Gig of the Week: Katchafire

Double dose: Kiwi-roots-reggae band Katchafire

Katchafire will drop a few new tracks in Queenstown this week — ahead of their latest album release.

Frontman Logan Bell was tight-lipped when speaking to Mountain Scene.

What he would say is the album will be released early next year and they hope one or two songs will hit the charts before Christmas.

“We have been rehearsing some of the material to road-test it. I am sure we will have a couple of new tunes for the fans to hear. It is going to be great.”

Katchafire play Loco Cantina tonight and tomorrow — part of their national winter tour.

Bell says the tracks for the new album have been recorded, videos have been shot and they are just waiting on final edits.

It’s their fifth studio album.

Bell says they’ve changed things up a bit this time round.

They worked with other musos including a couple of horn players, guitarists and a drummer.

They also brought in Jamaican record producer Errol Brown who worked with the late reggae legend Bob Marley.

Bell: “It has been really refreshing and exciting.”

The Hamiltonian picked Brown’s brain for ideas and the pair discussed the use of digital equipment.

It was an eye opener to talk to such a “guru”, he says.

The album comes after Katchafire’s latest tour of the United States.

Bell reckons the band had a lot of “pinch yourself moments”.

“We’ve been working in the States for a really long time and it is definitely paying off for us.

“The first time we went to Hawaii we had no idea we were that big. And it has served as a back door into the States for us.

“They keep wanting us back every year. That is promising and it is a great place to tour.”
Being on the road does come with challenges.

Being away from the whanau is tough — especially for partners and their youngsters.

“There are highs and lows for sure. But for the most part we are seasoned for the road.

“We know when to push and pull and when someone needs a bit of a hand. We are very much a family when we tour.”

The all-Maori band first fired to fame with their acclaimed first two albums Revival and Slow Burning. Their hit song Giddy Up was the best-selling single of 2003.

Bell says they love heading south to perform.

“We can’t wait — the Queenstown massive is in for a treat.”

See Katchafire, tonight and tomorrow, Loco Cantina, 8pm. Tickets, early bird $30, door sales $35. R18