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Live Review: Newton Faulkner at York Barbican

Katie Woodard shows her appreciation for Newton Faulkner's gig.

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Photo: GOGO Visual
Photo: GOGO Visual

When I went to see dreadlock-sporting, acoustic folk genius Newton Faulkner, after achieving mainstream success with songs such as 'Dream Catch Me', I was expecting a lot from Newton. Having listened to all the albums I was hoping he was as emotive live as he was in his albums, I was not disappointed. His style and personality shone throughout.

To start the warm up act Sam Brookes certainly did warm the crowd up, who through a mellow, acoustic, half hour set led the crowd into a relaxed and comfortable environment, letting us anticipate Newton's arrival. When he appeared on set Newton was his usual relaxed self. He was able to put the audience at ease immediately coming across as a humorous yet down to earth guy, stating later on about how it was the first time in a long time that he had people with him on stage (Beth Porter, Sam Brookes and his brother Toby Faulkner!) joking that he wanted to 'appear like he had friends'. Also when casually pouring himself a cup of tea from a tea pot he amusingly states 'don't worry I know I'm doing a gig'. This got the audience in stitches! His on stage set gave the impression of a bedroom, with a bookcase, light bulbs and a jukebox which was actually used for songs! Together it made for a laidback atmosphere.

He started with a sultry song building up a crescendo and when the third track to come on was 'Long Shot', that was it - the audience were itching to sing along. Newton was able to use his guitar as a percussion instrument creating some wonderful sounds, to accompany his unique and emotive voice. His voice was the highlight for me, with some of the highest notes I have heard, I and those surrounding me where in awe. His true musical mastery can be seen in his cover of Justin Timberlake's single 'Like I Love You', one to rival the original. Ending his crescendo with 'Orange Skies' after the uplifting 'Dream Catch Me' which got even those who admittedly did not know all the songs in his set (mainly my friend who I persuaded to come) singing along.

Being one of the best musicians to come out of the UK, I take my hat off to Newton who graces the music industry with true musical talent and reminds us of what a true musician is capable of. See him live, you won't be disappointed!

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