The crowd at this show in Frejus sound very keen indeed considering that not all of them would have been there to see Crimso.[endtease] Mind you, situated somewhere between the rich playground of St.Tropez and the movie star haunt of Cannes, this was a perfect opportunity to soak up the Crims beneath the Gallic sun. As “up” as a helium–filled kite, let’s be honest if the rolling intro to Waiting Man doesn’t put a smile on your face and set your toe atapping, then there’s something seriously wrong with you. Ebullient as ever, Belew the consummate showman gets Crimson’s Roxy Music support slot off to a great start. A glossy Red shows Levin to be on devastating form and his nimble work on Matte is a perfect reminder as to why this player is held in such high esteem. Despite the sunny weather Sheltering Sky sends shivers down the spine; Belew coaxing some of his patented weird-wired sploog from the wood. Neil and Jack and Me sounds sharper than its outing the day before at Cap D’Agde.

Please note that this download now contains Thela Hun Ginjeet and Red which were not included on the Frejus DVD.




Waiting Man
Thela Hun Ginjeet
Matte Kudasai
The Sheltering Sky
Neal And Jack And Me
Elephant Talk
Larks' Tongues In Aspic Pt II

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KC19820827Frejus8 - Georges-Thierry Santana

KC19820827Frejus7 - Dominique Vignaud


Written by Jure Humar
A show to stand the test of time
If there is someone that says that the 80's era of King Crimson was subpar, they should just listen to this concert. This concert is to the 80's era KC, what Concertgebouw 1973 is to the 70's era KC. Every song played is SUBLIME, from Waiting Man to Larks II. But there is one song here that truly stands out: The Sheltering Sky. I have said it many times, this track is KC at their finest and here at Frejus, I have the feeling that is evolved, like a butterfly releasing itself from the chrysalis. Bruford never misses a beat, not by a milisecond, Levin's bass playing cannot even be described and Fripp and Belew play with almost religious fervor. Adrian Belew is an outstanding vocalist and here he truly shines on tracks like Waiting Man, Indiscipline, Heartbeat and Matte Kudasai. There is no point in describing this concert. You have to hear it. It's one of life's many mysteries that this concert is not more widely known. A masterpiece with a capital M. P.S.: Listen to those bass notes during the first minute of The Sheltering Sky. Jesus Christ....
Written by Daniel Learmouth
A Live Performance that sounds arguably better than the studio equivalents
It's not often I listen to live performances of groups, having never been to a live performance before. I'm usually turned off by the price of it, and as has been more of a problem as of recent, my ability to actually get there and back home reasonably. However, if there's anything this particular performance is telling me, it's telling me to at some point go to a King Crimson concert. This was my gateway into the live magic of the Crim, and I am thankful for this introduction. I first watched 'The Noise' which is this exact same performance but with the omission of a few tracks, likely done to save film reel for the home video releases of the performance. Here, however, all ten tracks, as well as Bill Bruford's pre-Indiscipline drum solo, are here. The first standout track for me was 'Waiting Man', used to open the concert up. This is probably my favourite rendition, as it all flows so beautifully. So much so, in fact, that when I listened to the same track on the Beat record (from which this song is derived), I found the outro to be quite jarring in how oddly paced it is, compared to this live version. It feels better structured. Two of the three tracks that weren't included on the home video release of 'The Noise' come straight after. 'Thela Hun Ginjeet' isn't a favourite of mine, but it is still a good track with interesting structure and a catchy rhythm, amplified by a spoken word backing track in the main instrumental sections. That said, I much preferred the next track - 'Red', from...Red, of course. It's not as rapid as the source track, but it's still a very solid performance, with Robert and Adrian's guitars bouncing off one another really well. 'Matte Kudasai' comes next, and in all honesty, there isn't really much to say. It's a slow-burner, content in whisping you into a trance of sorts. It's a good rendition, and a solid enough track. But then comes the best performance of 'The Sheltering Sky' ever performed by the group. Instrumental and experimental, King Crimson really knows how to piece together improvised instrumental genius. It's long, to boot; longer than on the Discipline record, anyhow...and much more entertaining, I feel. Any words I use to describe this track don't do it justice; I would say buy this entire album just for 'The Sheltering Sky'. 'Neal and Jack and Me' from Beat feels a bit poppier here than the original. It feels like a track you could dance to. It's a very solid track, and one that actually got me to seek out the Beat record. Then comes another track that wasn't on the home video release - 'Elephant Talk'. For some reason, 'Elephant Talk' is one of those tracks that seems to not be as good going live compared to the Discipline original, and I fear that this is the one track I am not so fond of; the performance didn't have that punch to it like it did in the later Live in Montreal performance in 1984. 'Indiscipline' is one of those few tracks where just because you hear it once, it doesn't mean you've heard it a thousand times. Every single live rendition is unique, in part due to the improvised instrumental pieces, but also down to Adrian Belew's vocals. There's one thing I will say - Adrian Belew as a vocalist is quite underrated, I feel, and this performance only adds credence to that. A Bill Bruford drum solo serves as a preface to this track, which incidentally serves as the final track of the main performance, until an encore consisting of two more tracks. 'Heartbeat' is the first of the two encore tracks, and it made me take notice that King Crimson was willing to do anything that it wanted, even love ballads, and they do it quite well, even if it comes with an inherent amount of cheesiness that lovesongs often provide. Still, credit where it's due, it's a good song, and a good performance. But then, the climax of it all. 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic: Part II'. But, where's David Cross's violin? Who even plays violin in this group, and who's gonna do the improvised instrumental for it late into the track?! Well, ol' Ade's got you covered, with his guitar proving to us that it can handle basically any situation. I'm tempted to say this rendition of LTiA2 is my favourite, but I'm reminded of the 1995 performances which have 'The Talking Drum' as its opener. That being said, it is a fantastic track, better and much more impactful than the original, and I'll be damned if I encounter someone who loves this entire album but not this one track. And there you have it. I just rambled, sat at a keyboard for about forty-five minutes, gushing over a live performance not many people are probably gonna end up listening to, in the grand scheme of things. But if you take anything away from this review, let it be this - King Crimson live, going off of these releases, is pure magic. You have my and no doubt everyone else's blessing to check this performance out.
Written by Emanuel Maris
Possibly the best Sheltering Sky!
I’d seen this ’81-’84 lineup in person 29 times, which included 27 performances of Sheltering Sky (the ’84 shows were very long, presenting almost all of three albums, and the two indoor ones of the six I saw that year - the spectacular July 4th Hartford show (PLEASE, SOMEBODY get the tape to DGM, including RF’s opening Frippertronics rendition of God Save The Queen) and the last U.S. show the next night in Boston - the group elected not to play it). Also, I’ve heard tapes of at least that many other shows of this era that I was not present for. After all that, I would have to say the this TSS is my contender for the most FANTASTIC performance of it - but do yourself a favor, RUN, don’t walk, to acquire the visual of this found on the Neal Jack And Me DVD (perhaps the best-shot/edited concert film of all time, no artistic, distracting BS video art - and to think it was an afterthought by a crew that was commissioned only to film the headliner, Roxy Music). RF’s ’meowing’ via bending his strings on the exiting head was the final touch that set my spirit into warp-drive, but this was spellbinding way beyond all the other versions from the very first notes. I can think of only a few others - that I saw - which might vie for such otherworldliness - several of the six at the Savoy NYC in ’81, and the late set from the Princeton show March 6, 1982 [Also hoping that DGM soon uncovers both Princeton sets, and the Stonybrook from Feb 28 the week before]