Oxford’s dreaming spires were surely rattled when Crimson came to town on this their eleventh date on a mammoth UK tour in the winter of 1972.

The version of LTIAPT1 is about as close as you can get to the album version recorded two months later. The main item of interest however will be the lengthy improvisation. Coming out of “Daily Games” (later christened Book Of Saturday) it begins delicately with Fripp pursuing a classical motif with counterpoints provided by Cross and Wetton. From there it moves up a notch as the rhythm section, primarily Bruford at first, engages. As Wetton maintains the centre of gravity within the piece, Cross can be heard mapping out some violin lines later to be revisited in more detail as Doctor Diamond – fleeting stuff but seeded away for future reference. Later as Cross, now switched to keyboards, lays down Mellotron flute, Fripp really opens up with those sustained laser-beam lines that make the jaw drop. Elsewhere his soloing evokes the steroid-enhanced banjo chords of the studio version of Salior’s Tale.

The music sounds so organised, concise, arranged (and for long sections of this improvisation, highly melodic), that its little wonder that so many audiences on this tour thought they were hearing traditionally composed pieces. Whilst the sonic provenance of the recording fails to do justice to the subtleties of Jamie Muir’s more abstract contributions, when Bruford and Muir lock horns behind the kit drums, the effect of their awesome barrage is to ratchet-up the intensity factor almost to the point of destruction.

Although only the first section of the concert was caught on bootleg cassette this recording is nevertheless stone-cold, drop-dead classic Crim of the highest calibre, and arguably one of the best performances given by the Larks’ Tongues quintet.
TRACK
TIME
01
Lark's Tongues In Aspic Pt I
14:02
02
RF Announcement
02:27
03
Book Of Saturday
02:52
04
Improv
19:42
05
Exiles
07:08
Written by P V Senior
Oxford Dreaming
Superb playing and great sound for an audience bootleg. After a great Larks 1 followed by some amusing comments from RF there is a sublime Daily Games drifting via a DC solo into a pastoral improv which quietly builds into a crescendo before dissolving into the improv to a lovely Exiles. It’s a shame there isn’t an entire show but if you like the Jamie Muir era band get this little gem and the Hull Technical College download which is a complete but grittier show. Uncle Rev
Written by Harry Spade
A quality download
The sound quality is very good for a bootleg cassette. Most of the instruments are audible throughout, especially David Cross’ violin.The performances are outstanding. The version of "Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part 1" included here rivals the studio version, maybe even exceeds in intensity. The improv is very enjoyable, one of the best I’ve heard from this lineup.If you enjoy the Larks’ quintet, (really, who doesn’t?) this is worth purchasing, and if you’re new to these downloads or this lineup of the band, this is a very good one with which to start.
Written by Miles Doubleday
The gig that changed my life
Yes, I know hyperbole is the common argot of the web, but just consider...  I was an18 year old rock fan, into Yes, Soft Machine, Kevin Ayers, The Bonzos.  I’d heard improvisation before, but always within a context.  I’d never heard truly free improvisation, jumping out into the void and seeing what happens.  This gig was truly revelatory.  And what’s more, of all the free improvisation I have heard since then, from Henry Cow through Lol Coxhill through Evan Parker through to the bunch that I even get to play with myself, Oxford Improvisers, King Crimson, the 1972 Jamie Muir including incarnation in particular, remain the exemplars.  Had any rock band ever done anything like this before?  Had Crimson done anything like this before?  If so, please dear internet egghead, enlighten me. I’ve just recorded my first album, of mainly improvised rock music.  For some of us it takes a long time to realise who we are (indeed, some of us never realise it).  Were it not a collaborative project I would have called it 25.11.72. How strange that I should wait over 35 years to hear this music again, and how moving to hear it afresh.  To everyone involved in its preservation I offer my heartfelt thanks.
Written by James Howard
it all comes flooding back....
I saw this line-up one magical night at Liverpool Empire about a week after the Oxford show - caught the entire performance on my trusty Philips cassette recorder only for some light-fingered removal man to swipe it (along with half a dozen other tapes) when I moved flats about ten years later. Nevertheless, large sections of that fabulous Liverpool show are still imprinted on my brain - in particular a gloriously majestic mellotron wash that led out of the lengthy improv and sequed into what we would later come to know as Exiles. Complete with Jamie Muir’s bird noises and David Cross’ violin intro, this moved me to tears at the time and did so whenever I heard it afterwards. What is so remarkable about the Oxford show is that the improv is almost nothing like the one they would lock into a week later (and quite possibly entirely different to one they might have played even the following night) yet both - and all - are filled with extraordinary touches of magic, lyrical beauty and excitement. How I wish I had that Liverpool show again (anybody out there please ???). There don’t seem to be any complete shows featuring the five-piece, but this Oxford half-performance certainly doesn’t let us down. I don’t think any of us who saw the band on that tour will ever forget the thrill of hearing this stuff for the first time.
DISCOVER THE DGM HISTORY
.

1940s
1950s
1960s
1970s
1980s
1990s
2000s
2010s
.