By Deb Kloeden, Rock At Night Adelaide correspondent
Review: Katchafire, Burn it Down Australian Tour
Venue: The Gov, Adelaide. 6th October, 2016
New Zealand Reggae band, Katchafire, are currently touring Australia, promoting their new single & video ‘Burn it Down’. I was lucky enough to catch them on the first night of this tour, in Adelaide, along with a very enthusiastic audience, many of whom, naturally, were Kiwis.
The band first formed in 1997 as a 5-piece Bob Marley tribute band. The current 8-piece band has been playing together since 2002. The all Maori-decent band bring a huge sound to the stage including lead & bass guitar, keys, drums, percussion, saxophone and other wind instruments.
Earlier this year they took their ‘Burn it Down tour’ to the US and Canada for an epic 49 shows over 2 months. This tour included performances at the 7th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival in Monterey and the 13th annual Summer Meltdown Festival in Santa Clarita.
The new single ‘Burn it Down’ has a real Polynesian/Pacific Island feel about it. A real sing-along, dance-along track, it speaks of love; ‘my rock’, ‘baby I need you by my side’. It combines their traditional reggae/roots sound with a hip-hop influence that really gets everyone moving. The brass section also gives the song a Ska feel. Like many of their songs, fire gets a mention and they are often affectionately called ‘The Fire’.
The Fire played many of their well-known hits including their regular Bob Marley tribute, ‘Three Little Birds’. Three passionate Maori men stood right in front of lead singer, Logan, singing and dancing their way through the whole concert. They were nearly as much fun to watch as the band themselves.
Katchafire were supported by L.A.B., another New Zealand band containing brothers Brad and Stu from the popular Kora band. The evening opened with talented jazz guitarist, Joel Shadbolt, and Sunshine Sound System’s, Kyle Popham. Both bands got the crowd going before the main act.
I first saw Katchafire in Amsterdam, 2011, while travelling overseas. Their concert coincided with the eve of my birthday, making it a very special night. I’ve always wanted to see them again and they didn’t disappoint. If you are able to catch them somewhere on their Australian tour, I highly recommend you do.
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