King Crimson – Live In Brighton (Club30)

Live In Brighton (Club30)

Brighton Dome, Brighton, England – October 16th, 1971

Disc 1 (49:56):  Cirkus, Pictures Of A City, Formentera Lady, The Sailor’s Tale, The Letters, Islands

Disc 2 (59:59):  Ladies Of The Road, Groon, 21st Century Schizoid Man, Mars

The third King Crimson recorded their album Islands in September, 1971 in London after testing many of the new songs in a live setting in the spring.  It was finally completed in the first week of October before its release to the public in December.  During their session work they ventured out to perform shows, sometimes premiering even newer songs. 

Live In Brighton documents a concert from the week following.  It is on the official King Crimson Collectors Club silver pressed label through the band’s website.  The sound quality of the tape is poor to fair, being very distant from the stage and suffering from distortion in louder part of the show.

Previous unofficial releases include of this tape include Lost Island (Microphone Records MPH CD 07) in 1991, The Groon Box (Poseidon HELP-100) in 1993 and Schizoid (Prismatic Tunes K-71-C1/2) in 1995.  Club 30 might be a bit cleaner than the others, but nothing can really save it from mediocrity.   

It starts off with “Cirkus,” the only song from Lizard to be played in the set at this point (“Lady Of The Dancing Water” appeared as late as the London show in September, but was dropped by this time) followed by “Pictures Of A City.”  There are some complaints about the humidity and the guitars going out of tune before a gorgeous version of “Formentera Lady.”

The end of the first disc has the center of interest for the tape.  The title track from the new album “Islands” was one of the final compositions and the last song to be played live.  Its debut occurred the previous night in Bournemouth (found on Clutch Sailor’s Words Peace Frog PF-317D).  Even stripped of the studio version’s lush orchestration, its beauty can clearly be heard even though the recording isn’t the best.  This song is one of King Crimson’s most glorious achievements (spanning forty years and all lineups), and it’s a shame it didn’t survive very long in a live setting. 

The rest of the show is more standard.  “Ladies Of The Road” is very fun with Boz fooling around with people in the front rows.  “Groon” reaches twenty-five  minutes and includes a long, devastating blues jam (probably to the chagrin of Fripp) and a drum solo.

The show ends with “21st Century Schizoid Man” (with an insane Mel Collins saxophone solo) and “Mars,” just as the first line up ended their shows.

Live In Brighton contains liner notes writen by Ian Wallace in December 2004.  The sound quality limits this to die hard King Crimson fans with a strong fetish for the Islands line up (like me).  It’s not a great sounding tape, but the historic importance makes it essential for the collection.

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