King Krule – Lincoln Hall, Chicago


Chicago – “Hello, this song’s about myself.” This was the introduction given to the sold out crowd from a very modest Archy Marshall, aka King Krule before kicking things off with “Has This Hit” from his latest album and retrospective spectacle “6 Feet Beneath the Moon”. It was also the extent of any artist/audience chit chat bullshit, and Archy made it apparent from the get go that this was going to be an intimate evening of jazzy soul, extensive stage fog, and his trademark aching howl.

The lack of stage banter never came off like an act of arrogance or anxiousness. Krule was definitely pumped up, dropping the guitar and gripping the microphone like a sideways glock, prowling back and forth like a stray puma on the haunting “The Noose of Jah City”. The mic stand hobbles on the verge of falling down after he lets go between verses, facing his persistent percussionist George Bass for the majority of time he’s not singing. You can hear a pin drop when his band strums the last chord and Krule busts out an acapella, followed by praising chants of “ARCHY!” after songs.

There is no differential between the studio and live settings of Krule’s distinct accent and wailing, and the live backing band breathes more life into Krule’s tracks from “6 Feet”. Ballads like “Cementality” and “Baby Blue” feel more luscious and elegantly fragile with Krule on the keys while the jazzed up jam “A Lizard State” ventures into borderline rockabilly, snapping the crowd awake after the soothing lullabies. The full on live version of “Easy Easy” matches the intensity of the minimally produced recorded version, prompting the crowd to respond to Krule’s inquiry that when you’re going through hell, “You just keep going”.

Archy’s achingly soulful single “Out Getting Ribs” from his previous moniker Zoo Kid delivers an emotional send off, building the tension up to fierce crescendo before popping the balloon, promising, “Girl, don’t you worry about a thing”. It takes the crowd a few seconds to applaud after the number, prompting even the normally hushed Krule to admit, “That was a nice version of that song”. They come back for a one-song encore, offering up the raw and hollow “Portrait in Black and Blue” from his 2011 self-titled EP. It was an hour of fervently grave confessionals, and they left the crowd itching for more, much to the dismay of the man screaming, “Archy, you’re my favorite ginger!” repeatedly after the stage lights were summoned. 

For more on King Krule go HERE.

Photos By Francois Dubois