger through the potted plants on the Stones In The Park DVD. Minutes later, Fripp and other KC members were unceremoniously thrown out of the back stage area.



However a five-minute snippet was eventually surfaced and was included on the 2009  40th Anniversary Edition of In The Court Of The Crimson King (available from Inner Knot and Burning Shed)

You can watch it here.

The audience recording of the concert was officially released on CD as KCCC12 in 2002  and is also available as a download from this site.



Were you there at this concert? We’d love to hear from you if so. Get in touch via the guestbook and share you memories of this important concert in the KC calendar.


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Keith Tippett's Nine Dances
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jun 1, 2015
Keith Tippett, whose work with King Crimson can be heard on Poseidon, Lizard and Islands, is featured on BBC Radio 3 tonight. Along with his Octet, he'll be performing one of his recent compositions,  The Nine Dances Of Patrick O'Gonogon.


You can check out the programme details over on the Radio 3 website.



Vault! Who Goes There?
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., May 29, 2015
Wolfgang's Vault are facing another lawsuit,this time from a group of music publishers. Read more about the action over at Music Week.  


It's About That Tim
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., May 29, 2015
Pat Mastelotto’s juggernaut grooves can be heard on the forthcoming album by Tim Bowness. Full details of Tim’s latest solo release, Stupid Things That Mean The World, can be found here. 



In the meantime check out Tim’s video for Great Electric Teenage Dream here.



Best Wishes For John Wetton
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., May 26, 2015
John Wetton is recovering after undergoing surgery a statement on John’s website has announced:
On May 16, John underwent surgery for the successful removal of a 1 kilo [2.2lb] malignant mass. John wishes to extend his thanks to Mr Chan and his team. John is also beyond grateful for the wonderful wishes and prayers received. John is recuperating. Messages can be sent via the management office to jw@qedg.co.uk

I’m sure all visitors to this site wish John a speedy recovery.

John is also the featured interviewee on Charles Hazlewood’s exploration of progressive rock on BBC Radio 2 this week.

John’s work with King Crimson, UK and Asia are detailed and he talks about the influence of church music on his musical development , the arrival of technicolor in music (hearing The Beach Boys’ God Only Knows on the radio for the first time), the pros and cons of ubiquity, and the importance of being an aerial when it comes to writing music.

The show is available on the BBC’s iPlayer for another 29 days.
Bill Bruford’s contribution to the show is still available and an interview with  Genesis’ Tony Banks can be found here.


King Crimson In Canada: Tour Tickets On Sale
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., May 22, 2015

Tickets for King Crimson's forthcoming tour of Canada are on sale from today.

King Crimson 2015 dates and venues
Fri 13 Nov      Quebec, QC      Palais Montcalm
Sat 14 Nov      Quebec, QC      Palais Montcalm
Mon 16 Nov      Montreal, ON    Theatre St. Denis
Tue 17 Nov      Montreal, ON    Theatre St. Denis
Thu 19 Nov      Toronto, ON     Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Fri 20 Nov      Toronto, ON     Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Tue 24 Nov      Calgary, AB     Jack Singer Concert Hall
Thu 26 Nov      Vancouver, BC   Vogue Theatre
Fri 27 Nov      Vancouver, BC   Vogue Theatre
Sun 29 Nov      Victoria, BC    Royal Theatre

Following their acclaimed tour of America in 2014, King Crimson returns to active service in 2015. With dates for the UK and Europe already in place for August and September, King Crimson are pleased to announce they will be performing a series of concerts in Canada during November. It will be King Crimson’s first appearance in Canada since 2003.  





KoMaRA Reviewed
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., May 22, 2015
KoMaRA - a new project featuring David Kollar(guitar), Pat Mastelotto (drums) and Paolo Raineri (trumpet etc) - have an album out next month. It's already been reviewed here however, and you can listen to a track and pre-order here.



Here's the press release which gives some insight and background into the album.

KoMaRa’s self-titled debut album is based on a dark, deviant and explicit detective story. It reflects the mysterious circumstances of an abduction and the ultimate demise of the abductee. It’s a NSFW, Rated-R release designed for the open-minded and brave. Unnerving, haunting artwork by Tool’s Adam Jones further underlines the album’s provocative vibe.

The recording is predominantly instrumental, but includes occasional vocals by Raineri, Leashya and Bill Munyon. Equally menacing, incendiary and vulnerable, they serve as interludes to either break or create moods and tension throughout. The album also has moments of light and hope, told through short trumpet vignettes by Raineri.

KoMaRa came together through social media, with Kollar reaching out to Mastelotto on Facebook about potential gigs and recordings. Everyone was mutually intrigued and met up in Slovakia, where Kollar is based, in November 2014.

The trio played gigs across myriad Slavic countries to enthusiastic, open-minded audiences. The group then went on to record in Prague, capturing three long improvisations that formed the basis of the pieces on KoMaRa’s debut album. Acclaimed engineers Bill Munyon and Adrian Benevides also contributed to faithfully reflecting the release’s mercurial approach.

“For me, KoMaRa is the epitome of my belief that great records are like movies,” said Mastelotto. “The best musicians don’t need scripts because they understand the movie is always evolving. That’s the beauty of music, too. It inspires its own script and cinematography in every listener’s head.”
Pat Mastelotto is one of the world’s most celebrated drummers. He has been a member of every King Crimson lineup from 1994 to the present. In addition, he’s one third of Stick Men, a trio with Tony Levin and Markus Reuter. Mastelotto has also collaborated with Steven Wilson, Terry Bozzio, Trey Gunn, Allan Holdsworth, John Paul Jones, and Kimmo Pohjonen.

Slovakian guitarist and composer David Kollar has released nine expansive albums, scored 18 films and worked on many multimedia projects. His last recording, 2013’s The Son, an atmospheric, emotionally-charged effort, received accolades from Guitar Moderne, France’s A Decovrir Absolument, and the Czech and Slovak Radio Head awards. He’s also worked with Eivind Aarset, Gergo Borlai, Bjorn Charles Dreyer and Lenka Dusilová.

Trumpeter Paolo Raineri
takes his instrument and processes it in real-time to create ethereal, otherworldly sounds. The Italian musician combines Scandinavian nu-jazz influences with psychedelic rock, experimental and free improvisation in his award-winning Junkfood 4tet. In addition, he’s performed with Stefano Battaglia, Berserk!, The Blessed Beat, Baustelle, Calibro 35, Nada, and Enrico Gabrielli.


A Cross Stick Men CD
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., May 21, 2015
David Cross and Stick Men have released a CD documenting their recent gigs in Japan. Midori features improvisations as well as tracks from Stick Men and King Crimson back catalogue.



You can pre-order and listen to samples of the album here.

Collusion Will Be Their Epitaph...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., May 21, 2015
The details of Sony's contract with Spotify has been leaked. Find out more here.


King Crimson Canadian Tour November 2015
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., May 19, 2015
Following their acclaimed tour of America in 2014, King Crimson returns to active service in 2015. With dates for the UK and Europe already in place for August and September, King Crimson are pleased to announce they will be performing a series of concerts in Canada during November. It will be King Crimson’s first appearance in Canada since 2003.  

Born on 13th. January 1969 in the basement of the Fulham Palace Cafe, London, this is the 8th incarnation of King Crimson and features:

Gavin Harrison (drums), Bill Rieflin (drums & keys), Pat Mastelotto (drums & allsorts), Tony Levin (bass & vocals), Mel Collins (Sax, flute), Jakko Jakszyk (guitar & lead vocals) and Robert Fripp (guitar & keys).

King Crimson 2015 dates and venues
please note tickets go on sale Friday 22nd May

Fri 13 Nov      Quebec, QC      Palais Montcalm
Sat 14 Nov      Quebec, QC      Palais Montcalm
Mon 16 Nov      Montreal, ON    Theatre St. Denis
Tue 17 Nov      Montreal, ON    Theatre St. Denis
Thu 19 Nov      Toronto, ON     Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Fri 20 Nov      Toronto, ON     Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Tue 24 Nov      Calgary, AB     Jack Singer Concert Hall
Thu 26 Nov      Vancouver, BC   Vogue Theatre
Fri 27 Nov      Vancouver, BC   Vogue Theatre
Sun 29 Nov      Victoria, BC    Royal Theatre


King Crimson Japan 1981
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., May 19, 2015
There’s a great audience recording of the ’81 incarnation of the group available for purchase. Check it out here. If you already bought the tour bundle to which this has been added then you’re entitled to grab it for free, already!


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