Arguably the greatest find in Mister Stormy’s trawl through the Crimson archives: uncovering a previously unheard set on the second night at the band’s stint at The Marquee. Having only had the fairly grim-sounding bootleg to go on, it’s wonderful to hear the band in pristine sound. Fascinating also to at last be able hear some of the vocal harmony ideas that they had in mind for Formentera Lady.

After a thumpingly good Cirkus (complete with crystal clear mellotron duet and Ian Wallace’s double bass-drum thundering in the coda) Boz introduces “yet another newie” in the shape of The Letters featuring an exceptionally good free section. This is followed by what is arguably the very best version of Cadence And Cascade played by this line-up.

It’s interesting to note that at this stage the as-yet-untitled amalgam of LTIA 1 & Lament were clearly under active consideration for inclusion on Islands according to Fripp’s stage announcement. Although the band did record a studio version (available on the 40th anniversary edition of Islands) it clearly wasn’t thought to be ready enough to make it to the final running order. It’s interesting how similar in feel this version is to parts of Emergency! by Tony Williams’ Lifetime.

Hearing the band in such good audio quality is always welcome and more so when you can hear them enjoying themselves as much as they did here.

Please note that this download will be released in CD format as part of the KCCC in 2012.

AUDIO SOURCE: Board Recording



Pictures Of A City
Formentera Lady
The Sailors Tale
The Letters
Cadence And Cascade
Ladies Of The Road
RF Announcement
21st Century Schizoid Man
Written by Pablo Cordero
An astounding masterpiece
Astonishing. It is almost easier to list the aspects in which this recording is not quite perfect ("Sailor's Tale" is still in its early, overlong form; "Ladies of the Road" is still unfinished and some of the verses don't quite hit their mark, some of the repertoire pieces are not as tight as they would become later in the tour). But overall, this feels like one of those nights when the good fairy takes the band under its wing and they can do no wrong. The improv, incorporating riffs from LTIA I and Lament, is 30 minutes of pure magic. Each and every one of the musicians is on fire and to top it off, the recording is crystal clear. You can't not own this recording.
Written by William Jenks
Must Have, even for those not that excited by Islands
The Islands period is not my favorite for KC. I doubt I will listen to this over and over. Nonetheless I'm very glad to have it and recommend this show to all serious fans. As alluded to in the description, the recording here is very good quality, as good as one could imagine for the period. There is venue noise, but it's quite intimate. However, what makes the sale here is this example of just how far "out there" this band was willing to go. The improvisatory parts and incorporation of jazz elements is something to behold. What others have noted with respect to the improv and later KC is all true. By this time of my life, I've heard 21stCSM about 4 million times. This is one of the few that will keep grabbing my attention.
Written by Josh Chase
Islands in the stream
What a find. I never knew this existed until a few days ago and couldn’t download the FLACs fast enough... possibly the definitive live set from this outfit (this + Summit Studios might be tied). What I keep zoning in on -- even amidst multiple epic solo turns from the other players -- is the feel and substance of what Boz is playing, and how it shows that even early on RF was destined not just to turn the world upside down as a player and composer, but to teach in equally-as-world-altering ways. From helping turn a then-newbie into a powerhouse bassist (which propelled him into some pretty Bad Company, etc.) to the global reach of Guitar Craft, you can surely see what I am saying.I was wondering how and why this was recorded -- my assumption is the band were trying to get a reference for where the tunes slated for the record were at weeks from going into the studio -- but why not the other nights at the Marquee? We’ll probably never know but be assured, the sound is utterly phenomenal; almost perfect as some here have noted. I really like the VCS3-ized vocals at the end of Ladies of the Road, which just stomps and thrashes in general. The Improv -- really more a structured piece incorporating solos that might be titled "The Islands guys take a very interesting and jazzy stab at what will become ’72-’74 KC" -- is at times astonishing and really gives a fascinating glimpse into the later material that would follow and how committed RF was to shaping and developing it, even before the recording of Islands.There’s almost too much to say about this one -- for instance the transition from Formentera Lady (RF’s picking on the verses = sublime) into The Sailor’s Tale is different and more gradual than the recorded version from 2 months later on the album, and dammit I think I like it better! And if you love the Mellotron, well this version of Cirkus is a veritable ’Tron orgy-and-a-half. Anyway, ’nuff said... in the immortal words of Dr. HST, buy the ticket and take the ride!!!!
Written by Jeff Oaster
An excellent recording all around
First off - the sound on this one is brilliant. The playing is astonishing and shows just how good of a player Mel Collins is.Two things that really standout out: The Improv (which would soon be replaced by Groon in the set) clearly foreshadows LTiA pt 1 and Lament. It’s a good thing this piece never was made official, but it’s quite interesting to see some embryonic versions of later pieces appear.Also, the arrangement of Sailor’s Tale is quite interesting. Basically a centerpiece for Fripp’s guitar solo, this version has a very brief solo from Fripp (I actually missed it the first listen) then Collins’ takes over before a massive brass mellotron swell finishes the song.All in all, an essential purchase for any fan of live Crimson, especially for those who like the Islands lineup. Hell, Ladies of the Road is even pretty good, and I can’t stand that song ;^)