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 – 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 31 to 40 of 137)
|Brilliant !! Sat., Dec 11, 2010|
Posted by: pinkmilk
This concert is a real pleasure for fans of this incarnation of the band, especially for those people who like me, love the Beat Read more
|Dijon Letter Fri., Dec 3, 2010|
Posted by: keeves
What an excellent set from the Beat Generation Crimson. As always, providence dictates that the best of the gigs is incomplete. What remains has indeed been wonderfully restored and presented and we have some tremendous performances of Sheltering Sky, Thela, Read more
|Flawed Diamond Thu., Dec 2, 2010|
Posted by: 3dPierrot
It’s a real tragedy that this performance is incomplete (hence the missing star), ’cause it’s a blinder ! Alex Mundy has done sterling job mixing this and the sound is pristine and Read more
|Palais Mon., Nov 29, 2010|
Posted by: keeves
Robert Fripp’s performance was indeed a little winded by the Roland Guitar Synth this night. There are two tunable distortion synths plus a master tuner which are all rotary operated knobs and therefore very easy to disturb on a dark Read more
|Wow, Beautiful Sat., Oct 2, 2010|
Posted by: FrankQ
This a wonder to hear, absolutely beautiful! I hear something of Three of a Perfect Pair in the rhythm. A totally unexpected delight. Thanks!!!
|Roxy audience Sun., May 16, 2010|
Posted by: wakefan
I was at this show, and the fans were loud. One guy shouted "Asbury Park" too much. One guy got Fripp’s attention by shouting "King Crimson making history!" The best was when someone said, "Hey Billy, you forgot your Read more
|MELVIN COLLINSI Thu., Apr 29, 2010|
Posted by: melvinbcollins
I SAW THESE CONCERTS THE DRIVE TO 1981.VERY POWERFUL LINE UP, IMPROVS ON THIS SET ARE WOUNDERFUL.WHEN WILL INDISCIPLE MINNING ROCKS BE ISSUED ,THE YOUNGER CROWD NEED TO HEAR THAT Read more
|extremely interesting Tue., Feb 2, 2010|
Posted by: cube_monkey
I just love these behind the scenes kinds of things that you would never be aware of in 1981 or whenever. Thank you for going through the trouble to post Read more
|Gimme a few more stars to throw on this one Sat., Dec 5, 2009|
Posted by: DeVito
Back around 1976 or ’77, as a 15-/16-year-old, I started listening to Crimson. Unfortunately Crimson had broken up a couple years earlier, and the various surviving “progressive rock” bands were stepping all over their dicks in their rush to Read more
|Manchester fun 1981 Fri., Dec 4, 2009|
Posted by: eviLMGD
Much life has been breathed into this ol’ boot; and a must-have it is, too. A few clams here and there (it was only the sixth (?) gig of this team after Read more
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