The Tallest Man on Earth at Hammersmith Apollo
A mid-week masterpiece: on Wednesday night fans were treated to Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man on Earth, at Hammersmith Apollo. The crowd was seated and the atmosphere was intimate, with the solo performer switching between effects-laden electric guitar songs and thumping acoustic numbers. A master of finger-picking guitar in a style completely his own, Matsson filled the Apollo with whirling organ sounds and passionate strumming.
Opening with Waiting for my Ghost, a track from his new album I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream., Matsson set the scene with his typically warm blend of folky guitar and wistful lyrics. The Tallest Man on Earth is truly an excellent musician and has a wonderful ability to communicate his love of music to his fans. Prowling around the stage like an animal, jerking forwards and backwards, moving to his guitar playing; it was as if he was throwing music into the crowd for them to feed on. Fan favourites such as King of Spain were matched by roars and claps from the audience, whilst more intimate and introspective numbers drew them into his break-up song lyrics. Despite the disappointment that Leading Me Now was not played, the range of different music in the set was well-designed and thoughtful.
The show not only brimmed with good music, but was also great entertainment. Matsson is skilled at mixing quirky comedy and stories with his music, and this concert was no exception. “Any merch bought tonight might be slightly infused with the smell of the English countryside,” he said as he explained that his team’s van had crashed on the M1 the night before and his merchandise had been thrown into the trees. Far from put off, the crowd was charmed.
From the electric soulfulness of The Dreamer to the evocative strumming in 1904, the Tallest Man offered a style and mood for every member of the audience. Closing with the contemplative, dreamy There’s No Leaving Now was a surprising touch that left everyone wanting more. With songwriting, guitar playing and a personality as strong as Matsson’s, he might not just be the Tallest Man on Earth, but also the tallest on Mercury, because no word better sums up his performance than “mercurial”.
Photos: Miguel de Melo
For further information and future events visit The Tallest Man on Earth’s website here.
Listen to single I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream here: