The top of the stage is draped with a curtain like fabric giving the impression that Courtney Barnett and her support acts, Fraser A Gorman and Spring King are playing from their living room. Fraser comes on, he seems relaxed and confident and springs through a Dylan-esque set, Spring King follow with a punked-up set that is a smash hit with the audience. There’s no doubting they’re amped up now and more than ready for the main act.
“Support acts Fraser A. Gorman and Spring King”
Courtney cooly takes the stage with bassist Bones Sloane and drummer Dave Mudie and quickly jump into a rocked up opening triplet of “Elevator Operator”, “Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in NY)” and “Canned Tomatoes (Whole)”. Courtney thrashes about the stage, black hair flying like medusa’s nest of snakes, quite obviously enjoying herself as much as her Cambridgian audience who are leaping about like they are in a prison riot!
The whole set is rocked up and energetic, interspersed with a few lower key numbers like “Are You Looking After Yourself”. Courtney stops once or twice to ask the audience if they’re having fun, the bellowing response makes it clear, we definitely are. Bones also adds his ten pence worth with a little joke that falls totally flat on it’s face going literally over the entire audience’s heads, Courtney joins in the ribbing and jokingly warns the audience that if they bad mouth Bones she’ll “Fuck them up”. Nuff said Courtney, no-ones messing with you!
The band is absolutely on fire and by the time we descend into the likes of “History Eraser” and set ender, “Pedestrian at Best” even members of Spring King are crowd-surfing. She’s absolutely smashed it and we’re not letting her end it here.
After a few minutes, Courtney and the guys have ‘been for a piss’ and after a bit of banter about sword fighting, they kick off the encore with the pop-rock brilliance of “Aqua Profunda!” (my personal favourite from SISATSIJS), the crowd love it. Courtney announces that she’ll finish with a cover and makes the audience try to guess what track they’re doing, ‘It’s an Australian band’ was the clue but after several fruitless yelled guesses, she confirms it will be “I’ll Make You Happy” by Easybeats.
It was a cracking finish, and whatever she might say in “Pedestrian at Best” from this pedestal, she did not disappoint. All hail the new Aussie Queen of Rock!