When King Crimson appeared in Chesterfield, the recording of their album had been completed though some post-production work was still being undertaken. The album however was still a month away from being released. So outside of a couple of appearances on BBC Radio 1, and word of mouth, the audience would have had little idea of what to expect at Crimson concert.

Given the weight of history that presses down upon KC’s debut album, it’s often something of a surprise to discover that some gigs such as this (their 47th) have an almost carefree sense of abandon to them.

The improvisations are clearly amorphous zones where ideas were thrown up in the air to see where they might land. Sometimes the intention is playful and obviously designed to entertain both crowd and band members alike. On other occasions the music is deadly serious and there’s a sense of steely purpose to the proceedings.

Most of this concert first appeared on disc 4 of the Epitaph box set but due to a combination of CD time limitations in 1997, and the wayward tuning on some tracks (primarily caused by voltage fluctuations on the Mellotron), significant edits and excisions were made when preparing the gig for release.

Over twenty minutes of this concert has been restored - primarily the inclusion of The Court of the Crimson King and full versions of the improvisation and Mars. If you already have this concert as part of the Epitaph box set then you already have what Robert felt to be the essence of the concert and will almost certainly not need to proceed to download.

If however, the Epitaph box set is not part of your collection then this download offers a “warts and all” through-view of the kind of things that happened on a King Crimson stage in 1969.
In The Court Of The Crimson King
Travel Weary Capricorn
21st Century Schizoid Man
Drop In
Get Thy Bearings
I Talk To The Wind
Written by Pablo Cordero
An excellent release. The sound is pretty good for an audience recording, it's very clear if a bit dull at times, the only track where the intensity of the band is too much for the tape to contain is "In The Court". The performance is astounding. The 20-minute "Get Thy Bearings" is a standout, with a laser-beam guitar solo locking horns with Ian's wild alto playing. The final stretch is particularly strong. "Mantra" is beautiful, "Capricorn" is maybe the most forceful performance of the piece I've heard, and the "Improv" starts with Robert's classically trained arpeggios and then leads to a fun, "circus music" section (which incidentally also appears in the improv from the Marquee) with a sax melody that would later, with a different rhythm, appear in the song "Happy Family" from Lizard.
Written by Marc-andre Robitaille
A must
Setlist 5, Performance 5, Sound 4. A MUST! Got since I wanted a live version of I talked to the wind and what a surprise jewel. The setlist is similar to the Hyde park show but the sound is so much better and the performance is top notch. Waited 2/3 years after buying Hyde park to get this one and waited way to long. Thanks for coming to Montreal on your tour RF and making me get back into KC and finding stuff like this in the archives.
Written by Jerry Smith
I have Epitaph
I have Epitaph but I wanted the extra 20+ minutes that’s available here that isn’t included there. I really like this show and the sound quality is very good for the most part. This has been pieced together from more than one source but the main source is really good and the other source is quite listenable. A great show.
Written by Harry Spade
This deserves to be on everyone's playlist.
If you’re a fan of the original lineup and you don’t have this one, you’re missing a great show.The sound quality is very good for a bootleg; better than Club1 Live At The Marquee in my opinion. The drums especially are punchy, and along with the bass provides a good driving rhythm. Fripp’s guitar cuts through like a buzzsaw on the intro to "In The Court Of The Crimson King", and Greg Lake’s vocals are clear as a bell throughout. He sings with authority on every track.The setlist covers all the bases, and since this performance is roughly a month after the recording of the debut album, the songs sound confident yet loose. They knew this material inside and out and thus were free to play around within the confines of the compositions. This performance even elevates "Drop In", which in my opinion is the clunkiest song this lineup produced.If there’s a downside, it’s that "Mars" is one of the weaker versions I’ve heard; it feels like they were running out of steam and ideas by the end of the show; even the air raid siren kinda peters out lethargically. This isn’t much of a drawback perhaps, considering the fun yet powerful vibe on the rest of the tracks. The one exception to that might be "I Talk To The Wind", which is possibly more subdued than the studio version.I’ve been playing this one for a week, alongside other recordings from 1969, and right now it’s my favorite. The completeness of the set, the sound quality, and the overall performance makes this one standout. Just click one of the Purchase buttons and enjoy!