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The Tallest Man on Earth, Kes @ The Toff (Melbourne) 11-10-08

October 11, 2008

The Tallest Man on Earth’s Shallow Grave, has been one of my favourite albums of the year. Its southern folk sound coming from the lungs and fingers of a Swedish man is strange enough recorded and possibly stranger and even better live. But before that we turned up in time to watch the stranger still support act, Kes. He played a set of seemingly one really long song with just him and his electric guitar. The guitar sounded really good with some nice overlaying riffs and distortion plus he gave off a bit of Mount Eerie vibe which I enjoyed, but it just seemed to go on and on. It was entertaining at first and the playing was exceptional but I think I needed to be familiar with his work to properly enjoy it. Apparently he is very good when with his band and I’m pretty sure they are supporting The Drones next week so I’ll check them out then (assuming I can get there on time).

When seeing The Tallest Man on Earth play you wouldn’t really think he’s Swedish, he gave the impression he was from down south (America South) with his Johnny Cash styled shirt and swaggering stage manner. From hearing him on record I was expecting a shy performer who spoke few words and hid behind his instrument but in reality he was a pretty confident, loud and at times funny guy. He also had a cat like manner with all his darting about the stage. He’s pretty good at guitar too; I mean you can hear that on record but live, he’s finger picking skills were impressive even though he did slow the majority of his songs down just a little bit. The slowing down of his songs made for a bit of a longer set though so I guess it was a good thing.

His voice works really well live, it’s much more forceful and loud then expected but he seemed pretty passionate and his lyrics just worked all the more better in person. ‘Shallow Grave’ was a highlight and worked really well on guitar instead of Banjo, the lyrics as mentioned just seemed more powerful and suiting in a live setting. It probably helped that The Toff is a pretty cool venue, sort of like a classy Melbourne Karova. A really nice gig that would have been all the more good if we had got seats and it was nice to be surprised by a performer. Only bad part was that he didn’t play ‘This Wind’.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. James permalink
    October 12, 2008 2:03 pm

    Woo, cat-like!

  2. Elyse permalink
    October 13, 2008 7:06 am

    Lol cat-like is exactly how he was. It reminded me of the antics of wild animals on those African docs!

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