Newton Faulkner

posted 19 Oct 2009, 04:29 by Harry Cooke   [ updated 19 Oct 2009, 04:35 ]
York Grand Opera House

by Harry Cooke

Autumn has arrived, although it feels like winter. York is shrouded in fog, penetrated only by the cold drizzle that I was completely unprepared for. Cold, wet and tired I took my seat in the impressive and warm surroundings of York's Grand Opera House and was instantly aware that I might fall asleep. I didn't know too much about Newton Faulkner before the gig, only being aware of "Dream Catch Me" and his cover of "Teardrop" by extensive radio play, I didn't know anything about Newton Faulkner himself.

I was soon to learn plenty as the man well known for his long dreadlocks likes to talk, and joke, and improvise between every track. I really like this about a solo performer as you get a sense of the person and adds to the performance. Faulkner includes the audience in his show as if you are sat around the campfire with him. I'd woken up and was laughing and enjoying the show without realising it.

Faulkner is an extremely talented individual, holding higher diplomas in music and he attended performing arts schools internationally, he is comfortable on the stage and clearly enjoys his music. Using the guitar body to tap rhythm beats while he picks the strings and simultaneously playing a Honer Organ with his feet (It's a pedal operated device, rather than a Jamie-Cullum style keyboard stomping). Faulkner is keen to emphasise that he is a one-man-band by placing cameras at his feet and displaying the pedals on a projector and demonstrating his guitar-body-drumming between songs.

Faulkner himself acknowledges that he is known for his covers, but before we hear his rendition of Massive Attack's "Teardrop" we get a burst of a very unexpected version of "No Diggity" by Black Street which I must admit I loved.

Faulkner impressed me with his talent and how engaging he was with the crowd. I'll be keeping an eye out for the next time he is around.