The Carnabys – 20 Questions

The Carnabys are a five-piece rock band based in Twickenham, London, United Kingdom. Since their formation in 2011, the band have opened for Bruce Springsteen, Kings of Leon, Lenny Kravitz, Black Crowes, Alabama Shakes and Blondie (numerous times). They are back with a new single ‘Peaches and Bleach’ as well as a new album scheduled for August 2016. Pete sat down with the band and asked them a set of his customised 20 Questions. Here are their responses:


Ben Gittins (Guitar)

  • Your best career decision (so far)? And your worst?

Joining The Carnabys for sure. I haven’t had time to make the ‘worst’ yet!

  • What sets The Carnabys apart from the pack?

Our energy. We’re an authentic guitar band, we don’t play with stems or any of that s*** that a load of artists are using these days. We’re pukka.

  • Favoured stage mike &/or instruments?

I love the guitars I play at the moment, I’ve got a Fender Strat and a Gibson SG, but if I had the money…. I’d eat a Les Paul for dinner.

  • The radio is playing…what song would you cross the room to turn UP and secondly what song would you cross the room to turn OFF?
I’d turn up ‘Start Me Up’ by The Rolling Stones.. And turn off anything by Bieber.

Mike Delizo (Bass)

  • The third track on an album is often a gem – can you think of any? (artist /title/source album ) – as many as you like!!!

Well nowadays with playlistings everything tends to get mixed up. But a lesser known track I love it ‘Milk’ by Kings Of Leon. It’s soft but gradually builds just a to a beat and dies out again. It doesn’t have to go any further than that.

  • Name a song or instrumental that fades too early, for you (artist/title)

‘All things to all men’ by the Cinematic Orchestra featuring Roots Manuva. It’s a long song as it is, but listening to that on an evening makes me want to hear it going forever!


  • Which song – any artist, any title – would have made a fine single release ? IF it had been a SINGLE ! – why do you think this?

‘Come A Little Closer’ by Cage The Elephant. TUNE! It’s got single written all over it.


  • An acoustic gem? What song/tune and who by? What’s the appeal?

I like ‘Pentonville’ by Babyshambles. It was on the Down In Albion album. It’s funny, Peter recorded it with General Santana, they met in Pentonville Prison. It’s sticks out from the rest of the album, but I don’t mind because it’s acoustic, it’s almost like a little breather.


Jack Mercer (Lead Vocalist) 

  • Name a TV series where the theme music was better than the actual shows and do you know who created or recorded it?

I’m not one to watch a TV series I don’t really like just for the theme music haha, but I did really like the theme music for The Wire. The song was ‘Way Down In The Hole’ which stayed the same for every series but they had a different band/singer perform their version for each series, Tom Waits’ version was the best!

  • Name an album or a couple of albums where the cover or artwork could have been better, in your humble opinion….give any thoughts around this

I’m a big fan of Alabama Shakes. Love their music, but the artwork for both albums has been really simple. It doesn’t make me love them any less though.

  • Your favourite chord progression on a Carnabys song? What’s the song about?

It changes all the time, there are songs that i’ll really get into for a few gigs running, and then it’ll change. At the moment I’m gonna say I’m stuck between the chord sequences for Where I’d Rather Be and a new track Swing Low Sweet 16. For both the verses have a darkness to them, it’s an unpredictability that hints towards an evil outcome. I guess that’s my mood at the moment…

  • I am always surprised if I meet a band member who doesn’t rate Keef Richards – any thoughts or favourite tracks?

I’ve actually not delved into his solo stuff, but the whole Exile On Main Street album is something I treasure. I used to listen to it daily when we first started as a band, it always brings me back to that.


Frankie Connolly (Guitar)

  • Which artist did you go to see perform with low or no expectations but ended up impressed? Where and when was this?

I’d actually not gotten into The Charlatans very much before being invited to see them at The Hard Rock Cafe. They were wicked, we saw them again at the Isle Of Wight Festival last year.

  • Where in the world in your opinion is live music best received? What particular venues appeal?

Well London has always been a place known for its venues, bands, music and all that, and that’s down to music lovers and people that come to see music live. Music’s very well received in London. Milan is another contender though. There’s a venue called Circolo Magnolia which is outdoor but with three stages, these people come from all around to come and watch bands. We headlined a show there ourselves once, and then went back supporting Blondie.

  • Has a radio DJ anywhere (and any era) ever impressed you and if so why?

I’m gonna say John Peel, he was brave enough to play stuff that wasn’t particularly well known/totally unknown and not seen as ‘radio friendly’. This helped discover a load of emerging artists. Absolute dude.

  • Where are you planning to tour next?

Well we have some shows in London including one at The Forge in Camden on Saturday 4th June for Camden Rocks Festival. We then will be playing some shows at Canterbury University and Cambridge University as well as a set at The Isle Of Wight Festival on Sunday 12th June!

James Morgan (Drums)

  • Which is the best sequenced album- any artist, any genre – that you really rate and why is this? Any favourite songs or pieces on this album? (I like the running order of Spirit’s ‘ 12 Dreams of Dr Sardonicus’,by the end a lot of ground has been covered)

‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ by Arctic Monkeys, it’s either a great sequenced album, or I’ve just listened to too many times… Each song that comes after the previous is the ‘perfect one’.

  • Which of The Carnabys’ songs could (should) open a film and in which cinematic genre?

‘Frayed Feather’ would be a good one. It’s a new tune, if they made a film of ‘Skins’ that’d be the opener!

  • Can you tell us about The Carnabys’ new single ‘Peaches and Bleach’?

‘Peaches and Bleach’ describes the paradox of ‘perfect’. It depicts something that has been worked on, near to perfection and which has become a thing of perfect beauty. Then, someone comes along and tries to add to it to help in some way, and f***s it all up – hence the title of ‘Peaches and Bleach’.


  • Three tips, please, for a new stagebound performer or instrumentalist?
1. Rehearse
2. Enjoy it!
3. Enjoy it!
Pete Sargeant
The Carnabys new single ‘Peaches and Bleach’ is out now on Hard Rock Records. Their new album ‘Too Much Never Enough’ is scheduled for release on Friday 19th August 2016 and is available to pre-order now.
To find out about tour dates and more information visit their official website here:
(Many thanks to The Carnabys for taking part in our 20 Questions With…’ series, Kieran White for all of his support and to Cat for helping make this happen)