Playing Portland on Nov. 4, Archy Marshall only made one mistake all night. "I just found out that The Goonies was filmed here, so that's cool," he said.
The 23-year-old Brit may have mixed up Portland and Astoria during a bit of onstage banter, but the rest of his Wonder Ballroom show was decidedly on-point.
He deftly led his five-piece band through a tight set comprised almost entirely of songs from last month's The Ooz, his second album released under the King Krule moniker, and 2013's 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. Anyone hoping to get some full-band versions of songs from 2015's A New Place 2 Drown, a trip-hop-flavored solo album released under Marshall's birth name, was out of luck. Marshall and co. were so locked into a high energy groove that those more moody downtempo cuts may have completely killed the vibe, so their absence may have been a wise decision.
The performance sat at the exact intersection of indie-rock, jazz, punk and hip-hop, the lovely melodies and atmospheres of the first two genres colliding chaotically, but somehow harmoniously, with the aggression and swagger of the other two. Positioned on opposite ends of the stage, the band's saxophonist and keyboardist-DJ were the sheepdogs guiding the constantly-shifting chemistry experiment. Marshall was the farmhand, his body-language cues the clear stimulus for the band's many fluid transitions.
As gleaned from the sold-out crowd's rapturous reception, Marshall is the singular, unorthodox-voiced songwriter of choice for millennials, a must-have for artsy twentysomethings in any era. Boomers may not get the frequent Tom Waits comparison, and Gen-Xers may laugh in your face if you invoked Stephen Malkmus or Dan Bejar, but for the fans that repeatedly yelled "I love you Archy" and crumbled at the opening notes of their favorite songs, Marshall's ragged, precocious talent is once in a lifetime, or at least once in a generation. They'll surely forgive him for his Goonies-related error—most of them weren't alive when the film was released.
All photos by Liz Allan.