A wandering microphone renders much of Robert’s witty interactions with the audience moot and is variable in the verse section of Book Of Saturday. Luckily the 29-minute improv coming out of the song clearly captures the violin duet between John Wetton and David Cross which was a feature of the band’s live set at this stage. The nimble accompaniment from Robert gives way to Bruford and Muir’s percussion as Cross and Wetton continue this folky interlude.
As it develops, with Jamie Muir’s explosive interjections or John Wetton’s claw hammer bass nailing your head to the wall, this improvisation has that epic quality that made this Crimson so special, seamlessly covering extremely contrasting textures and territories. The second improvisation, after Exiles, beginning with tremulous guitar swells and pizzicato melodies and tinkling bells is once again testament to the gentler climes to which Crimson would tackle. Of course, the more tumultuous exchanges between the drums including an astonishing work out between Bruford and Muir is the stuff that really turned the heads of audiences. If you can get past the less-than-optimal sonics on this tape there are many treasures to savour.