Carnival Of Thieves were formed by Andi Stevenson in December 1990 after parting company with Gasoline Party. Musical style ranges from Hard Rock to Folk Rock and Blues Rock. Andi was joined by Ex Spring Heeled Jack & Gasoline Party Lead Guitarist Rob Bellis in January 1991 then shortly after by former Steel Bassis Andy Bingham. The 3 members worked with a drum box and wrote 30 or so songs over the next month or so which would go on to make up most of COTís live set for the next 8 years.
In March 1991 the band were joined by Ex Spiral Visions/Mon Amour & 3D Fiction Rhythm Guitarist Paddy F. D. Bazooka. Shortly afterwards former 3D Fiction & Steel Vocalist Orb Mirfin joined and he introduced the band to drummer Nick Fuller. The first installment of Carnival Of Thieves was completed when John Roberts ex of The Blues Doctors joined in July 1991. After 6 months of rehearsals and recording demoís the band played their debut gig at the Rattners Rest in Sheffield in February 1992. After only 4 gigs founder member Rob Bellis quit the band.
A few weeks later Rob was replaced by Lead Guitarist Marc ìChilloî Angelini and so started Carnival Of Thieves Mark II. More demos were recorded and more gigs followed but eventually turmoil within the band caused the band to depart with Bassist John Roberts in March 1993.
Shortly after in April 1993 John was replaced by Julian Widdop and Carnival Of Thieves Mark III was born. In May 1993 the band went onto record their first professional demo at Birdsong Studios in Scunthorpe winning rave reviews in some music mags. The rest of 1993 was complete turmoil as first vocalist Orb Mirfin was sacked from the band with Bassist Julian taking over on lead vocals. Not long after Lead Guitarist Chillo decided to leave for pastures new due to musical differences and was replaced by Howard (Fluff) Roe. The in-house turmoil continued when both drummer Nick Fuller and Howard Roe both left in July 1993 due to personal differences. 5 barren months went by as the 3 remaining members of Joolz, Paddy F. D. Bazooka & Andi Stevenson auditioned various singers, Lead Guitarists and Drummers.
In December 1993 Carnival Of Thieves Mark IV was born when the band were joined by Lead Guitarist Nick (Captain Paranoid) Harrison and Paddy F. D. Bazookas younger twin brother from another mother Johnny F. D. Bazooka on drums.
In July 1995 the band released their debut album (Welcome To The Carnival) on their own Hey Gringo! Record label. By now the band were getting big on the Bike Rally Circuits and pulling big crowds to venues across the country including the Hells Angels 10th Anniversary Bulldog Bash. In 1997 the band recorded their second album (Roll Up!, Roll Up!) which manged to make the Kerrang Magazines top ten album chart for 1 week. In 1998 though Andi had become disillusioned with the whole music business and split the band up as he felt the current band had gone as far as it could go.
In 2008 Andi started working on rearranging, remixing and re-recording a lot of Carnival Of Thieves material again including a lot of stuff that never got to see the light of day first time around. In early 2011 original COT drummer Nick Fuller contacted Andi about getting the original line up back together. After meeting up and having a beer fueled session Nick and Andi decided it was time to get COT back on the road. Later in 2011 original bass player John Roberts rejoined and not long after that original guitarist Paddy F. D. Bazooka rejoined. Sadly original guitarist Rob Bellis was committed to another band & despite various attempts to get original vocalist Orb Mirfin back out of retirement Orb stated he wasn’t interested. For the best part of the next 12 months nothing much happened as everything came to a stand still apart from the band keeping in touch on Facebook.
October 2012 was the turning point for the band. They decided on a “book it and they will come” policy and a reunion gig was booked for June 2013 even though the band wasn’t complete. In November 2012 Andi began work on a new Carnival Of Thieves album tentatively titled “Den Of Thieves”. In the meantime the band continued their search for a lead guitarist and a lead vocalist. In February 2013 the band were joined on Lead Vocals by Sunny Daye. Sunny had sung backing vocals on the bands 2nd album back in 1997. But time was running out trying to find a lead guitarist. In April 2013 things took a turn for the worse when Sunny announced she couldn’t sing at the reunion due to other commitments. With only a month to go before the reunion the band found a stand-in guitarist in Sam Lewis who was playing for local band Whiskey Spirit. Everything came together when original vocalist Orb Mirfin decided he would do the reunion after all. It was all set for potential disaster though as after 20 years apart as the band only managed to get in 4 rehearsals before the gig and only 1 rehearsal with all 6 members. The gig turned out to be a great success and the band decided they wanted to carry on. Sadly Paddy F. D. Bazooka was due to emigrate in early 2014 so he left the band. In September 2014 Carnival Of Thieves MK5 was complete when Sam Lewis joined full time on Lead Guitar and shorty afterwards the line up was complete when Phil “Drax” Drakett joined on Rhythm Guitar. At the end of November 2014 work on COT’s third album “Den Of Thieves” was finally completed at Big Sky Studio, Barnsley, England & mixed by Joshua Ingamells and will be released on the bands own Hey! Gringo Record Label.
The album will be released through iTunes and other selected digital download sites in January 2014. A limited CD pressing of the album will be launched shortly afterwards. The album will be officially launched at Rotherham Trades Club on May 3rd 2014. Further gigs will be booked in during the rest of the year to promote the album. The band have now started work on the 4th album which hopefully will be released in 2015.
In early 2014 we will be releasing a 4 CD Mp3 box set called Scallwags that includes the best of Carnival Of Thieves professional recordings on Disc 1. Disc 2 will be the best of Carnival Of Thieves MK1 & MK2 live. Disc 3 will include the best of Carnival Of Thieves MK4 live. And disc 4 will include all the demos and lost tapes. This will be a strictly limited edition available only through the bands website.