Few artists possess the natural ability to hold an audience in the palms of their
hands in quite the same way as the exquisitely talented Newton Faulkner.
His breathtaking performance at the Ironworks Venue in Inverness last night (Tuesday)
simply served to underline what many of the sell out crowd already knew about Reigate's
From the opening chords of Badman from his 2009 album Rebuilt by Humans he had the
capacity crowd at...good evening.
The audience were, let's be honest, spoiled in a musical sense. Not only were they
to be gloriously entertained by the mercurial talents of the headline act, but they
were also given the chance to marvel at the support slot from Carrbridge's very own
rising star Rachel Sermanni.
Her soaring, yet delicate vocals captured the imagination of the Ironworks crowd,
many of who had been looking forward to hearing her musical progression since her
star turn in front of a packed tent at Belladrum in August. She certainly did not
disappoint as she floated out a number of her self-penned songs, which appear something
akin to a young Joni Mitchell or Carole King.
Faulkner, however, is no ordinary performer. He is a musician who feels, breathes
and interacts with the crowd in such an enchanting manner that it becomes quite impossible
not to be swept away by his charm.
I Need Something, taken from his debut album "Handbuilt by Robots," lays the foundation
for a spellbinding evening, before we are all treated to a cover of Newton's heart
achingly beautiful version of Massive Attack's monster hit Teardrop.
A cluster of album tracks including Been Thinking About It, She's Got Time and This
Town follow in its wake, before the adoring crowd are serenaded once again with Write
It On Your Skin.
Diehards were by this time salivating at the prospect of some of the Surrey born
artists biggest singalong hits and he didn't disappoint with a typically competent
version of what is arguably his greatest hit to date, Dream Catch Me.
But musical genius aside tonight was far more about audience participation and interaction
and few artists do this better than Newton Faulkner. After a faultless rendition
of UFO he effortlessly drew his admirers closer to his inner sanctum with a beautifully
interactive rendition of Gone in the Morning.
If you dared to think the stage show was all about catchy choruses and awe inspiring
guitar sequences then think again, Faulkner possesses a touching honesty, combined
with a sly wit which he carefully employs to further endear his audience.
The latter stages of the set drew roars from the crowd for YouTube favourite "Spongebob
Squarepants," a request he mercifully ignored. However, during his finale he offered
up the same honesty he had throughout the set, telling the crowd: "You get bands
who toddle off for a couple of minutes and come back for the encore, well I'm not
going to do that. Instead I'll break with the norm and play on until the end."
His inimitable version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, also fast becoming a YouTube
favourite, brought to an end a performance of quite breathtaking brilliance and talent
and one which the sell out Ironworks crowd will undoubtedly recall with great fondness
for some time to come. Handbuilt by Newton Faulkner and rebuilt for a Highland audience.
Newton Faulkner and Rachel Sermanni captivate the Ironworks Sell out Crowd