Sunday, August 20, 2006

Neena's Friday Event : Katchafire

Katchafire on tour in the UK

I have Sunday left in my weekend and my weekend has already been so full.

Friday - In the evening we attended a reggae concert that was at a private Christian university... which meant no smokie-smoke and NO drinkie-drink. It was great to be in such a CLEAN environment, being able to listen to really, really good, organic reggae music. It was WONDERFUL! Katchafire is a band from Aotearoa. You can search them on YouTube and view live performances but I can assure you that the videos do not translate the organic realness of the music.

Naturally, I have a critique to share.

Katchafire's musical gifts are GLORIOUS. Each musician is competent in playing several different instruments. In a world where synthetic sound is abundant and sampled music is the norm, it was refreshing to see, hear and feel the wonderful vibe of REAL music.

Most of the concert was original music. The downside of playing original music is that the songs start to run into each other. Reggae music, with its heavy, monotonous rhythm already has the potential of falling into a flat routine of uniformed sound. Enter a songwriter that follows the same pattern of writing music and all the songs mesh and drone on like a REALLY long song.

However, the triumphs of each individual musician far outweigh the downside that I mentioned. The vocals were pleasing to the ear though with some songs, it was hard to understand what was being said. The skill and the showmanship was exciting to watch. Katchafire was truly able to bring the majority of the attendee's to its feet.

They covered two Bob Marley classics. Their rendition of Redemption Song had a nice, crisp, original spin that I thoroughly enjoyed. That distinct, abstract bass line that was so indicative of The Wailers sound was well-duplicated, yet Katchafire was able to deliver their own distinct voice. They also sang out the refrain: "One Love, One Heart. Let's get together and feel alright." That was truly a crowd-pleaser.

Actually, hearing Redemption Song reinvigorated me with my own primal urges to infuse goodness in my community and in the world. May I rise to those aspirations.

Overall, this concert was worth beyond the $10 ticket fee. Katchafire translated their passion for music and an intense love for reggae. The number in attendance was sparse but is not a reflection on Katchafire's skill. I hope their talent carries them throughout the world, spreading their sunshine.

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