Durant played at Rucker park last summer and I would venture to say most of New Yorker had no idea. The best shooter in the NBA dropped shot after shot within 8 miles of all 8 million residents in New York and yet maybe 300 people saw it at best. That’s the gift and the curse of New York. You can easily get spoiled.
Two weeks ago I got to see a band I’ve been waiting to see for about two years. I honestly can’t remember how I came across them, but I do know what YouTube video it was. I came across an episode of Ralph’s balcony, which entailed him and Holly setting up a keyboard on the rail of a balcony, Ralph is the lead singer of ‘To Kill A King’ by the way. What ensued was an excellent rendition of a song called panic breeds panic. From there I hit an internet rabbit hole and eventually obtained an EP through some form of proxy internet, obviously because it was only available in England.
Now that I’m done establishing how hip I am let me get to the point. ‘To Kill A King’ is an underrated band. At least judging by how much they outperformed the venues that hosted them. No offense to the mercury lounge and cameo but the next time they’re in New York I don’t think they’ll be returning to either venue.
My week started with a Google alert making me aware of their show at mercury lounge on Monday. I showed up on my own to find the star of ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ putting on an interesting show with the highlight being a very bad-ass female lead guitarist.
While that was certainly interesting, ‘To Kill a King’ is what I’m here for. To say they didn’t disappoint would be a huge understatement. I knew I liked them already, but to hear the crisp, borderline better than studio quality sound coming from such a small stage was beyond impressive. The first thing you’ll notice when you listen to them is Ralph’s distinctive voice. It’s captivating, but to be honest it can’t be appreciated in it’s full quality without hearing it in person. What you can hear on the album, but isn’t obvious till you see it harmonized on stage, is the extent of the range in which Ralph and the rest of the band can hit. And I mean the rest of the band. All five band members have a mic and all five band members seem to be an integral part of the whole picture. If you’re listening closely enough you’ll be able to hear each note, each band member is bringing to the table.
Now this should have no effect on how good you think a band is, but fuck it. These guys are the nicest, most down to earth musicians I’ve come across. For the amount of talent displayed, they showed zero pretension. I’ve seen far less successful bands that act far and away more pretentious. Ralph rocked a star wars t-shirt and interjected his own performance make quick quips and all around charm the crowd. They even stuck around at the bar after their set to hang out with their fans. It was there I shared a beer with drummer, Josh Taffel, who is a Chelsea fan, and if you didn’t bring it up to him proactively, you would never know he’s performed on sold out stages with bands like, the current “it” band, ‘Bastille’ (who they happen to be friends with and are continuing their US tour with).
Bottom line is not only should these guys be more famous, but if they were, they’d probably be pretty cool about it. If you happen to be lucky enough to be able to see them this time around , my only advice would be to definitely do it. As their album, ‘Cannibal With Cutlery’, is about to have its delayed release in America on April 22nd, I can’t help but be reminded of the Chuck Klosterman’s article that he wrote about ‘The Streets’. He was certain everyone already knew about him as he traveled to the UK to interview him. It wasn’t till later that him and his editor realized that maybe everyone doesn’t know about the next big thing, especially if it’s in another country. And that’s the best description for ‘To Kill A King’. Difference is the internet is a lot bigger these days, and word travels fast. So I’d put my money on the fact that I probably won’t ever be able to see them for 10 bucks again in NYC.