Girls and King Krule played at Union Transfer in Philadelphia last Thursday, and it was a wonderful show, up there with some of the best I’ve ever been to in Philly (including the Excepter show that took place in someone’s cramped basement, and the November 2003 Liars show, memorable for many reasons, the least of which was the 11 or 12 year-old kid wearing a feathered headdress).
King Krule played six or seven songs, I think, among which were most or all of the songs from the EP, plus a couple older ones from Zoo Kid-era recordings. When I heard “The Noose of Jah City” for the first time a couple months ago, I was hit with the feeling of encountering something brand new, and that feeling was constant during the band’s set. They, like Girls, have major chops, and played so well, stretching out some moments of the songs, indulging in the drama and tension, but never really letting loose–they were under control at all times. There is definitely that aspect of Archy Marshall’s music that borrows from the technical and jazzy, and it’ll be fascinating to see what happens with this band next. There were ideas enough in each song that I could see them going in a hundred different directions.
Girls started off their part of the show with Alex, then Honey Bunny, then My Ma, which was quite a run. They played almost everything from “Father, Son, Holy Ghost,” and quite a few songs from “Album,” and “Broken Dreams Club.” They performed with three back-up singers. Bouquets of flowers tied to each mic stand (they later threw the flowers into the audience). Every song sounded so full and so intense–I thought during Vomit that they could easily be playing huge clubs, their sound is so immediate, and maybe that’s what people are picking up on when they say that Girls’ songs have a ‘classic’ vibe–everything does feel sort of familiar, but familiar in terms of having come from a certain age, or having a certain aura (not as in homage or pastiche, though there is some of that). It’s almost like someone stumbled on a cache of previously unrecorded hits, except, you know, all these songs actually came from Christopher Owens.