I was a bit in the dark when it came to Barns Courtney. I hadn’t heard of him up until maybe two weeks ago, in fact up until two weeks ago, I didn’t know it was him.
So I did what most people do in that situation, I Googled the name and the description ‘Folk Pop’ and ‘Blues Rock’ leaped out at me. Those lazy pigeonholed descriptions do nothing for the depth of the work I went on to hear and what surprised me more was how in the dark I had actually been. It seems I was over two million people behind the curve with this and some of his tracks had been played more than thirty million times.
We are talking about someone who has more monthly listeners than The Fratellis, The Libertines, or The Kaiser Chiefs so surprise number two has to be that he is playing the G2 in Glasgow; essentially the backroom of the Garage with the capacity of no more than 350 Barns fans.
What was immediately obvious was a real feeling of excitement in the crowd, the anticipation was palpable and groups of fans were already pogoing to the pre-show music. It was a great atmosphere and it became more fevered when the band took the stage in near darkness and a haze of smoke. As the electric buzz of instruments filled the room, Barns entered with a swagger that was matched by the crowd’s cheers, screams, and applause.
He starts the show with an incredible level of energy and it waivers not even a little as he and the set bounce from one anthemic chorus to the next. Within maybe four songs I have a real feeling, this is meant for bigger things and along with the other 300 odd people in this room, I genuinely believe I am watching the start of something that’s going to explode.