The Tallest Man on Earth at Koko
The venue for the Dark Bird Is Home concert is beautiful old theatre Koko. Golden intricacy decorates the crimson painted walls, providing a regal and striking setting, while a huge disco ball spins overhead. The crowd slowly trickles in, jostling for a good position. As the curtain slowly rises, a solo guitarist can be seen playing. This is not The Tallest Man On Earth, but the support act. Much to the impatience of the audience, the band turns up an hour late, apparently due to being stuck in Calais. A relieved and hearty applause welcomes them when they finally turn up.
The Tallest Man on Earth start slowly with an acoustic Fields of Our Home. The music has a country sound to it, proving why this musician has been compared to Bob Dylan. Comprised of guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, violin and saxophone, this is a full, rich and alive performance. The majority of songs performed are upbeat and carefree, feel-good qualities enhanced by watching singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson dancing wildly around the stage. With the crowd dancing and singing in unison, it’s clear that everyone, band and audience alike, is enjoying themselves.
Matsson performs some old songs like Love Is All and A Lion’s Heart alone, welcomed warmly by the crowd. The fantastic guitar riff supports the voice of the audience, filling the high ceilinged venue; there’s a real feeling of togetherness at this gig. Matsson is a wonderfully skilled guitarist, naturally creating beautiful compositions that are very personal and full of hope and love. The slower songs are more pensive and uplifting, and the music entirely envelops Matsson, driving his movements across the stage. He’s relaxed in his performance, does not stick to the setlist, changing his guitar for each song.
The final encore Like the Wheel is played by Matsson alone on an acoustic guitar. The other band members gather at the corner of the stage where they harmonise using their voices alone. It’s an angelic, pure and poignant finish to the evening.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For information about The Tallest Man on Earth and future events visit here.
Watch the album trailer for Dark Bird Is Home here: