CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (May 8,2013) — New Zealand and Hawaiian Reggae found its way, although not without complications, to an anxious and excited crowd in CR with NZ roots reggae band Katchafire taking the stage with Maoli from Maui opening. Turns out the rig hauling most of Katchafire’s gear was unable to make it to NewBo after a minor highway mishap enroute to the show. Takes a hell of a lot more than that to stop the devoted CSPS crew from getting the people what they want. And miraculously Mel, Taylor, and the gang (with the help of some kind local citizens) were able secure the needed equipment to, once again, pull off one hell of a show! No easy task considering between the two bands there had to be over 20 members combined! Just another one of the many reasons CSPS is becoming one of my all time favorite venues. It’s location is perfect, the stage can easily accomodate big groups, but is close enough to keep the show feeling intimate. The sound is excellent, the beer is good, and the staff performs miracles in front of you! But I digress . . . back to the show. Best reggae I’ve heard in a while, and that comes as no surprise, both bands are experienced at bringin’ a crowd to their feet, and they delivered!
Here is What Smarter Folks Than Me Say About Katchafire
“The all-Maori Katchafire was founded by lead guitarist Grenville Bell and sons Logan (lead vocals) and Jordan (drums) in 1997. The Maori, torchbearers of down-under reggae, are New Zealand’s indigenous Polynesians.
Transcending their origins as a Bob Marley tribute band, Katchafire wrote original music and took it to the bars and clubs of Hamilton, NZ. Their debut album, Revival, sold over 45,000 copies (more than double platinum in New Zealand) and yielded hits like “Giddy Up,” New Z’s biggest selling single of 2002-3.
After building on their success with the platinum follow-up Slow Burning, some prescient foreign exchange students introduced their Kiwi reggae vibe to the Hawaiian Islands. Underground popularity exploded onto the airwaves, and by the summer of 2006 Katchafire was topping Aloha State sales charts and headlining the 10,000-capacity Waikiki Shell. Festival appearances throughout Europe and increasingly successful mainland U.S. excursions ensued.
Katchafire branched out on 2007′s Say What You’re Thinking, with jazz, pop, rock and even hip-hop influences enhancing a solid roots foundation. They scored their greatest American chart success to date with a #6 showing on the Billboard Reggae chart.
The group’s most recent release, On the Road Again, remains true to the classic sound, with an r’n’b and funk rub.”
Here is What Katchafire Sounds Like
From their 2012 album Best So Far
Here is What Maoli and Katchafire Look Like Live at CSPS