Having opened for huge acts including The Who, The Libertines and Blur, Barns Courtney has spent the past few years cementing his status as a red-hot live act, a reputation supported by his own singer-songwriter capabilities, evidenced by over 70 million streams of his music. Damian Robinson caught up with Barnes to talk about his love for touring, his plans to never stand still, and his love of Whitby.
Hi Barns, you’re across on tour with The Wombats at the moment, how’s it going?
I’m having such a good time, thanks for asking. I’m a really big fan of The Wombats so being out on tour with them is such a cool thing and I love those guys. I remember reading about them back in the day when NME was still in print, remember those days!?
The tour goes pretty much to the end of October and then you’re straight into your UK tour.
Yeah that’s right. I’m so excited to be back in the UK on tour and can’t wait for it to start. The show at Newcastle Riverside sold out pretty quickly and it’ll be great to come across to the North East and hang out. The North East may be my favourite place in the UK as I vivid memories of holidays in Whitby when I was young and I love the area. I think there’s a busker that’s been there for at least 20 years.
Ha, probably. It must be nice that things are going so well for you?
Yeah, it’s pretty surreal really. There was a sudden bolt in the US with some of my records, and that momentum seemed to catch on in the UK without me having come across and played for a while. I couldn’t get across to the UK for a while so I’m really looking forward to coming and playing. I think the last time I played Newcastle there were 3 people at the venue (laughing).
The new single ‘99’ seems to be climbing the charts nicely as well so it seems things are on a nice roll. What’s the plans for after the tour?
Well I’m never keen on having any down time so the plan is to pretty much go on nonstop. The aim is to finish the tour, and get straight into the studio and record the next album. Then I plan on touring that straight away. In the meantime I might release ‘You and I’ as a single, which is a song about a guy my mum used to date and how he hitchhiked from Saltburn to Plymouth to see her. I might take some time off for Christmas, but that’s only because that’s what’s the drummers doing (laughing).
Barnes Courtney plays the Newcastle Riverside on the 9th November. Recent single ‘99’ is available on https://www.barnscourtney.com/