Her Majesty's Theatre May 10, 1981
Written by Russell Whitworth
I was being very careful to control my expectations. I'd read the Fripp interviews. I had no idea if he was going to exert his "right to be boring", or quite what he was going to do. Having Bruford in the line-up made me suspect that it wasn't going to be entirely Frippertronics, though. I'd heard of Levin (from Peter Gabriel), but Belew's name didn't mean anything to me at that time.
It's hard to remember the set-list after all this time, but I think they opened with "Frame by Frame". I clearly remember hearing that inter-weaving introduction for the very first time, along with an entire audience that was hearing it for the very first time too. Incredible. Instantly every other concert I had been to paled by comparison. Every note was etching itself into my conscious and sub-conscious mind. Normally it is very difficult to enjoy music on first hearing, but this was something entirely different. The impact on me, and everyone else, was almost tangible.
There were so many new ideas to take in. The interlocking guitar work, in the style now known as "crafty". This new front-man with the ability to produce beautiful, ugly, and even animal sounds from his guitar. The bald-headed chap with a strange-looking instrument - it must be a Stick - I've heard of it, but never seen it - how on earth was it producing all those sounds? And of course the first hearing of that distinctive Fripp Roland Guitar Synth sound. Even Bruford, previously well-known to me as a "drummer", was suddenly on unfamiliar territory, introducing all sorts of melodic ideas. All of these elements were new to me - so much to take in all at once!
I clearly remember the second number. It was what I now know to be
one of the first live performances of "Red". If the opening number had impact, this was the knock-out blow. Those crashing, rising opening chords have never sounded better. All of a sudden, this was a King Crimson concert! I don't know how many others in the audience were expecting it Ė I certainly wasn't - and I was stunned beyond belief. I remember thinking "how are they going to do the strings?", and then in came the now-familiar Levin version of the middle section. Outstanding.
All of the "Discipline" album was there - I do remember one thing - Indiscipline was played with no opportunity for the audience to answer back - we'd never heard it before. (I'm listening to Indiscipline as I write this). The Sheltering Sky also had a tremendous impact on first hearing.
Later in the set we had the second KC treat - LTIA Pt.2, of
course. Bruford seemed to enjoy the audience's recognition of this one, in particular. And finally (I think) Discipline in all its complexity.
remember cycling home that night in a state of bliss, replaying every number in my head. Months later, I could still "hear" each song even though I'd only heard them once (or twice, for the encore numbers). I've never experienced this before or since - almost total musical recall based on a single listening. Intense? Yes, you could say it was intense.
Some months later, still carrying the performance in my head, I came home one evening and turned on the radio. Capital Radio, Alan Freeman (yes, he was on Capital at that time). I turned it on in the middle of a track - Discipline, I think. Note for note as I remembered it in my head, but cleaner.
Fantastic - at last "Discipline" had put out an album! I would rush out and buy it the next day. Then Fluff's voice: "That's from the new album from King Crimson, called 'Discipline'"
King Crimson? What does he mean King Crimson? You mean they're not called "Discipline" any more? Yippee!!! I've seen King Crimson live, and I didn't even realise it at the time!!!
Your search found 137 items (Viewing 11 to 20 of 137)
|Epic Road Trip Sat., Jun 2, 2012|
Posted by: BlackPage
My girlfriend (and now wife of 30 years) and I road tripped from State College PA to Jersey hopping subways to get to NYC and back with a Read more
|All SIX shows! Thu., May 24, 2012|
Posted by: mannylunch
Yes, I was at ALL six NYC í81 shows, including both early and late shows on the first night of the three, which begs the question: If this is the first set, why not come out and label Read more
|Savoy Nov. 7, 1981 First House Mon., May 21, 2012|
Posted by: Billco
All I can say is ..........WOW! The sheer power and joy of this performance is astonishing ! A surprisingly potent audience recording really brings this home. The version of "The Sheltering Sky" here is otherworldy, I have never heard a better Read more
|Working Titles Tue., May 8, 2012|
Posted by: hammamatsu
I saw the Guildford, Dunstable, Cromer and Poole shows from March í82 and Iím sure the untitled number was referred to as íRockerí and the instrumental version of Neurotica was Read more
|Sort of there... Thu., Apr 19, 2012|
Posted by: eddievhfan1984
To respond to SSImuse, actually, if my research is correct (or if Robert wishes to corroborate me), that Roland organ, the VK-1, was intended to be a Hammond simulation, but without key-click, a second keyboard, or rotary speaker Read more
|Not Quite... Mon., Apr 16, 2012|
Posted by: SSImuse
A good idea...but a wise decision not to have included it; in hindsight, it would have made the song too dated. Now a Hammond organ , on the other hand...
|Interesting Mon., Apr 16, 2012|
Posted by: mpkeen71
Interesting, however, Iím glad it didnít make the final cut.
|Long lived - The King!!! Sat., Apr 14, 2012|
Posted by: eggplant
Great show... and now I would like to review the February 24th. 1982 show @ from E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron, Ohio! The best yet????? Come on, Ohio was a great place for Crimson and Read more
|We Were There Sun., Feb 26, 2012|
Posted by: rabbimeyer
"Our drummer, Bruford, would like to thank the two guys from Baton Rouge from two years ago ... and all the rest of you, too." And with that, KC launched Read more
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