Milburn star Joe admits band reunion on the cards

Joe Carnall in action. Picture: Glenn Ashley.
Joe Carnall in action. Picture: Glenn Ashley.
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Fresh from a triumphant solo set at Sheffield’s popular Tramlines music festival, Joe Carnall junior has admitted there is a possibility of reforming the band which launched his career.

The guitarist and history teacher is now working on a solo career which saw him headline the Devonshire Green stage at last weekend’s festival – but admits Milburn could reform in the future.

Joe, who combines teaching history at Dinnington School with roles in two bands – fronting Book Club and playing bass in Sheffield favourites Reverend and the Makers – as well as his solo stuff, says: “We may get Milburn back together in a couple of years’ time.

“Even though we broke up seven years ago people are desperate for it.”

Indie-rockers Milburn formed after years of friendship through playing football together.

They split amicably in 2008 after seven years together, playing a last gig at Sheffield’s Carling Academy.

The band’s members had decided they wanted to work on new musical projects – but the four-piece are still firm friends.

Joe’s brother Louis became a member of Lords of Flatbush with former Arctic Monkeys bassist Andy Nicholson, while Tom Rowley and Joe Green became members of The Backhanded Compliments and remain in the band’s current incarnation Dead Sons.

In January 2009, Tom joined Reverend and the Makers, but subsequently left to concentrate on Dead Sons, while in 2013 he joined Arctic Monkeys as a touring member.

Joe says: “It is seven years on and people are still talking about it now which tells its own story, I think.”

Joe recently played with the Reverend and the Makers at the famous Benicassim music festival in Spain – and even there Milburn were remembered.

“Someone had a sign with Milburn Forever written on it,” he says. “We didn’t sell millions of records but we meant something to someone.”

However, he says the reunion would not be for a while yet.

“I need to realise my own thing first, but I’m not saying it isn’t a possibility.” he said.

“There is a chink of light there and all four people need to be in the right place.

“I would want to do it properly.

“I’ve changed my life to go solo and taken on part-time work so there’s no way I could do it at the moment.”

Joe’s Tramlines set was his first proper solo gig, although he was joined on stage by his brother – and former Milburn guitarist – Louis.

He describes his sound as ‘electronic folk’, and said he is influenced by Simon and Garfunkel, indie folk band Fleet Foxes and singer-songwriter James Blake.

With plans to release an album in 2016 and to tour more later this year, Joe is finding flying solo a good experience so far.

“It is a bit more liberating, writing and performing by myself,” he says.

“I’m pretty controlling and now things are my decision which makes life easier.

“There was no leader in Milburn, so we rowed all the time, probably because we were 19 and 20 and angry and ambitious.”

Whether Joe gets the band back together or not he will continue to pursue a musical career.

He said: “I started playing in a band when I was 12.

“I’m 27 now and I’m going to do this for the rest of my life.”