This gig appears to be a testimony to the recuperative powers of John Wetton’s constitution. Having been out partying in the company of David Enthoven and Richard Palmer-James the night before in Munich, he still manages an impressive performance on Doctor Diamond and indeed throughout the rest of the gig. Though the good Doctor would forever elude them in the studio it seems that the band really beginning to find the soul of this song in concert. Fracture has a risky quality tonight; Bruford is in an adventurous mood whilst David’s tron is a touch out of tune.
Talk about chalk and cheese or to put it another way: what a difference a day makes. After their uneven performance at in Pittsburgh, Boz and the boys spent a day travel up to Milwaukee and washed up at the Riverside theatre. 24 hours spent away from the stage has made them hungry again, giving this gig a distinctive edge to the set. Arguably the best live rendering of Formentera Lady is to be found here; Fripp’s chords and timing are tight and consequently Boz’s vocals are focussed and sharp. Collins moves from supportive flute to bracing salvos of alto sax fired over the rhythm section inquisitive wanderings which range from sparse funk, R&B shuffle, and Elvin Jones workout. As it migrates to become The Sailors Tale, Collins’ frenetic soloing demonstrates why there was no other band quite like Crim doing the rounds back then; it’s jazz rock but not as we know it, Jim.
Compiled from the Porcupine Tree support slot in October 2006, this is a snapshot of the duo grappling with the task of combining the harmonic ambiguity of Soundscapes with some straight ahead rock grooves. With so much of Robert’s public work being taken up with ‘scaping in recent times, it’s almost a novelty to hear him rocking it up like he does on Time Groove from Boston and Queer Jazz NYC. Despite all the technology involved this is a pared-back sound compared to previous projeKcts, and there's a tentative, exploratory quality about much of the music; two players in search of that often elusive moment, an intriguing aspect which provides much of the tension and appeal.
Highlights Limited Edition Box Set include:
* 9cds including new Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp stereo mixes of Discipline (2011), Beat (2016) and Three of a Perfect Pair (2016), and the final concert from each of the band's tours: Japan 1981 (new to CD), Germany 1982 (new mixes for this edition), Canada (Absent Lovers) 1984 (remastered for this edition)
* 2cds of additional studio recordings including 1 cd containing edited and expanded of sessions for the abandoned third album and a 'making of…' CD featuring studio snippets and outtakes from across the studio recordings (providing a fascinating audio insight into the 'Crimson process')
How best to describe the performance here? One word: savage. Taken from the FOH tapes recorded by Greg Dean and mixed with audience mics from the Multi-track ADATS by Alex Mundy, this is a powerful testament to the latitude and grasp of the Double Duo in the live arena. Level Five squashes all before it, packing in more musical weight and density into seven minutes than many groups manage over an entire career. A high-powered and potent version of Facts Of Life makes for compelling listening – the revved up solo from Fripp is a joy to behold as is Belew’s rollercoaster solo on LTIA IV.
A cracking, take-no-prisoners version of The Great Deceiver opens this defining, much bootlegged performance from 1974. For those who prefer a pastoral Crim, look no further than the sublime improv Daniel Dust that quells a boisterous crowd (including yelled requests for Ladies of the Road) and elegantly sets up a reflective Night Watch. This is desert island stuff indeed.