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Kora a coup for Shotover Festival

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 24/10/2012
Laughton Kora
Laughton Kora

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Laughton Kora, singer and co-founder of New Zealand chart-topping, globe-trotting band Kora is thrilled to be playing next year's Shotover Sunshine Festival, a homecoming of sorts for the ex-Queenstown resident.

Laughton, along with the band's other co-founder, Dan McGruer, started jamming together in their first band Soul Charge, while living in Queenstown, and recorded a demo in early 2002.

A song from the demo, Politician was included on a Loop Recordings compilation, received massive airplay, and the rest - including roping three of Laughton's brothers into the band, platinum selling records, international tours and earning acclaim from critics and fans alike - is history.

The Southland Times caught up with Laughton fresh after contracts were inked to play at the Waitangi Weekend festival.

"I'm so glad to be coming back to Queenstown, because I did a lot of growing up there, and really found myself, and my career, in the years I was there," he said.

"In a way it was heartbreaking to leave, but the band just came together and everyone involved had worked through their musical careers to the point where we were ready enough to work really hard at harnessing the potential we had. I still have a big connection with Queenstown, and I guess it's lucky I've been so busy in the years since I've left that I haven't had much time to miss it."

Originally from Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, Laughton began a building apprenticeship in Te Anau in 1994 but the vibrant Queenstown music scene pulled him to the resort fulltime in 1997.

Kora release their new album Light Years on Friday. It is widely anticipated to be one of the most successful New Zealand releases of 2012, and has already prompted the Muchmore Music site to say, "Light Years looks set to propel the band further into the league of not merely a great New Zealand band, but a world-class one."

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- The Southland Times

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