From the monstrously belligerent rendition of Pictures of a City to the last frenetic scrambling of 21st Century Schizoid Man, Collins not only dominates the solo spots but pretty much everything in between!
Throughout the performance Collins is constantly adding lines between the parts as though he can barely contain himself. Even on the relatively sedate version Formentera Lady his flute work spins and glides above the backing in such spirited and energised way. Once he switches to sax, Ian Wallace moves the piece into an extended percussive shuffle with Mel hollering like there’s no tomorrow. There’s a wonderful bit of freeform rough and tumble as they work on the transition to the Sailor’s Tale.
Fripp himself appears unsettled during his solo section on Tale, abandoning an inconclusive laser beam sound for the more acerbic chord-thrash mid way through the track. It could be he’s simply under-mixed here but the gig is notable for his unusually demure presence.
There’s a priceless glimpse into the hazards of an on-stage life as Fripp gets an electric shock off the microphone whilst making his customary announcement. A rueful Burrell can be heard complaining that he’s had to put up with that all night.
There’s a more reflective start to Groon than is usual. Perhaps this reflects the tiredness of the band as a whole. Whilst Fripp comps from the sidelines Collins, Burrell and Wallace absolutely stomp this particular sucker flat, then set about building up from scratch up to a blistering frenetic hyrbid that mixes It’s not until nine minutes have passed that Wallace opens up his drum solo.
Unfairly maligned and dismissed for many years, this KC line-up - and Mel Collins especially - can be heard ripping down the barriers between jazz and rock with great gusto.