The music industry isn’t known for taking prisoners. Bands come and go in the blink of an eye. Today’s hype band usually finds itself in tomorrow’s bargain bins. In the age of streaming, when it has become increasingly difficult to make a living out of music, most quickly fall by the wayside. Very few groups have any kind of longevity. Occasionally a band chimes a chord with their fans, who stick with them through thick and thin.
King Crimson celebrated 50 years of performing together in 2018. The prog rock behemoth has had many members over the years, but the inimitable leader Robert Fripp has remained the one constant. They’re a force of nature in many ways, continually changing, evolving and developing their sound. In the Court of the Crimson King considers their longevity and tries to discover what makes them tick as a cohesive unit.
In The Court of the Crimson King goes behind the scenes to get the inside track on the band’s success. This is the primary focus of Toby Amies’ documentary, eschewing the usual timeline approach to tackle its subject from a different angle. And in Fripp, he certainly has an interesting and abrasive central focal point. In The Court of the Crimson King works as a cohesive whole, both as a piece of entertainment and as a deep dive into a group with a staunchly loyal fanbase.
In The Court of the Crimson King screens in Everyman cinemas in the UK and worldwide for one night only on 19 October, followed by a live digital screening event on 22 October.