Verdict: four stars
Art School, Glasgow
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In another life, Courtney Barnett would have been excellent at observational comedy.
The basics are there: a dry wit, and an incredible eye for detail. "Elevator Operator", the opening track to both her excellent debut album proper and her Glasgow show, is one of the best examples, packed with perfect lines ("I'm not suicidal, just idling insignificantly") almost tossed away in Barnett's deadpan, speak-singing style.
And contrary to the disinterest she feigns on her records, Barnett in real life was hilarious: quick with a raucous laugh and genuinely thrilled when somebody from the floor told her that her album was number 16 on the UK album charts.
The bare bones musical set-up - guitar, bass and drums trio, taking its musical cues from Dinosaur Jr and 90s alternative rock - kept things simple; but with enough range both to create a wall of noise to end gloomily melodic "Lance Jr" and make the likes of "Dead Fox" and "Debbie Downer" light-hearted and fun. New single "Pedestrian at Best" was the closest thing to a straightforward rock song, and it ended the main set on a high.
But it's her witty, wordy lyrics that set Barnett's songwriting apart and the set list didn't disappoint. "Depreston" - a gorgeous song with a catchy chorus about gentrification of all things - and "Are You Looking After Yourself", based on an email to a touring Barnett from her mother, were easy highlights.
A late-set pairing of "Avant Gardner" and "History Eraser" - two early examples of Barnett's ability to write songs you'll be desperate to sing along to, but which are too wordy to even try - were a lyrical masterclass in microcosm, but on the evidence there's plenty more where that came from.