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King Crimson – Deja VROOOM

Review: 113
Date: 1 Feb 03

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
Robert Fripp – Guitar & Mellotron
Adrian Belew – Guitar & Vocals
Trey Gunn – Stick Guitar
Tony Levin – Upright & Electric Basses
Pat Mastelotto and Bill Bruford – Acoustic & Electronic Percussions

Tracks Listing:
1. Circular Improv
2. VROOOM VROOOM
3. Frame By Frame
4. Dinosaur
5. One Time
6. Red
7. B’Boom
8. THRAK
9. Matte Kudasai
10. Three Of A Perfect Pari
11. VROOOM
12. Coda: Marine 475
13. Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
14. Elephant Talk
15. Indiscipline
16. Talking Drum
17. Lark’s Tongues In Aspic Part II
18. People
19. Walking On Air

 


This D.V.D. released by the omnipresent Robert Fripp, leader of those pioneers of Progressive Rock (in this case perhaps a more apt title would be Adventurous Rock), King Crimson have at last brought out a recording that does justice to the band’s musical ability and visual presence.

From a musical point of view you get over two and a half hours of Crimson music from the amazing Double Trio King Crimson, a title made up as ever by Fripp, where, although all six members were on stage at the same time, they were able to break off in mid-song to play as two separate units, and then all come crashing back together with the power of Thor’s double sided hammer.

This is used to dramatic effect on old Crimson standards such as “Lark’s Tongue In Aspic Part II” from 1973 (come on, if you haven’t heard it, aren’t you just a little bit curious to find out what a song sounds like with a title like that?), originally recorded when only Robert Fripp and Bill Bruford were in the band. From this lineup the others in that period being Jamie Muir on percussion, David Cross on violin, flute and keyboards, plus the mega-talented John Wetton on bass and vocals, but when this 1998 version of the band come in altogether on that most famous of Crimson riffs, the wallpaper shreds from its glue. Most of the well-known songs in the life and times of King Crimson from 1973 onwards are here, with a definitive version of most songs laid down.

Visually the band line up as a back row and a front row. In the back row the two drummers sit on either side of the stage as if castles on a chess board; Bill Bruford in a dapper yellow double breasted suit, whilst Pat Mastelotto effects traditional Rock ‘n’ Roll garb in jeans and T-Shirt. Sitting on his stool in the middle, dressed in Black is Mr. Robert Fripp, no emotion showing but firmly in command of his guitar and those all around him. The front line consists of the mercurial Trey Gunn on stick guitar on your left; to the right is without doubt the best bass guitarist in the world of rock, Mr. Tony Levin; and slap bang in the middle is Adrian Belew, the band’s lyricist for more than twenty years, lead guitarist, and focal point of the live show, with his pleasant bouncy personality. The fact that he resembles Rick Bryant more and more as time passes is neither here nor there.

This version of King Crimson is a joy to behold. These days Bill Bruford and Trey Gunn have gone on to pastures new, but the nucleus of the band are still going and are in fine form as last year’s offering “The ConstrucKtion Of Light” showed (Robert Fripp always chucks on extra capital ‘K’ into the title if he can).

But the joy of this D.V.D does not stop with the concert alone.

There are so many extras with this set, it is hard to know where to start. Firstly there are seven different camera angles on which you can view this concert, zooming in on just one player, or taking an overall view. After watching the concert you can switch over and watch Tony Levin’s road movies from this tour including clips of travel, hassles, rehearsals, and even some very honest ‘warts ‘n’ all’ arguments between band members. A section on the history of King Crimson called “In The Court Of The Crimson Kings” which chronicles the life and times of King Crimson and all its different line-ups with plenty of photographs to match. Great fun is the 21st Century Schizoid band, where, with an interactive menu, you can select a choice of singers, soloists, and rhythm sections from 1969, 1971, 1974 or 1996 to perform one of King Crimson’s most famous songs.

There are also some surprise items slipped into the proceedings, but then if I told you about them, they wouldn’t be a surprise, would they. Also included are many extra D.V.D Rom features if you want to slip the discs into your computer and become a complete King Crimson Anorak.

So, whether you’re a fan of King Crimson or not, but you own a D.V.D player and want to use it to its maximum effect, then this is the disc for you.

Well done Mr. Fripp and cohorts, leading the field in innovation as always.

If you prefer to just get yourself an audio document of this fantastic King Crimson lineup, they also released a double C.D version of a concert from this tour with a near identical set list called “B’Boom The Official Bootleg”. It is well worth seeking out.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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