King Krule premieres unreleased material at Horsey’s Village Underground headline show

Marshall debuted songs from his forthcoming album as well as one track he claimed "is never coming out"...

10.10.22 Photos by: Sam Willicome, Words by: Billy Ward

King Krule played an extremely rare, stripped-back live show at Village Underground last week, debuting a selection of unreleased material as part of London band Horsey’s biggest headline show to date.

Having built up a strong live following over the last few years, Horsey, centred around the core duo of Jacob Read (aka Jerkcurb) and Theo McCabe, marked their return to the stage in style. Situated under the brick arches of Shoreditch’s revamped tube carriageways, the gold sequinned jackets of one of the city’s oddest yet most exciting groups drew in hundreds of fans for an evening of music to remember, showcasing some of South London’s finest musical talent with an impressive all-star bill.

The night got underway with a serenading performance from MOOW, an evolution of the all-female outfit WOOM who were quick to admit they were still yet to decide on a new name. Harmonising between each other while immersing the crowd in their sonic world, the group impressed with both Bjork and Horsey covers and set the bar high for the rest of the evening.

After revealing himself as the night’s special guest on Instagram in the hours leading up to the show, Archy Marshall took to the stage next for his first live appearance since playing the US and European Primavera festivals earlier in summer. King Krule performances are typically a once in a blue moon ordeal however this one felt extra special and you could tell the rest of the audience knew it too.

Playing without the assistance of his band members, the one exception being his saxophonist Ignacio Salvadores, Marshall opened proceedings with an intimate version of ‘Perfecto Miserable’, comparable to the ‘HEY WORLD!’ rendition released in the lead up to 2020’s ‘Man Alive!’ album.

However, if it was a sing-along show of King Krule classics you were after, this wasn’t it. For the rest of the night, Archy played exclusively unreleased material, featuring songs from his forthcoming album as well as one track he claimed “is never coming out”.

Tracks like ‘Flimsier’ and ‘Tortoise’, debuted at his Primavera Barcelona show a few months back, featured in the track-list alongside tunes he’s never before performed to the public, like ‘Our Vacuum’ and other as-of-yet nameless cuts. For large parts of his performance you could hear a pin drop in the audience, as Marshall transitioned from mellow croons to all-out belly shrieks, demonstrating his dexterous guitar skills on a stylish Gibson SG.

Despite giving the many King Krule fanatics in the crowd some new material to tide them over until the new record releases, the night belonged to Horsey and the most hectic, energetic performance of the night was most definitely saved until last.

Appearing onto the stage draped in grim-reaper style hooded gowns for the first song until revealing their trademark golden blazers, it didn’t take the audience long to switch from silent observers into a fireball of mosh-pitting, crowd-surfing energy. Aside from the band’s tongue-in-cheek attitude, Justin Timberlake covers and tendency to crack jokes between songs (a running theme throughout the night became their Huel sponsorship which I’m still not sure whether or not was true), Horsey’s music is serious and their live shows always prove to be a spectacle of the best kind.

The headline show was originally advertised as their last one for a considerable amount of time following the birth of frontman Theo’s child, however, the group introduced a handful of new tracks – and a theremin – on the night that would suggest they might have other plans.

The night eventually came to a climax with their final and most popular song ‘Seahorse’, allowing King Krule to re-enter the stage alongside his Horsey peers to wrap up a brilliant sell-out night.

Photography: Sam Willicome

Read next: King Krule raised the roof at his ‘Man Alive!’ album launch show in Kingston

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