King Crimson rock the theatre

The stage at the Waterside Theatre ahead of King Crimson's gig
The stage at the Waterside Theatre ahead of King Crimson's gig

Rock band King Crimson returned to Aylesbury to play three gigs at the Waterside Theatre last week.

One of the biggest music events of the year in Aylesbury saw the internationally-renowned band play the opening two dates of their first European Tour since the eighties.

The band also staged a third show which was by invitation only on Sunday night for family and friends.

Many well-known musicians and artists attended including Kate Bush, Marillion and musician and record producer Steve Wilson.

Friars Aylesbury promoter David Stopps said: “I hadn’t spoken to Kate since the eighties when I was involved with the very first Comic Relief concert with her in London.

“It was great to see her again.”

Highlights of the King Crimson show included three songs from their first album ‘In The Court of the Crimson King’.

Audiences at the first all-seated show presented by the Friars music club in Aylesbury, were treated to ‘Epitaph’, ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ and ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’.

> King Crimson may be one of rock’s biggest-ever acts, but their history in Aylesbury goes back nearly half a century.

King Crimson first played in Aylesbury on July 28, 1969, just two months after the Friars music club started at the New Friarage Hall in Walton Street.

The band drew more people than any other musicians during the first year of the music club.

Guitarist Robert Fripp, the only constant member of the band since its formation said: “I remember that gig very well.

“It was one of the few times in my career that I broke a string on stage”.

Two years later on July 15, 1971 Friars presented King Crimson again, this time at the 1,600 capacity Watford Town Hall and it was a sell-out, even though singer and musician Greg Lake had already departed to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Ten years later on October 7, 1981 Friars presented the band again at the old civic centre.

This month the line-up consisted of Fripp, bass player Tony Levin (who has played with John Lennon, Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel) and Mel Collins on sax/flute (who has played with The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton).

In addition there were three drummers Pat Mastellotto, Bill Reiflin and Gavin Harrison with Jakko Jakszyk as the lead singer and second guitarist.

The show was the first time that Friars presented a band two nights in a row.