It was a Saturday night in October 2010, and the Java Rockin’land festival area in Ancol, North Jakarta, had been turned into a muddy playground due to the day’s heavy rainfall.
But when Arkarna took to the stage, most of the festival-goers did not mind getting dirty as they danced and sang along to the British band’s infectious electro-pop-rock tunes.
Although Arkarna had played in Jakarta before — in 1998 — the band’s performance at Java Rockin’land was perhaps the beginning of a long-lasting relationship with Indonesia.
A few days later, guitarist Matt Hart shared his impressions on Arkarna’s official web site: “WOW Indonesia really knows how to rock out in style!” he wrote.
“Even with all that mud, we hear you guys were actually making the ground shake which is unbelievable! Some of the most dedicated fans actually uploaded pictures of their muddy shoes to Twitter which made me laugh.”
He said for the band the show had been “an absolutely epic night and one that meant the world to all of us, we would have played on that stage all night if we had it our way! You guys were absolutely breathtaking ... one thing’s for sure, WE CANNOT WAIT TO BE BACK TO DOING IT AGAIN!!!”
Next week, Arkarna will make good on its promise to return to Indonesia, with the band set to perform in Jakarta on May 31 and in Bali on June 2.
But this is not just any tour.
Indonesia is the first country Arkarna will play to promote its new album “Music Is My Therapy,” which was released on May 17 and consists of seven infectious new songs. It is available for free download on the band’s website.
Frontman Ollie Jacobs said: “The Arkarna sound has never been bigger and the timing has never been better! We have been back in the studio for over a year now, finely crafting what is set to be Arkarna’s greatest achievement.”
Arkarna was formed in the mid-1990s by Jacobs, and the band’s debut album “Fresh Meat” (1997) earned it international recognition.
Spawning hit singles “House on Fire” and “So Little Time,” many a party-goer will remember rushing to the dance floor upon hearing these feel-good tunes.
Arkarna followed up with “The Family Album” in 1999, and then there was nothing for a long time.
While Arkarna still occasionally performed together, the band did not release any new material for years.
But the most loyal fans of the band have waited patiently for new material, and they will soon have their reward.
Jacobs posted a message for Arkarna’s Indonesian fans on the website: “Anyone lucky enough to see the show will be amongst the first people in the world to see the new lineup, hear the hit songs they know and love as well as brand new ones from the long-awaited new album!
“Indonesia has been like a second home to us and I can’t wait to come back. I’ll be there in a minute, put the kettle on!”