Ali Barter – Live at The Corner Hotel, Melbourne – Recorded November 8, 2019 – Triple J Radio –
Ali Barter in concert from 2019 tonight. Driving the audience at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne suitably nuts and giving Triple J radio something to talk about in the morning.
Ali Barter was born in Melbourne in 1986. She was raised by an Irish Catholic father (who had a son from a previous marriage) and a Buddhist mother. She spent her early years in Lae, Papua New Guinea, where her father worked. The family moved to Cairns before returning to Melbourne where she attended a Methodist secondary school. Barter was trained as a classical vocalist and spent eight years singing in the Australian Girls Choir. She left music, at about 14 to 16, and became a self-proclaimed ‘rat bag’: “I was just naughty. Drinking/partying too much and too often, behaving badly… just bummed around being a pest. Not contributing!” Her father unexpectedly died when she was 24. Barter returned to music soon after, and began writing and releasing music independently.
In mid-2016 inspired by her experiences while studying 20th century music history at a university in Melbourne, she posted on her Facebook page “about how under-represented women were in the course material.” She was called to a meeting: “We had a horrendous chat and they hounded me to take down the post. I had so much anxiety going to class that I stopped going.” In December of that year Barter penned an op-ed, “It’s About Fucking Time We Gave Female Musicians the Credit They Deserve” for Australian media website Junkee. She discussed the importance of including women in music history. The piece garnered a number of responses, including one from Yoko Ono, who re-tweeted the article.
Barter released her debut album, A Suitable Girl, in March 2017, independently on Ronnie Records via Inertia Music. It peaked at No. 17 on the ARIA Albums Chart. In February of the following year she performed at the Melbourne Zoo, for its Twilights Season, which Giselle Bueti of The AU Review praised: “There is something compelling about her stage presence, a certain awkward charm. The powerful chords mixed with delicate harmonises make for sweet listening. It’s like biting into a sour lolly – that initial punch is quickly followed by sugary bliss, making your mouth water and plead for more.”
Hit the play button and dive in.