Newton Faulkner, O2 Academy 2, Birmingham 03/05/12 | Counteract | National News with a Local Edge | Counteract is a Birmingham based music magazine covering the latest and best news, reviews and interviews.
Newton Faulkner rose to fame as a wonderfully innovative singer songwriter when album ‘Hand Built By Robots’ was released and following a series of UK tours and a second album release ‘Rebuilt by Humans‘, he’s back in Birmingham on his latest tour promoting some new material. Emily and the Woods is tonight’s support act for this sold out show and I was excited to see what she had to offer. With powerful vocals and a fantastic set of songs it’s likely that a lot of Faulkner’s fans will be impressed with the London based singer-songwriter. Between songs she seems to be confident in engaging with the crowd and this is great to see as she attempts to improve her personal profile within the industry and her polite personality definitely shines through. Stand out track from her set is ‘Steal His Heart’ which has an accompanying video online which has recently hit 1 million views the song really reflects everything about her song style. The only thing which slightly ruined the set for me was the audience, who were noisily chatting over Emily and this took away from what would have been a brilliant performance however this being said the majority of the crowd were engaged and she will have won over a lot of new fans. Newton Faulkner arrives on stage around 9pm to a rapturous applause, starting the set with ‘Pulling Teeth’ and plays through a set consisting of 17 of the crowd’s favourite tracks from his two releases – whilst still finding time to showcase some of his newer material from upcoming EP ‘Sketches‘ and next forthcoming full release ‘Write It On Your Skin‘. Using some FX he is able to make some incredible sounds which along with his unique guitar technique really adds to the live performance. It’s not just his music which is special about the performance though it’s interaction between him and the crowd. Newton is able to keep the crowd laughing throughout his set with some great one liners and conveys a very likeable personality throughout. Along with wowing the crowd with some of his most popular tracks such as ‘Dream Catch Me’, ‘To the Light’ and his cover of Massive Attack’s ‘Teardrop’, he surprises the crowd with a beautiful rendition of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ much to the delight of the adoring audience. From tonight people can begin to get excited for what’s to come with ‘Clouds’ the new single released in July along with title track from the aforementioned upcoming album, as he split the crowd into 3 parts to get involved with the performance, which was amazing as everyone was so willing to participate. Newton Faulkner has shown that even though he hasn’t been touring extensively for a while he still has the charm that first attracted everyone to his music and being an all around performer, his popularity is nothing more than what he deserves with an absolutely faultless performance this evening. Photographs by Katja Ogrin