Robert Fripp’s latest incarnation of his progressive rock progenitors came in the form of a magnificent “seven-headed beast of Crim”, providing everything an audience could ask for and more.

This latest (eighth!) version of the seminal, near-50-year-old King Crimson saw guitarist Fripp oversee yet another reinvention as three drummers (industrial metaller Bill Rieflin, fellow proggers Porcupine Tree’s Gavin Harrison and long-time member Pat Mastelloto) took centre-stage, pushing the usual frontline back.

This focus on complex rhythms and bone-shaking intensity lent a new beefiness to the obvious classics, such as the thunderous 21st Century Schizoid Man, and, with Tony Levin’s intricate Chapman Stick-playing, perfectly realised the winding insidiousness of gonzo 1990s album The ConstruKction of Light. The return of 1970s sax and flute man Mel Collins stole the spotlight effortlessly, crawling through the stunningly sleazy Pictures Of A City.

Though this spectacular two-hour set certainly wasn’t lacking in chaotic crescendos, the band’s dalliances outside of rock offered the counterpoint of a deftly not-quite-gentle touch to proceedings. Easy Money flirted coolly with steel-drum dub while The Letters brilliantly catapulted into free jazz madness.

Singer Jakko Jakszyk's soulful vocals elevated the none-more-prog Starless, closing wig-out intact, to be the highlight of these masters’ immensely satisfying return.

Five stars