KIWI’S STOKE THE RASTA FIRE

LIVE REVIEW: Katchafire + L.A.B Kora Brothers at UOW Unibar 12/10/16

Katchafire turned an ordinary Wednesday into a fantastic, upbeat night at the University of Wollongong UniBar on the 12th of October. The UniBar had a smaller stage set up near the bar rather than the main stage, as they often do for smaller acts. I’m a fan of this setup as it allows for a casual setting to enjoy music with couches behind the stage and a closer view of the performers. Supported by the L.A.B. Kora Brothers, Katchafire played to a crowd of fans and provided a pick-me-up for the middle of the week.

The L.A.B Kora Brothers were first up for the evening and set a real ‘smoky bar’ vibe in the small venue. Stuart Kora headlined the band with his smooth soul voice accompanied by the rest of the effortlessly watertight band. With a delicious mix of rock and reggae the Brothers warmed up the crowd with their stellar performance. They finished their set with an incredible cover of ‘Come Together’ by the Beatles, complete with their own touch of dirty riffs and husky vocals.

Katchafire took to the stage next and instantly filled it with their cheerful, friendly presence. Katchafire are a Kiwi band and having family from New Zealand myself, the laidback and friendly attitude of the band and their music was very accurate to the nature of the people of New Zealand and their culture. Also important to note, Katchafire are an all Maori band and proudly so! Despite having a fairly large band consisting of bongos, drum set, trumpet, saxophone, bass, several guitars and keyboards, they played together effortlessly, often switching singers and instruments. Katchafire had a few fans in the crowd as I spotted a few band t-shirts and plenty of people singing along. At one point they dedicated a song to everyone who had spent the day at school or work which was met to cheers from the crowd of course – it was a Wednesday at a university bar and everyone was there to kick back and relax. Katchafire provided the perfect soundtrack for this middle-of-the-week getaway with smooth reggae tracks. It was clear to see why they enjoy such widespread, international success. Not only did they put out good vibes, they were extremely talented musicians, showcasing three way harmonies and proficiency on a range of instruments. They put on a fantastic show and provided a cure for the Wednesday-blues.

Oct 20th 2016 | Daisy Loomes