GROUND-BREAKING prog rockers King Crimson formed in 1968 and now rightly claim to have influences generations of musicians. From psychedelic rock to alternative metal and experimental/noise, their influences can be heard.
Fifty years on and they’re still on the road and their current aptly named Uncertain Times European Tour brings them to The Playhouse on Tuesday, 13 November, for An Evening With King Crimson.
Born out of psychedelic pop trio Giles, Giles and Fripp, King Crimson released their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, in 1969, the same year they opened for The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park.
The albums In The Wake of Poseidon and Lizard followed in 1970, with a fourth, Islands, a year later.
After reworking their approach and sound, the band returned with the LP Larks’ Tongues in Aspic in 1973 and Starless and Bible Black and Red, both in 1974, the year Fripp first disbanded the group.
Having undergone many changes of line-up since - 22 musicians have played with the group - the band’s current personnel have been playing together since 2017 and consists of three drummers, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison and Jeremy Stacey, as well as the return of multi-instrumentalist Bill Rieflin on keyboards and guitar and original founding member Fripp, who states that this “double quartet formation” is likely to make more noise than ever before.
Rounding out the eight piece line-up are guitarist and vocalist Jakko Jakszyk, long-time bassist Tony Levin, and saxophonist and flautist Mel Collins, a mainstay of the band from 1970-1972.
The band’s packed three-hour show at The Playhouse will draw on material from all periods of their history, including six historic tracks that King Crimson have never before played live, as well as new arrangements of classics (“The music is new whenever it was written”) and, of course, a healthy dose of new material, including the compositions for three drummers, which are a regular hailed a highlight.
An Evening with King Crimson, The Playhouse, Greenside Place, Tuesday 13 November, 7.30pm, £60.15-£75.15, 0844-871 3014