January 14, 2013
Aussie band to sample homegrown flavours at Kāwhia Kai Festival
Fermented corn is on the wishlist for the headline act of this years Kāwhia Kai Festival.
While most of the members of Brisbane-based reggae band Darky Roots are of New Zealand descent – it will be the first time that its Australian members will have a chance to experience traditional Māori culture, says the band’s leader, Joshua Hillman.
“I’m keen to sample all the kai moana that we can’t get here. I’d even like to try kānga Pirau – my father always used to talk about it being a real delicacy – and that’s a dish we certainly can’t get in Oz!”
The eight-piece band, which has already toured both New Zealand and Australia, formed in 2008 and has made a name for itself with its distinct sunshine roots reggae sound.
Having spent most of his adult life in Australia, Hillman, from Tuhoe, says he's looking forward to performing in Aotearoa and watching kapahaka groups like Ngāti Māhanga Whānui, Te Haona Kaha and crowd favourites Te Roopu Kapahaka o Nōera.
Other bands performing at the festival include Kāwhia locals Tukutuku, Holly & The Blue Benders, French harmonica player Christelle Berthon and Regan Campbell who was the former lead guitarist with Cornerstone Roots.
Approximately seven thousand visitors are expected at this year’s Kai Festival on February 2 to celebrate Waitangi Day.
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