Katchafire formed in Hamilton in 2000, originally as a Bob Marley tribute band. 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), and the compilation Best So Far (2013).
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.
The band's original line-up consisted of Grenville Bell (guitar) and his two sons Logan (vocal) and Jordan (drums/vocals). 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.
The current lineup consists of Logan Bell (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Jordan Bell (drums, vocals), Grenville Bell (lead guitar), Tere Ngarua (bass), Hani Totorewa (keyboards, vocals), James Ferguson (keyboards, saxophone, vocals), and Leon Davey (percussion, vocals).
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.
|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|
|"Who You With"||10|
|2003||"Colour Me Life"||--|
|2004||"Rude Girl"||--||Slow Burning|
|2006||"Frisk Me Down"||--|
|2007||"Say What You're Thinking"||--||Say What You're Thinking|
|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|
|2016||"Burn it Down"||--|