Live Music: Newton Faulkner

Cork Opera House ****

Let’s get the honesty out of the way first, I knew one of this guy’s songs prior to this gig, ‘Dream Catch Me’, I like it a lot. That got me streaming in the revolving door, to join what turned out to be a venue packed with what looked like mostly students, more than half my age. Where to start? With the opening song, ‘Where to start’.

And what a brilliant opener from the man with signature dreadlocks, which he has had since the age of 15 — he’s now a year off 30.

Indications were this was going to be a big show, tour bus; guitar techie; backing singers (including his brother Toby and wonderful support act, Sam Brooks); keyboard/cellist; a busy stage that looked like a living room of a cosy house, which included a packed bookshelf and pot of tea, kept warm by a tea cosy; a pine cabinet record player; and then… “Tired of love, don’t need nobody, enough is enough, don’t need nobody”.

But he must have felt the love from the audience after a wonderfully executed vinyl scratch ending to the opener.

Different? He’s all that.

What followed was a full-on, high energy, percussive-acoustic, value-for-money night, of mostly songs from his recent album, Studio Zoo, including ‘Plastic Hearts’ and ‘Indecisive’; ‘I Need Something’ and ‘Dream Catch Me’ from his third album, Hand Built by Robots and Massive Attack cover ‘Teardrop’.

This son of ‘relatively hippie-ish’ parents from Surrey loves to push the boundaries, singing through the sound hole in the guitar, using a ‘dirty’ mic for effect on ‘Losing Ground’, using foot pedals on both feet while playing the guitar and all from a standing position.

His energy, co-ordination and guitar work was incredible. Just like the gig.


Lifestyle

Bonnie Ryan couldn’t be happier.On a roll: Why Bonnie Ryan couldn't be happier

From Ireland to America and fashion to homeswares, designer Helen James is developing interiors products for the high street with an emphasis on sustainability, beauty and function, writes Carol O’CallaghanConsider this: Meet Helen James

Laura Harding goes on location to see where the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma was shotBehind the Scenes: Getting the inside story on the movie Emma

More From The Irish Examiner