Live preview: King Crimson

Second guitarist Jakko Jakszyk checks in as the seven-man Crimson – featuring three drummers! – follow last summer’s acclaimed North America tour with some British dates.

Will the UK shows be the same as you played in the US?

No. We’re going to add songs; catalogue stuff and some brand new things.

Surely Crimson could fill bigger venues than clubs, theatres and mid-sized auditoriums?

Yeah, but Robert [Fripp] won’t play anything bigger than two-and-a-half-thousand-capacity. So we end up doing multiple nights.

There’s some amazing YouTube footage of Gavin Harrison, Bill Rieflin and Pat Mastelotto rehearsing their synchronised drumming. How does their playing go down at gigs?

The response to the three of them playing together has been quite extraordinary.

Last year Robert said: “[This is] the first Crimson where there isn’t at least one person who actively resents me”. That’s a pretty remarkable statement.

And it’s very Robert. This is Robert’s band. But he’s not dictatorial in the way that I suspect Frank Zappa might have been.

Surprisingly, In The Court Of The Crimson King wasn’t in the set- list for the US shows.

In interviews Robert said: “If you’ve bought tickets expecting to hear that song you might as well sell them.” But some of the stuff we’re reviving is very, very exciting.

Talk of new material suggests there could be a new album?

Robert does have a long-term plan, but how that might manifest itself, I really don’t know.

Is Robert as cantankerous, obstinate and difficult as he is often thought to be?

Not at all. He won’t thank me for saying so, because I suspect he quite likes that reputation.

Classic Rock 214: News & Regulars

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.