Anyone who follows me on Twitter has probably heard me raving about Arkells, a band hailing from Hamilton, Ontario. I first saw them when they opened for Metric here in St. John’s during JUNO week in 2010, and quickly discovered why they were so deserving of the JUNO for New Group of the Year.
Some of you might remember this poster I illustrated — I mailed copies to their label hoping they’d get passed along — and they did! Max was very sweet and mailed me a signed copy of their album, Jackson Square (iTunes Link), which now sits proudly on the shelves in my studio.
They came back to Newfoundland on Friday and played a fantastic show at the Breezeway. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to bring my camera, but decided to try my luck anyway, and am I ever glad that I did — I ended up front row centre, just where I wanted to be.
I’m pleased with my shots, especially considering the lighting situation and trying to hold my ground against the pushy college kids who were determined to get me out of the way. Oh, and Dan throwing bottles of water over us.
1/160 f2.8 1600 ISO, 50mm 1.8D
1/500 f1.8 2000 ISO, 50mm 1.8D
1/160 f2.8 2000 ISO, 50mm 1.8D
I met the guys after the show, and I was more than a little surprised to hear Tim ask, “Hey, did you hear Max dedicate a song to you?” Wha… what?! I didn’t hear, it was too noisy! But I did notice when he recognized me in the front row, which I couldn’t believe, as we hadn’t met before then. Someone’s got a good memory!
Getting to chat and take a few photos together was fun. I learned that they made pins out of my poster artwork (hey guys, have any pictures of those?) and I had some design/photography discussion with guitarist and fellow designer Mike.
It’s great when bands personally connect with fans — it really adds something extra to the experience that goes beyond the price of a ticket. I’m so disappointed that I couldn’t make it to their surprise show at the Ship last night (a Motown set! Now I’m extra-disappointed…) but there’s no doubt that these guys are going places and I certainly hope they’ll be back here soon. Summer, okay?