By Wal Reid
Carl Perkins; singer/songwriter from Reggae outfit House of Shem, is is ready to play Tauranga's One Love Festival in a couple of weeks. Hailing from the staunch birth place of Maori religion Ratana in Whanganui, the one time member of Herbs even survived a car crash five years ago coming home from the airport.
Perkins describes the scene, "I was squashed in the front so that's damaged my two legs and the left side of my hip into my groin". The experience in turn has left him untreated, as ACC counterclaim it was not caused by the accident. However, it hasn't left him bitter but instead has given him a grasp on life, he describes as "keeping his faith to keep going". There's no doubt Perkins faith has instilled a healthy sense of optimism as the musician father tours together with sons Te Omeka and Isaiah in the band, he candidly reflects on the past year.
"2015 was a really positive year for us" recounts Perkins. "Many things happened for us, in business and touring the world. Fans that we've had for the last five or six years have finally got the chance to see us live. We've done a full three month tour of the US this time around - overall very positive we've managed to see some business insights that maybe we didn't see before there's always something to learn and the next level to work towards".
The rigours of travelling the globe and spreading their ‘positive music' has made House of Shem one of Aotearoa's most successful Reggae proponents. At this rate it looks as if this year will be just as busy with touring and as Perkins divulges "We've a got a couple of singles dropping very shortly, bit of a surprise for the fans" He also is commendable regarding overseas audiences.
"The Americans loved it" he says. "From Native American Indians, English, Asians, Hawaiians, a beautiful bunch of people that love positive messages and they tell us ‘Positive New Zealand Reggae' that they love and they're always trying to learn about the Maori culture. It was really awesome to entertain people like this, really nice crowds too".
Carl is keen to get the new material out to people, he's excited about the new songs which they haven't been able to do since their 2013 album Harmony hit the shelves. However fans will be pleased they are practising for the One Love Festival, as Perkins excitedly pitches "It's going to be awesome - I'm going to be catching up with a few international friends at that time".
Reggae is quite an integral part of this country's music DNA, for whatever reason the summer vibe & calypso induced guitar has an attachment here in this country, just look at many successful bands exported around the world - Herbs, Katchafire, Sons Of Zion, you name it, this island in the pacific definitely punches above its weight when it comes to the bands on the world stage including House of Shem.
"We've got a couple of tours from what I understand kicking off around June through to August in the US, a couple of big festivals over there the guys are planning around. We rather do a festival route this time, last year we went into the community so we're concentrating on a festival circuit this time and come August they want to take us over to Europe so that's another area we haven't looked at - we've got tonnes of fans over there so can't wait to get over there, and the new album is underway as we speak".
February 6-7: Tauranga Domain, Bay Of Plenty
Tickets via Dash Tickets