Less than a year ago Arcade Hearts were playing at The Wedgewood Rooms for the first time, as support to homegrown indie-pop princess Jerry Williams.
Now the Gosport-based indie band are back and playing the venue in their biggest headline show so far.
They also released their debut EP this past Friday. Lead track Humble came out earlier in the summer and received numerous positive reviews.
Frontman Daniel Surridge-Smith says: ‘When Humble came out it did pretty well, we had about 2,000 streams in a week on it, which is all organic, without any Spotify playlist getting behind it - hopefully it’s off gigging hard and doing a few good festival shows
‘But with the EP, I don’t know how it’s going to go down. It’s four tracks, Humble, we’ve pushed, and [second single] Bleach we’ve slipped out, then there’s two more on the EP.
‘We did it all in our front room with a friend. We’ve put ourselves out there on a plate with no studio name or anything to hide behind. We did it ourselves, with our equipment, we’ve not hired anything. Joffy’s kind of the fifth member of the band, and he’s helped us with the recording side of things. He’s put in a lot of effort to help us do what we do.’
Starting with a gig at the Alternative Escape in Brighton back in May, the four-piece have had a busy summer packed with festivals.
‘It’s been really eventful - we thought we had our sample pad stolen from a gig in London. We unloaded for rehearsal the next day and it had gone.
‘We phoned them up and one of the managers said it wasn’t there. Then two weeks later we spoke with one of the other managers and he said it had been there the whole time. We don’t know quite what happened there.
‘Then our van blew up. We played a London show with Youth Club, then we were due to play Larmer Tree festival the next day, and our van blew up on the motorway at 2am.’
But returning to The Wedge, where they also supported Fickle Friends back in March, will be a high point for the group. And this time, Jerry’s supporting them.
‘We still managed to wrangle Jerry in,’ Dan laughs. ‘We became friends after she saw us play in Fareham, and then she asked us if we wanted to support her at The Wedge. At that point we only had one song out, so we jumped at it. Since that gig, everything’s been stepping up a bit – we can see progression.’
And they’re hoping that all the leg work they’ve put in and positive reviews and comments online will help them fill The Wedge.
‘It all helps. You do do it for yourself, but if nobody likes you, it’s like, should we even be bothering to play live? Should we just play for each other in our bedrooms?
‘You don’t want to be selfish and write entirely for yourself – you want people to come along and enjoy it with you. We want it to be a shared experience.
‘Now we’ve got to do it and do it properly.
‘With a venue this size, for some bands it’s not big, but for us it’s absolutely huge. It’s mind-blowing. I still get nervous about it.’
The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea
Friday, September 28