Aberystwyth Arts Centre: 29th October 2013
The man with dreadlocks and a guitar came to Aberystwyth in what was admittedly a social and musical experiment. This was the type of evening where an artist, in this case Newton Faulkner, tries new material in front an audience in preparation for bigger forthcoming tours and gigs. Newton certainly brought his personality to an anything goes audience. His personality exuded from the moment he walked on stage. After all, it’s not often an artist casually files his nails or makes a cup of tea whilst on stage taking his time to drink it whilst talking to his army of adoring fans!
Newton Faulkner clearly has technical skill; his fingers walk along the fret board as if that was their sole purpose in life. His dreadlocks were even getting involved at one point, helping him with his fretwork. His calm air allowed for this to appear flawless and clean. Experimenting musically, Newton Faulkner has managed to incorporate some unorthodox techniques into his work including singing into the sound box of his guitar. He also performed with two microphones, which added a comforting nostalgic feel to one of his songs. However, as this was a rehearsal of sorts for bigger things to come, naturally there were a few mishaps. We were able to witness Newton’s perfectionism as he trialled segues. Although he insisted repeating one link, it did not affect the performance in the slightest, if anything we were able to see more of Faulkner’s personality and his process of solving musical difficulties. As a man who obviously breaks the rules in the acoustic world of music, Newton Faulkner managed to get the crowd jumping and had everyone eating out the palm of his hand when he summoned participation from the audience.
Anyone that is going to see one of Newton’s bigger concerts or manages to see him in a festival at any point in the future will be in safe hands. He will most certainly take you on a musical journey which you will not want to get off.