Aside from this concession to audience-interaction, the Melbourne singer-songwriter is relatively quiet. This hardly matters: her songs are sufficiently verbal that she can let them do the talking. Witty little poems full of sharp observations, they benefit from being heard in their entirety. It’s definitely worth pushing to the front of a Courtney Barnett gig and listening beyond the crash of electric guitar.
Barnett's output is still relatively small - just an early EP, and her debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit - but she manages to make it feel spacious enough for forgotten gems and fan favourites. 'I haven't sung that song in two years,' she says midway through a brief sweet encore. 'So... thank you.'
The fans - some of whom have come all the way from Australia - thank her in kind. When she almost shouts the line ‘put me on a pedestal and I’ll only disappoint you!’ (from the excellent single Pedestrian at Best), they sing it back at her with big antipodean smiles on their faces. Nobody sounds disappointed.
Culture Whisper saw Courtney Barnett perform as part of Summer Series at Somerset House with American Express, which runs from Thursday 7 July - Sunday 17 July 2016.
To find out more – and to discover the highlights from this year’s headline acts, visit amexsummersounds.co.uk
|What||Courtney Barnett, Somerset House review|
|Where||Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Embankment (underground)|
07 Jul 16 – 17 Jul 16, Courtney Barnett played on 13th July; times displayed are for Summer Series at Somerset House with American Express