Updated: Apr 9, 2019
On a cold night in Newcastle, fans travel from far and wide to bask in the sunshine that is Newton Faulkner’s music. The famed O2 Academy is packed out, reaching its capacity of 2000 as people sip their pints and crane their necks in anticipation.
Support comes from London based songsmith Sam Brookes, treating gig-goers to a half hour set, he plays a range of new material which sees the crowd intoxicated by one man and his guitar. As he stands amidst the orange glow of the stage, the atmosphere begins to build intensely for the arrival of Newton.
As the clock strikes 9 the man of the hour appears, to be met with a chorus of cheers, whistles and claps. Casually greeting the crowd with a ‘Hey guys, you aright?’, he needs no introduction as he bursts straight into a virtuosic fit of fingerpicking, leaving revellers in a state of pure awe before he even sings a word. Opening with ‘To The Light’, the first track from his debut album, it’s clear to see why this man has made such a profound reputation for himself.
As the evening continues, Faulkner plays a wide selection of material from his entire body of work, including tracks such as ‘Smoked Ice Cream’ and ‘There Is Still Time’ from his most recent album, Hit The Ground Running. His musical gift continues to shine through as he swaps his guitar for a drum, and later a piano as he performs a haunting rendition of ‘Carry You’.
The venue continuously erupts into song throughout the evening, as he plays classic tracks ‘Dream Catch Me’, and ‘Teardrop’, invoking mass foot stomping amongst his army of fans. A loyal following, which is only cemented further by his interaction with the crowd, playing a 90-minute set which is littered with humorous outbursts and raw talent.
Closing with ‘Write On Your Skin’, Newton leaves the stage safe in the knowledge that he has taken the crowd on his journey with him, on a night that will surely be remembered by many, for all the right reasons.