Looking back on his time with Crimson, Jamie Muir felt that one of his personal highlights of the tour was being able to hear Fripp break free of his self-imposed reins and play what the percussionist refers to as ‘extraordinary guitar’. There’s plenty of that to be heard during the 25 minute improvisation which the band launch themselves into with such fiery gusto, wherein Fripp in particular plays like a man possessed. Leaving aside the frustration that the tape runs out, leaving posterity with only a tantalising snippet of Exiles and another improvisation, Guildford is certainly a special occasion.
This section of the concert was first released on CD in 2003 as KCCC24 and as part of the 15-disc LTIA Complete Recordings box set in 2012.
Here also presented in this download is the bootleg version of the show in a more complete form.
Five gigs into a 28-date tour and Crimso are on fine form in Watford on this decent quality audience recording. LTIA provides plenty of thrills and spills with the extraordinary interplay between Fripp and Wetton just before the whole band comes back in for the main theme and wind down into the violin and dulcimer duet between David Cross and Jamie Muir. With the coda still to be written, David Cross’s beautiful solo gracefully gives way to Daily Games, as Book Of Saturday was still known at that time.
The extended improvisation begins with the ascending theme that will be familiar to listeners of the Bremen recording, splurging out into a funk-spattered workout whose violent stop-start build-up is given greater urgency as Bruford breaks out one of his trademark shuffles.
The second, though sadly truncated, major improv of the night opens and immediately the listener will recognise the arpeggio that would be recycled into Fallen Angel. The assertive soloing from Cross against the motif places Crimson in a territory that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Mahavishnu Orchestra album. Though Muir’s visual theatrics are obviously absent here, his thrashing of his kit and rig with chains comes over loud and clear in a superb Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part 2.
Ian Wildman was at the gig and was indeed responsible for ensuring the recording eventually found its way into the archive offers this eye-witness account. "One thing I remember about the concert is the power of the band and how the audience reacted at the end-totally won over! I also recall Jamie taking most of the stage with his kit, thrashing his metal plates during Larks II. I also seem to remember he did most of the drumming during Schizoid, Bill seemed to take a back seat."