Here it be, at last:
Newton Faulkner (w/ Charlotte O'Connor, Amy Holforth)
***** 5 stars
With a new album slated for release in early July, and on the back of a new EP that came out in mid-April, British folk star Newton Faulkner hit UK roads to give fans a chance to hear some of the new album, while treating the crowd to some of his best-known tracks as well. Practically skipping out on stage and grinning ear-to-ear the whole night, he played an absolutely superb set.
First up was Newcastle songstress Amy Holforth, who coped very well in front of an already large crowd, despite it being the early part of the evening. Blessed with a remarkably powerful and soulful voice, she delivered a composed performance full of beautiful and personal tracks. Very well received by the crowd, her set started the evening on a very good note - **** 4 stars
The second support slot came from Blackburn-based singer Charlotte O'Connor. Giving a more quirky and distinctive performance, her set did not go down quite as well as Holforth – seemingly beset with nerves, hers was a performance that may be in need of more refinement and vocal control in the future. Nonetheless, her slightly eccentric songs went down fairly well, and although she maybe would have been better suited as first support, her set was still decent - *** 3 stars
Testament to his popularity, by the time Faulkner skipped out onto stage the Open was packed out, and he played a fantastic show that went down an absolute storm with the fans. Smiling constantly, cracking jokes and generally chatting with the crown between every song, there's a sense that he could play Wembley Stadium and still make it feel like a very personal and intimate show. With a mix of his best-known tracks, such as fan favourite 'People Should Smile More' and 'UFO', and a selection of new songs from the as-yet unreleased album, he dazzled Norwich with his feel-good music. Also an incredibly clever guitarist and musician, he utilised a kick drum, some effects pedals and his signature guitar tapping/hitting the guitar body for further drum beats to add remarkable depth to his set, considering it was just the man himself. Also playing covers of Massive Attack's 'Teardrop' and Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition', he finished the evening with his classic 'Dream Catch Me' and another new song, putting the perfect finishing touches to a great evening.