Katchafire are an all Maori reggae band from Hamilton, who have achieved phenomenal success over the last few years. Their debut album, the prophetically named Revival release by Mai Music, has sold in excess of 45,000 copies with Giddy Up being the biggest selling single of 2003. 2004’s follow up, Slow Burning, was similarly well received, selling 20,000 copies in the first week of release.
The acclaim has not just been in New Zealand though: two tours to Hawaii in 2006 have resulted in sales of 14,000 copies of Revival, and Slow Burning was released there in March 2007. A promotional campaign in the UK last year also garnered amazing feedback from Don Letts (Acclaimed documentary maker and Clash tour DJ) and David Katz (Music journalist) amongst others, and radio plays from Steve Barker (BBC), Charlie Gillet (BBC) and, most importantly, David Rodigan (Kiss FM and others), who highly rates their orthodox approach.
Katchafire are one of the hardest working bands in New Zealand. As well as opening shows for the likes of Damien Marley, Michael Franti and Spearhead, they have played gigs all across the country (three in one day on Waitangi Day 2004, in Hamilton, Manukau and Nelson!), undertaken four tours of Australia, and in November 2004, they headlined a stadium-filling show in Fiji. In March 2005 all their dreams came true when they supported the original Wailers in Auckland. 2006 was their busiest year yet: two tours of Hawaii plus their debut tours of England, Ireland and the west coast of America. They are now working on their third album, due out September, to be released by EMI Music who the band recently signed a licensing deal with.
2007 sees the band with a busy international calendar taking the stage in places such as; Roskilde in Denmark, Rototomsplash in Italy, SummerJam in Germany, Larmer Tree and Rhythms of the World in England. Estimated crowds are at around 300, 000 in total with Rototumsplash and Summer Jam two of the most highly regarded and attended reggae festivals in Europe, if not the world. They also return to Hawaii playing at the Big Birthday Bash in Waikiki, Australia, Guam, Japan and Tahiti.
The band have had sustained domestic exposure; doing gigs for corporates such as Air New Zealand, Vodafone Warriors, and festivals such as Soundsplash, Rhythm and Vines and World Waka Ama Championships. They also continue to work PR opportunities having recently featured in TV3 News on their latest trip to London and also gracing the cover of the latest NZ Musician Magazine, with a three page article covering the band. The band continues to uphold its reputation as one of NZ’s hardest working bands.
Members: Grenville Bell – Lead Guitar
Logan Bell – Lead Vocal – Rhythm Guitar
Jordan Bell – Vocals – Drums
Jamey Ferguson- Lead Vocal – Sax – Keyboards
Leon Davey – Vocals – Percussion
Tere Ngarua – Bass
Haani Totorewa – Vocals – Keyboards