Ant’s first musical experience was at seven years old, singing with the church choir. A gift from his Dad to the family of an early Toshiba three-in-one record player/tape player-recorder/radio saw Ant begin his lifelong love of music and stage performance.
It was Sherbet, Richard Clapton, The Angels, Cold Chisel and Skyhooks that initially caught Ant’s ear. During the 80s, Ant further developed his musical interests, listening to The Church, The Divinyls, Flowers (Icehouse), Midnight Oil and David Bowie.
The early to mid-90s saw Ant train in stage theatre and performance with the Darlinghurst Theatre in Kings Cross, NSW and The Actor’s Centre in Surry Hills, NSW. In 1995, Ant formed the four-piece band The Prairie Dogs. The band recorded a self-titled demo tape before disbanding in mid-1996.
In 1998, Ant formed an acoustic duo with Jason Minney, named Catweasel, which saw them travel to Los Angeles USA and Toronto, Canada to ‘road test’ twelve original songs they had written and recorded for a demo CD, 'Catweasel Acoustically'.
On return from Canada, Catweasel became a four- and five-piece band at various times over the next two years. This grouping ended in March 2002, after recording the demo CDs 'The Shoestring Mix', 'Chase the Cat', and 'Live at Infidel Studios'.
In 2003, Ant formed four-piece act The James Jessie Band. The band recorded and performed over 2 years and produced two demo CDs, 'Sky Gone Green' and 'Radiating Blue' before disbanding in 2005.
Carnival Road symbolises Ant's official return to music, following his fortuitous meeting with Andrew in 2014.
Bass & backing vocals
Andrew has been playing bass and guitar for 40 years and has been in several bands, starting with swing/rock pub band Cruize Control in the early 80s and more recently with pub rockers Obsessions and Vendetta.
He grew up in Canberra, hanging around the music scene and in particular the old Boot and Flogger, consuming a steady musical diet of hard rock and blues. His favourite recorded influences come from the king bands: Zep, Floyd and Purple!
Andrew is now a professional audio-visual supplier and entertainment booking agent, successfully running Soundshop & Funnell Entertainment as well as doing daytime HR contracts and mixing for bands on the weekend.
In his spare time (oh yeah?!), he loves performing and recording with Carnival Road and occasionally filling in with various cover acts on bass.
Andrew has a very broad play list and is most often seen with his favourite bass, the Purple Levinson Blade 5 string!
Jack showed early proclivity for rhythm, first regularly performing on an upturned rubbish bin while his sisters sang along to Chartstoppers of 1970.
Aged 12, Jack progressed from the rubbish bin to formal drum lessons with a jazz drummer in Melbourne. Childhood public performances on the drums were at the local church, where Jack played hymns using only hi-hat and snare to keep time with Dad on the organ. Jack later played for choirs, concerts, musicals, and church services, as well as finding ways to accompany his sister’s classical piano pieces on a 1950s Ludwig kit at home.
Since then, Jack’s musical experiences have been incredibly eclectic, including: an appearance on TV (Bert Newton’s New Faces), concert bands, bush dance bands, contemporary jazz covers ensembles, Christmas carol and community concerts, jam sessions and musical soirees, folk rock indie band Acacia Suitcase, and church worship services. Jack continues to play regularly for Gungahlin Uniting Church.
Jack is relishing the opportunity to continue this diverse musical journey with rock-influenced original music and has brought to Carnival Road alternative rhythms such as calypso, rhumba, reggae and swing. Jack’s other talents include counselling, writing, genealogical research, and talking. He has accidentally (until recently) lived under mantras of 'self-control' and 'no wasting' and intends to live the future more extravagantly and passionately.
CHRISTOPHER PEARSON ('CHRIS')
Chris’ love of guitar was cemented with his first album purchase, Led Zeppelin II.
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page had brought together a lot of what Chris truly likes in music from folk, through blues to heavy blues rock. Chris' parent's hailed from Surrey, England, described at one time as being the delta of British music, and Chris has a great passion for blues music in all its forms.
In high school, Chris was lucky to have a friend whose brother had one of those sensational record collections which included many obscure artists, and this helped shape his music tastes. These days this includes an interest in alternative music.
There are many guitarists that Chris admires, from Al Di Meola to Frank Zappa, but in terms of usual guitar study he focusses on Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. Stylistically he looks to Peter Green, David Gilmour and Roy Buchanan for inspiration.
Chris is drawn to Carnival Road by the lovely way that Ant's originals flow and build whimsical lyrical and poignant pictures; he hopes that his guitar playing supports that.
Apart from that Chris has been playing with Canberra bands, Never Stone Cold (mostly rock covers) and Second Culture (covers and Great Rich Bersnic originals).