BEING THERE: King Krule @ Union Transfer



Seeing Brit indie-weirdo sensation King Krule at Union Transfer last night, I was reminded of the wise words of the late great Bo Diddley: You can’t judge a book by lookin’ at the cover. Frail and shrimpy, the baby-faced 23 year-old Londoner looks like Ron Weasley in desperate need of a sandwich or seven. But when he opens his mouth, it’s another matter altogether. His scratchy deepwater baritone, thick Brit accent and fierce stage moves tends to stops traffic and silence skeptics — something he has been doing since the tender age of 16. His new album, The Ooz, sounds like early-stage Madness meets late period Beat Happening. (Look it up.)

At quarter past nine, Krule and his four bandmates walked onstage to a deafening roar from the crowd. Krule — real name Archy Marshall — doesn’t tour very often, and last night Union Transfer was filled to the brim with indie-rock rubberneckers. Krule’s scraggly figure loomed at the edge of the stage as he and his band dove into hit after hit off of The Ooz, and his first full length album, Six Feet Beneath The Moon. As if to answer the unasked question of whether not he can pull it off live, Krule and co. made “Dum Surfer,” the lead-off single from The Ooz, sounded thrice as good live as it does on record. Other highlights included the drum-machine-backed “Logos” and the guitar-only “New Drugs” and a dreamy, elegant version of “Baby Blue.” The night concluded with the fan-favorite “Easy Easy,” followed by an encore of “Out Getting Ribs,” a tune that dates back to the dawning of Marshall’s career when he performed under the alias Zoo Kid. Given that Marshall wrote it when he was just 16 years old, which happens to be the last time he played at Union Transfer, he could not have ended the night on a more fitting note.

Opening up the evening was New York hardcore band Show Me The Body. Their sound was a culmination of the best parts of various different groups. Hints of the hectic style of Death Grips were prevalent throughout, in addition to some Converge-esque math rock, and a semi-high pitched voice similar in style to Alex Edkins of Metz. Show Me The Body were undoubtedly a raucous selection for an opening slot, especially for the cool cat King Krule, however they kicked major ass and did their job by warming the crowd up while refraining from stealing the show. — DYLAN LONG