Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Getting me some Human Love.

First observation at the Newton Faulkner gig on Saturday 23rd April at the De La Warr Pavillion...I didn't see as many couples as I expected. The few I saw were relaxed, drinking beer out of plastic cups and leaning against each other side by side, hands in alternate back pockets. That was most agreeable, even a little cute. If there's one thing I hate it's having to watch a gig through a buzzing cloud of over-affectionate couples tangling tongues...
To be fair, Newton Faulkner is dreamy enough to suit every couple in this world. I wouldn't be surprised if half his songs are 'our song's.
I personally discovered Newton back in my school days, when 'Dream Catch Me' was playing in every motivational PowerPoint presentation about the road ahead post-GCSEs...I fell madly in love with that whole first album, and kept tabs on his later releases as the years went on. 


I saw him live for the first time in my third year of uni, somewhere in Portsmouth, just after 'Studio Zoo' came out. It was the most joyful and enlightening experience – it even took my mind off my dissertation for one whole night! That's how magical and captivating it was. The music that night, and that hug he gave me when we met afterwards. *sighs*

So it excited me like you would not believe when I heard he'd be ending this tour in Bexhill, the lovely seaside town just 15 minutes down the road from me, and in the De La Warr Pavillion – the place where my grandparents met and danced together in 1958. That place is somewhat magical for me and my family.
I also took my home girl Clare along; we had a delicious dinner beforehand at Little Phatisserie in Endwell Road (a total sweet spot for we veggie + dairy free humans) upon arrival we found our perfect spot towards the back against a wall (maximum leanage), then got totally lost in the loveliness of the night.

Newton Faulkner brought us all to life and entertained endlessly with his jokey chillaxed manner between songs. The crowd lapped him, them, up – Newton and his Tobys. Toby Faulkner and Toby Couling, the backing singers and musicians who were really more like a complimentary all-star duo, not just back up. There was such onstage in-sync-ness, you really felt they were a team.

Song highlights included: Shadow Boxing, off the latest album Human Love which was masterfully played on just one guitar but with so many layers; I Need Something my old favourite in which Newton bridged the gap between gentle intimacy and awesome power most perfectly; obviously Dream Catch Me when the whole audience started yelling along filling the room with nostalgic love; Up Up & Away, the happiest new single; Far To Fall, funky as can be; People Should Smile More which was given a slight makeover but is always a classic; and let's not forget Write It On Your Skin, while Newton delivered the ultimate finale in this classic my dad and grandad found me and told me they'd blagged their way in two songs ago – and were loving it!
I was a little dismayed that At The Seams wasn't played, but then relieved as that song never fails to make me weep...

Newton's sound has changed a fair bit over the past decade. It's like he's grown into this enormous energy, had some electric funk injected in recent years to intertwine with the raw perfect honesty, the magnetic vocal range and insane guitar talent (he can do that thing where he plays the guitar by plucking a string and smacking the fret board in various places?! Idk, so awesome). It was refreshing seeing him live again, it didn't just remind me how much I love him (seriously Newton, hello. Let's coffee sometime) but also how much I love live music. How happy it makes me.


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