Photograph: Andy Parsons
‘I told you it was really steep,’ says Archy Marshall, better known as musician King Krule, with only the barest hint of satisfaction. The road beneath us seems to fall away. The Uber driver pauses at the top of the street, momentarily, before the car plunges down the hill into the south London twilight.
‘I love the hills around here,’ he says, as the rest of the city rolls out into the distance. ‘This area’s my favourite, the views… Go round a corner or up a road and you get these huge spaces opening up to you. It’s my favourite thing in London.’
We’re only travelling from one part of Forest Hill to another, but Marshall layers stories over even this short trip: that lots of gravediggers used to live in the area because of four nearby cemeteries, how his family history is tied to these streets.
‘This is the road my mum was born on, in… hang on… hang on…’ We pass a row of classic 1930s suburban houses and his finger hovers at the window. ‘That one. It was my great-grandparents’.’ Then he’s off again, telling us about him and his dad managing to drive up this 45-degree slope when it was covered with ice.
‘Because, like, my dad’s the best at driving and he’s got, like, a really good car,’ he jokes, mimicking the playground boasting he did as a kid.
This is typical Archy Marshall. He blends stories and history and pop cultural references. If you’d stumbled across him at our photoshoot at the Horniman three hours earlier, you’d have found him making up