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From Manchester to Rarotonga: Global grooves unite in feel-good December concert

Wednesday 6 December 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Entertainment, Features


From Manchester to Rarotonga: Global grooves unite in feel-good December concert
A feel-good December concert will be held tonight at the Tamarind House. Maurice “Mo” Newport – Motone Productions (left), Good Habits - Pete Shaw and Bonnie Schwarz, Anj Barton, and Glenda Tuaine – Motone Productions. MELINA ETCHES/23120515

The amazing cello and accordion duo will be gracing the stage tonight, bringing a delightful blend of folk, pop, and even some stripped-back pop punk tunes to a ‘feel-good’ December concert at Tamarind House in Tupapa.

The concert will feature Good Habits, composed of Bonnie Schwarz (cello and vocals) and Pete Shaw (accordion) from the United Kingdom, and Anj Barton, a guitarist/vocalist from Aotearoa New Zealand.

The performing artists are brought onto the stage by Motone Productions, the creative company of the Cook Islands owned and managed by creatives and artists, Glenda Tuaine and her husband Maurice “Mo” Newport.

Tuaine said collectively the visiting artists are putting out music internationally.
“It’s about diversifying people’s music taste in the Cook Islands so they actually understand that there this wonderful smorgasbord of sound out there, and we are very lucky to have artists come into the Cooks.”

“This is an opportunity to see, to be able to connect with something here live.”

Good Habits are one of exciting new folk duos to come out of the United Kingdom. Their award winning, genre-fusing sound has received international critical acclaim in the three years they have been performing.

After a month in Aotearoa, Schwarz and Shaw arrived on the island this week.

Both come from musical family backgrounds, learning to play musical instruments from the ages of 6-7 years.

They mix virtuosic music and vocal harmony with vivid storytelling, drawing on their diverse musical tastes and weaving them into a narrative of folk music.

Shaw explains folk music is traditionally passed from heir-to-heir storytelling, adding “it isn’t specific to one country, it’s passed between musicians”.

“Stereotypically folk music was on acoustic instruments, not now, but more traditionally it was folk instruments.”

Schwarz adds folk song has a lot of verses and repeated chorus.

“There is definitely storytelling in the songs.

“Each culture has folk music, which is just the music of that country’s people.

“People can expect to look forward to some energised folk that you would not expect, weaving in the story of our adventure, how we came to be here from starting out in Manchester.”

Good Habits have released two albums and have another in the pipeline for next year.

Barton moved to Rarotonga in January and has jammed in several live band performances on the island.

She started playing the guitar at the age of eight, writing music at 13, and moved into performing in high school bands.

Just last week, Barton released a single under The Ramblings, a collaboration duo with Madeline O’Donoghue.

Barton, a guitarist and bassist, promises a captivating performance that will be going to some upbeat high places and channelling low places. She’ll be joined onstage by her friend Lou, together forming the dynamic duo Watermelon Onesie.

Tickets will be available from 5pm at Tamarind House, the show starts at 6pm.

Door sales are $25 or you can get your ticket early for $20 from (a booking fee will be charged), or contact Motone Productions via Facebook.