A mysterious and magical opening on the second night in Birmingham as the brooding Vector Shift transforms in undulating clouds of wispy notes, aquatic bell-tones and ominous rumbles into the fast-moving Sector Q3 Where Are You, wherein Fripp and Gunn find themselves in an assertive mood. Itís seems the team arenít in any mood to take any prisoners with lots of cutting solos flying off the fretboards. Although the pace may be slower, the intensity is, if anything, increased during a smoking Sus_tayn_Z and into a truly mind-boggling Live Groove.
Thereís a phenomenal tension to this rendition as the three musicians engage in a determined single-minded sonic attack that goes on for over three uninterrupted minutes. Gunnís solo spot around the 3.00 minute mark is brimming with invention and ideas all played out with a yearning tone that melts the air around it. Just when you think it canít get any better, Fripp wades in at his belligerent-sounding best. Some of that firepower carries over into Sector Drift and the following track. In a slight departure from the usual pattern, thereís a jaunty syncopated groove from Belew across which short snappy salvos are fired from either side of the stage by Fripp and Gunn. Donít be worried by the sudden outbreak of cocktail jazz at the end of X_chayn_jiZ - thatís just Ade fooling around with the samples on the V-Drums.
In the second set Fripp completely stomps the place flat with white soloing during Vector Shift and House, though Gunn steps up to the plate in the final minutes with an equally spellbinding display.
A fluffed intro to Heavy ConstruKction makes the lead lines sound like square pegs being knocked into round holes, whilst Contrary, after tarrying at the start has no such problems. Thrush ushers in a beautiful end to P2ís stint at Ronnieís. The next time these three musicians would share a stage in the UK would be July 2000 at the Shepherdís Bush Empire.
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