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Gig Review
Tallest Man on Earth, Idiot Wind
On these cold winter nights, the plaintive, melodic singer-songwriter shenanigans of the Tallest Man on Earth seem like a rather lovely way to spend an evening.Support comes from Idiot Wind, a fellow Swede with a raspy, soulful voice. Her lamenting, melancholy songs are pleasant enough, but when there are so many people doing this kind of thing, you need to be able to stand out from the crowd a little, and she doesn't really offer anything overly distinctive or remarkable.

And speaking of the crowd, whilst they are generous in their applause for Idiot Wind, they certainly could've been a little more generous when it comes to shutting the flip up. Many at ATL Towers have lamented this before, and no doubt many of us will again, but it really does boggle the mind that people are so content to pay to see a band, then spend half their time talking at full volume.

People are, for the most part, much more reverent for the Tallest Man himself. For such a little fella, he gets a rapturous reception as soon as he sets foot on stage, which grows to near euphoria when he starts into I Won't Be Found. The crowd goes even more nuts when he speaks a little Swedish to his sound guys, but that was mostly the womenfolk.

Even though there's a little chatter here and there, he is very appreciative of the enthusiasm, repeatedly telling us of his love for Belfast and how �there's just something about this town�. He even appreciates the slightly misplaced (but very Belfast) �YEEEOOO�s that pepper the cheering here and there, and the shouts of, um, �appreciation' from the ladies in the audience. At times he seems a little restless on stage, suffering from an excess of excited energy, perhaps.�

Musically, you couldn't find a thing to fault. His voice is even more powerful and captivating live than on record, especially coming from such a small guy (seriously, dude is little). King of Spain gets a huge response from the crowd, as people are now singing and clapping along, and everything gets a bit more raucous all of a sudden (although this does make it a bit harder to quieten down the audience for the softer songs). He sings song after song of melodic, sweet yearning and really, it's just a very lovely affair altogether. Particular stand out tracks include The Gardener, Love Is All, Thrown Right At Me (which featured a lovely duet with Idiot Wind that was somewhat marred by the obligatory joker in the audience yelling out �Get a room� at them).

A stunning rendition of Kids On The Run, which always sounds like it could be a stripped down cover of the likes of Springsteen, is as charming, divine and simply exquisite an ending to the night as one could ask for.

Orla Graham

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Gig Details
Venue: Speakeasy
Location: Belfast
Date: 23/11/2010