The tightness of their live show is hardly surprising, given the brothers have been playing together for decades, since they were wee lads.
Their previous incarnation was an early 90s band called Aunty Beatrice, featuring several of the Kora brothers. They won the Smokefree Rockquest in 1991. Going back even further, several of the Kora lads started out playing in their father’s pub band – Laughton first got onstage when he was six.
The genesis towards Kora began in 2001, when Laughton and Dan were playing in a band called Soul Charge in Queenstown. They recorded some demos for Kora as a side project, and Wellington label Loop Recordings expressed an interest.
The band formed in 2002, with Laughton pulling in his brothers from their hometown Whakatane, and setting up in Wellington. This led to them being lumped in somewhat unfairly with the Wellington reggae scene that was on the rise at the time, although their sound draws on a broad range of influences, from funk to metal to house to dub.
THEIR SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM CAME OUT IN 2007, CRASHING ONTO THE ALBUM CHARTS AT NO.1.
The band released their debut EP Volume in 2004, which proved hugely popular, going on to reach gold, then platinum sales status. Their self-titled debut album came out in 2007, crashing onto the album charts at No.1, only the second independently distributed album to ever achieve that (the first was Fat Freddy’s Drop). That album went double platinum in 2010.
They followed it up with a rather unusual remix collection, pulling 1980s UK electronic act Cabaret Voltaire out from retirement to undertake the Kora! Kora! Kora! remix album in 2009, released thru UK label Shiva Records. They then toured the UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia.
Their second album Light Years came out in late 2012, debuting at No.2 on the album charts and No.1 on the iTunes NZ chart. The album took the band about a year and a half to record using their own studio, just as they had done for their first album, with the band handling production duties.
Several of the Kora band are involved in a side project, The Heavy Metal Ninjas, formed in 2010 and fronted by their soundman, Richie Allen. Their debut EP came out in 2012.
Two of the Kora brothers, Stu and Brad, quit the band in 2013, and formed a new outfit called L.A.B.
Brad told the Rotorua Daily Post in January 2014 that "It's been an awesome journey with Kora ... We're still 100 per cent behind Kora and it's awesome to see them performing in front of sell-out crowds, we're just doing something different."
Brad also told the Post that they planned to release music on Kim Dotcom's label. Laughton and Brad contributed to the recording of the cod-techno debut album by Kim Dotcom. Laughton also started a solo project under the name Neon Ninja.
In early 2014, Laughton appeared alongside fellow musicians, Anika Moa, Annie Crummer, and Don McGlashan in the second series of the TV show Songs From The Inside, teaching songwriting to prison inmates.
Several of the Kora band are involved in a side project, The Heavy Metal Ninjas, formed in 2010 and fronted by their soundman, Richie Allen.
Laughton Kora - vocals, guitar, keys
Francis Kora - bass, vocals
Stuart Kora - guitar, vocals
Brad Kora - drums
Dan McGruer - keys, bass