The Carnabys are a talented five-piece band from South West London, and have been riding quite a wave over the last couple of years, not only collecting accolades and a wide following, but sharing the stage with the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Blondie, the latter of whom hailed them “the best support band we’ve had in years!” Not a bad start, then.
Tonight, they confidently took to the stage to headline a small festival night for upcoming acts in the well-known Barfly in North London's Camden borough. Now, I’m sure you've all been to a gig, woken up the next morning with the songs still playing in your head - but that’s mostly in part to being familiar with the material, and really you're just reliving a great night you’ve had. When this happens to be from a band you’ve never heard or seen before, that really strikes a chord (forgive the pun).
Listening to The Carnabys, I was transported back some 20 years to when we had many great bands in the mainstream at the height of the Britpop era. These guys have a real vigour and energy about them: a good beat, and real tight. They mix that with really good songs, and it’s certainly a recipe for success; I can see why they’re getting attention.
Among the 40-minute set, they trotted out two tracks I still keep playing over in my head: Great Dane in the Graveyard (which has a great riff), and Elizabeth. And to my personal delight, a fantastic tribute to the late and very great David Bowie in the form of The Jean Genie was performed - my favourite of all Bowie's tracks, too.
The band's single, Peaches and Bleach, is due out at the end of March, and also in the works is an album for release later in the year. That'll be worth a listen, for sure.
It’s a notoriously tough industry to crack, and I really hope these guys catch a break, and 2016 turns out to be a year to remember for The Carnabys. They’re making the kind of music I’d certainly buy, so let's hope they keep doing their thing.