Review: King Krule at Columbiahalle 

by | Concert Reviews

London native musician King Krule, real name Archy Marshall, hit the stage in pre pandemic Berlin –  here is indieBerlin’s review of Marshall’s concert at Columbiahalle!
Archy Marshall, acclaimed musician from South London and a recent father of his first-born, has garnered a dedicated homegrown fan base with his peculiar look and sound. Born out of the 25-year-old British artist’s lived experience, the principal concerns of his recently released third full-length album revolve around visceral themes such as loneliness and pre-fatherhood. Marshall hit the stage at Columbiahalle with a full band accompanying him just before the virus essentially shut down the entire city. 

Arriving to a packed out venue, filled with a crowd fitted out in King Krule appropriate dress –namely loose fitting skatewear and proto-Normcore, this reviewer was excited to see how the subdued outlook portrayed on the artist’s popular albums and mixtapes would translate to a live performance space. Marshall’s work has always hinged on a kind of catharsis, both in its subject matter and execution – his rasping vocal transmitting a kind of dark energy, would it be enough to move the throng assembled in Columbiahalle?  

Hardly tuneful but undeniably magical, King Krule’s vocal talents did indeed fill the buzzing hall to some extent, but a low level of interaction with a difficult crowd may have made things a little more complex for Marshall on the night. The hits – of which there are many, were met with rapturous applause, but one couldn’t help thinking the audience response was a little lacklustre – perhaps Archy Mashall and his stripped-down UK-centric show is a bit too earthy for the German scene? At one point, Marshall threw his guitar to the floor in exclamation as a particular piece arrived at its climax – but found little response in the sea of people in front of him, bar core members of the crowd at the very front. 

Perhaps the references were a little undefined to the wider audience, and it could be argued the sound was in need of some tweaks – Marshall’s whole sound is buoyed by deep, Dub basslines – but there’s a danger these frequencies can swallow the rest of the action, and one couldn’t help feeling like this was the case on the night in particular pockets of the venue . Nevertheless, the hall remained packed with a slowly swaying, and undeniably impressed audience till the encore, and all in all the show felt full and alive and a solid night out for King Krule fans across Berlin. 


Photography: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis


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