…formed a band just to get into a sold-out Courtney Barnett concert.
a combination of pure stupidity, student poverty and my battery inhaling laptop that left me ticket-less
The online demand for tickets was ever-growing but I remained naively hopeful. I decided to make the bus journey from Cork to Dublin, spending that time refreshing the ticketfairy feed on twitter with Barnett herself partaking in retweeting the online pleas, which seemed to be a common trend throughout the tour. I noticed Leagues [O’Toole – Aiken Promotions], the promoter of this show, tweeting that if any local bands wanted to trade a t-shirt for a ticket, suggesting that this would be part of Barnett’s rider. At seeing this, I mentioned if it would count if I made a tee and started a band on this basis, promising that The Debbie Downers would be Ireland’s dreariest pop duo. ‘Sounds like a workable loophole’ was the response to which my eyes grew wide. I then found myself in Penneys on a Saturday in Dublin, clutching three plain white t-shirts, knowing that if I was in Michael Guineys in Cork I’d have been in and out.
the promoter tweeted that if any local bands wanted to trade a t-shirt for a ticket, this would be part of Barnett’s rider
My friends and I ventured to The Bernard Shaw, which is simultaneously probably the nicest/most hipster bar I’ve ever been to in the city. No-one batted an eyelid as we sat there drinking ginger beer and drawing all over the tees. Conveniently, my friends happen to run a screenprinting company (Pretty Handsome Studio) and Billy whipped up a delightfully glum looking character in minutes. On arriving at Whelan’s, I lurked around the front bar with the three wrinkly rolled up shirts, ready to begin negotiations. My achievements were limited to bewildering all the bar staff as they sympathetically suggested I plead my case at the main door. In the meantime, my talented friends were in negotiations of their own with a lady on a bike who had a spare ticket floating around in her basket. Thankfully, my brilliant friends went ahead with the purchase on my behalf. An hour or so later, I was staring Courtney Barnett in the face as she delivered her deadpan lyrics to a packed and sweaty crowd, ‘Debbie Downer’ a hilarious highlight.
I lurked around the front bar with the three wrinkly rolled up shirts, ready to begin negotiations
After the show, the band were holding a meet-and-greet and selling some CB3 merchandise. Her shiny new record sold out almost instantly, and rightly so. There’s something irresistibly fascinating with musicians with massive egos but it’s even more amazing when you discover the contrary. We presented her with the makeshift shirts as I stumbled over my words attempting to explain how they came into existence. She kindly agreed to pose with them for a photo before we offered them to her as a gift to which she seemed pleased to accept. My pal Ashling posted these photos on instagram, which resulted in Barnett tagging her the next day in a photo of her two band mates and another chap wearing the t-shirts. A delightful end to the nonsense. Barnett’s success is certainly expanding but it’s doubtful that her ego ever will. Hopefully CB3 will be making a return to these shores again soon. [Maybe Debbie Downers will support]”
Kim O’Driscoll (Courtney Barnett superfan and Debbie Downers founder)
– Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit is out now