Music / Feature

What we learned watching Newton Faulkner live

He played a series of intimate shows celebrating a decade in music.

It’s been ten years since Surrey musician Newton Faulkner released his internationally acclaimed solo album Hand Built By Robots, an album that spawned hit singles Dream Catch Me, I Need Something and the clever rendition of Massive Attack’s iconic Teardrop. All three make an appearance in Faulkner’s setlist a decade later, part of a series of intimate shows celebrating his extensive back-catalogue and also kickstarting the next chapter of his career. Sporting his trademark ginger locks, although recently shorter and neater, Newton Faulkner takes to London’s Borderline in-front of evidently die-hard fans for an evening of music, recollection, and humour.


He’s a master of melody

If his early hit singles aren’t enough to prove his tuneful mastery, an evening laying out fifteen-ish songs back to back is enough to leave even the heaviest of doubters convinced of his skill. When spontaneously prompted to concoct a track based on pickles, Newton Faulkner obliges with ease. The resulting musical meme has the crowd as excited as any of his biggest songs. It’s the fun side of a set that glides between soulful, upbeat and downright self-deprecating. Faulkner often hides a more serious message behind his sun-kissed sound, and his live show effortlessly embraces his many sides. From the RnB inspired delivery of Finger Tips to the more simplistic People Should Smile More, Faulkner brilliantly plays with many sounds and influences.

He attracts a particularly varied crowd

Music never appeals only to one portion of society, but looking around London’s intimate venue it’s clear that Newton Faulkner has an incredibly broad attraction. Young and old come together, with a handful of individuals arriving at the venue following comparably long international journeys. There are those donning metal band t-shirts adjacent to the suited gentleman. Each and every one keeps their voices loud as Faulkner powers through his captivating catalogue.

He’s not afraid to look back

“I’m going to play a song from every album,” Newton Faulkner announces following his opening Badman, taken from his 2009 sophomore release Rebuilt By Humans. Tonight is clearly a celebration of what’s come before. He devotes a lengthy between song chat to his positive experience with MySpace, and the platform’s ultimate demise. A moment of commemorative silence follows. He’s clearly indebted to each moment of his decade long career, and adamant to include all in his celebrations. There’s more to come from Faulkner as 2018 progresses, but to look forward we all must recognise the past.

He’s a showman through and through

As part of his on-stage personality at least, Newton Faulkner gets lost in his own jokes. Tangents are aplenty. Yet far from infuriating, Faulkner invites the audience into his sporadic mind. His music already gives an incredibly open insight into his thoughts, yet live his lyrics merge with his stories and jokes aplenty for a fully inclusive experience. At times hilariously random, at others highly insightful, the evening is nothing short of guaranteed fun.


Newton Faulkner will be appearing alongside The Shires at Edinburgh’s Summer Sessions this August. Expect much more as 2018 continues. Head to Ticketmaster.co.uk for tickets, and to add Newton to your Ticket Alerts to be the first to know when he announces more.

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