Diane Hume-Green ARTbop contributor, writer with a life-long involvement and interest in Tauranga’s music scene let’s us know about the latest Jan Preston’s Boogie Circus performance in Tauranga
I have been lucky enough to see Jan Preston in concert a couple of times over the years including a concert in Baycourt Theatre with Jan playing the grand piano. I remember her energy exuding from the stage and now seeing her at the Baycourt Exhibition Theatre with a smaller group, her energy level was still amazing. Jan’s style of piano playing is energetic anyway as her specialty is boogie woogie and ragtime music. It has an infectious beat which I defy anyone not to tap their toes to or move in their seat.
The crowd took a while to warm up but came alive when she played a couple of Winifred Attwell”s well-known tunes. Jan played electric piano and sang many of her own songs and also one written by Mike Garner who now lives in Tauranga.
Her band consisted of her husband, Michael, playing percussion including a washboard!, Stuart on double bass, and Andrew London on guitar, vocals, banjo and piano. Andrew also has his own band, the Andrew London Trio, who recently played at Omokoroa. He played and sung some of his original songs which were very funny and witty. His Middle Class White Boy Blues song was great as was his song about today’s technology, some of which is bewildering for the over 50’s. The banter between Jan and Andrew was great and it broke the performance up as Jan and her band did not take a break. She did move to the Steinway for several tunes and a mirror above highlighted the keys and her amazing skill.
I could imagine in a former life she ran Miss Preston’s Musical Emporium and Saloon Bar. She would have been an incredible hostess who could belt out a tune as well. Her show is also like that. She loves what she does and has more energy than many performers who are many years younger.
If she comes back to Tauranga and you want value for money, love blues, boogie woogie music and a great show, I would recommend you buy your ticket fast.
Diane Hume-Green is a regular contributor to ARTbop. Diane is a multi-talented creative known for her fabric and fibre work and her interior decorator skills. As a child of a well-known Tauranga jazz and music family Diane attended her first jazz concert in a carrycot. Diane has a wealth of knowledge and experience of contemporary music. Diane is also a member of the Tauranga Writers Group.