The rapturous critical reception that greeted Low last year was as surprising as it was deserved: consistent and respected in their musical corner, the band had never significantly crossed over into the mainstream. All that changed with the arrival of Double Negative.

Rarely staying still over their twenty years, each successive Low album has introduced a new accent to the band’s unique, stately sonic language. Double Negative inverted that pattern to stunning effect, shellacking their own pristine harmonies with waves of brutal static decay – a sound that often had more in common with drone or doom metal. Whether by accident or design, this latest iteration of Low’s sound spoke directly to today’s caustic political climate: by turns muffled and roaring, cowed and outraged. As such, Double Negative took on a greater contemporary significance than their previous records – a significance reflected by the album’s presence in nearly every end-of-year list. It was a thrilling and unexpected revival.

How, then, to recreate such a studio-assisted bombardment in a live context? It’s a puzzle the band have clearly seriously engaged with, and the result is a watchful, yet often riveting, showcase for material both old and new – assisted here by The Barbican’s innately immaculate sound.

The band arrive backlit only by three columns of light, and don’t address the audience until well over halfway through the set – not that anyone needs winning over here. Elements of Double Negative that on record felt tender, touch-sensitive, are tonight given muscle and gore by a Neil Young-channelling Alan Sparhawk. Where on the studio versions Sparhawk’s guitar was often buried under an avalanche of electronic distortion, tonight it engulfs the spaces in between, burning a crisp line through ‘Dancing and Fire’, shaking up a heavenly ‘Tempest’.

Mimi Parker’s voice is given free rein, too. It is time – really, it has been for a while – to mention her name in the ‘best vocalists of a generation’ stakes, and she is on typically astonishing form tonight, album highlight ‘Fly’ especially hitting the heights. Any worries that these songs might suffer from exposure in a live context are completely unfounded: if anything, they thrive in this environment.

Elsewhere, older material nestles comfortably alongside the Double Negative cuts. The final bars of ‘No Comprende’, from 2015’s Ones and Sixes, are slowed to a lurching crescendo; the splenetic solo heralding the end of penultimate number and Great Destroyer classic ‘When I Go Deaf’ feels especially cathartic in the light of what’s gone before. ‘Especially Me’, from 2011’s C’mon, is the pick of the back catalogue, and strangely feels like it could have come from Double Negative, such is its pulsing intensity and lyrical desperation. Closer ‘Murderer’ from 2007’s Drums and Gums is greeted like an old friend, despite its ice-cold intent. And then they are gone, to a deserved standing ovation.

Low’s gradual transformation – from the slowest of slowcore merchants, to pioneering outriders of electronic experimentalism – is one of the most illuminating and rewarding musical journeys of recent times. This tour feels like vindication for almost three decades of songcraft, and it is delightful to see them get their dues. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess. Only one thing is certain: they will continue to operate on their own uncompromising terms – and we will continue to be awestruck by the results.