If you want tangible proof of this, then just take a listen to The Sheltering Sky: acerbic opening solo and then a beautiful dance between the guitar arpeggios, like moths fluttering around a flame, waiting for Levin’s slide down which usually ushers in Belew’s solo section. Except here they hold the moment, as though reluctant to break the spell the duo have created. Simple and beautiful. Then as Belew is soloing, Bruford moves to full kit and you have an extraordinary version of The Sheltering Sky with a grooving backbeat.
Manhattan has the band moving up a notch after an energetic Frame By Frame, played with a blistering urgency, as Belew and Fripp push the notion of guitar solo to extreme limits. Indiscipline maintains the ferocious momentum and comes with some additional Roland organ touches during Ade’s spoken sections, adding subtly to the slightly disconcerting air of the song itself.
It’s abundantly clear the team are flat-out having a great time - just listen to LTIA’s end-of-term-party atmosphere and extended ending. Brilliant stuff.
This gig marks the end the of what had been a truly incredible year in King Crimson’s history; the launch of a new band and the first album of brand new material bearing the Crimson moniker in seven years. The next time the band played in public would not be until February 1982.