TRCH Classic Thriller Season

Meet Kaleidø: Putting Graft into their Craft

18 December 19 words: Bobby Twidale
photos: Tom Morley

Bobby Twidale grabbed a pint one of Notts’ newest rising bands ahead of their Rough Trade gig and it’s clear these boys aren’t messing abaht...

Kaleidø, the Notts rock outfit, are Myles (articulate, serious, deeply passionate about his craft), Jaque (charming, open yet, you sense, able to unleash an explosive energy), Davide (engaging, friendly, restless) and Niall (thoughtful, engages brain before mouth, dependable). Visually as well as in character, they are diverse and yet a solid team, brothers in music, united around a symbiotic goal. They’re a tight unit who share a strong work ethic. Not here to get rich quick or chase celeb status, they want nothing more than to work hard, get better at what they do and be able to pay the bills doing it. As Jaque, lead vocals and rhythm guitar, explains:

“I’m not worried about the swimming pool or Ferrari. I want to live comfortably, do what I enjoy.”

Niall, lead guitar, agrees:

“Anything that seems like an overnight success, that just doesn’t exist. People don’t see the years of hard graft.” 

For all they aren’t chasing it, the minute I walk into the Six Barrels, it’s clear who are the Rock Band in the room and the charisma levels are high around the table.

Their sound is an embodiment of their personal eclecticism. Myles, bass, describes it as having “multiple personality disorder, like Split… people can’t put a finger on what we are.”

They defy the restriction of genre definitions and purposely seek out a different kind of sound, shunning the short-termism of the formulaic. 

Myles continues:

“Every song conveys a different feeling. We’re a core of two guitars, bass and drums but that spurs something different every time.”

You see so many talented people. Nottingham’s full to the brink with talented bands and solo artists. If you go to Rescue Rooms on a Monday night, you’ll see loads of really talented songwriters.

“People have a short attention span now. We want to make things sound different. No song is like the last,” Jaque agrees.

Kaleidø write collaboratively. Their first two singles, Xenophobia and It’s Not You it’s Me were written by Myles and the next, Submarine, by Jaque but the whole band input into the creative process.

“We’re all songwriters in our own right. Everyone brings something to that song,” explains Niall.

They write about what they’ve lived and hope it will resonate with young people going through similar experiences. 

“A lot of the songs we write are representative of what we’ve been through as twenty-somethings. The song itself, whether it’s aggressive or melodic, you get your catharsis from that because you’re releasing energy, you’re assimilating with people,” Myles explains.

They have role-models, but they’re drawn from those around them:

“There’s no point us saying ‘Jimi Hendrix is our role-model’; it’s just bollocks! I think we’re influenced by the up and coming bands that surround us, bands like IDLES, or Royal Blood or Jordan Allen and you see the efforts they go to and you’ve seen it pay off. You want to replicate it…but bigger!” continues Myles.

It’s been a steep rise. In the space of a few gigs, they’ve found themselves opening for Paddy Considine’s Riding the Low at Rock City and headlining at Rough Trade. For all they’re not in it for the status, it’s coming at them like a runaway freight train. And they’re building the on-stage chemistry and engagement with their audience. Predictably diverse, from vintage Led Zep and Hendrix fans through to aspiring musicians and high energy students, the audience is a mixed bunch. Niall describes their on-stage chemistry as “growing and growing” and, as you’d expect, it’s something they’re working hard on… together. Jaque has been studying the craft of other performers, “watching what the front-man does, how he gets people moving”. Davide, drums, talks of “riding the energy of the public reaction”, of his excitement at getting positive affirmation from fans, and Myles sums it up:

“Our confidence is rising. The audience are reciprocating, validating what we’re doing.”

There’s no crowd-surfing yet but they’ve had the odd mosh pit...

Myles is what his bandmates describe as “a musician’s musician”. Like everyone else, he has a day job and is also studying Creative Music Technology, “learning all the ins and outs of the trade”. As he says, “It’s very sacrificial nowadays.” 

It’s not a ball-ache though, having a day job is just what you have to do. 

“It’s a lot of work. You’ve got to put in the grafting. It’s not just handed to you on a plate,” Jaque points out.

Their goal is to eventually quit their jobs and make music full-time, though. “It’s not that unachievable,” Jaque insists.

And Nottingham can play its part in building their success. 

“You see so many talented people. Nottingham’s full to the brink with talented bands and solo artists. If you go to Rescue Rooms on a Monday night, you’ll see loads of really talented songwriters,” says Jaque.  

The original Notts acoustic evening since 2009, Rock City’s Rescue Rooms venue has seen the likes of Liam Bailey, Jake Bugg, Dog is Dead, Saint Raymond, Georgie Rose and loads more take to the stage. 

You get the feeling Kaleidø is on the brink of something really exciting. Myles sums it up:

“What we can bring to the table, as talented as everything is around Nottingham, we do bring something that is just as formidable but in a different way. We just need exposure in the right place.”

Davide agrees:

“We are in a growth mindset. We must never stop. We will always look for something new, something inspirational.”

Tonight (Dec 4th) they are supporting Gazelle at Rough Trade but first, true to form, as Jaque reminds them, they’ve got to rehearse “for at least an hour”.

Catch Kaleidø playing at The Chameleon on 7 February.

Kaleidø on Facebook.

Event page.

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