China Chalet is a Chinese dim sum restaurant in the Financial District that sometimes doubles as a late night DIY party spot. It was beyond packed, sweaty and smoky for King Krule's surprise show, which he announced the night before. Which is an appropriate vibe for King Krule's woozy, boozy, jazzy music that has a four-hours-past bedtime feel. It was not so good for actually seeing him play, though, as there was no stage as he and his band played against the restaurant's window overlooking Broadway. I wasn't close enough to tell for sure but it felt like the "stage" area was actually sunken. Anyway, unless you were in the first few rows you really couldn't see anything, especially as they basically played in the dark.
King Krule sounded great, though. I had heard it was maybe going to be just Archy Marshall and a saxophonist, but it was indeed a full band and they both rocked and swung, playing a set of a few new ones from the upcoming The Ooz (like terrific new single "Dum Surfer") and tracks from 2013's 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. This was his first NYC show in ages and the crowd was very into it. We were so sardined into the small dining room the only way to dance was to bounce up and down in unison, which would devolve into waves of (uncomfortable) swaying. You can check out a few videos and Instagrams from King Krule's China Chalet show below.
Archy and the rest of his band will be back to play bigger, more proper venues on tour this fall, including two sold-out shows at Warsaw in Brooklyn.