Coinciding with the release of their third album ‘In Arms’, KALEIDA gave a superb performance at Hackney Oslo in London ahead of a European and North American tour.

Fans attended from Scotland, Norway and Eastern European and it was vindication for KALEIDA of their artistic perseverance having considered disbanding under the pressures of parenting and the shifting patterns of both Christina Wood and Cicely Goulder as they made their long distance creative partnership work again as KALEIDA.

To that end, this run of live dates features only Wood augmented by drummer Verona Rose, with Goulder on maternity leave having only recently given birth to a new son. Opening with the glorious ‘Stranger’, this highlight from ‘In Arms’ sprung a surprise with its electro dance rhythms. In live form, the drums were not overbearing or ill-fitting as with some electronic based acts, complimenting as percussive colours with power when required.

But what was striking was Christina Wood’s great impassioned vocals and willingness to move around the stage in elegant mime gestures, as if compensating for the absence of her creative partner. However Goulder was there in spirit through her productions on the backing tracks and observing from afar in support of her band mate.

KALEIDA’s new album is their most varied yet as the house-inflected ‘Hollow’ and folky ‘Don´t Turn Me Out’ showcased, although it must be pointed out though that many of the audience were hearing this new material for the first time at this show and credit must be paid to them for embracing these songs so enthusiastically. ‘Seagull Nun’ was the first song that Wood and Cicely Goulder wrote as KALEIDA back before 2015’s debut ‘Think’ EP was released and its gothic drama mesmerised under a sea of haunting vocals and mantric rumbles.

Despite the haunting disposition of the majority of KALEIDA’s material, Christina Wood’s sense of enjoyment and openness to interact saw her announce to the audience that she would like a shot of tequila with several obliging a song or two later.

Christina Wood displayed KALEIDA’s Hollywood pedigree first with a stark heartfelt rendition of ‘99 Luftballons’ from the 2017 Charlize Theron spy drama ‘Atomic Blonde’ which put the ant-war lyrics centre stage in an all-too relevant world situation. Towards the show’s climax came ‘Think’ from the 2014 Keanu Reeves action thriller ‘John Wick’ which grabbed the biggest cheers but also sounded as fresh as it did a decade ago and even prompted a chorus singalong.

Another that had a chorus singalong was an “android soul” cover of Al Green’s ‘Take Me To The River’ from the ‘Think’ EP while Wood felt so flattered by all the positive vibes from all those present that she jumped off the stage and danced with several members of the audience.

With the deep overtones of ‘Tropea’ forming the encore, it was the culmination of which was possibly the friendliest gig ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK has ever been to in 44 years of gig going. The audience were all looking out for each other, letting people return to their spots after comfort breaks etc and helping take each other take photos when Christina Wood and Cicely Goulder were obliging with a friendly aftershow meet-and-greet at the merch stall.

“This project is truly a labor of love. But in the end making music means more to us, and so we got back to it. We’ll never stop” said KALEIDA to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK in their recent interview and every single person in Hackney Oslo was certainly very happy about that.

With thanks to Alix Wenmouth at Wasted Youth Music

‘In Arms’ is released by Embassy One in blue vinyl LP, black vinyl LP, CD and digital formats via

KALEIDA 2024 live dates include:

Berlin LARK (28 March), Hamburg Hääkken (29 March), Warsaw Chmury (30 March), Seattle High Dive (11 April), Los Angeles The Echo (12 April), San Francisco Brick & Mortar Music Hall (13 April), Brooklyn Elsewhere (20 April), Montreal Bar Le Ritz PDB (21 April), Lörrach Stimmen Festival (12 July), Tallinn Vonge Festival (13 July)

Text and Photos by Chi Ming Lai
28 March 2024