Big Al is the band funny man; always ready with a gag or joke and he is known to all as "Al of Cleeves" because of his unhealthy obsession with Henry VIII and the Tudor period of English History. He is an active member of many historical re-enactment societies where his portrayal of his alter ego in full dress, bodice and ruff are a talking point.
His bass work is smooth and intuitive... in other words he hasn't a clue what notes he is playing. On one legendary occasion when we gigged at a US Naval Base he played a completely different song from the rest of the band...and sadly didn't notice even after we'd finished. He does, however, form an extremely tight-knit rhythm section with Paul McManus and that partnership is the foundation of the band's big live sound.
He continued to play after La Paz folded and joined Paul and Andy in Glasgow (the band, not the city!) for almost a year. He also worked with Chic and Billy Rankin on their song-writing project. He has played in the UK and the USA with Crossfire, the band he still plays in when not in La Paz, and they have released two albums "Sneak On In" and " Creep On Out".
"I personally think it's time I got the recognition for the artistic contribution to the band that I made over the years rather than just being tagged as the band clown. For example, I seem to recall coming up with the intro's/endings to "Amy" and "Always the Same" to name but two. I also came up with "The Last Goodbye" a song that you seem to have forgotton about altogether Chic! I think Andy has a copy of us playing it in Falkirk or somewhere. Of course I also came up with the name of our first album but that's scraping the bottom of the barrel a bit. All I ask is that you give a little credit where a little credit is due....mind you reading this back I think you may have a point."
He still uses the same Peavey Mark 111 series amp (1980) and Ibanez guitar (1982) as when he was in La Paz and is rumoured to know the entire script of "Blackadder" backwards
Andy Mason on Alex Carmichael :
“Working with Big Al has always been a real pleasure, and with Paul we think of ourselves as the “real” rhythm section in the band. Many’s the time we've lost our place in the set and have had to scream the next note to each other in a panic 'cos we know Chic will kill us if we screw up. With Alex you’re never far away from a joke or a story. He’s a fantastic player and a solid guy, although I’m getting blinded a bit now from the lights hitting his baldy head so good call on the bandana big man…”