Photos: Jon Van Daal
For a young, pimply sixteen year old like myself, listening to King Crimson’s “In the Court of the King Crimson King” way back in 1969, was a total revelation about how good music can sound. Fast forward 45 years and the Crimson ProjeKCt have finally graced our shores.
The Crimson Projekct is made up of two separate bands – the Stick Men with Markus Reuter playing touch-style guitars along with veteran bass maestro Tony Levin and percussionist Pat Mastelotto and The Power Trio with guitarist Adrian Belew, bass player Julie Slick and drummer Tobias Ralph. The concert started around 9.40 pm and the band took their finishing bows at 12.20 am with an incredible E ticket ride in between. Over the course of the night the six players weren’t on stage together for too long a time as the two trios took turns at firing off their own material as well as some KC classics in between.
When ‘Lark’s Tongue In Aspic Part 2’ started it really hit home that King Crimson songs were being played live for the very first time in Australia. There were plenty of other highlights but another memorable track was a Stick Men piece called ‘Supercollider’ with Levin’s bass and Mastelotto’s drums being laid on thick, like molasses in July while Reuter played over the top with an eight stringed U8 touch guitar of his own design. Back to KC and Belew joined this crew on a few songs and on the night in addition to the middle period pieces like Frame by Frame, Dinosaur and Three of a Perfect Pair they also played the earlier “Red” with no plum and no decorum and it went off.
The real highlight of the night had to be the superb King Crimson song – ‘Indiscipline’ that saw Reuter leave the stage and Belew take a seat as the two drummers started off slowly with Levin then Slick joining it. This saw “call and answer” drumming that kept building up and becoming more extreme as each man tried to outdo his opposite. Some fifteen minutes later the song finished with all six players being completely spent.
After a short break they all returned to the stage clearly ecstatic with the response that they received and launched into ‘Elephant Talk’ then ‘Thela Hun Ginjeet’ to finish off what for me was a once in a lifetime event. Anyone in that audience on the night would welcome them back again especially if King Crimson’s Robert Fripp could be talked into flying across the equator again.