Newton Faulkner at Borderline
Newton Faulkner was a fairly big deal about ten years ago. He had two number one albums between 2007 and 2012 and was nominated for all sorts of awards. This was back in the day where there was room for more than one man-with-guitar kind of artist in the charts. You remember, he was that red-headed hippy with dreadlocks who used his guitar as a drum sometimes.
In recent years, the very mainstream attention he once enjoyed has since dissipated, but his ability to write brilliant folky pop songs has not; neither has his solid, loyal and adoring fan-base. The singer been making music steadily and confidently with little regard for fluctuating levels of chart success, and seems to have weathered the Calvin Harris-shaped storm that has descended upon British music.
Faulkner is a lot cooler now. The dreadlocks are shorter and bunched up at the top, his head is shaved back and sides and he wears a plain t-shirt and tight jeans.
The performer’s songs are instantly lovable and his voice is warm and resonant. What was nice is that every track has its own sound and a distinct character that allows them to remain memorable, and prevents them from blending into one – as is the case with most singer-songwriter acoustic guitar-playing artists.
As previously mentioned, the artist’s public adore him. They hang on his every word and the vocalist conducts them with ease. A Newton Faulkner gig, it turns out, is a very interactive experience. The crowd is often called upon to contribute in quite substantial way. At one point we were split into three sections and assigned separate parts to sing. The showman has a wonderful way of getting his audience to fall in love with each other, as well as with him.
The soloist is also quite the comedian. Half-way through the set, his musings on how enjoyable it is to say the word “pickle” eventually lead to an improvised performance of a brand new (albeit thirty-second) pickle-inspired song.
Of course, you’d be foolish to expect rock‘n’roll antics like guitar-smashing and bat decapitation at a Faulkner gig, but at the same time, you’d never expect it to be such a feel-good experience. It was a real love-in. And the soundtrack was almost gospel-like in its rousing and emotional delivery and the feedback from the congregation.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Newton Faulkner’s website here.
Watch the video for the single here: