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Katchafire formed in 1997 as a Bob Marley tribute band and later began writing and performing their own songs. They have released three albums: Revival (2003) which featured the highest-selling NZ single of 2003, "Giddy Up"; Slow Burning (2005) and Say What You're Thinking (2007).
The band's original lineup consisted of Grenville Bell (guitar), Haani Totorewa (keyboards, vocals) Tere Ngarua (bass guitar), Thompson Hohepa (guitar, vocals) Logan Bell (guitar, lead vocals) and Jordan Bell (drums).
Katchafire has been through many changes over the years with Tere Ngarua replaced by Ara Adams-Tamatea on bass and the addition of Jamey Ferguson (keyboards, sax, lead vocals) and Leon Davey (vocals, percussion).
For the second album Slow Burning the band was augmented by horn section Le Sexion with Feal (saxophone), Mols (trumpet) and Thomas (trombone) from reggae band Mr Gang of France (See album cover inlay credits).
There were further lineup changes in 2006: Ara Adams-Tamatea left the band to become the group's booking agent and original bass player Tere Ngarua re-joined the group as bassist, Thompson Hohepa also left the band.
Katchafire began recording their third album, Say What You're Thinking, as a seven-piece at Auckland's York Studios toward the end of 2006.
The band has toured Australia, the UK, Europe, the USA and New Caledonia and has played at festivals with international reggae acts such as Mr Gang, Horace Andy, Moonraisers, Gentleman and was the only Pacific act to tour with artists Arrested Development, The Wailers, Maxi Priest and UB40 as part of the 2008 Raggamuffin.
muzic.net.nz - "Katchafire’s music is uplifting and celebratory, and their gigs are joyous singalong affairs where people of all cultures and affiliations are welcomed"