Many years ago I missed out on a New Order gig at the Hacienda because I contracted chicken pox. I’ve been looking forward to seeing Courtney Barnett for a long while so when ‘Shingles’ hit me, there was no way I was letting this pesky virus stop me from seeing another act I love…..and boy was I right to go – best thing I’ve seen in years!
We arrived as Fraser A Goreman was finishing his set……didn’t get a photo of him but he looked a lot like the photo above……..
Next up were Manchesters ‘Spring King‘ who played an energetic set of uplifting indie loveliness. The drummer did most of the singing and chat between songs, but all four did vocal harmonies whilst the guitarist channeled Wilko Johnson…….Would happily see them again.
Courtney Barnett is an artist at the top of her game. Her backing band were a powerhouse that drove the tunes but she ruled the roost with a command of the guitar that had the place rocking!
Her justifiable confidence in the material from her debut LP and previous EP’s shone through – her lyrics are funny and poignant and tumble out with ease – her guitar playing goes from picking out a lead riff whilst strumming chords (how does she do that?!) to a full on ‘rock out’ sound that Nirvana would be proud of…….Joy joy joy!
The set climaxed with ‘Pedestrian at best‘ and it looked like there wouldn’t be an encore, but the crowd demanded another one – so they steamed through “Nobody really cares if you don’t go to the party” after which she threw her guitar down with a ‘that’s your lot’ type gesture and we went home raving about what we’d seen – smiling faces all round.
Bob the Chiropodist