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Music |

Tour Diary: The Carnabys

Thursday 18 August 2016

Five-piece indie group The Carnabys have been turning more than a few heads lately. Hailing from leafy Twickenham, the band won an album and video deal with Hard Rock Records when they were just eighteen; since then they’ve gone on to support Blondie, Bruce Springstein and Palma Violets. These days, they’re enjoying what it means to be on the road, soaking up their success as an ever-growing popular upcoming band. Tonight marks their launch show at London’s The 100 Club to promote their second album release, Too Much, Never Enough, which is set for release tomorrow (Friday 19th August), coupled with the news that pre-sale and first-week profits from the album will be going to the charity Music Venue Trust. We caught up with The Carnabys back in March while on tour, when they put together an exclusive tour diary for Spindle Magazine to mark their time spent on the road. Read what they got up to below!

First day of tour

19th March 2016 we set off on our first headline tour up and down the UK. The ‘Peaches and Bleach tour’. We’d just released our music video for the tour titled single and were desperate to play it along with a load of new tracks from our upcoming album across the country. 

Every tour starts with a meeting at The Cabbage Patch in Twickenham – the world famous rugby pub we rehearse in. The routine is always the same too: Pull up in the van slapping hands or spitting abuse at each other, open the doors, load the van, quick piss, rush our cigarettes, clamber in and leave home in a cloud of smoke. 

record store day

There’s then a series of voting systems and rounds that have sadly become a stressful tradition… Film or Music? If it’s music, I’m automatic DJ unless people complain and the verbal abuse ensues. Film however is a whole other matter. We must have well over 100 films in the van, the problem is we’ve seen most of them, the only ones left are shit and we can hardly afford to buy a load more. We vote for films until there are 5 in the maybe pile. Then the 5 gets narrowed down to 3 titled the ‘definitely maybe’ pile. Then everyone gets one vote each and majority wins. We’re hindered democracy, how we’ve ended up with a system that means we all have to watch our second or third choice of film fuck alone knows.

Our first show was Kasbah in Coventry. A Persian themed maze of a nightclub with two different stages, a change of music genre for every room and a crowd of Coventry’s finest. We’ve always found difficulty playing in venues that also have a DJ playing at the same time in another room, it means you get a continuous stream of people in and out for the whole show. This works in a way that means you get to play to a large amount of people as the crowd is ever-changing. However, only a handful stay for the whole show, you can’t get all the songs across to every one and you’re sure they’ve forgotten about you by the time they’re screaming Calvin Harris into the ear of a barely conscious, Kardashian loving Hephalump in the room next door. We’d like to thank the couple we met who run a pub up the road for taking a gamble and coming to see a group of Londoners you’d never met before and that round of Tequila. 

The Boileroom in Guildford was a good’un. We were all in high spirits due to the running jokes we have about bands from Guildford, and that our Tour Manager and Guitar Tech both studied at ACM. They get a lot of stick for it but we love them. It’s a nice little venue, unfortunately going deaf from the barking neighbours that chose to move next door. It even has a tattoo parlour upstairs AND sorted us with free Chinese… Always a winner. Our first gig in Guildford and it was rammed. We were really pleasantly surprised by the turnout and interaction with the crowd, they seemed really on it and were giving back as much as we gave to them. Boileroom, tick.

Borderline Phone shot

Our next show was on our turf. The Borderline, London. We knew it was going to be a good one and made the whole tour worth it. What I enjoyed the most was studying the reactions to our new material. People were singing along to songs they’d never heard by the time the second chorus came around and there wasn’t a level head in sight. Topped off with being passed atop the crowd, having the green room invaded and seeing a load of our mates made this one my favourite. We took Soho by storm after the show. The last I remember is being on a building sight in Putney at 4 in the morning, but that’s for another time. 

Borderline CROWD SURF

We had a couple of days to recover after London then headed up north to Birmingham and Manchester. Same routine at the Cabbage Patch and we left home. It seemed like we were at The Flapper, Birmingham forever. We arrived much earlier than expected, sound checked and played countless games of pool in the bar upstairs. We could play professionally now, up there with Jimmy White. 60% of being in a band is waiting around so you have to come up with things to do if you don’t have a pool table, dart board or a tended bar. One of our personal favourites is ‘do shit for shit’. You come up with two scenarios such as ‘Would you… tongue that old man for 40 seconds, your parents find out about it, but you get free drinks in Twickenham for the rest of your life OR jump in the river until you catch a fish with your knob and you get to take your favourite actress out for a night and anything could happen.’ And you have to make a careful decision or receive judgement until it’s forgotten about. This game has shunted so many hours it’s amazing. The gig was well received and we had a few people that had seen us at Bingley Music festival the year before. The night after we played Night & Day in Manchester, the venue was full to the back and some close friends of mine turned up and took us to a Tiki bar which always goes down well. Manchester was definitely a success.

A few days later we hit a venue called Fruit in Hull. It was quite a derelict area, but we got the impression that the building works were all in aid of an up coming area with cafes, bars, and one of the best venues we’ve ever played. Best selection of beers, huge green room, generously sized stage and the room was loaded on a Wednesday night which we weren’t expecting. The kids in Hull brought energy, we ate it all and puked it all over them. Thanks kids. 

Scottish cig

When we reached Scotland some dear friends of ours, a band named ‘Hello Future’ lent us their sofas and floors for the week. We’ve always been fond of Scotland, partly due to the company we had but also the fans we have there. They’re always loud, up for a good time, and really complimentary. We played Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. It’s always nice being able to say we’ve conquered Aberdeen due to the rumours of generally miserable punters known for making bands cry, but for me King Tuts in Glasgow made the Scottish leg. It’s a prestigious venue, crowned ‘Best UK live venue’ by Radio 1, an amazing string of artists have played there, as well as supposedly being the place Alan McGee discovered Oasis. We sold a load more tickets than anticipated and the crowd were great and so was the sound. 

We’ve all said how much we enjoyed the Peaches and Bleach tour, being our first headline tour playing in venues up and down the UK, we met some strange, strange people on the road and made some new pals across the UK. The gigs were packed and sweaty, we played loud, had a craic along the way and that’s how we like it. Looking forward to the next one. 

Last gig

The Carnabys play their album launch gig tonight at The 100 Club, London, to get your hands on some last minute tickets visit www.wegottickets.com/100club. Their album Too Much, Never Enough is released tomorrow (Friday 19th August).