Following a last-minute gig cancellation caused by storm Ophelia in October, Newton Faulkner returned to Cork to play his rescheduled show with even more enthusiasm than could ever have been expected. He arrived on stage to greet the largest crowd we’ve ever seen in this particular venue.

Using a set-up of three guitars, an effects board, a loop pedal, a beat pad and an electronic piano he operated using his feet as much as his hands, Faulkner wowed, entertained, humored and used the audience to his advantage for the entirety of his two hours on stage.

Faulkner is clearly very comfortable on stage, cracking jokes and laughing throughout – even when his loop pedal broke and tech guy hurried onstage to mend the problem – when the roof of the venue started to leak onto his head he was still in good spirits.

Musically speaking, there are few around who can do what Faulkner can. He is one of the most talented acoustic guitarists Cork has seen in a long time and his vocals were at times unparalleled. Songs such as Dreams Catch Me turned into quite moving moments, as the crowd whispered along to every word.

With no band to support him, Faulkner has musical excellence and ability beyond his years. With a mixture of riffs, solos and harmonics, his set was fused with songs about heartbreak, loss, deprivation and confusion. The set was a delicate combination of slow ballads, booming choruses and many memorable moments.

Songs such as Clouds, I Need Something and Never Alone allowed Faulkner to show off his strong vocal range and prowess, with lines ranging from bass to a beautifully flawless falsetto. His strengths are demonstrated most noticeably in one of his newest songs Hit The Ground Running, which features a vocal jump any opera’s leading lady would be proud of. With his level of instrumentation and vocal control, it’s no surprise he’s managed to find himself a part in the recent run of the Green Day musical ‘American Idiot’ on the West End.

Newton Faulkner’s performance was from an artist at the prime of his power. His ability to control and dictate a crowd is first-class and the way in which he plays incredibly introspective music in an incredibly open way is very impressive.

Faulkner provided more than just an evening of song, he provided an experience of witnessing an entertainment powerhouse.

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