Kingfisha
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"Island Vibe Review"

Home Beach, North Stradbroke, Oct 28-30
Friday, day one, and the vibe was steadily building amid the glorious surrounds of North Stradbroke Island. Despite perpetual cloud cover the UV index was extreme, although it couldn’t melt your heart as completely as the bluegrass sounds of The Rusty Datsuns. The folk trio relaxed us into puddles on the floor, and then shaped us up again for a good ol’ fashion hoedown.

With spirits now high and willing, Afro Mandinko provided the body with reason to move. The contemporary African dance ensemble dispensed a vibrant, irrepressible rhythm that engaged the entire Main Stage in a single groove. By day two ‘island time’ had truly kicked in, and the sun was out to celebrate. Leading us into the much-anticipated Saturday night were Cheap Fakes, with suave suits and a party-inducing fusion of funk, reggae and pop that blew the unsuspecting afternoon crowds away.

Dubmarine continued the trend, exploding onto the stage with a truly dynamic live set of dub and dancehall reggae. High-octane frontman, D-Kazman, worked up a frenzy, pulling audience members up to “help us dance for this one!” Roots legends Blue King Brown then took to the stage, bringing things down a notch for the beginning of their set. However, they couldn’t repress the energy for long, and brought out Nicky Bomba to step it up with a whirlwind percussion jam.

Sunday afternoon shook away the morning clouds as the ever-eager crowds began to drift in, and Electric Wire Hustle was waiting with their unique take on soul music that combined sweet vocal lines, heavy layers of synth and some astounding live drumming. To cap off a sensational weekend, crowd favourite Chali 2na graced the stage with a mischievous attitude and a funky-ass backing band. Some Jurassic 5 numbers and his personal style of driving hip hop drew the most animated reaction of the entire festival.
By: Jerath Head

The Silver Bullet Rollers had a nice ‘50s style ‘desert/ surfer’ vibe about them – unfortunately though, the Alice Springs group were plagued with various sound problems throughout their set. However, after a few false starts they soon got into the swing of things, and were able to show off their fun, upbeat sound.

Brisbane group Kingfisha were one of the acts of the festival, with their blend of reggae and big band sounds. Anthony Forrest’s smooth vocals suited their laidback Jamaican-inspired rhythms to a T. Playing tracks from their debut EP, ‘Promises’, as well as some new material, it was a great way to usher in the evening. At the Jolly Roger tent, DJ Katch was busy spinning tunes in his idiosyncratic way: jumping from behind the booth, to in front of the stage, to sitting at his drum kit, to appearing side of stage to hand out free CDs; it was clear to see he’s not one to sit still. With a set list that spanned Mexicana (while wearing his wrestling mask) all the way through to material from his Resin Dogs days, his scattered approach may have confused some punters, however, most seemed to lap up his eclectic style.

Headliners Blue King Brown were next on stage, and following the high intensity performance of Dubmarine before them, they seemed happy to take things a back a notch. Surprisingly, it was their first time playing at the festival that seems tailor-made for their brand of ‘conscience’ music. They ran through a mix of their hits, including ‘Water (For The Fire)’, ‘Stand Up’ and ‘Moment Of Truth’ with vocalist Natalie Pa’apa’a also speaking to the crowd about taking care of the planet and each other.
By: Colleen Edwards

- Scene Mag


"Finding The Frequency"

Finding The Frequency

It’s shaping up to be a big 2012 for Kingfisha.

The reggae and dub group have been hard at work over the last few years, carving out a space for themselves in one of the busier Australian genres. But when Kingfisha took out Triple J’s Unearthed Roots competition in 2010 it signalled the start of big things for the Brisbane five-piece.

“The best thing to come out of that was being able to go together to a music conference,” explains bassist Shannon Green. “But we also got to play to [Bluesfest director] Peter Noble, and although he didn’t give us a gig that year we managed to snare a slot at Bluesfest this year [2011]. That was a big thing for us, something that we’d been trying for, and it’s not an easy gig to get. You need a few people lobbying for you. You could probably put getting the gig at Bluesfest an eventual outcome from the Triple J award.”

Kingfisha have also leveraged that interest into the recording of their first longplayer, set to be unleashed this coming April. It’ll be the band’s first proper set list of recorded music since their 2008 EP, released in the band’s very early days.
“The album’s coming along really well, actually. We’re really close to finishing. It’s been a long time in the making for us. It always seems to take a bit longer than you hope.”

Despite the frustration inherent in any such delays, Green sees the album’s long gestation as something positive, allowing Kingfisha to finely hone their songs and get comfortable with producer Paulie B.

“It is a good thing. We’ve definitely written a few more tunes,” he says. “We’ve played the songs quite a bit. And just to be doing them with Paulie B in the end it seems that things have definitely turned out for the best. Initially, we were looking to produce the album within the band, but something just wasn’t really quite right with it. We knew we needed some outside perspective and someone else to come in and help push it all through. That was going to be their main focus and it would get done.

“That early EP was recorded all live in the studio and we’ve always been hankering for a more produced approach, using some drum samples and being able to get more sense and be a little more picky about where we use effects and things like that. I guess it is a big opportunity for us to really do more of that.”

But before Green and his bandmates can think about the release of the album, they first have to negotiate a set at this year’s Earth Frequency festival on the Jimna Range. It will be a slightly different environment for the band, meaning they’re thinking hard about how to approach their set.

“It’ll be a different vibe for us,” Green admits. “That sort of music and that sort of thing is something that I know me and Andrew [Stephens, Kingfisha’s guitarist] have been interested in since the mid ‘90s when we started going to outdoor doof parties and things like that. It’s music that we all really like and follow. You tend to think of it as being really segregated, but you realise through events like Island Vibe and things like that that there’s a really big crossover between electronic dance music and reggae bands and funk bands and soul bands and stuff like that. It’s just about an appreciation of music.

“We’ve talked about doing some instrumental songs and making it more dubby – specifically for Earth Freq, just because people will appreciate that there. It’ll be interesting. We’ve two or three new songs that have just made their way into the set, and one more that might get in there, but we’ll see how we go. It’s a busy time of year, so I don’t know how much we’ll get to rehearse.”
As for the rest of 2012, it’s all about the album release and plenty of touring. The band will also be looking to get back to one of their favourite destinations: New Zealand.

“We had a really good tour in New Zealand at the start of 2010, and that was really good for us. That’s definitely a place we’ll be looking to go back to. I hate to say the word, but it’s been a really good market for us,” Green laughs. “We’ll definitely be looking to get the album into the hands of people over there and organise another tour for 2012.”

KINGFISHA PLAY EARTH FREQUENCY, WHICH TAKES OVER AT LANDCRUISER PARK, JIMNA RANGE, FEBRUARY 17-20. earthfrequency.com.au - Scene Mag


"Easy Star All Stars/Kingfisha"

Easy Star All-Stars / Kingfisha
TUESDAY, 10 JANUARY 2012
The Zoo - Thu Jan 5
After a spring of festivals, supports and launches, Kingfisha’s momentum continues into the New Year and the local roots-reggae rockers are stoked to open the show tonight at The Zoo, although the early birds are few and far between. Currently one of Brisbane’s tightest sounding outfits, Kingfisha’s sound has been simmering slowly for years, and their effortlessly smooth set this evening is a testament to their consistency. After Bassist Shannon Green reassures us that their debut album is indeed coming soon, they play Island Vibe mix tape hit Diggin’ For Fire.
Returning to The Zoo almost three years after their last visit, New York eight-piece reggae recyclers Easy Star All-Stars fill the stage literally and figuratively, as they announce how fun it has been to play through their revered release Dub Side Of The Moon again on this tour. The live interpretation of Pink Floyd’s experimental masterpiece Dark Side Of The Moon is even crazier than the recorded one, and they fill some of the more ponderous moments with drum flourishes and brass solos. While they’re best known for reworking artists such as Pink Floyd, Radiohead and The Beatles, they’re also here to launch their very own album First Light and I’m sure there are a couple of newbies squeezed somewhere in between Radiodread’s Let Down and an Easy Stars Lonely Hearts Dub Band medley.
Finishing their Australian tour here in Brisbane, the band’s spirits are high and the audience do their best to keep up. After a short break, guitarist Shelton Garner returns to encore with an amazing solo version of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, before the band return to finish with their superb rasta-reinvention of Radiohead’s Karma Police.
JAMES STAFFORD
- Rave Magazine


Discography

'Promises' Ep -
'Enough' single -

Photos

Bio

Kingfisha are a band of musicians from Brisbane drawn together through their love of Jamaican rhythms and music. Within this rhythmic framework Kingfisha strive to create songs with strong melodies and honest lyrics.
Some of their highlights of the last couple of years include performing at some of the country’s best festivals including Byron Bay Blues Fest, Reggaetown and Woodford Folk Festival, supporting the Easy Star All Stars, Katchafire, the Blackseeds and Midnite (Virgin Islands) as well as other Reggae heavyweights. They have also extensively toured Australia and New Zealand and winning Triple J’s Unearthed Roots competition 2010 for best roots band.
Kingfisha are in the final stages of recording their debut album, due for release in May 2012.