In a period of overture before the cacophony of Tallest Man on Earth gig came a jaunt south on the Eurostar. Beasting our way through southern England, we found ourselves in the bar.

We are Joao, a descendant of Portugal raised in the self proclaimed socialist breeding grounds of Luxembourg’s international schools, his Icelandic girlfriend Maria and me, an Englishman with a penchant for live music and youthful follies into the unknown.

A musical train ride through the French countryside behind us, and with a dirty dozen of Eurostar passengers having had their journey lifted by the finger picking and tongue flapping of Joao’s cover songs, we alighted to the blazing – if a little cold – sunshine of Brussels Midi.

It was gone 3pm and we had 4 hours to kill before festivities would begin. Armed with some cash, a vague idea of geography and 6 legs we set out for a bar. Pure
welcomed us in with a waft of aromatic shisha smoke. With bed like seating laden with scatter cushions, the combination of cold beer, several months of events to catch up on and a Passion Fruit Hookah, time flew by in earnest.

Before we knew it, after a dash around the Metro, some walking, some talking and with all members of our jolly cohort in session, we found ourselves in a tight little venue alongside 150 Tallest Man on Earth fans. With the venue having previously been a botanical gardens, the room we were in had a huge glass dome for a ceiling filled in with sound amplification equipment.

Otherwise know as 5ft 5 Kristian Matsson, the Tallest Man took to the stage in skinny jeans, a denim shirt and leather boots. This one man and his several guitars had the audience mesmerised from start to end. Building anticipation before his hit songs with artistic guitar tuning, dancing a bizarre rhythm, odd but endearing audience interaction and passionate emphasis on important words, Matsson has a talent for both music and entertainment which, considering the adolescence of his career, can only bode for a potentially long and distinguished musical rollercoaster ride.

With quirky facial expressions akin to that of an early Kate Bush and a style of pseudo-discomfort, the songs flowed easily from one to the next and succeeded in showcasing both the upcoming new album, The Wild Hunt, and in entertaining the audience with his earlier work.

Although having clearly succumbed to the slippery slope of arrogance seemingly endemic in musicians, this ‘folksy yowler’ was superb. His inimitable vocals, well structured (if a little samey) songs and dazzling guitar skills all combined for an excellent gig.

With a small independent label behind him, mountains of exponentially growing online footage and a savage tour schedule over the next 5 months, 2010 is set to be a great year for The Tallest Man on Earth.

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