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Ahead of his new EP release on May 20, Newton Faulkner came to Falmouth to kick off his Spring Tour. Due to overwhelming interest, his one date in Falmouth became two dates. Both sold out. Welcome back!

The Jess Hall Band was first on stage. Melancholy and emotional, Jess’ vocals were a little reminiscent of Julia Stone, heartfelt and full of anguish. A lovely sound, but the songs were all very similar and not particularly memorable. A young band with lots of potential, they just need a few more years under their belt to develop and grow into themselves.

Emily Woods came second, usually accompanied by the other Woods, but tonight flying solo. And didn’t she soar! Incredibly likeable, her unassuming stage presence was wonderfully endearing. A vocal style similar to Kate Nash and Lily Allen suits her acoustic led melodies and honest lyrics. With songs that sound like a summer romance, and her very charming nature, this is the start of something big.

Much to the delight of the audience, Newton rocked up on stage to start his set ahead of schedule! He began the night with two new songs, one that involved audience participation, to which the audience happily responded. This is one audience that couldn’t be disappointed with him, even if he decided to play songs by Justin Bieber. Stopping to take a sip from his Thermos of tea, he starts to play ‘I Need Something’, and sure enough had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.

He mixed classics like ‘People Should Smile More’, ‘Slow’, and his take on Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’ with new material from his upcoming EP and album like ‘Against The Grain’, ‘Pick Up Your Broken Heart’, and ‘Long Shot’. Continually wowing the crowd with his musical prowess and genuine joy and delight of performance, you wouldn’t think it could get any better than this.

But this is Newton Faulkner: The Master of crowd interaction. He began a story of his appearance on an American talk show, where he was challenged to rework a song, by one of the most famous artists of all time, in just thirty minutes. As someone with an already intimidating talent, he raised the bar even higher as he played ‘Superstition’ by the one and only Stevie Wonder. Playing one of the four guitars he had on stage, as strings and percussion, combined with a kick drum, and an array of pedals at his feet, this crowd was blown away in one fell swoop. Mind blowing.

With an audience now dancing on the ceiling, he separates them into three and gets them singing a three-part melody, to which he adds a fourth part for himself. He doesn’t just play to the crowd, this is a night with Newton Faulkner. He managed to make everyone in the room feel like his best mate, completely at home with him and each other. Finishing off with ‘Dream Catch Me’ and new track ‘Sugar In The Snow’, day number two was a roaring success.

He’s cheeky, jolly, and a little eccentric, an outrageously brilliant guitarist with a voice that didn’t drop a note the entire night. What a way to start a tour. He should have called it ‘Newton Faulkner: This is how it’s done’!

Words and photo: Hannah Giles