Newton Faulkner, The Garage, 01/11
Newton Faulkner’s sold out gig at The Garage is opened unassumingly by Sam Brookes as the Londoner quietly steps out onto the stage and starts strumming away at an electric guitar. A few songs in – switching between electric and acoustic – Brookes displays a powerful voice and an impressive range, presenting a few tracks off his upcoming album, although several days later writing this review I’m struggling to find anything memorable about them.
Newton Faulkner is a different matter, garnering a hugely enthusiastic response from his crowd. Entering with his trademark man bun, bare feet and a quiet self-effacing humour, he opens his set with “I’m Newton Faulkner and this is a song”, which turns out to be the first track from his debut album Hand Built By Robots, ‘To The Light’. With six albums out he has a lot of material to offer, and he shows off his rapid lyrics and finger-style skills during both old and newer releases alike, including this track as well as ‘Smoked Ice Cream’.
The man himself also proves to be a incredibly entertaining performer, keeping his audience regaled with stories about his life in between songs, tea breaks and his pleas for people to visit the merch stand so that he can appear wearing shoes during his next gig. A one man show, Newton switches almost effortlessly between his different guitars, drums, foot pedals and piano to deliver a powerful wall of layered sound in his tracks (I say almost effortlessly since, after playing two songs on the piano, he confesses to us all that really he’s not very good at piano and should probably stick to the guitar). The exchange between himself and the audience manages to make a completely sold out performance in the packed venue seem much more intimate.
A fantastic live act with a phenomenal voice, Newton Faulkner continues to impress.
[Dana Stoddart – @DanaStoddart]