Gig Reviews and Audience Testimonials

retro writing

21 November 2014 – The Hardcore Troubadours at Vegas City Limits

by Petra Zoe

The Rogue Stage and Vegas City Limits came together last Friday night to celebrate the music of The Hard Core Troubadours.

Goddess of The Rogue Stage, Karin Vincent, has been making headlines lately – and quite rightly so. She is an avid music fan, and works tirelessly to bring shows to Rotorua that might otherwise not come here. She is the hostess with the mostest, and her gigs are intimate, friendly, and – above all – showcase some of New Zealand’s finest musicians. If you see a Rogue Stage offering, get yourself a ticket and go enjoy a fine, fine evening of live music in unique settings.

Vegas City Limits is the private residence of Natascha Hartzuiker and John Skudder, two very talented local artists. Their home is a work in progress, but the outdoor stage that John built is complete. I love a couple with their priorities straight! Hosting The Hard Core Troubadours was a stroke of genius – the venue couldn’t have been more perfect. Sheltered by natural NZ bush, visited by many native birds, a wonderful view across the lake toward Mt. Ngongotaha, hidden like Shambhala in the Hamurana hills… heavenly.

The Hard Core Troubadours are Robert Joass, Kim Bonnington, Hamish Graham, Cameron Dusty Burnell, and Janek Buck Croydon. Featuring finely crafted originals and covers of such luminaries as Emmy-Lou Harris and Hank Williams, the band did not disappoint. Their upbeat country-folk vibe, little humourous twists, kicking it up and bringing it down with those lovely swirling guitars and mandolin, and the strong vocals of Kim Bonnington and Robert Joass, made for an exceptional evening.

Many thanks to The Rogue Stage, to Vegas City Limits, and to The Hard Core Troubadours. Let’s do it again sometime soon!

20th September 2014 – Eb & Sparrow
by Jamie Macphail from Napier

It doesn’t happen to me that often; I’m at a concert, really enjoying everything, the ambience, the company, the music… and then something musical happens that is magical, it elevates it from being just another fine gig to being something more, something that I find I am 100% invested in, something mesmerising.
Last night Eb & Sparrow did that for me last at their Rotorua show. I hadn’t heard the new album so the songs were new to me. They sounded gorgeous and the band was enjoying playing, they really gelled and Eb’s voice had the sultry velvet that draws one in. All wonderful. And then, as the last song of the first set, they covered Roy Orbison’s ‘In Dreams’. It was dedicated to Eb’s grandmother who had travelled to see her first ever Eb & Sparrow show. It was everything I love in a live song; alive, animated, surprising and painting a complete and vivid sonic picture. They nailed it. I was taken somewhere else, maybe somewhere close to Twin Peaks but via a small Parisian bar!
In the second set they could do no wrong for me. Ebony’s on stage presence is delightful; youthful and vigorous, playful and sexy. And that voice …
A huge hat tip to Karin Vincent & The Rogue Stage. The respect and love she shows her visiting artists, the work she does to promote the shows and the ambience she creates in her rooms is enviable.
But it was Eb & Sparrows night. And they stole hearts.

Tina West – 24 January

I loved every artist I saw and just wish I had managed to see them all. Can’t wait for the next round!”

Chris Webber – 30 January on The Weekender’s facebook page

“Karin Vincent & The Rogue Stage deserves a medal for the awesome live music events we have been enjoying in Rotorua. Not only do we get to see top talent coming through up close and personal – its a major boost to developing our own – and enjoy the musical community while we’re at it. Looking forward to upcoming rogue festival in March.”

Sandy Clark – January 2015

“Kerry and I have attended about seven of the Rogue Stage concerts, held right here in Rotorua (at various venues) and haven’t been disappointed yet at the amazing talent showcased at these events.”

Jesse Terry – January 2015

You’re a gem Karin!! Was an absolute pleasure to get to know you and play for the The Rogue Stage on Lake Tarawera with Chris Webber.. An honor! Keep on rocking and doing what you’re doing.. It’s such a vital and beautiful thing you’re doing.. Much love and success to you in 2015!

Opening of The Rogue Lounge with Callum Gentleman – 12th June 2016

Last night we had the pleasure of Callum Gentleman‘s live performance. Poetry, songs, stories and shout out blues. It was well received by the audience and everyone was enjoying the calm and listening atmosphere of the show. Also on the bill was Liam Dixon who gained himself a following with his very first slam poetry performance. Look out for more opportunities to see Liam live, a treasure!


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