Newton Faulkner performing his Human Love Tour at Rock City Nottingham on Friday 15th April 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

It is not often that you see a man with just a guitar and a superb voice instantly captivate an audience, but Newton Faulkner managed to do it at Rock City on Friday night.

He took to the stage alone with just three spotlights for company, strapped on his guitar and took this packed crowd back in time to his debut album, Hand Built By Robots, with a sublime acoustic version of To The Light and a mesmerising, I Need Something.  With the crowd firmly in the palm of his hands, he showcased what he is best at; playing a guitar and singing his thought provoking lyrics.

He was joined on stage by Toby the drummer and his brother Toby for a more upbeat section of the show which included Step In The Right Direction and Clouds, as well as an exhilarating and exciting performance of Bricks.

Touring to promote his much acclaimed fifth studio album, Human Love, Faulkner gave some new songs an outing.   Up Up And Away showcased his brilliance on the guitar, whilst Passing Planes was an unbelievably powerful track that sent shivers down your spine, with its resounding monstrous rhythm.

This crowd were also treated to a couple of covers which were given the Faulkner treatment.  We had his incredible version of Massive Attack’s Teardrop and even Justin Beiber’s Sorry had this audience hanging onto every word.

Fans favourite, Dream Catch Me was delivered solo, but as the crowd were drawn in, the rest of the band slowly started to edge in and actually managed to enhance the performance with prominent bass lines and drum beats.  It was awesome.

Wrapping up the show with Orange Skies, he then conducted the audience into a medley of songs which included Green Day’s Basket Case.

Faulkner’s vocals remain outstanding, with a deep rich velvet undertone that allows him to deliver his lyrics to an audience who were spellbound by his charm, wit and charisma.  Before he even sung the first note of his set, he commanded the guitar in such a way that is rarely seen in mainstream music, and he makes it look ridiculously simple as well.

But it is his manner which is endearing.  Faulkner could so easily have been playing to a handful of people in someone’s living room or busking on a street corner.  He, however, invited this audience into his house, albeit last night it was Rock City.