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Ten Hours Of Fantastic Music At Raggamuffin

Media Release
Thursday 20 September 2007

Vodafone & Andrew McManus Presents

Saturday 2nd February 2008 @ Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua

Put UB40, The Wailers, Maxi Priest, Arrested Development, The Black Seeds, Katchafire, The Midnights and House of Shem together and what do you get? Well, first up, around ten hours of fantastic music! And that’s exactly the musical feast on offer at Raggamuffin, an innovative new event showcasing the best homegrown and International reggae music, with a healthy dose of funk, dub, hip-hop and soul!

Raggamuffin will tour Australia and New Zealand, performing in NZ at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday February 2nd 2008. It’s reggae King Bob Marley’s Birthday in February (February 6 1945 to be exact), so what better month to celebrate!

Promoter Andrew McManus said:
“I’ve toured UB40 three times through Australia and New Zealand and they never cease to amaze me with just how good they are and how much their fans love them. That’s where the idea of Raggamuffin came from. Reggae lovers rarely get a chance to see the music they love and that’s really the driving force behind putting this event together. We hope we can do it annually.”

Headlining the very first Raggamuffin will be UB40, arguably the world’s most popular reggae band. Their combined single and album sales are in excess of 70 million, which puts them in that elite category populated by the likes of The Police & Robbie Williams. They’ve had a staggering 51 hit singles, which is more than ANY other British outfit apart from Status Quo (and, yes, that includes The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, U2 and everyone else); and they’ve had #1 smash hits in virtually every chart on the planet.

There’s no doubt the eight boyhood friends of English, Scottish, Irish, Yemeni and Jamaican parentage from the inner-city areas of Birmingham, have done as much to popularise reggae globally as Bob Marley himself.

UB40’s best-known songs – One In Ten, Many Rivers To Cross, Cherry Oh Baby, I Got You Babe, Don’t Break My Heart, Rat In Mi Kitchen, Kingston Town, Red Red Wine – always have audiences in fine voice, and their last album Who You Fighting For was nominated for a Grammy as 2006’s Best Reggae Album.

Famed for co-starring with Bob Marley on all of his hit records and stage shows, THE WAILERS are the most celebrated reggae outfit of all time. Their live show consists of classic hits like Buffalo Soldier, I Shot the Sheriff, Is This Love, No Woman No Cry, Exodus, Jamming, One Love, Get Up Stand Up, and the list goes on and on….

Replacing Bob Marley after his death, Junior Marvin took up lead vocals, and in 1997 The Wailers bandleader (and Marley’s right hand man) Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett recruited a young Jamaican singer named Elan to front the band.

Elan had never performed with a band onstage before he did his first show, but believed the spirituality of Marley’s music and lyrics helped him find himself. His presence in The Wailers has brought freshness and vitality to the already celebrated line-up, including original members Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett (the King of reggae bass players and Marley’s Musical director), and Al Anderson, who’s played and recorded with Lauryn Hill, Ben Harper, and James Brown, as well as Marley and Tosh. After leaving for a few years to pursue a solo career, Elan reunited with The Wailers in early 2007.

Raggamuffin is pleased to welcome veteran recording artist MAXI PRIEST to the line-up.

Born in Jamaica, and raised in the UK, Maxi Priest first gained worldwide recognition with the release of Maxi (1988). Recorded in Jamaica with legendary musicians Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, and Willie Lindo, it contained the hit singles Some Guys Have All The Luck and a cover of the Cat Steven's classic Wild World.

Maxi followed up this success with 1990’s gold album release Bonafide. The single Close To You hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, #2 on the Hot R&B Singles chart, and solidified Maxi’s title as the ‘King of Lover’s Rock’.

Maxi Priest’s reputation for balancing hard-core reggae vibes with mainstream pop was firmly cemented by the mid nineties, leading to widespread critical acclaim and massive growth in his popularity as a recording and touring artist.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT lit up audiences when they were last in NZ this March supporting INXS and Simple Minds. The two-time Grammy winners are back in action with a great new album Since The Last Time. The eight-piece band's music shook the bootys, hearts and minds of listeners across the planet with hits like Mr Wendal, Everyday People, Miracles and Tennessee along the way to selling five million albums - it's good to have them back!

Fronted by the charismatic Speech, Arrested Development are known for rockin' samples, live instruments, bold scratching, organic sounds and amazing vocals which form their unique and irresistible blend of hip-hop. They are an amazing band to experience live, and are sure to be popular with Raggamuffin crowds.

Wellington 8-piece THE BLACK SEEDS have, since forming in 1997, achieved gold and double platinum selling albums. The band recently signed to renowned European based labels Sonar Kollek/Best Seven and Rough Trade NL and in July 2007 released their highly anticipated album Into The Dojo throughout NZ and Europe. The album reached double platinum sales after spending five consecutive weeks at #1 in the NZ album charts.

The Black Seeds first started turning heads in 2001 with their debut album Keep On Pushing which was released in NZ (via Indie label Loop Recordings), Australia (via Shock Records), France, Belgium and Switzerland (through Productions Speciales). Keep On Pushing’s debut single reached #29 in France’s Groove charts and #100 in the overall French single charts.

The bands second studio album, On the Sun (2004) debuted at #3 on the NZ album charts, achieving double platinum sales, and the single So True was one of the most popular and highly played songs of 2005. The Black Seeds have completed three successful European tours including a 27-show tour in 2006 performing across Holland, Austria, Germany, Scotland, England and Ireland, and have headlined successful gigs in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

KATCHAFIRE are NZ’s premier reggae outfit. Their 2003 debut album Revival yielded the countries biggest selling single Giddy Up.
Katchafire have since continued to release high selling albums, have supported bands such as Michael Franti/Spearhead and The Wailers on their 05 NZ tour, and played to great acclaim at concerts and reggae festivals around the world. 2007 has seen the band with a busy International calendar taking the stage at festivals such as Roskilde in Denmark, Rototomsplash in Italy, SummerJam in Germany, Larmer Tree and Rhythms Of The World in England to estimated crowds of around 300,000.

THE MIDNIGHTS were formed in 2002, and are the up and coming stars of the live reggae scene at its raw and exciting best.
The band have developed an original reggae sound rich in lyric and infused with a hypnotic blend of psychedelic soul, jazz and RnB. They have supported Jamaican legends The Skatalites, and appeared on the same bill as Big Youth and Third World.

HOUSE OF SHEM’s music unfolds like a set of storybooks, speaking messages of cultural roots in Aotearoa and spanning the political, social, and personal.
Carl Perkins musician, songwriter, and performer (previously from Herbs, Mana and The Twelve Tribes of Israel NZ) formed the band with his two sons Te Omeka and Isaiah, and says his sons were raised with reggae music and often accompanied their father on International shows such as The Wailers, UB40, Maxi Priest, Toots & the Maytals, and Judy Mowatt. House Of Shem have enjoyed hit singles, Keep Rising, Dreams, and What About The Children.

So there you have it … eight great bands providing a veritable musical reggae feast…. welcome to Raggamuffin!

Saturday 2nd February 2008 @ Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
TICKETS ON SALE Monday October 1st from Ticketmaster,, ph 0800 111 999


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