Aunties make Magic comeback

17:00, Jun 28 2012
The Aunties
STARFISH MAGIC: Sunny Ray is Shine, Arif Usmani is Fish, Anna Rugis is Aunty Spanner and Nigel Gavin is Nigel Noise.

After several years' hiatus the original members of The Aunties have reunited with a new show set to blow the minds of young and old alike.

The noted Auckland musicians, including Maraetai singer and poet Anna Rugis, are together again with a new show.

The Aunties were well known in the 1980s and 90s for delivering high energy and slightly subversive shows for youngsters during the school holidays.

This time around Ms Rugis, Arif Usmani and Nigel Gavin will be performing under the name Starfish Magic and will be joined on stage by Auckland singer and actor Sunny Ray.

The Aunties, in various incarnations, released 24 original albums, had a TV series called Aunties Alphabet and played in 200 schools a year in Northland and Auckland.

They were known for high energy performances and Ms Rugis says the new 45-minute, "big-time interactive" show will be a cracker too.


The new material is good and the band is tight, she says.

"It's really hilarious, full of wild subversive children's songs," she says.

"We were doing a rehearsal yesterday and hearing Arif and Nigel playing again was very cool, they instantly had that groove going. The three of us being back together is really fun."

The new show is called Miracle Planet and has a theme of caring for the environment.

In it a crew of visitors from outer space – the Futons from the Fu Galaxy, two trillion light years away – have come to explore Earth with the idea of setting up an orbiting eco-resort.

However on closer inspection they find all is not well on the planet so they rally all the children together with the message to look after your own little corner of the world.

The show includes a special performance from the Futon Universal Oona Orchestra, the details of which are being kept secret, and will see the audience learn the "secret corner finger sign".

The biggest thing the show will offer is fun. "Life is not worth it if you can't have some fun," Ms Rugis says.

"I have a philosophy where I feel the only thing you can do is have more fun and work to make things more positive and enjoyable.

"People can't face the changes they need to make if they're in a bad mood."

As well as the eco message Ms Rugis says the musical experience is of a high standard too.

"We're all top drawer musicians and it's rare I think that you would get this level of musicality in anything for kids.

"I feel you should always give kids quality music and not cheap-out on the sonics."

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Eastern Courier