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OriginNew Zealand
GenresRoots reggae
Years active1997–present
LabelsLion House, VP/Greensleeves
MembersTere Ngarua
Jordan Bell
Logan Bell
Grenville Bell
Leon Davey
Swells Tameifuna
Wiremu Barriball
Roy Kaiki
Past membersAra Adams-Tamatea
Jamey Ferguson
Thompson Hohepa
Luke Cutfield
Harry Halpin
Haani Totorewa
Chris Roach

Katchafire are a New Zealand roots reggae band from Hamilton, New Zealand.[1]


Katchafire formed in Hamilton in 2000, originally as a Bob Marley tribute band.[1][2] The band's name derives from Catch A Fire, The Wailers' debut album.[3] They have released five albums: Revival (2003), which featured the highest-selling New Zealand single of 2002 "Giddy Up", Slow Burning (2005) Say What You're Thinking (2007), On the Road Again (2010),[4] and the compilation Best So Far (2013).[2]

The band has toured Australia, the UK, Europe, the United States, New Caledonia and Brazil and have played on the same bills as The Wailers, The Marleys, Steel Pulse, Third World, UB40, Shaggy, Lauryn Hill, Fiji, and Horace Andy.

In 2020, Katchafire performed alongside several other New Zealand music acts at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland as part of the Waitangi @ Waititi event.[5]

Band members[edit]

The band's original line-up consisted of Grenville Bell (guitar) and his two sons Logan (vocal) and Jordan (drums/vocals).[2] The lineup expanded to include eight members, including Jerry (lead vocals, lead guitar), Thompson Hohepa (lead vocals), Hani Totorewa (keyboards, vocals), and Tere Ngarua (bass). Due to work and schooling commitments Tere Ngarua was replaced by Travis Te Hau, and Hani Totorewa was replaced by James Ferguson.

As a result of commitments with other bands, family and religion, lead singer Jerry and bass player Travis Te Hau left Katchafire and the band reformed as a five-piece band with Logan becoming the band's new lead singer, with Thompson Hohepa taking over on guitar and lead vocals, Jordan Bell on drums, John Kennedy on bass (later replaced by Shane Maraki), James Ferguson on vocals, keyboards, saxophone and guitar, under the management of Grenville Bell.

The addition of Ara Adams Tamatea on bass/band management and Leon Davey on percussion/backing vocals and reunion with the now qualified high school teacher Hani Totorewa on keyboards allowed Grenville Bell to step out of the management role and into his present role as lead guitarist and the brand "Katchafire Enterprise LTD" was realized.

Ara stepped down from his role as manager/bass player, with original bass player Tere Ngarua returning and Logan taking over the band management and leadership until Ms Mikki Sellon became the manager in 2012 (The Reggae Empire/Lionhouse).

The current lineup consists of Logan Bell (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Jordan Bell (drums, vocals), Wirremu Barribal (lead guitar), Tere Ngarua (bass), Roy Kaiki (keyboards, vocals), and Leon Davey (percussion, vocals) with a few great Horn players in different part of the world .[2]



Year Album Label Peak chart
2003 Revival Shock/BMG 5
2005 Slow Burning Mai/Shock 12
2007 Say What You're Thinking EMI 5
2010 On the Road Again EMI/Lion House Records 3
2013 Best So Far (compilation) VP/Greensleeves 3
2018 Legacy Universal NZ/Zojak Worldwide 8

Featured appearances[edit]

Katchafire have appeared on a number of compilations since 2002 in New Zealand. The following is a list of these albums that have featured tracks by Katchafire.

Release Album Label Track
2002 Simply the Best Reggae Album Warner Music "Bounce"
2003 The Reggae Collection Universal Music "Collie Herb Man" and "Giddy Up"
Off the Hook 3 Sony Music "Get Away" (Remix)
2004 Conscious Roots Capitol Music "Get Away"
2005 Conscious Roots 2 Capitol Music "Frisk Me Down"
2006 More Nature Sony BMG "Giddy Up"
2007 Conscious Roots 4 EMI "This World"


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
2002 "Giddy Up" 4 Revival
"Get Away" 8
"Who You With" 10
2003 "Colour Me Life"
2004 "Rude Girl" Slow Burning
2005 "Hey Girl"
2006 "Frisk Me Down"
2007 "Say What You're Thinking" Say What You're Thinking
2008 "Love Letter"
2009 "Working"
2010 "Slow Down" feat. Rebel Souljahz Bring Back The Days
"Just You & Me" feat. Na Wai Non-album single
"On The Road Again" On The Road Again
"Groove Again"
2016 "Burn It Down"
2020 "Circle Back" [A]


  1. ^ "Circle Back" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 11 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[8]


  1. ^ a b Macgregor, Jody. Katchafire biography at AllMusic. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Campbell-Livingston, Cecelia (2013) "Katchafire keeping NZ reggae scene ablaze", Jamaica Observer, 24 November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2014
  3. ^ Katchafire at AllMusic
  4. ^ NEWS: New Katchafire Album Coming October 2010 - Rip It Up Magazine Archived 1 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 15-09-2010
  5. ^ Josephine Franks (6 February 2020). "Waitangi Day: Auckland events, surcharge-free eateries and free activities". Stuff. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b "KATCHAFIRE IN NEW ZEALAND CHARTS". charts.nz. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  7. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 11 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  8. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 21 December 2020. Retrieved 19 December 2020.

External links[edit]