Thursday, 9 May 2013

Live Review: King Krule (BidoLito! Sound City Daily)

King Krule
Liverpool Sound City (Friday 3rd May)
Duke Street Garage

“Your eyes, they were cold” growls Archie Marshall, prompting whispers and nudges among a reverent crowd shocked by a voice deeper than The Grand Canyon. It isn’t just his voice that contradicts his youthful veneer, as Portrait Of Black And Blue reflects on a disillusioned generation, “trapped in a lizard state...looking for an escape” with the tired wisdom of a man who has seen and done too many things. The Noose Of Jah City, his most focused song to date, provides a likely highlight as the spectral guitar line and layers of reverb come together to allow Marshall’s baritone to hang compellingly in the mist.

King Krule has often been criticised for appearing too affected, as his BRIT School past leaves him vulnerable to accusations of insincerity. No one could accuse him of being detached though and, lyrically, this is pretty violent stuff: “Now I’m covered in blood on the bed / And it’s a familiar scene” snarls Archie on Bleak Blake. What’s interesting about the performance is that these vehemently vicious lyrical moments are painted onto a warm, calm musical canvas. 

It’s one of a number of paradox’s that makes him so difficult to understand yet so exciting to watch. There’s the outward, brash punk swagger of Strummer against the introspective moments of reflection, the bluesy jangled guitars against the hip-hop, vocal flow; all working against each other to create one of the most intense, exhilarating performance of the festival so far.

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