An Evening With King Crimson

An Evening With King Crimson
Authored By Johnny Blogger

Sometimes life delivers something unexpected and sweet. I was with a friend browsing records in a shopping centre in Edinburgh's Ocean Terminal when chat turned to King Crimson, who had been on at the Usher Hall the previous evening and were due to play a second gig on Thursday night.
It turned out that one of the guys on the stall had two complimentary tickets but couldn't go. I hadn't been able to afford the £70+ tickets but had wanted to go. So what did he do? He gave them to me free of charge.
What a lovely, generous and kind act.
So it was that me and Dawn rocked up at the Usher Hall for a 7.30pm start and about 140 minutes of astonishing music.
The Usher Hall is often adodgy place to see rock music because the stage is a cavernous space which seems to eat up atmosphere.But tonight, the quality of the sound was so pin-sharp and so all-encompasing that didn't happen.
Three drummers at the front of the stage drove the show on with a kind of passionate mechanicalism that was utterly stunning to behold.
At times it was as though the whole band was a scientificexperimentto seewhat can be achieved bymarrying great technique, inspiration and art.
Perhaps the stand-out moments are those featuring music from the groundbreaking In The Court Of The Crimson King record and also those wonderfully crunchytracks from Red.
It was all completely absorbing and, in a few epic moments, genuinely moving, and yet all performed with an aesthete's dedication to the art form. No rock n roll posing here, just studious shredding from all seven musicians.
Great to see Tony Levin playing the Chapman Stick - which still looks like he's manipulating a plank of wood like a wizard with a wand. Nice also to see Mel Collins on flute and sax. And of course, there's Mr Fripp too, perched on a stool with his feet resting on a raised platform, looking like a studious character from Wind in the Willows.
What beautiful - and wonderfully free - night it was.

King Crimson are currently

Gavin Harrison drums
Bill Rieflin drums
Pat Mastelotto drums
Tony Levin bass and vocals
Mel Collins sax, flute
Jakko Jakszyk guitar, vocals
Robert Fripp guitar

Scroll To Top