Gig Review: Courtney Barnett

Bristol’s O2 Academy was sold out and buzzing with chatter waiting for Courtney Barnett to step on stage and the audience went wild when she did. Kicking off her set with Elevator Operator, she continued to storm through tracks from debut album ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’ as well as favourites from her earlier EPs.

Avant Gardner’s early appearance got everyone joining in with the singing, the crowd embracing Barnett’s tale of a gardening effort turned panic-attack which, by now, has pretty much become a modern classic. Depreston was another sing-a-long with CB herself noting it was ‘beautiful’.

One of the stand-out songs of the night had to be Kim’s Caravan which shows a more contemplative side to the debut album. Speaking to Courtney Barnett herself after the gig, she said it’s her favourite song to play live and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s a slow burner, building from it’s concerns about climate change in to a heavy, distorted and almost haunting rocking climax.

Announced as the final song, Pedestrian At Best was by far the loudest and rowdiest moment of the night, turning the standing fans at the front in to a moshy mess for it’s duration and leaving a demanding chant for more.

Returning to the stage for an inevitable encore with support act Big Scary and a cover of The Saints’ Know Your Product, it was eventually History Eraser that was the closer for the night and leaving the crowd in a sweaty, shouty and smiling mass.

That post-gig emptiness hit immediately and I’ve been left thinking the only reason I wouldn’t want to stay at home and listen to Courtney Barnett is because I actually want go out and see Courtney Barnett instead. What a party.

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