L.A.B. was founded by the legendary Kora brothers Brad Kora (drums) and Stu Kora (guitar, keys) and quickly engaged the extraordinary talents of Joel Shadbolt (Batucada Sound Machine) on lead vocals & guitar and Ara Adams-Tamatea (Katchafire) on bass.
The L.A.B. sound is one which has seen them quickly become a fan favourite on the New Zealand live circuit – trademark Kora grooves combining with Adams-Tamatea’s reggae/dub experience, and Shadbolt’s blues roots to create a sound entirely their own. Each member brings their own individual styles to the table, and the result is an eclectic mix of reggae, electronic, blues, funk, and reggae, even heading into country at points.
Since their inception L.A.B. have performed at almost every major festival across New Zealand, supported UB40 in NZ, and supported Katchafire on a 24-date Australasian tour.
Written across Tauranga and Whakatane, recorded in Wellington and tested on the road, L.A.B.’s self-titled debut album was released November 2017, and featured 12 tracks which brilliantly showcase the multiple sides to the L.A.B. sound – a unique blend of soulful-rock and electronic-funk. Upon its release, the album went straight to number one on the iTunes Album Charts, and has remained in the New Zealand Top 20 Album charts since.
Not willing to waste any time, the band were back in the studio less than four months after their debut’s release, and the new album L.A.B. II, released just in time for summer. The second album is, as the title suggests, the second chapter in the L.A.B. story, seeing a further 12 genre-bending tracks, and showing a band further honing their eclectic sound.
Summer 2019 saw the band perform over a dozen shows including massive festival slots at One Love, Rhythm & Vines and Soundsplash. L.A.B. are again instantly back to work, and are already in the studio starting work on their third album, set to be released in late-2019.
Ara Adams-Tamatea – Bass
Brad Kora – Drums, Vocals
Stu Kora – Keys, Vocals
Joel Shadbolt – Guitar, Vocals