Thursday, 14 June 2007

REVIEW: Katchafire

By Lucy Wyatt

Katchafire left The San Francisco Bathhouse well and truly smoking last weekend. Their extreme energy was matched by the crowd’s intense respect for New Zealand’s hottest roots reggae band. The well-heated euphoric audience sang passionately, they danced and skanked along to an incredible 3-hour show. To the crowds delight they covered many old favourites like “Colour Me Life” and “Seriously”. The new stuff such as the track “Mr Flava” was greeted enthusiastically.

Formed 10 years ago, this eight-piece band is of Maori descent including 2 generations of 1 family. Grenville Bell founded the band in 1997, originally as a Bob Marley tribute band, now accompanied on stage by his 2 sons, Logan (guitar and vocals) and Jordan (drums). With 2 highly acclaimed albums “Revival”(2003) and “Slow Burning” (2005), and a third to be released this month, “Say What You’re Thinking”, it’s safe to say that these boys are very much on fire.

Saturday’s sell-out gig is definitely reflective of past album sales. (“Slow Burning”, featured “Giddy Up”, the highest selling single of 2003). Subsequently, Katchafire’s reputation on stage is fast becoming legendary throughout New Zealand. I doubt it presumptuous to suggest they are a household name. Such popularity is arguably due to their dedication and desire to tour. They are an accessible band – easy to get to, easy to get down to.

Katchafire gets inside your soul and keeps on burning brightly within. Exceptional vocals, talented writing and sensual depth ensure that nothing can stop the flame. Where there’s smoke there’s definitely fire. Katchafire are now on a mission to raise the spirit of New Zealand to a global level. Yet another world tour is about to begin. Surely then this joyous and harmonious sound will conquer the world.

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