by Peter Coates – www.facebook.com/InsideEdgePhotography
CASEY BARNES / JOSH SETTERFIELD
The Cambridge Hotel – Newcastle, NSW
6th May 2022
The Cambridge Hotel is a legendary rock’n’roll pub on the outskirts of Newcastle, black painted walls, sticky carpet, signed drum-heads on the walls from some of Australia’s best-known bands, and was once a regular touring stop for international bands when they used to play shows in more than just Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
A small but enthusiastic crew was in town to catch Casey Barnes and the band, one of Australia’s leading country / pop / rock acts, on the back of the recent release of his cracking new album, Light It Up. The band is getting tighter with every show, and anchored by Wazza Bray on the drums, they put on a slick, raucous and loud show that was welcomed by the crowd.
Newy local boy Josh Setterfield opened the show as a solo artist, his guitar accompanied by some backing beats, with a selection of his originals like new single Better Off, and last year’s hit Right About Now, and with a couple of covers thrown in – Morgan Wallen’s Whiskey Glasses was a particular hit. He has a terrific voice, and plays guitar well, despite breaking a string in song 1, and deserves to get some broader exposure.
Casey and the band kicked off with the rocking Light It Up from the new album, and Come Turn Me On, before running through a set of new and familiar songs, including the beautiful ballad to his wife, God Took His Time With You.
The band is growing up, in particular since Bradley Green joined on guitar – very restrained but such a slick player – and while in the smaller shows, Wazza’s Merch Song (to the tune of Another One Bites The Dust) might raise a smile or two, personally I reckon they are better than this now, and should throw in an original instead. The Country Boy mash-up including bassist Ben Crawford as a rapper does add some character though, while a cover of Footloose seemed unnecessary given the quality of Casey’s own material. Highlights for me were The Way We Ride and a blistering version of Gone Gone Gone to close the set featuring Josh and Casey on vocals. Casey headed off to play to 8,000 people in Berry the next day, so we got an up close and personal taster of this exciting band in a much more intimate setting.
Casey Barnes is a name that is right up there now in Australia, and hopefully will make an impact overseas on the strength of the superb new album – out now and on vinyl too!