Fresh from their tour with legendary Jamaican Reggae band Third World, 1814 put on a first class show last Saturday to a packed out Raglan Harbour View Hotel. With staunch support from Hamilton band Irie Heights, reggae fans danced all night long to a whānau band promoting peace, love and harmony.

Band founder and lead guitarist Patu Colbert has been on the road for three weeks now but was more than happy for me to interview him on the afternoon of their gig. Here are the best bits:

How did it all start for 1814?
I started the band back in 2004 with the intention of passing on a livelihood to my sons Shaun and Jimmy. Originally I learnt to play drums however picked up the guitar so my sons could play drums and bass in the band. My niece also sings in the band.

Who writes the songs?
We all contribute to the songwriting process. We have a jam then come up with some riffs and go from there.

How was your tour with Third World?
Absolutely awesome. They were awesome guys and really professional. The most memorable moments being the after parties!

With a huge following, how do you find the time to interact your fans and write music without having a manager?
I have been approached by people in the past but I am not interested in being told how to do things. I manage everything from booking flights, accommodation and making sure we have the right support band. My sons are in charge of the social networking sites so we all work together and of course we interact with fans whilst touring. We play around three times a week which is how we have managed to gain a big following. We also fly over the ditch to Aussie which enables us to connect with our extended whānau there. Whilst we are on the road we have time to chill out, play music and have a game of pool.

You’ve played at major festivals including WOMAD and Raggamuffin, where is your favourite place apart from Raglan?!
I don’t really have a favourite place but I prefer playing outdoors, the acoustics are better and I like the atmosphere and if you have good equipment you don’t need to worry about tuning dilemmas.

Your debut album Jah Rydem reached number 1 on the NZ Indie charts, any plans to release a sophomore album?
Yes, we are currently recording in Auckland and hope to tie this in with a summer release next year.

For further information on the band visit