In the spotlight – The Arcades

In the spotlight – The Arcades

The Arcades are a four piece-band from St. Neots (UK). The band consists of Tom Hall (lead singer), Matt Keating (lead guitar, songwriter), Perry Wright (Drums) and Dean Merrick (bass). I spoke to Dean about their influences and favourite performances.

How did it all start?

“As friends our common interest was going to gigs/festival and as Perry and Tom could play guitar a bit, we started to practise in my one bedroom flat with another friend that later became our first drummer. I decided bass was for me and us jamming together became a regular occurrence.”

Was it hard to come up with a band name you all agreed on?

“We played around with a few names, but with us all being big Libertines fans we played around with the word Arcadia. I thought of ‘The Arcades’ and it stuck pretty quick.”

Who are some of your musical influences as a band?

“As mentioned before, the Libertines. We listen to a lot of Britpop, But I’d say Matt our songwriter’s biggest influence is probably the Arctic Monkeys.”

What would you say is the band’s sound?

“It’s hard to pinpoint. I’d say Indie but more like early 2000s Indie. Hopefully there’s still a market for this…(laughs)”

Your single ‘Take the Leap’ is currently in our chart. What can you tell me about that song?

“It’s got great energy to it straight from the build up intro, which always gets a great reaction when we play it live. It has an early double guitar solo and a sing along chorus. ‘Take the Leap’ seemed an appropriate phrase for our debut track!”

‘Take the Leap’ is the lead single of your debut EP with the same name. What can you tell me about the EP?

“The EP consists of 4 songs that all have a completely different feel. ‘Take the leap’ is our debut track. ‘One Night Only’ has a less in your face riff that changes pace between the chorus and verse. ‘Nightcap’ has a slow start, building throughout the song ending with a solo. ‘No Last Kiss’ is a more melodic, slower song with a happier guitar riff.”

Are you currently working on new music?

“When we get time to between gigs we are trying to work on a couple of songs, with the aim of getting in the studio this Autumn.”

What can you tell me about your creative process?

“Matt will first of play around with riffs/chords then tell Tom the kind of rhythm he’d like to go with it, he’ll then let me know how he’d like the bass to sound. At that point Perry will decide what beat he thinks would suit. Matt would then write the lyrics and then as a band we’d play and advise on what we think works or doesn’t.”

Is there anything you are hoping to achieve as a band?

“As we have been since 2013 we’d like to get bigger every year, we’ve done almost everything we wanted to achieve with all the covers, parties and weddings and now would like to start playing festivals and supporting other bands whilst playing our own music.”

What’s your favourite cover to perform?

“Weddings etc have been our bread and butter for a while and our favourite covers include Klaxons – ‘It’s Not Over Yet’ and Kate bush – ‘Hounds Of Love’.

“But the best reaction we get is from Jackie Wilson – ‘Higher and Higher’ which is always a dancefloor filler.”

What has been your favourite performance and why? Do you have a favourite venue to perform?

“We were asked by our town council to play at the Riverside Park as they were looking to change up from the Brass bands that get booked regularly for ‘Bands In The Park’ on Sundays. On average they get about 25/30 watching weekly.”

“When we played in September ‘21 It was a gloriously hot summer’s day and the people kept coming and coming, by the time we finished playing there were well over 400 people watching with deck chairs, gazebos and blankets. We still get stopped regularly by strangers telling us how good it was and gained us a lot of local support.”

“The most exciting gig looking ahead, will be playing the biggest venue in our town ‘The Priory Centre’ on June 24th, where we are ever so close to selling out the 300 capacity venue.”

Do you have any specific rituals or do anything specific before you head out on stage?

“Not really before hand other than our lead singer goes missing whenever the other three are ready to start – one thing though is we always stand in the same order on stage.”

If you could support any band on a world tour, who would be your ideal band? What place would you be looking forward to performing the most?

“The Libertines at Brixton Academy.”

What are your plans for 2022?

“Gig wise we are pretty fully booked, we’d like to record more music and get it heard on radio stations and on great playlists like yourselves. Our aim is to try play at more festivals.”

What’s your favourite song from the Cool Top 20 and why?

“‘Admiring The View’ by the Johnny Phillips Trio. It’s a song I’ve been drawn to, it’s such an easy listen with a bluesy feel.”

What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?

“I’d like to add our label mates Crossroader we had the pleasure of watching them play this song live last week, it’s called ‘Money Man’ seriously talented band and this is my favourite track of theirs.”

Twitter @thearcadesuk


Facebook @the arcades 

(All photos to by @bryonymusic on Twitter)