Courtney Barnett @ Sebright Arms 12th February 2014

This was the first time I had witnessed Courtney Barnett live and this was the first time Courtney had performed with her band The Courtney Barnetts in the UK. The set that was performed consisted of 10 songs. I was left with the desire to hear more but no encore came.

Courtney Barnett & The Courtney Barnetts were Anti Folk with a dash of Rock added in for good measure. Taking to the stage at 9.30pm they opened up with Lance Jr. The majority of the material performed was taken from The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas. Only difference being Courtney was playing with a band. In fact this was the début of The Courtney Barnetts and I enjoyed the Folk Rock vibes each song gave off. Lance Jr opened up with the line “I masturbated to the songs you wrote” and I found it to be incredibly short. The ending then morphed into Canned Tomatoes (Whole). Now this was played at a slow pace and was incredibly rocky. Actually I found it to be slightly infectious as it had catchy lyrics. Again like Lance Jr this was incredibly short plus some of the guitar playing was out of this world. Out Of The Woodwork was extremely promising. It was delivered at a steady pace and it showcased Barnett’s top notch song writing skills. It actually reminded me a lot of Billy Bragg. “You’re a very quiet audience” Barnett then said to the audience. Now there was a reason for that and that was the fact everyone was standing in awe witnessing something incredible. It was then onto Are You Looking After Yourself? Which has become one of my favourite Courtney Barnett tunes. This is a slow starter but then the pace then picks up. I found the lyrics to be super catchy. Scotty Says which was played straight after was about a break up and lounging about.

Next Courtney introduced something brand new and this being DePreston which will be released for this years Record Store Day. This was a solo song and I found it to be utterly entrancing. Barnett’s vocals actually sounded fragile. Towards the end the rest of the band came in to give it that extra something. DePreston is a song that gets me really excited. David was played immediately after and everything about this tune was amazing. What I especially like is the way Courtney is telling a story within the lyrics. Avant Gardener was an audience pleaser and the song itself was about gardening and panic attacks. Basically it is the first half that deals with gardening whilst the second half mentions about feeling weak, hospitals etc. Like David I really adored the storytelling as it paints a clear picture of what is happening in the song. Straight after was a song which will be on the album but is half finished and this being Blah. I fully guess that this is the working title. This was one rousing song with spectacular lyrics. This is definitely one I look forward to hearing again. History Eraser brought to a close one epic evening.


Lance Jr
Canned Tomatoes (Whole)
Out Of The Woodwork
Are You Looking After Yourself?
Scotty Says
Avant Gardener
History Eraser

OVERALL: Courtney Barnett was simply amazing. She is someone who definitely will go places and I am especially pleased to witness her play in such an intimate setting. Barnett is one talented musician and her song writing skills were superb as well. The set was phenomenal and my favourites had to be Are You Looking After Yourself, Avant Gardener and DePreston which is on my list of vinyl to buy on Record Store Day.

If DePreston and the unfinished Blah are teasers of what to expect from the next LP makes me anticipate this release.


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