Do you mind if I take some drugs?” asks Ben Jackson who plays the keyboards for the London-based band To Kill A King.
It was nothing serious but a pill for flu.
Only a day before, this five-piece band was performing in Glasglow with their entire musical gear. And on Monday evening they were in London minus their full set of equipment. Wednesday they would be performing at XOYO.
These series of concerts is the band’s beginning of its first headline tour in the UK after forming in 2009.
At the Light Bar in St. Martin’s Lane on Monday, frontman Ralph Pelleymounter, bassist Josh Platman, who was playing the cello that night, drummer Jon Willoughby and guitarist Ian Dudfield along with Jackson jammed as if they were playing for their close friends.
It was an acoustic show, something different from what the band usually does.
“Sometimes it’s more nerve-wracking to play to a smaller crowd,” Willoughby says before their performance. “You can see everyone focusing on what you’re doing.”
And in the small, cozy area, a handful of audience members were closely gathered around the band listening as they played the acoustic version of their EP My Crooked Saint as well as their new single “Hospital Worker.”
“It’s the same songs but we would sound like a different band,” adds Platman trying to explain the difference between performing for a larger audience and acoustic.
Their songs, as the band describes are “lyrically dense and explore complicated emotional landscapes”. Take “We Used to Protest/Gamble” and “Bloody Shirt” as examples.
A blend of the folk, indie rock music coupled with Pelleymounter’s captive and soulful vocal, To Kill A King has been compared to bands like The National, an indie-rock band from the United States, and also the British folk-rock band Mumford & Sons.
While To Kill A King takes pride in being compared to these bands that they’re all fans of, Pelleymounter says they want to be known for their own style and music.
“You don’t want to be the next whoever,” he says. “You want to be your own.”
Since 2004 when Pelleymounter met Platman as undergrads in Leeds University and later met Willoughby, Dudfield and Jackson after moving to London by 2009, this new band has been making their way up to brand their band in the growing music market.
And though the band thinks they’ve got a long way to go, Platman enthusiastically puts in that they “want to become a household name” in the coming days.