NEWTON FAULKNER | LIVE REVIEW
Y Plas, Cardiff University Students Union, Mon 20 Nov
The long line winding its way out of Y Plas was visual proof that Newton Faulkner, who’s been committing himself to his musical career for 12 years, is still proving popular enough to keep filling up venues across the UK. Alternative folk artist Sam Brookes was the main support for the evening, his amalgamation of soft guitar plucking and soulful singing voice slowly mesmerising the audience and placing them all in a cathartic trance. Sam is more than ready to burst into the limelight, and with each song that passed, his response from the onlookers continued to grow until he left to enormous applause.
Come the main event, Newton Faulkner walked out on stage shoeless as always and ready to perform. Opening with To The Light, the lead track on his 2007 Hand Built By Robots album, Smoked Ice Cream and I Need Something followed swiftly and began to encourage his admirers to break away from the worries of the outside world.
The venue bled bright lights and vivid colours that poured off the edges and out into the crowd as Hit The Ground Running created multiple harmonies using both the audience and Faulkner’s equipment: loop pedals, piano pedal units and a kick trigger pad to emulate a backing band, well balanced enough as not to overwhelm his guitar and vocals.
The singer took time to tell stories from life with his family before delving back into six albums’ worth of material and stage effects, including a disco ball that layered the walls with light. Instead of an encore, Faulkner concluded on an incredibly popular medley of Lipstick Jungle into People Should Smile More, then U.F.O into Gone In The Morning, before finishing on Write It On Your Skin. This conclusion saw much of the audience feeding out into the cold winter bite sporting huge smiles, reminded of the unique and original style that Newton Faulkner has developed for himself.
words and photos NATHAN ROACH