With hype subsiding from their 2008 album, Jackson Square, and an extensive Canadian tour coming to a close, indie-rock band the Arkells are ready to blow London out of the water. The band plays Call the Office tonight, and they have high expectations for their Forest City reception.
“London is burned in our memories as being one of the most exciting shows of the last tour,” says Dan Griffin, keyboardist and guitarist for the band. “For us, we’re still talking about it, so it made a real impression. It’s the kind of energy that we hope every live show has.”
The Arkells officially began their latest tour on Oct. 24 in Brantford, and have been trekking across the country to appease their rapidly growing Canadian fan base.
“For the last few years, we’ve been [touring] non-stop. So for us, it’s only been one pace and we’ve gotten pretty used to it,” Griffin says.
Despite receiving rave reviews for performances at both the South by Southwest and England’s Brighton festivals, the Arkells remain grounded, gracious and focused on their music.
“We don’t think of ourselves as being a strictly Canadian band,” Griffin says. “We think of ourselves as a band that wants to travel and play for as many people as possible. Anyone that will take our music, we’ll gladly play for.”
The Arkells are ready to make an international breakthrough by taking the success Jackson Square has seen in Canada to the next level.
“In the new year, if all goes well, the album should be out and available to the whole world. We’ll be able to start touring in all the kind of places that we would really love to go,” Griffin says.
However, even with international recognition, the band acknowledges they attained much of their success in Hamilton.
“In Hamilton, because it’s a bit smaller, there’s enough of a support community to really give a band a chance if they’re willing to work for it,” Griffin says.
The Arkells draw much of their inspiration from Canadian bands. Having recently opened for both The Tragically Hip and Sam Roberts Band, they aim to follow their lead in future years.
“It was really inspiring playing with them this year because we learned what it is to truly be modest and gracious and good hosts, and everything that we hope from ourselves as Canadians,” Griffin says.
When performing, the Arkells actively put themselves in the shoes of audience members and genuinely want their fans to enjoy themselves.
“We always hope that [our shows] can sort of stir something up,” Griffin says. “The music that we love is the stuff that gets our fists shaking and gets us dancing.”
Londoners should expect a rocking show from the Arkells. Even though the band admits to being exhausted from touring, they plan to deliver their performance with the utmost enthusiasm.
“It’s like the third period of a [hockey] game,” Griffin explains. “Everyone’s feeling a little beaten up, but there’s the sense that we really want to make an impact on these last [shows].
“We feel so fortunate for every night we come out, and like the hockey players say, we give it 110 per cent,” jokes Griffin.
The Arkells play tonight at 9 p.m. at Call the Office, located at 216 York St. Young Rival and Sweet Thing open, and tickets are $15 at the door.