English singer, songwriter, and musician Barns Courtney warmed up the stage for The Kooks at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater on Friday, February 15. Though originally from England, Courtney spent most of childhood in Seattle, Washington before moving back to the U.K. at age 16.
Despite being previously dropped by the record label Island Records, Courtney pushed himself to make his music career happen. Essentially homeless with no income, he made ends meet by selling cigarettes, working at a PC retailer, and crashing on friends’ couches. Soon after releasing his first solo track “Glitter & Gold,” Barns Courtney career sparked and has fully ignited since.
Barns Courtney has already surpassed a quarter of a billion cumulative streams globally – including more than 115 million streams in the U.S. The Attractions Of Youth sold 200,000 adjusted album units worldwide. It contained the Top 20 Alternative radio single “Golden Dandelions,” “Fire,” a Top 5 hit at Triple A radio and a Top 15 hit at Alternative, and “Glitter & Gold,” which topped the Spotify U.K. Viral Chart and entered the Top 5 at Triple A radio in the U.S. He won Artist of the Year at the Music Week Sync Awards 2018. His songs have been heard in films (The Founder, Burnt), television shows (“Suits,” “Lucifer,” Netflix’s “Safe”) and advertising campaigns (Showtime, Cadillac, Miller Lite).
Funny enough, I didn’t quite realize I knew most of Barns Courtney’s songs until I saw him live. I had heard his name float around on the radio and mentioned by friends but didn’t consider myself a true fan. Soon after his set started, I found myself saying “Wait, he sings THIS song TOO?!” multiple times throughout the evening.
Energetic, charming, and chock full of all the dance moves, Barns Courtney dished out a performance that was pure fun. I mean, come on. His music video for “99” is a nostalgic BLAST. Songs in the full setlist include the following (those bold with links are my personal favorites):
Leigh is a native Texan gone temporary New Yorker and now proud Austinite. Passions include but are not limited to music (both as a spectator and dabbler), traveling & cultural adventures, film & television, true crime, design (of the fashion, interior, and graphic sorts), and photographing & writing about all the aforementioned. Self-acclaimed coffee connoisseur & wino, cat aficionado, book worm, and nature junkie.