Gig Review: Newton Faulkner at The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

Newton Faulkner

Newton Faulkner delighted a sell-out crowd at The Old Fire Station in Bournemouth on Thursday night (30/11/2017), showcasing the best of his music from new album Hit the Ground Running as well as hit singles from his five previous studio albums and more obscure fan favourites.

Newton performed in the same venue two years ago on his Human Love tour, which I thoroughly enjoyed but for me this performance on Thursday topped that by some way! In his performance in November 2015 the singer-songwriter was supported by a live band, performing alongside his brother Toby Faulkner.

However, during his Hit the Ground Running tour Newton has been performing on his own, just him, his guitar and loop pedal. For me personally it was great to watch him showcase his phenomenal guitar skills and to see the process of how he builds up and creates his backing for his tracks piece by piece for live performances using loop pedals.

Newton Faulkner light’s up The Old Fire Station

Newton Faulkner

At the beginning of his show the crowd were very intrigued and slightly confused as the lights went down followed by the playing out of disco music. Multi-coloured disco lights proceeded to shine in varying directions around the room as a disco ball on stage began to illuminate.

Low and behold the crowd began to cheer as Newton made his way through the crowd to the front of the stage. This was as opposed to taking the traditional route of leaving his tour bus and going through the stage fire exit. Newton tends not to do things the traditional way and that’s why we love him!

That last statement is supported by what happened next as Newton made his way up onto stage, picked up a skipping rope and started skipping! The disco montage then faded and the 32-year-old took us back to where it all began, opening with the very first tracks, Intro/Into The Light, from his debut album Hand Built By Robots.

10 years on from the release of his UK number one album, Newton fast-forwarded to showcase one of his latest tracks, Smoked Ice Cream, the opening track from the new album. The feel good track got everyone moving as he proceeded to split the audience into two parts during the Middle 8 of the song to get everyone singing to accompany him.

Newton is very keen on audience participation and loves to get everyone singing along and supporting him to add to the live experience, something which I love most about going to his shows. After performing I Need Something from album one, the crowd were involved once again for his next track Clouds, one of my personal favourites. In the Middle 8 of this track Newton split the audience into three parts, with some singing the oh’s, one section singing the main lyrics and the final section coming in with “something’s bound to change” as the song built into a fitting outro

Newton Faulkner

“No pictures please!”

There was then a switch-up as the now independent artist swapped the guitar for the piano to change the mood and perform three tracks. He opened with The Good Fight before playing Carry You, both of which you can listen to on his latest album. He entertained the audience with a story about the song Carry You, explaining that he wrote it for his six-year-old son after he gave him a present and said “this is so you don’t forget about me Daddy”. This inspired him to write a track to try and explain to his son that that’s not how it works and that he will always be with him in spirit and never forget about him. Upon first playing this track to his son he turned to Newton afterwards and said: “Why did you write this song for me Daddy, it’s creepy.” Comedy gold right there!

Newton closed his piano performance section with the comedic track He Was A Professional, a track about a man who was a professional dog food taster. Yes that’s right. Check out the song if you don’t believe me!

Back on the guitar the 32-year-old performed a couple more tracks from his new album, Never Alone and Hit The Ground Running, and also had a go at performing Badman after members of the audience requested it. This is a track which can be found on his second and my personal favourite album, Rebuilt By Humans. Much to everyone’s amusement, after starting out well in the verse he got to the chorus and confessed that he couldn’t remember how to play it as he hadn’t performed the song for many years!

No Newton Faulkner gig would be complete without him playing what is still his most famous and timeless classic track, Dream Catch Me. It still baffles me that this song remains his only UK Top 40 hit, peaking at number seven in the charts. You definitely deserve to have more Newton!

Support act Sam Brookes then joined Newton on stage to perform the harmony part for two tracks taken from his third album Write It On You Skin. Both Pick Up Your Broken Heart and Brick By Brick were very well received by the crowd of all ages present that night.

Newton, Sam & Phil

Newton, Sam & Phil

Far To Fall was one of my favourite moments of the night as the song is the perfect track to get the whole crowd moving and singing along due to how up-tempo the track is and it brought us nicely to the final act of the concert.

Newton doesn’t believe in encores, he finds the idea of going off stage and standing back stage by himself a bit boring and tedious and would rather spend longer on stage performing more tracks. He finished with a three track mashup, starting with the always entertaining UFO, followed by Gone In The Morning, closing with Write It On Your Skin.

The final track was a perfect way to bring a memorable concert to an end, getting everyone to sing along and the crowd even performed the entire Middle 8 section without Newton saying a word, much to his amusement and delight. The final chorus ended with in Newton’s words: “the only thing we haven’t done tonight and that’s jumping.” He was not disappointed as jumping swiftly took place, leading to a lively ending of an amazing concert!

Make sure you check out Newton’s latest album Hit the Ground Running as well as the rest of his music. Trust me, if you are a fan folk rock, pop rock and acoustic music then you are going to love him!

Support Act: Sam Brookes

Sam Brookes

Sam Brookes is now working on his third studio album.

Sam Brookes began the evening’s show, touring with Newton for a second time. The artist previously joined him on tour four years ago, where he played at the O2 Academy in Boscombe.

The singer-songwriter opened with a captivating a Capella number Intro/Numb, showcasing his flawless vocals and impressive range. Sam played tracks from his previous albums and a few from his upcoming third studio album, which is due for release next year.

His standout tracks performed on the night were his latest single Always Will and Fools on Saturn, a track dedicated to the space craft Cassini, whose 20 year mission to take images of Saturn ended this year.

The solo artist is going on tour with his band to promote the new album early next year and expects to be performing down this way again next April.

If you’re a fan of easy-listening acoustic music and smooth vocals then make sure you check out his tracks!