Review: Courtney Barnett supported by Honeyblood at Norwich’s Waterfront Studio

Singer / songwriter Courtney Barnett Singer / songwriter Courtney Barnett

David Powles
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
11:25 AM

All the way from Down Under, Australian singer Courtney Barnett and her band The Courtney Barnett’s played at Norwich’s Waterfront Studio last night, with support from Honeyblood.

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Expect big things from Courtney Barnett - I certainly don’t think she’ll be playing the upstairs studio at Norwich’s Waterfront again in the near future.

The Australian-born singer songwriter is creating a big buzz within the music world - and there is much evidence of that before and after her stop off in our city.

Norwich normally provides a shy and retiring crowd for gigs, the type of which prefers to stand in the shadows and leave a respectful gap between performer and his or her fans.

But tonight her baying public are squeezed up close for the chance to see if the promise of her early releases translates into a gig to remember.

Meanwhile, after the show there’s a hefty queue outside the Melbourne star’s dressing room of people waiting to say hello and have CDs and T-shirts signed.

And this excitement is more than deserved because Barnett and her band (drummer and bassist with Barnett playing lead guitar) offer a sound and style that is fresh and different to much else out there at the moment.

Her UK tour comes ahead of the release of a debut album and on top of a sudden surge in interest in the UK (and elsewhere) after rave reviews for her 2013 EP collection: Sea of Split Peas.

From that, it’s the brilliant Avant Gardener that has been much of the focus. Live it sounds fantastic, a fuzzy guitar chord played over fantastic lyrics about a panic attack while gardening.

It’s the lyrics that are such a strength of Barnett’s work - and prove that thousands of miles away in Oz people pretty much obsess about the same issues as they do in the UK.

Tales of mortgages, death, love and work provide a brilliant one hour glimpse of what should become a brilliant musical career.

We can only hope that brings her back to Norwich one day.

- Support comes in the form of Glaswegian garage rock duo Honeyblood. Not dissimilar to Barnett in style three or four of their stand out tracks would be more than worth 15 minutes of your attention.

Click here to read an interview with Barnett conducted ahead of her Norwich gig.

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