Review: Newton Faulkner at Portsmouth Guildhall

Newton Faulkner
Newton Faulkner
The Darkness. Picture by

Simon Emmett

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‘Stop looking for a rainy day’ runs the closing lyric to Sooner by Newton Faulkner, but the rain had come looking for Portsmouth as fans made their way to hear the ginger dreadlocked maestro.

Support act Sam Brooks turned heads with a brave a capella intro. Demonstrating range and depth Sam’s sweet and soulful vocals matched with a folksy, pared down sound is sure to earn him a legion of new fans in his upcoming UK tour.

Such a talented support act would have been a brave choice for many artists but Newton’s understated opener Where to Start demonstrated the assurance and composure of a musician with nothing to prove.

Complete with trademark teapot, Newton connected effortlessly with the audience ‘How many of you’ve got Studio Zoo? Not bad, a few more and I would be wearing shoes!’.

Set highlights included a spine tingling cover of Massive Attack’s Teardrop, an infectious version of Justin Timberlake’s Like I Love You and the chorus to Won’t Let Go sung through the pickups of Newton’s guitar.

During the hit laden encore Newton stopped Dream Catch Me mid verse to direct security to a fainted fan, demonstrating the true heart which coupled with amazing technical expertise makes him such a formidable musical talent.