Big Love for King Krule at Webster HallDecember 5th, 2013
King Krule – Webster Hall – December 4, 2013
Brit Archy Marshall, better known as King Krule, has a voice from another time. Just 19, his baritone vocals transcend his age and recall artists of yesteryear playing in smoky, underground jazz clubs. The title to his debut full-length, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, even invokes the likes of Frank Sinatra or Miles Davis, however in some instances the down-tempo sound disappears into a more classic-rock sound. Sprinkles of Morrissey and Pete Doherty come to mind. Marshall transcends genres from jazz to hip-hop to something called “darkwave.” It’d be a perfect soundtrack for skaters in Tompkins Square Park and its bordering environs as the sun slowly sets and the vices of the night encroach.
At a sold-out Webster Hall last night, a suited-up band assumed their spots as the ginger string bean greeted the crowd with a hearty “Hello, New York!” Opening with “Has This Hit,” Marshall strummed his guitar in an oversized blazer, which exaggerated his youth. He ditched his instrument for “Bleak Bake,” freeing him to gesticulate like an MC. The syncopation on “Ocean Bed” resembled fellow countryman Dev Hynes (Blood Orange, Lightspeed Champion) with its swaying vocal delivery. Cheekily introducing “A Lizard State” as a song about a reptile, King Krule spat lyrics against a Mark Ronson–like backing band sans horns. He even paused mid-song to towel off before finishing the last verse. Front and center, Marshall recited, as if in a poetry slam, the intro to “The Krockadile.”
Fan-favorite “Baby Blue,” which should have been a highlight, was a bit marred by noisy drinkers at the bar. But saving the best for last, King Krule had the audience clapping along to “Rock Bottom,” first-single “Out Getting Ribs” and “Easy Easy.” The latter even generated a mosh pit, which resembled a whirlpool of bodies from the vantage of the balcony. Marshall returned for a one-song encore featuring a new track on the next album, “La Luna,” a final treat to send admirers off into the night. —Sharlene Chiu