Rhine Halle Dusseldorf
Despite its unauthorised origins, this recording captures the quartet in furious form, charging into the material with a mixture of steely precision and risk-taking bravado. Hearing this lineup tackle Cat Food still induces a kind of double-take just as it did back then.
Fracture is heard what we now know as its final form though it would have been entirely unfamiliar to the good folks of Dusseldorf which might account for the slightly muted response at the end in contrast to the warm greeting to Book Of Saturday.
After Easy Money there’s a very curious improv that variously meanders through a kind of musical hall pastiche led by Fripp, see-sawing into an atonal jig of sorts, fragmented squeaks and bangs, slurs and slides, and a Mellotron finale. Up until that point, the band are clearly attempting to find a place to land but don’t quite manage it, making this one of the oddest improvs of the tour. The second improv is on a much firmer footing, summoning up the brooding atmospherics and mallet percussion that ultimately builds towards The Talking Drum which, of course, leads into a storming Larks Tongues In Aspic Part Two to bring things to a resounding conclusion. Thanks to Alex Mundy’s ace restoration of this bootleg recording, we have a superb gig to enjoy.