Laurie Burnette interviewed singer songwriter Jill Barber before her gig at the Troubadour in Kensington, October 2015.
Two weeks ago Canadian singer songwriter Jill Barber was in England to play dates at the Troubadour in Kensington West London and Stables in Milton Keynes; part of an extensive tour performing in major cities throughout Europe. I met Jill at the Troubadour to interview her and take in the gig afterwards.
The gig at the Troubadour was a special one for the Barber family as her brother Matthew opened up proceedings with a set of tunes which had Matthew singing and playing acoustic guitar. It is the first time they have been on tour together in a number of years and are planning to bring out a new album together in the near future. Matthew is a singer songwriter in his own right, in the folk / folk rock genre. Matthew told the audience that the Barbers lived in London when they were kids (Mill Hill to be exact) then proceeded to play an interesting set of love songs, and songs documenting events in his native Canada. Topics in a classic folk context; not often these days you see an artist on stage with just voice and acoustic guitar, especially when it is becoming more difficult to hold people’s attention.
For the main event, Jill came out with a very tight four piece band; Jill is also seventh months pregnant and was looking great. The first track “Broken for Good” is a really great track, almost an old fashion Motown type track with a modern twist, performed with high energy, couldn’t start off the set with a better track.
Jill also brought her acoustic guitar for a couple of numbers and what intrigued me most was her interaction with the audience, Jill pointed out what a pleasure it was to play in front of an English speaking audience, and that clearly showed with a really dry sense of humour, getting the audience into it with some fun interactions which the they evidently enjoyed. Jill finished the set with her brother Matthew joining on his guitar for a couple of numbers and for the encore, just the two of them acapella and guitar.
The evening turned out to be a really fun set from a fun singer songwriter, catch her next time she is in town.