Words By Dylan Bryant (Music Editor)

To be able to write ‘I went to a live gig’ is enough; but add a beautiful 1900’s venue, a crowd full of avid music lovers and a self-proclaimed “hairy ginger man” with a collection of amazing songs to the sentence, then it would be almost impossible for this show to disappoint. It was evident what it meant to Newton to be back on stage with him telling the crowd – “This period has been the longest time I’ve gone without a gig since I was 14”. It was a special moment for all in attendance; and this is how it went.

Ahead of his new album ‘Interference (Of Light)’ which will be released on the 20th August 2021, Newton Faulkner has just embarked on a socially distanced tour around the country with 8 dates. I was lucky enough to be amongst the crowd for the Clapham Grand show in London and it was an incredible night filled with laughter, excitement and of course live music!

Opening the night was Sam Brookes; who’s altitudinous, multi octave vocals must be mentioned. Singing on the topics of mental health, love and heartbreak; his songs are confessional and pure. It was clear to see that Sam was a fan of Newtons himself; joining the audience to watch the show after his own performance. Also, I should mention, Sam has just released a new song ‘By My Side’ which was released on the 8th June. 

A common theme of the night was the informal and humorous relationship between Newton and the audience. Entering the stage wearing a hazmat suit and a face mask was the perfect start to his effortless and amusing rapport with the crowd. This also made for the “world’s weirdest strip tease” as stated by himself when undressing into his slightly more comfortable gig attire.

Despite Newton impressing the crowd with his iconic percussive finger-style guitar playing, he kept it simple without the need for a band. In actual fact; he made an impressive vocal orchestra out of the audience who he used to assist with his songs. Splitting the room into four parts at times and urging them to hum different melodies. Usually he’d encourage singing out loud, but he stated that he was instructed that this wasn’t advised due to Covid-19 regulations and the audience were definitely biting their tongues at some stages, especially during the big hits such as ‘Dream Catch Me’ and ‘I Need Something’ – But let’s keep our fingers crossed for June 21!

Newton’s relationship with the audience was both vivacious and humbling. He forgot the lyrics at times, (but we’ll let him off because of how long it’s been) and the crowd chipped in to remind him of the words, which was met with laughter amongst the sold-out Clapham Grand. His energy and warmth kept everyone in high spirits throughout with him concluding “I will never take performing live for granted.”

(Image: Ian Cheek)

Newton played a mix of his big hits, along with some new singles from his up and coming album. Amongst the new songs were ‘Four Leaf Clover’ and ‘Here Tonight’. Whilst the first an upbeat track with a catchy guitar riff; the latter offered a special moment with the lyrics “we may not be here forever, but we are all here tonight”. The crowd embraced these words and I think everyone in attendance felt truly lucky and excited to be attending a live gig again. The incredible Newton Faulkner also goes on tour in October with many dates across the UK, so be sure to get tickets whilst they’re still available.  

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