Having seen Newton Faulkner several times before, this was a gig I was really looking forward to even though the weather was doing its best to put everyone off. The night started with Polly Money, whose set I just managed to catch after getting caught in the traffic backlog on the way to the gig.
From what I saw of her performance, she looks to be enjoying every minute and looked so happy as she smiled at everyone in the crowd. She has her own style but vocal-wise sounds a little like Ellie Goulding with a jazz, pop, folk edge. She proved to be the perfect start to the night and it’s a shame that more of the sold out crowd had not arrived in time to see her perform.
Next up was Sam Brookes, who is making a name for himself from his live performances due to his skill in songwriting and performing. His sound was a little more folk than opening act Polly Money but fitted the bill well. He had a little banter with the crowd and they seemed to be enjoying the show he was putting on for them. So much so that when the heavens opened and a torrential downpour ensued, many stood firm and watched even though they were getting soaking wet. The rain continued for most of Sams set but gave up just before the end and people flocked back to the main area to see his last song.
After a short break, it was time for the main attraction. The rain returned just as Newton took to the stage. Having seen Newton before, I was surprised to see other instruments set up around the stage, as he is a solo artist. But after the first three tracks of his setlist, all was revealed. He introduced members of what looks to be a makeshift touring band and these members joined him on and off throughout the night. I must now say that I, myself, don’t think it worked and think that he should stick to playing on his own, as I just didn’t get the same vibe from him when his band was on stage. The crowd seemed to be enjoying the set, so maybe it was just me. Even the constant downpour wasn’t putting people off as they sang along with Newton to nearly every track of his set. The songs came thick and fast and the soaked audience were hanging on every word as their idol spoke to them between songs. As he introduced his final song of the night, this was the cue for people to head for the many steps to exit the venue. A fantastic evening was had by all and even the worst weather I have seen at an outdoor concert didn’t put a dampener on things.