Joe Carnall Jnr on his upcoming Christmas show and a big announcement for 2019

The Milburn frontman is back with another Carnall Christmas cracker and festive tidings of a brand new solo record in the works.

How has 2018 treated you, Joe? Take us through some of the highlights…
Musically, it’s been an interesting one. Back in January I was halfway around the world for a month recording my debut solo record (more on this to follow in the new year). It’s been quiet on the Millburn front as we started to wind down after what has been an amazing couple of years – although we went out in style by playing the main support slot on the Friday night at Tramlines. Reverend and The Makers have had a busy festival season which culminated in a huge Tramlines set on the Saturday. Since then I’ve just been watching Wednesday slip into disarray!

That’s massive news on the solo record. Can you give us a bit more info on where and who you recorded it with?
For now I’ll just say that I made it with an old and very successful mate at his place. Some call him the Agile Beast. We had such a good time working together as we don’t get to see each other much these days. I’m really pleased with the result and it’s not what you’d expect. I can’t wait for next year already.

Music-wise, has anything in particular caught your ear?
A few things. Around the time of making my record I really got into Sincerely, Future Pollution by Timber Timbre. I also like Masseduction by St. Vincent – I was lucky enough to see her perform at the Hollywood Palladium this year. I like Gaz Coombes’ latest, too, but the gig of the year, without doubt, was David Byrne. His current world tour is basically the most astonishing and compelling thing I’ve seen on a stage. Incredible.

Joe Carnall Jnr and Friends is back for its annual festive do, this time taking place at O2 Academy. How’s the prep going?
I’m normally pretty relaxed about preparing for the Christmas gigs. I want it to feel like a bit of a haphazard knees-up, so I don’t go dishing out the homework a month in advance. That’s a convoluted way of saying that I’ve done bugger all as of yet!

Joe Carnall Jnr & Friends

Christmas show at O2 Academy Sheffield selling fast. Tickets here:

Posted by Joe Carnall Jnr on Friday, 30 October 2015

This is the eighth instalment of the show and it’s established itself as something of a Sheff Christmas tradition. Is there anything special planned for this year?
It’s taken on a life of its own and I’d been fortunate enough to figure out what people wanted early in its inception: play the hits, play some daft covers and don’t overcomplicate matters. Everyone is there for the same reason, it almost has nothing to do with me anymore! This year I do have a very talented southerner coming up. We share the same management team and he’s had an incredible year, so I think he wants to celebrate.

You do know East 17 are in town the same month? You’ve got some heavy competition…
‘Stay Another Day’ is such a great song. They’re pretty shit though, really, let’s be honest. There’s something fundamentally wrong with boy bands turning into men bands.

Speaking of which, will the white puffa jacket be making a return this year or will you be going with another classic Christmas cover?
I try and come up with something new every year but ‘Stay’ works so well. I’m not quite sure yet!

If you could pick one festive tune to duet on, what would you pick and why?
It’s not a typically festive tune but ‘Don’t You Want Me’ by The Human League was Christmas number one in 1981. Pretty appropriate considering we’re in Sheffield, don’t you think? Now I just need to find a girl who is daft enough to get up and sing it with me…

What else will you be getting up to over the holidays? Any longstanding traditions?
I try and go to the Boxing Day football match, whether at home or away. However, with kids now in the mix it’s quite difficult to sneak off for a full day. I suppose for the last decade I’ve been knackered after the Xmas show and just float about in a bubble for the next week. It’s quite nice actually.

Joe Carnall Jnr & Friends’ 2018 Xmas Show on Sun 23rd December are selling quick – get yours here for £23.

In association with, the local box office.

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