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Rodriguez aka Sugar Man New Zealand Show Announced

Rodriguez aka Sugar Man New Zealand Show Announced

Friday 27th July, 2018 9:37AM

The enigmatic subject of 2012's hit documentary Searching For Sugar Man, Detroit psychedelic folk artist Rodriguez (aka Sixto Rodriguez), is returning to New Zealand in February to play a headline show at Auckland's Villa Maria Winery, alongside Aotearoa pop musical mainstays Dave Dobbyn, The Topp Twins and The Eastern. As outlined in the film, Rodriguez's early seventies albums Cold Fact and Coming From Reality attracted a devoted audience in South Africa, unbeknownst to the artist himself. Fans of the songwriter tracked down Rodriguez which led to a successful revival of his career more than four decades later, and the creation of the hugely successful documentary spreading the word about his timeless tunes. Here are the details...

UPDATE 23/01/19:
Due to medical restrictions, Rodriguez’s planned shows in Australia & New Zealand in February and March have been cancelled.

w/ Dave Dobbyn, The Topp Twins, The Eastern
Saturday 2nd February - Villa Maria Winery, Auckland (all ages) - Cancelled

Presales available from 4pm, Wednesday 1st August

Listen to Rodriguez's magical tune 'I Wonder' from Cold Fact...

Press release:

Eccles Entertainment in association with Frontier Touring are thrilled to announce the return of acclaimed Sugar Man, Rodriguez, to New Zealand playing the iconic Villa Maria Winery next February!

‘Australia and New Zealand audiences hold a very special place in my heart so I can’t wait to return down under in 2019.’ - Rodriguez

The legendary singer-songwriter and self-taught guitarist will bring his iconic blend of folk and psychedelic rock to our shores for a one off show. Adding to the excitement, local legends Dave Dobbyn, The Topp Twins and The Eastern will open the show.

‘His voice remains untouched by the years...’ – The Guardian

“It (Cold Fact) is one of those rare lost albums that turns out to be a genuine classic.” - Pitchfork

Rodriguez has had strong ties to New Zealand ever since his music gained airplay locally in the mid-1970s, long before the rest of the world caught onto his talent thanks to Malik Bendjelloul’s Oscar-winning film Searching for Sugar Man. He first toured Australasia in the late 1970s and later returned to New Zealand in 2013 and 2014.

“It’s pretty rare to be at a show and find yourself joining a standing ovation before the act’s even taken the stage. But it happened for Rodriguez” - Stuff

“Close your eyes and you might as well be listening to the young man who recorded Cold Fact nearly five decades ago.” – Sydney Morning Herald

The Searching for Sugar Man documentary follows Rodriguez’s celebrated history that began in the bars and clubs around Detroit in the 1960s. Drawing inspiration from the city’s post-industrial urban decay, Rodriguez recorded and released albums Cold Fact (1969) and Coming From Reality (1971), which produced hit songs ‘Sugar Man’, ‘I Wonder’ and ‘Cause’. These releases went largely unnoticed in the United States, despite Cold Fact peaking at 20 in the NZ Top 40 Charts.

Thanks to bootleg recordings and word of mouth, Cold Fact found its way to South Africa where its counter-culture lyrics resonated with the country’s politically-alienated youth. Without a telephone and working factory and construction jobs to support his family, Rodriguez remained oblivious to the fact that he was bigger than Elvis in South Africa.

Nearly five decades after the release of his debut, Rodriguez’s incredible vocal and musical skill is finally being heard by audiences throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and North America, including festival audiences at Glastonbury and Coachella.

Dave Dobbyn - With twelve Top Ten albums under his belt three of which are certified platinum and double platinum, eight New Zealand Top 10 Singles, 22 New Zealand Music Awards, a record three Silver Scroll Awards not to mention a Lifetime Achievement Award and a spot in the NZ Music Hall of Fame, Dave Dobbyn needs no introduction. Easily one of New Zealand’s most respected, loved and revered song writers, Dobbyn has written the soundtrack to many Kiwi lives. He is considered a national treasure with a string of hits including ‘Loyal’, ‘Whaling’, ‘Slice of Heaven’, and ‘Welcome Home’ just to name a few. These songs are synonymous with good times and come February, this will be no exception when they come alive on the Villa Maria stage.

The Topp Twins - Jools and Lynda Topp, the twins behind many a comedy duo, have been performing their unique brand of acoustic country for more than 30 years. With nine albums, a successful TV Series, and a feature documentary to their name, it is no wonder the twins are well loved by New Zealanders. They were inducted into The NZ Music Hall Of Fame in 2008 recognising the influence their songs have had on New Zealand culture since the early 1980s. Having just this year being honoured with a Damehood, The Topps Twins will bring their much loved songs and personalities to Villa next February.

The Eastern - Hailing from Lyttelton, The Eastern will kick off proceedings this coming February. A string band that roars like a punk band, swings like a gospel band and drinks like a country band, they have developed a reputation as New Zealand’s hardest working troubadours. With four albums and over 1000 shows under their belts, they have won many a heart along the way. Their 2012 album Hope and Wire reached Gold status in New Zealand, with the song ‘State Houses By The River’ a finalist in the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll Awards. A perfect way to kick off what will surely be the show of the Summer.

Villa Maria Winery - The jewel in the New Zealand vineyard crown, Villa Maria will play host to this incredible line-up of musicians this Summer. Situated on an ancient volcanic crater, the natural amphitheatre and sprawling green grass is a stunning environment to see these extraordinary artists play from late afternoon and into the Summer evening this coming February.


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Rodriguez, Dave Dobbyn, The Topp Twins - Cancelled
Sat 2nd Feb 8:00pm
Villa Maria Estate Winery, Auckland