Kristian Matsson is a Swedish born folk come indie folk singer-songwriter, who now resides in the USA and performs under the name of The Tallest Man On Earth. He released his firth album “I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream” earlier this year, his first for four years and arrived in Birmingham tonight on the first of his five-date trek around the UK.
`För sent för Edelweiss` a quite odd song by fellow Swedish singer Håkan Hellström is piped through the pa as Kristian takes to the stage, banjo in hand and shares `Waiting For My Ghost` from his new release. Tonight`s set is understandably taken up with a fair few cuts from the latest album but there are more than enough tracks from across his other four albums to keep this nigh on Sold Out audience happy.
`To Just Grow Away` and `Hotel Bar` quickly follow with guitar changes for each before the singer shares that tonight his set will be “just a bunch of sad songs” and that the stage would usually be covered in smoke but this evening`s venue would not allow it. A track I love from his recent offering `What I`ve Been Kicking Around` is played along with another couple from said album with `I`ll Be A Sky` and `The Running Styles Of New York` Older tracks like `Revelation Blues` `Like The Wheel`, `Burden Of Tomorrow` and ` Little Nowhere Towns` are given an airing before the singer takes a seat at the piano for `Love Is All`
After this short respite it`s back to Kristian prowling the stage with his various guitars and banjo in hand. offering up a range of tunes from the softly sung `Time Of The Blue`, `Somewhere In The Mountains, Somewhere In New York`, `1904` and `I`m A Stranger Now` Somebody shouts “Genius” from the audience to which he replies ”I`m not a genius, I just practice a lot” A statement that goes to exemplify this humble artist.
`King Of Spain` seems to ignite this packed crowd as somebody shouts the conclusion to the song, the singer halts, waits awhile before heading across the stage to seemingly hand this participant his guitar, which has this gathering in stitches. The intense `The Dreamer` closes out the set.
There`s a brief pause before Kristian returns to end this two hour long set with `The Wild Hunt` and `There`s No Leaving Now` where he takes to the piano to perform. This was a really entertaining show with a guy who has exceptional guitar ability. These complex and intricate guitar settings set a platform for his rich and varied songs. The artist has been open about his influences and they show. such as his open guitar style tunings which he honed after listening to Nick Drake and his singing style that owes much to Bob Dylan but he`s no copyist, his style is all his own and pretty unique at that. He`s been on Jools Holland but hasn`t had the exposure that many have had so it`s a testament to his ability that he filled this 1000 seated venue tonight, A recommendation indeed, if one was required.