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.