It may sound like a truism, but a band never gives up and always fights to the very end. This is what happened in the case of the legendary prog rock band – King Crimson will perform at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre on the 16-18th of June 2018!
It may sound like a truism, but a band never gives up and always fights to the very end. This is what happened in the case of the legendary prog rock band – King Crimson – which will perform at the ICE Kraków Congress Centre on the 16-18th of June 2018!
In 2014, the founder, leader and spiritus movens of the band Robert Fripp announced that the band will set out on a tour around the United States in the autumn after a five-year-long hiatus. That move took everybody by surprise. After years of concerting in conditions that left a lot to be desired, it seemed that Fripp had had enough of his flagship project and would limit himself only to occasional collaborations with other musicians. A short tour including only four cities and eleven concerts in 2008, during which he was accompanied by Adrian Belew, Pat Mastelotto, Tony Levin and Porcupine Tree’s Gavin Harrison, seemed to be the final nail in the coffin of the legendary band.
Thus, the announcement of a new American concert tour entitled “An Evening with King Crimson”, turned out to be an even bigger surprise for the fans. Robert Fripp, three drummers, two guitarists and a flautist/saxophonist, took their fans on a unique musical journey, delighting them with their musical mastery and long improvisations.
The band was founded in 1968 in Dorset by Robert Fripp, as well as brothers Michael and Peter Giles. Their first album In the Court of the Crimson King (1969) has become a milestone in the British prog rock scene: the musicians placed particular emphasis on instrumental virtuosity, the use of avant-garde technology and the combination of rock, classical music and jazz. In 1970, before the release of their second album In the Wake of Poseidon, the band has already undergone the first of numerous changes in their line-up, but the album was still ranked 4th on the British chart of best-selling records. Over the next decades, King Crimson recorded an impressive number of Top 40 albums, becoming one of the most recognised and respected progressive bands of all time.
After years of turmoil, musical changes and fascinations, in 2011, the King Crimson ProjeKct label released A Scarcity of Miracles. Previously, the ProjeKcts were associated with experimental permutations and combinations of members of the dual Crimson trio, which in 1994-1997 comprised Robert Fripp, Adian Belew, Trey Gunn, Pat Mastelotto, Tony Levin and Bill Bruford. However, A Scarcity of Miracles was a completely different story. It all started with the improvisations by Robert Fripp and the guitarist/vocalist Jakko M. Jakszyk, who, although he had been active on the music scene for a good few years, became known to the wider public only as the member of the 21st Century Schizoid Band (a collective of musicians associated with early mutations of King Crimson). When the musicians listened to the recorded music, they decided to invite the saxophonist and flautist Mel Collins, who was featured on King Crimson’s Islands (1971) and had his guest performance on Red (1975) to further work on the recorded material. Jakszyk took the recordings home, wrote the lyrics and gave the songs their final shape. Soon after Tony Levin and Gavin Harrison were invited to join the project, the trio expanded and became a quintet.
When two years later Fripp announced the musical resurrection of King Crimson, no one was surprised that the band comprised musicians featured on the latest album and two additional drummers: Pat Mastelotto and Bill Rieflin.
Their joint American tour delighted both critics and the audiences and confirmed that Fripp’s musical instincts are still in top shape. Three drummers were the unquestionable stars of each concert, enthralling the audiences with the smoothness of transitions and changes in the arrangements on every evening, and sometimes even in a moment during the concerts.
After two spectacular concerts in San Francisco, it was widely believed that it was one of the best line-ups in the band’s history, perhaps even the best one, except for the 1972-74 incarnation. It’s King Crimson that looks back on its past achievements, but they are certainly not a retro band. The new King Crimson is a band of the 21st century.
More and more voices say that the new King Crimson is even better as a band, because after supplementing the line-up with Collins’ instruments and three drummers, who brought electronics with them, as well as keyboard instruments thanks to Rieflin, the resulting line-up can play everything from the repertoire spanning 45 years in a way that was not possible for the earlier, less numerous incarnations of the band, and they do it with perfect intuition and dynamics. Jakszyk, whose talent as a singer and guitarist equals that of Adrian Belew, is a great in the band, and after Tony Levin’s return, King Crimson has a bassist who can play everything.
Their four concerts in Poland in 2016 were described by many as musical mysteries. Zabrze and Wrocław hosted the band two years ago. The tickets were gone as soon as they appeared, many months before the shows, and it’s not going to be different this time – this time around, the band will perform in Poland five times, twice in Poznań and three times in Krakow.