Barns Courtney @ XOYO, London, 30th November 2016


Back in September, Barns Courtney played The Borderline in Soho and I encouraged anyone who read my reviews to get on board.


This weekend just gone, Barns has supported Blur at the closing night of the Grand Prix season in Abu Dhabi. Things are moving fast for this exciting young singer and so they should, his entrance onto the stage last night in London immediately galvanised the XOYO crowd into life. Barns has a stage presence and joy at being on stage performing that is born of being signed early and dropped. This time there is no way Barns will falter, but the experience of being dropped by a record label and not having any idea what was next makes this second coming all the sweeter and the joy at once again making money from music, and more importantly being loved by another sell out London crowd, all the better.


This time, sadly, there was not so much chat from Barns. He performed at a break neck pace with an urgency that whipped the crowd into sing along air punching delight. At times it was difficult to see through the sea of arms and mobile phones held aloft. I like Barns’ chat and so it was a shame XOYO didn’t see so much of that side of him. He is a talented singer songwriter with a great personality and getting to see both sides of his personality only adds to the natural warmth live audiences feel towards this Ipswich born young man who spent a large part of his life in Seattle, USA.


The songs that Barns sings are filled with passion and are born of his struggle to rise from the ashes of the past. Having no plan B when his dream died the first time and being driven to a life of struggle and uncertainty has given Barns inspiration for his songs and his deep soulful voice is perfectly complemented by his three piece band.


Barns finished with latest single ‘Glitter and Gold’ complete with crowd sing along and the crowd pleaser ‘Fire’ which never fails to leave the crowd panting for more. If you haven’t had the chance to see this young man live, please do try. Hopefully we are not far away from a debut album and hopefully a tour to accompany its release.


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