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The Bloody Mallard on King Crimson

The Bloody Mallard is a London-based heavy psych, prog and alt-rock project. After experimenting with melodies, rhythms and tones that were reminiscent of many mushroom trips in rural Kent, the sonic segments finally formed into songs.

Here, Tom shares his love of King Crimson in the latest in our Why I Love series.

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King Crimson

There’s a lot of influences running through The Bloody Mallard but without a doubt the main anchor and one I mention to anyone who asks is King Crimson.

I grew up on a healthy diet from my Dad who use to feed me all the classics (Cream, Hendrix etc.) but it was one day hearing me listen to (I think) Mars Volta, he flippantly said “If you like that you might like King Crimson”.

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Cover art for In The Court of the Crimson King.

Curiously I checked them out starting at the chronological beginning of their catalogue with “In the Court of the Crimson King” (in hindsight best move) and stuck on 21st Century Schizoid Man. 

I was hooked the second the band kicked in! What a sound! I don’t know exactly what it was but it was just in the songs DNA that it was everything that makes good music. Loud, virtuosic and a raw near-punk grit to it that just had me buzzing. The whole album had my attention for months. No other music could get in! It just wouldn’t get me as excited. Even the way I approached playing music changed. I wanted to create that massive mellotron sound but all on the guitar. 

I then heard that after that album they had  split up which horrified me as I didn’t want any of that brilliance to be lost. I dreaded looking at the rest of their catalogue to be honest. However and controversially ‘In the Wake of Poseidon,’ is one of my favourites. People think it was just copying the first album.

Correct.

And? 

Skip ahead to their other classics like ‘Red’ and ‘Larks Tongue in Aspic’ and they had well truly sat high on the list of my favourite artists. In particular I was becoming really inspired by Robert Fripp as a musician (his Head, Heart and Hands philosophy) but also, dangerously, as an idol. I had even started reading the bizarre works of Gurdjieff who he was an admirer of for one period of the band’s history.

It all came to a head one day when I was in the queue to see Tool on their 10,000 days tour that I saw Robert Fripp casually walking to the box office. Moronically I ran over, losing my place in the queue and embarrassingly had a mind blank when I reached him resorting to a pathetic “Are you Robert Fripp?” to which he retorted (rather now infamously I hear) “No I don’t know who you’re talking about”. He didn’t turn his head and marched at faster pace away. So I learnt a fairly important lesson that day. Don’t idolise anyone and never leave a decent spot in a queue. 

But I do love them. I saw them last year and it was the tightest shows I’ve ever seen. If you haven’t listened to I recommend to start with the first album, ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’.

They have been categorised as Prog Rock but really their methods and approach are the category, King Crimson – forever as legendary!

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