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More KC 69 Now Online
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Feb 13, 2012

You can now nab yourself two vintage bits of Crimso history via DGMLive. First up is the historic Hyde Park gig which helped bring the band to much wider world, and their next-day gig at the Marquee from their legendary run at the London club. Please note both of these gigs (with bonus tracks) are available as part of the King Crimson Collectors' Club series via the mail order shop.


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RF & The OCG VII In NY
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., May 27, 2013
My thanks to guestbook regular Emory for posting this impression of last night's performance by the OCG VII in New York.

"Well, that was quite a little event, there at St Mark’s Church.
Actually, most of the time I can tell if an event is going to work for me even before the band shows up: The audience present has a lot to do with whether I can fully participate given the feeling. But in that church (quite historic in NYC, actually, as Peter Stuyvesant I believe is buried there), there was a really cool crowd. Yes, the occasional warmed over Crimhead, but I really didn’t get the feeling that anyone expected anything other than the kinds of things we experienced. And, there were women!

When the Orchestra came out they were lead by an intense-looking Frida Khalo-eque lady, which spoke volumes about the event and how it came to be.

Wait, to back up: Before the guitarists came out there were 5 or 6 people who asked the audience not to record or photograph the event, flash or no, in numerous languages (French, Italian, Spanish, English, German). But when the Orchestra came out, before we saw them we could hear them for several minutes in advance and then they came out up on the balcony of the church. Oddly and incomprehensibly, I found myself almost panicking: I need to take out my phone to video this! This need to be captured on video! That feeling lasted maybe 5 minutes, and in all my years of attending musical performances I have never felt that way before.

The ’performance’ itself was fascinating, and arguably the logical conclusion to all that Fripp has always hammered the universe about, in terms of commerce, money, payment and so on. What we saw and experienced wasn’t so much a series of tunes (ie, like the Crafty Guitarists), but really just a public recital of the work Guitar circlists do on the Courses. It was 75% improvised and, as such, fascinating and alive and totally contrary to the usual transaction that is musical performance these days. Far more chaos was tolerated than I would have thought, and I found it all refreshing. What we "paid for", then, wasn’t so much to be entertained but, instead, we audients collectively took on the cost of this public recital, which I imagine would have been impossible otherwise. If one understood this going in, one received exactly what one paid for.

As for the circulation of the silence, I tried very hard to hear it but found I could not (over and above the movement of the bodies, of course), though for perhaps 2 or 3 seconds I heard it try to lock in, but for me it didn’t.

Oh, and having the performance in the afternoon really made it special, for some reason. That made it very un-show-like."

meanwhile over on Facebook, Patrick Grant offers this account.

"This afternoon was one of the most beautiful concerts I've ever witnessed. The music of course, but the way it was played and presented. I heard drums, harps, pianos.

When you all first came in, in the balcony, I was convinced it was electronic, but that didn't make sense exactly. The presence of the performer was fascinating. Mr. Fripp's demeanor… The mini-concert in the midst of the mass movement, and all that movement: I would love to talk about the basis of the movement. People knew what they were doing; the directions were clear, and I'm sure there were created moments where the performer had the "freedom" to make a decision. Some of our Living actions are like that. I'm always looking for new forms, and saw a lot today. Tell whoever that I'm now a believer. Frippery?"


Fripp On Bowie
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., May 26, 2013
BBC2's David Bowie - Five Years documentary, containing contributions from Robert Fripp, is available on the BBC iPlayer until June 1st


Fripp On The Box
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., May 25, 2013
Robert Fripp is one of the contributors to David Bowie - Five Years screening at 9.20 p.m. on BBC2 tonight.



Digital Spy lists Robert Fripp as one of the reasons as to why David Bowie - Five Years is a must-watch show. "Of all the guys and girls we hear from, The Elephant Man director Jack Hofsiss and Carlos Alomar ("This was the whitest man I'd ever seen!") certainly deserve special mention, but the complete standout is King Crimson's Robert Fripp. There's nothing quite like a guitar legend who looks (and sounds) like a retired bank manager, calmly swearing as he recalls Bowie and Brian Eno asking him to play some "hairy rock 'n' roll" on "Heroes". "What is the difference between pop and rock and roll?" Fripp says gently. "You might get f**ked." Blimey!" You can read the other reasons to watch the show here. 

Marquee Memories
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., May 25, 2013
BBC 4 screened a vintage episode of Jazz 625 - a TV show which Bill Bruford recalls being an avid viewer of in his youth. The episode features Acker Bilk and His Paramount Jazz Band and was recorded in the Marquee Club.

Bilk, who had a monumental hit with the lugubrious ballad Stranger On The Shore on both sides of the Atlantic in 1961, has a couple of connections to the world of Crimson.

A young Robert Fripp was swept up in the trad jazz phenomena that was all the rage in Britain during the late 50s and early 60s,  queuing up to see bands led by Monty Sunshine, Chris Barber and Acker Bilk. The trad jazz craze was covered in an hour-long documentary also on BBC 4 last night and includes more footage of Bilk in action.

The trad jazz scene also led Ian Wallace to an epiphany. He’d been happy enough picking out tunes while listening to the radio on a guitar his mother had bought for him. However, it was not until he went to a performance of Acker Bilk and His Paramount Jazz Band at Bury’s Royal Cinema that his true musical interests were revealed.  As he stood queuing for an ice cream near the front of the stage, Wallace looked up and saw the stage lights reflecting of the coloured shells of the drums. Looking at the kit, he underwent an almost religious experience. "The heavens opened up with a choir of angels and something said ’That’s what you’re supposed to do.’"

For those folks who’ve only ever seen photographs of the legendary club (such as this one)...



...the Jazz 625 show with Acker Bilk gives you a much better sense of the room which helped Crimson come to prominence.

The Marquee Club in Wardour Street, London played host to a memorable residency by Crimson and on this very date 44 years ago they were sharing the bill with John Surman’s Octet as part of the club’s New Paths initiative which sought to find a common ground between rock and jazz.



The band had first played at the club on May 16th (Fripp’s 23rd birthday) where they were supporting US visitor’s Steppenwolf. After witnessing KC do their thing, Steppenwolf vocalist John Kay was heard to have memorably quipped "Follow that. They sound like a bleeding orchestra."






P2 Power Trio
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., May 25, 2013
Here's an interview with all three members of ProjeKct Two in 1998 conducted by Wheat Williams and originally published in Guitar Player that year. 


Chrysta Bell & Mastelotto In The UK
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., May 23, 2013
Pat Mastelotto is on tour in the UK this week with Chrysta Bell. Check out the dates in Manchester, Leicester, Bath and Ireland here


Keeling's Condensed KC
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., May 23, 2013
Andrew Keeling has a new book of musical analysis due out for June 1st. The Concise Musical Guide to King Crimson and Robert Fripp (1969 - 1984) is available from Burning Shed and direct from the publisher Spaceward where you can also nab it as an ebook.


Crimson ProjeKct Live In Tokyo
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., May 22, 2013
Following on from their official bootleg release, you can grab a new album taken from the Crimson ProjeKct's Japanese jaunt in March right here. 


The TransKcription Of Light
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., May 21, 2013
Ever wanted to see what the track The ConstruKction Of Light transcribed with all the parts written out and then put into a midi file? Gabriel Lucas Gitin Riccio did and set about spending time doing just that.

Trey Gunn linked to the video on his Facebook page commenting "King Crimson's "The ConstruKction of Light" fully transcribed (ALL parts) and re-realized via midi. Unfortunate choices for the drum sounds, and I haven't checked all the notes, but my immediate impression is: "Holy crap! This person really put in the work on this one."

He even has all the double-stops in my right hand part. That is not easy to hear from the recording. And, even I had to put in a ton of work to get my hands back into it for each subsequent tour."

You can see the whole thing here.


And The Winner Is...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., May 21, 2013
Congratulations to Syd Blair of Belfast. He was able to tell me that Tim Bowness's regular musical partner in No-Man is Steven Wilson. For that display of in-depth musical knowledge he wins himself a copy of the latest Henry Fool album, Men Singing. Stay tuned for another splendid giveaway later this week. 


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