In Kaminari Gate (Highland HL431/432)
Asakusa Kokusai, Tokyo, Japan – December 16th, 1981
Disc 1: Frippertronics, Discipline, Thela Hun Ginjeet, Red, Matte Kudasai, The Sheltering Sky, Frame By Frame
Disc 2: Manhattan, percussion intro, Indiscipline, Neal And Jack And Me, Elephant Talk, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II
It took almost thirteen years, five line ups and eight studio albums before King Crimson, the most progressive of the big progressive rock bands, to finally play their first shows in Japan. In December 1981 they played nine shows around the country and In Kaminari Gate captures the penultimate show in the nation’s capital Tokyo.
This is a great sounding stereo audience recording taped in a small venue with fantastic atmosphere. Attendees in the audience are quiet and respectful (too quiet actually). There is a cut in the middle of the tape eliminating the beginning of “Manhattan” which is picked up already in progress. Otherwise this represents the entire set and this is to date the only silver pressed version of this concert available.
The opening “Frippertronics” is two minutes of a contemplative guitar aural painting, preparing the audience to pay attention to what they are about to hear. The band walk onstage half way through to polite applause and prepare for the attack of “Discipline.” For the following track “Thela Hun Ginjeet” they play over the PA the tape recorded conversation of Belew relaying is experiences on the street recorded by the band and included on Discipline.
This version also has the narration in the middle pushing it to eight minutes in length. In future performances that would be omitted and the song would reach five. “Matte Kudasai” (Japanese for “please wait”) is a restful ballad over a walking country beat. One of the early highlights as a ten minute long version of “The Sheltering Sky” which keeps the audience speechless.
“Manhattan” is an instrumental version of “Neurotica,” which would be recorded with vocals for Beat. Afterwards Belew says, “You know what I think would be great at this point. I think it will be great if you got up. Would you like to get up? Move around a little bit. Talk to us maybe? Just don’t tear up any seats. Please stand up! This is ‘Indiscipline.'”
The tale of paranoia reaches almost eight minutes long and Belew’s narration become a bit stale in the middle. The show ends with “Elephant Talk” and the encore “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II.”
In Kaminari Gate is attractively packaged by Highland and since this is the only silver version of this concert, is worth having.