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King Crimson – Nightmare (Sirene-175)

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Nightmare (Sirene-175)

Palazzo Dello Sport, Turin, Italy – November 12th, 1973

Disc 1:  Intro/No Pussyfooting, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part I, Peace/A Theme, Cat Food, The Night Watch, Book Of Saturday, Easy Money, improvisation/Starless And Bible Black, Exiles

Disc 2:  Fracture, Lament, improvisation/The Devil’s Triangle, The Talking Drum, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II, 21st Century Schizoid Man Orpheum’s Diamond (Sirene-175 bonus), 

Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA – May 4th, 1973:  Opening, Doctor Diamond, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part I, (Fripp speaks), Easy Money, Trio, Exiles, improvisation, The Talking Drum, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II, 21st Century Schizoid Man

The source used for Nightmare is a very good to almost excellent stereo audience recording very close to the stage.  The instruments are all clear and the audience is not intrusive.  Besides the professional sources this is one of the better King Crimson titles to be released.  Some imperfections on the tape include slight distortion in the upper frequencies (noticeable in “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part I”) and tape hiss in quieter passages. 

The public address system also malfunctions occasionally spewing out static (and almost ruining “The Night Watch” in the process) and the tape shows some deterioration at the end during “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II”.  None of this should interfere with the enjoyment of the show however.  Turin was first released on Time Machine on Lizard (LZCD 027/28) and more recently on Avant Garde (Ayanami-161).  Sirene have adjusted the pitch to run closer to the correct speed making this release definitive.  

For those keeping score at home this is the concert before the November 13th event in Rome, released recently on Sirene’s Fascist.  Whereas the Rome show was fraught with a rowdy audience and paranoid police, Turin have a respectful and appreciative audience and the band deliver an amazing show.  Fripp’s collaborative effort with Brian Eno “No Pussyfooting” is the opener before “Larks’ Tongues Part 1″. 

Fripp keeps his opening comments very short before a nice version of “The Night Watch”.  The winter tour of Europe is marked by less improvisation and the beginning of playing material that would appear on Starless And Bible Black.  It takes a good half hour before they begin to improvise and when they do they launch into a version of the title track.  The earliest reference on stage to the piece dates from Texas in October.  Turin is the second appearance on the European tour after the Saarbruegen performance on November 8th (and recently released as Third Reich on Sirene). 

In the second half, the weak “Lament” is followed by an improvisation that includes a nostalgic return of “The Devil’s Triangle”.  This progressive rock interpretation of Gustav Holst’s “Mars” from The Planets suite was played by the first two incarnations of the band from 1969-1971 but was rarely employed by the Larks’ Tongues In Aspic lineup.  The tape, as mentioned above, suffers some deterioration in “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II” before fading out. 

It fades back in with “21st Century Schizoid Man”, the only encore this evening.  Wetton sounds particularly angry as he spits out the lyrics.  Fripp takes the lead in the solo and plays a fresh new melody as the rhythm section tries to follow.  At one point the PA seems to lose power and there is a shout from the audience, but it comes back and the song is completed without incident.  Sirene have produced a great title with Nightmare and this is one of the most enjoyable boot releases in a long while.     

Most of the King Crimson releases on Sirene lately have a bonus attached and Orpheum’s Diamond is the freebie for Nightmare.  This tape was the very first Crimson release on the Highland label Living In Trilogy (HL013#KC1).  The tape was attributed to the April 23rd, 1974 Boston show on that release.  However, as one collector wrote:  “Listening to the disc, Fripp comments about being back in Boston, and about the band feeling an affinity for the place because about a year ago it was Bruford’s last gig here with Yes.

Checking up on this date, Bruford’s last gig with Yes was March 27th, 1972 with Crimson as support.  Crimson next played Boston just over a year later on May 4th, 1973.”  The tape is good to very good and clear with a great atmosphere with the typically loud Boston audience being quiet and respectful.  “Trio”, which would receive its definitive performance in November at the Concertbegouw, is played live for the first known time. 

The basic structure is present but with Cross playing the melody on violin instead of mellotron flutes and Bruford adding his contribution.  The tracking is a bit off since Fripp’s opening speech is tracked separately.  Orpheum’s Diamond could have stood on its own but thankfully Sirene offers it as a free bonus making this one of their better releases. 

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