KIVA

Biography

KIVA are a British recording indie/folk band based in Oxfordshire.

The current band line-up is:

Potted History

Formed in April 2013, KIVA’s first line-up consisted of Annie Kingsbury on vocals, Meg Veale on violin, Tim Isherwood guitar and ukulele, and local author Michael Amos (www.michaelamos.net) on guitar. During 2014, KIVA played a number of gigs (including the Flying Pig Festival) and recorded their eponymous debut CD.

The end of 2014 saw Meg Veale depart to live in London, prompting a change of line-up. Laura Middleton joined Annie on vocal duties, while Mike added lap-steel to the accompaniment. Under this lineup, KIVA wrote and recorded their second album of original songs, "Swallow In The Rain".

Although the band sounded beautiful with this configuration, Meg's expert hand on the fiddle was sorely missed. After a short spell of advertising during January of 2016, Ben Simon joined on violin and backing vocals. Throughout 2016 and into the first half of 2017, this line-up played an number of gigs and commenced on the recording of the third KIVA album: Everything Means Nothing.

However, Laura's day-job as a commercial artist began to take off and she increasingly found herself in foreign countries painting for clients. A friend of Ben's - Cat Brown - stood in for a few gigs that Laura couldn't make in June 2016. Anna Shackleton, a professional classical singer and teacher helped us to meet our remaining commitments through to the end of 2016. She also helped finish off the recordings of Everything Means Nothing, singing on four of the nine songs (Laura sang on the other five). However, Anna's teaching work took place at the times KIVA rehearses, so a more permanent solution was required.

After a further spell of advertising, Claire Pugh joined as second vocalist. Between January and March of 2017, the line-up still had Ben on fiddle and some lead vocals but the end of March saw him depart to persue a career in acting.

From March 2017 until the end of the year, we had a steady line-up of Annie, Claire, Tim, and MIke, and played a decent number of gigs. However, Claire found the combination of a full-time day-job in teaching, the band, her choir, and her acting all too much to fit into one lifetime. That and the children and that guy from the church. So, sadly, at the end of 2017, she played her final gig at The Jericho Tavern and bowed out. We wrote around nine new songs during this period and started recording our fourth album. But the project had to be put on hold while the band was in a hiatus.

Once more, we set out looking for another singer and a lead instrument. Once more, we saw a lot of very lovely people, who kindly gave their time up to come and audition. We settled on one Helen Ploix, another multi-instrumentalist with a beautiful singing voice that works well with Annie's.