Greens Playhouse

After a confident start with a truly storming Larks’ Tongues Part 1 Robert seemingly loses focus during Book Of Saturday. Whether this was due to a technical issue or some extraneous occurrence of the Green’s kind is unknown. Quickly recuperating, the song proceeds towards an orderly conclusion and dives off into an improvisation. Careful listeners will note that it is not one but two violins that rise up from these pastoral beginnings with John Wetton quite literally playing second fiddle to Dave Cross. John had taken up the violin when he first joined Family in June 1971 in order to duplicate the parts bequeathed to him by departing bassist/violinist John Weider. Sadly it was the criticism of this duet spot from members of his former band that led John to put his violin back in its case for good.

The improv soon develops into more aggressive territories with Bruford and Muir building up a volley of percussion over which Fripp’s guitar strafes and dives. The white-hot intensity of the piece is marred by the distorted audio quality but once your ears get used to the sonics it’s all rather exhilarating. It’s Crimson’s refusal to sound like any other UK rock band treading the boards at that time that make the band such a hot ticket.

As things subside we hear some growling mellotron and Muir’s percussion and all sorts are deployed followed by the emergence of a Mellotron-led theme that sounds like it’s been cut from the same cloth as Sailors’ Tale.

Coming out of Easy Money the surviving portion of the second improv contains shimmering guitar elements that Fripp would later revisit for his introduction to the Night Watch. It's interesting and not a little intriguing to hear Muir's solo spot featuring some of the madcap humour for which he will forever be associated with going down so well with the equally boisterous Glasgow crowd. Sadly the incomplete source tape cuts out just before Bruford enters the fray.

This Show is also Disc 8 of the Larks' Tongues in Aspic Box Set
TRACK
TIME
01
Larks Tongues In Aspic Pt I
11:21
02
RF Announcement
02:12
03
Book of Saturday
02:53
04
Improv I A Vinyl Hobby Job
20:43
05
Exiles
07:40
06
Easy Money
10:01
07
Improv II*Behold Blond Bedlam
06:12

KC19721201Glasgow

Written by David Cumming
Fascinating
Is there any other improv by this version of the band that exceeds 20 minutes? The first improv here is mighty impressive, especially the supremely confident David Cross who is a revelation with his celtic-influenced jigging. Interesting to hear the first inklings of Night Watch in the second improv, and the Jamie Muir solo turn. I was at this gig and remember that the music blew my mind. In row C on the Jamie Muir side and got the full blood capsules treatment. Today the thought of a band hitting the road to audiences of 2 or 3 thousand and playing nothing but a mix of unheard new material and lengthy improvisation sounds at best ridiculous, at worst career suicide. But it really worked and was totally exhilarating. You can hear the confidence and the swagger in the music, both individually and collectively. Or at least you can sort of hear it - the audience sound recording is pretty awful. Completists and historians will find much to admire here, but the quality is such that you're unlikely to listen to it more than once. The annoying thing is that I once had a better quality recording of much of this gig, thanks to a Phillips cassette recorder that my friend Alistair smuggled in. I listened to it a lot. But it's long lost... Ah well.
Written by Mark Logan
The 'restored audience recording' sound quality is a notch up from Portsmouth. The show itself is incomplete but what we have is a wonder ! An enthusiastic audience undoubtedly spurred on the Crims. Book Of Saturday is sublime. The first improv 'A Vinyl Hobby Job' is outstanding with some gorgeous violin from Mr Cross. Easy Money is particularly funky with some more superb violin. The show is dynamic and inspired and the performance transcends the (IMHO 3 Star) audio quality.
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