Guildhall Portsmouth

The final night of the Larks’ Tongues quintet’s first and last tour of the UK. It had been quite a journey from one end of the country to another with a total of twenty-seven dates. Coming out of Book of Saturday the improvisation quickly goes from something amorphous to certain and direct with David Cross’s violin making strident headway across some solid funk-orientated grooves by Bruford and Wetton. Cross admits to being the most inexperienced member of the group but you wouldn’t know that from his work here. As he slides and glides melodies that intertwine with Fripp’s laser beam soloing the musical ground becomes incredibly turbulent thanks to the Herculean efforts of the rhythm section.

A beautiful rendition of Exiles provides the perfect palate cleanser after the rich improv but this being Crimson there’s little rest for the audience who, Schizoid Man as an encore number aside, was hearing an entire concert of completely unfamiliar music. As the band departs from a particularly rowdy Easy Money the transition into the improv is marked by Cross’s violent slashing harmonies on the violin. At this distance given the fuzzy nature of this audience recording it’s not easy to discern precisely what everybody is contributing early on though it’s possible that some of the high-frequency tones emanated from Muir’s habit of rubbing glass rods close to the microphone.
TRACK
TIME
01
Book of Saturday (Daily Games)
02:57
02
Improv An Edible Bovine Dynamo
08:55
03
Exiles
06:48
04
Easy Money
09:39
05
Improv Ahoy! Modal Mania
16:06
06
The Talking Drum
03:22
07
Larks Tongues In Aspic Part Two
07:28
08
21st Century Schizoid Man
08:52
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