Courtney Barnett today launches a unique and wonderfully detailed online archive of her touring and performing history. The project was initially conceived as a way to give Barnett’s fans a simple way to experience her live performances at a time where touring was made impossible, but during the website’s development it became clear it could become so much more. View the site here.
Courtney played her first ever show at an open mic night at The Lark Distillery in Hobart in 2007, she has since played almost 800 live shows ranging from solo sets through to 7-piece backing bands. Her biggest headline shows to-date are at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, London’s Brixton Academy and the Prospect Park Band-Shell in Brooklyn. She has graced some of the world’s most prestigious festival stages including multiple shows at Coachella, Primavera Sound, Glastonbury, Splendour In The Grass, Fuji Rock Festival, Roskilde and Newport Folk Festival.
Taking inspiration from the legendary online archives of Neil Young and The Grateful Dead (and more personally, from the extensive excel tour spreadsheets of Courtney’s Mum) the website now gathers together 14 years of touring history, never-before-heard desk-mixes, live television performances and a rich trove of specially commissioned show-posters.
The site is designed to delight the most casual fans or indeed the most passionate and knowledgeable. It’s possible to lose months in the archive or simply admire the beauty and simplicity of the site’s design by collaborator and long time Barnett fan, Raphael Ong and developersUndertide.Barnett’s fans are encouraged to participate in the growth of the archive by submitting their own pictures, videos and audio recordings.
To celebrate the launch of the live experience, Barnett has also made available the extraordinary full concert footage of her only full band live show of 2020. Shot at the height of yet another heatwave in the midst of Australia’s worst ever bushfire season, the film opens with the following statement “At the beginning of 2020 Australia was in the midst of its largest ever bushfire crisis – we felt afraid, overwhelmed and angry…”. The emotion of the concert is visceral as Barnett and band (Bones Sloane and Dave Mudie) tear through a scorching hour of live music in a room that stank of bushfire smoke. A year later our circumstances have all changed and it feels like a different universe watching 800 people crammed into a room, heaving to Barnett’s furious feedback-drenched live performance. Watch it here.