Straight out of Edinburgh - NZ's Modern Maori Quartet heading back to London - interview   28 Aug 2017

Charlotte Everett

Fresh from their critically acclaimed debut season at the Edinburgh Festival, Auckland’s Modern Maori Quartet are heading back to London for one night only. NZNewsUK’s London Editor Charlotte Everett caught up with James Tito.


Kia Ora James, great to have you guys back in the UK – and thanks for taking the time to speak to us.

You’re nearing the end of your season at the Edinburgh Festival – tell us how that has been going?

The Edinburgh Festival has been amazing! We've been humbled and lucky to not only have people turn up to our shows, but come open and ready to have fun with us. From the staff and team at Assembly, right through to awesome other companies we've met from around the world - the whole experience has been amazing. 


Reckon you’ll be back for the festival next year – or at some other point in the future?

We will definitely be back next year and the year after that too if they will have us back. It's nice to spend a good amount of time in the same place doing shows one after the other - after our first and previous tour to the UK - one off shows were just too short.


It’s a pretty amazing atmosphere up there, huh. How have you found the vibe, and what have you been doing with your “down time” (if you’ve had any)?!

The atmosphere and vibe is incredible and like no place on earth. We've spent the majority of our time either drinking Strongbow Dark Fruits Cider or watching a lot of amazing shows. We've probably seen 16 or so shows each, so that has been awesome.


Londoners are looking forward to having you back down here on Wednesday August 30th. How will this show differ from the last time you were here, and what can fans expect?

Our show for the Londoners will definitely have a different twist and vibe than our previous time there. We will also be rearing to go and slick after 26 shows preparing for London. If you felt homesick at our last show as a Kiwi - you will definitely feel more of that. But also we've incorporated a bit more Te Reo into the show which we teach people in a nice entertaining way. Audiences have come away with six key words that they can use in Maori, which we think is special.


What’s it like connecting with other Kiwis up here in the UK?

Connecting with Kiwis is great - we've had quite a few come through our doors here in Edinburgh and they've even stayed after our shows for a few drinks, so that’s been real nice. We are definitely whanau (family).


Highlight of the tour so far?!

I think the highlight for us has been watching the incredible amount of talent and shows from this side of the world - it's been a luxury seeing where the world standard is and what people have to say. Being a part of that is truly special.


What else is going on in the world of Modern Maori Quartet – and what’s next for you guys?

We fly back to New Zealand on Thursday - the day after our show in Shepherds Bush, and we get a little bit of a break before we head into our Debut Album Tour which is 19 shows across New Zealand. Super excited for that and to get our album out there. Straight after that we head to China for 5 weeks doing 15 odd shows throughout the country, which will be an amazing adventure for us.


Any plans for another UK tour next year?

In June next year we have a German tour lined up, and some UK dates in July before coming back to Edinburgh for our second time a bit more ready and with more aroha to give the people. Can't wait!



Modern Maori Quartet play London’s Bush Hall on Wednesday 30 August 2017, 7.30pm.


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