23 July 2018

The Trough Inside, Hotel Vulgar-Posh But Acceptable, Rome.


Loud explosions of thunder c. 07.30 and rising to a downpour c. 08.20. To the trough, but Trough Outside was not available given the arising wetness. The next-bestest option, the by-the-window tables, were all snaffled. So, Plan C: here in the corner. Bringing myself together; returning to the Quiet Point that makes the life of this working player possible.

Morning reflection:  a proper response to the current incarnation of King Crimson.

For many years, decades, I read as close-to-all available commentary on the band: good, bad, indifferent, witless, nasty. Today, I take a look at a wide spectrum of commentary, but give greater attention to the opinions of those who have been touched by the band. These are mostly favourable, although I am not seeking positive comments per se. What has struck me is, the posts I have seen that are snippy, unkind, fiddly-critical-historical, have nothing to do with the work of the present King Crimson. That is, the comments come from people who have not seen the band, even if they were looking; have not heard the band, even if they were listening; and have not accepted what is wishing to give itself away.

There are seven levels to King Crimson: I have direct experience of five of them. The other two are as-if higher-harmonics to the notes being struck. We rarely hear the highest frequencies possible for human beings (perhaps 21K) but the notes we do hear are enriched by the higher harmonics “clearing the air” around and above notes within our audible range available.

My own response to the continuing unfoldingness of King Crimson? Gratitude.

10.43 A DGM Breakfast Meeting with David discussing various arisings. We share several views, of which two here…

Firstly: last night KC moved into the mainstream in Italy. Alternatively expressed, King Crimson moved out of the Prog Ghetto. In Rome, on a bill with a variety of mainstream, excellent and established artists; one of only two artists with two nights in the Festival.

Secondly: something is happening in this part of the tour trajectory, the last overall stage (with its own beginning, middle and end), the tired and sometimes struggling part, that would not be available were we to have had a shorter tour. Those interested in the qualities of process will have their own views on this.

10.53 The trough muzak, witlessness of a professional variety, has been switched off. Perhaps this is to drive guests from the breakfast room. I find it a form of welcoming.

11.22 In the Vulgar-Posh Lounge to find the set-list for this evening. Across the room Jakko and Gavin are being interviewed.

A KC factoid not-widely-known: at the end of Indiscipline Jakko sings I like it! in the local language of our hosts. Gavin has suggested several acceptable Italian translations of I like it! that Jakko might choose to declaim at the end of the piece; perhaps hoping that Jakko, from his long professional association with El Gavino, will have confidence in Gav’s linguistic suggestions. These suggestions originated in linguistic opportunities provided by Gavin’s Italian musical associates.

Helpful suggestions for Jakko from Gavin:

Mettiti a pecorina, perché la minchia è vicina!
Che Palle!
Porca Miseria!

24.56 Our second performance in Rome: onstage at 21.00, first set c. one hour and sixteen minutes, overall length two hours and forty-five minutes, the maximum performance time to avoid a hard curfew. Every minute over this we are reportedly fined €1,000. The solos in the encore, 21CSM, were shortened drastically as a result.

The setlist was very different from Rome I, three primary reasons for which:

  1. to provide difference and variety for returning Crim audients, likely a relatively high proportion;
  2. to calibrate today’s performance to the particular sonic space and listening / cultural practice of the local audience;
  3. to continue challenging the group, and discover forms of development (I avoid the word progressing).

A strong performance to a generous audience.

Cavea, Rome I
Into the Crimson Zone…



The runner driving me and Mr. Bill back from the venue took around twenty minutes for a five minute journey. The runner claimed that a road was closed. He lied. Better to have owned up. An error is easily forgiven, dishonesty less so.