Archy Marshall, the young, surprisingly slight red-headed British man behind the moniker of King Krule has always been something of a musical enigma. His first official release under the King Krule banner in 2013 saw him rise to global recognition at a dizzying rate, while he was barely old enough to buy a packet of cigarettes. His music incorporates a melting pot of influences which combine to result in a startlingly unique product – elements of jazz, lounge and punk permeate throughout his music, particularly on his latest release, 2017’s phenomenal The OOZ. This gelling of influence is perhaps best exemplified by one of the early single’s off The OOZ, ‘Dum Surfer‘.
In the same way that there are two distinct sides to King Krule’s music – the raw and punk driven side, contrasted with the intellectual jazz influenced side – there are two distinct groups of King Krule fans. Namely, those who respect and admire his musicality, and those who respect and admire his ferocious energy. During his first of two sold out show’s at Melbourne’s The Croxton Hotel, the latter fan base seemed to be out in force. A vast majority of the rowdy crowd deemed it acceptable to chat nonchalantly between, and during songs. This was particularly notable during quieter numbers, during which the noise levels emitted by the audience were markedly higher than that of the band. During the heavier cuts like ‘Easy Easy’ the crowd was whipped to attention, transferring their energy from talking to moshing in an instant. Personally, I have never found King Krule’s music to be music to mosh to – but a vast majority of attendees seemed to think it was. At one point, prior to the band departing stage, a particularly rowdy audience member threw a shoe on stage, striking Marshall in the face, who in turn called the punter a “fucking c**t.”
Leaning heavily on material from The OOZ, the musical chops of Marshall and his band were firmly on display. They were as tight as a band can be, while still embodying the loose, raw energy that characterises so much of King Krule’s music. The sound at The Croxton, crisp and clear if occasionally drowned out by a boisterous audience, paid testament to the band’s collective skill. A no bullshit, no frills performance with little to no banter between songs, King Krule let the music speak for itself, and performed just one short, obligatory encore.
Often, there can be a disconnect between the music of an artist, and the nature of their fan base, and this unfortunate truth was boldly on display at this concert – some of the fans seemed to not respect the music they were paying to see as much as they rightfully should have.