Concerts, reviews and apologies

I forget – frequently - and once again I've forgotten to mention a gig.
I should really have done it last week while I was writing about the jazz show at The Hotel Armitage this Sunday, but I forgot.

And, of course, the gig is tonight (November 17) – yes, Friday night – and the very generous organisers had even offered me tickets to give away to all you lucky readers.


But, if your tastes run to some thrashy cowpunk, then stop reading right now, grab your cowboy hats and head on down to the Totara Street performance venue, where you can find a gleefully trashy band of throttling American rockabilly-flavoured garage punk rockers, the legendary Supersuckers.

Led by original member Eddie Spaghetti, they have consistently maintained their over-the-top celebration of all things rock 'n' roll. Y' know, just the basics: booze, the devil and other assorted vices. This is a rare opportunity to have your brains completely corrupted, so don't miss it! Turn up at 8pm and you won't regret a thing.

Okay, moving on...

NO Jazz

Last week I forgot all that and was just talking jazz, because there's a jazz show this Sunday at the Hotel Armitage on Willow Street, featuring some of the brilliant veteran jazz musicians who have lived here for many years and are largely responsible for the city having a jazz festival in the first place.

Most importantly, they're really good. I have no hesitation in mentioning the show again in case you missed last week's column

There will be three bands - Bay Dixie, the Woody Woodhouse Connection and The BBC (Bay Blues Company) - playing from 4pm for a mere $10 ($5 for Jazz Society members). And even writing about that last week I managed to uniquely bugger it up by foolishly ignoring what spellcheck does to abbreviations. Lest anyone was confused, the BBC will be playing New Orleans (NO) standards as opposed to ‘no standards'. I'm sure they'll do them very well - they have high standards.

Okay, I think I've run out of things to apologise for. Perhaps it's time to move on to a recent album release.

Jan Preston - a not infrequent concert visitor to Tauranga - spent a month at The Boatshed Studio in Whakamarama earlier this year and has now returned to Australia where she has launched the resultant album, Play It Again Jan.

A rough year

It's been not altogether smooth sailing for Sydney's ‘Queen of the Boogie Woogie Piano'.

Last year Jan managed to break both wrists, a somewhat serious impediment for a piano player, and the full story of the accident is on a booklet inside the cover here.

Astonishingly, the injuries have fully healed and with additional metal inserts in each arm she has created a collection that is amongst her strongest.

Play It Again Jan not only features a heaped helping of boogie piano, but also shows off Jan's songwriting chops on songs such as Mr Mogo Man, Pumpin Paul, Wild Days (a song about her cabaret times in NZ) and others. There are also a smattering of instrumentals and a couple of old tunes, Hadda Brooks, Lazy Boogie and the delightful Wild Women.

It's a stripped-back affair. Boatshed producer Nigel Masters supplies upright bass while Jan's partner, Mike Pullman, adds percussion and Ian ‘Beano' Gilpin subtle drums. The only other instrument is a slippery acoustic guitar from Australian Nick Charles, which wraps around the piano and adds a new dynamic.

With a cover design from Grant Bullot and mastering by Tim Julian, this is a completely local affair aside from a couple of the musicians and I think it speaks well to Tauranga's quality level that someone at the forefront of the Australian scene would come here to record (though Jan is, of course, a Kiwi).

She's the sister of Gaylene, and it's been a busy year.

She also composed the music for Gaylene's acclaimed new documentary about Helen Clark, My Year

With Helen, and could have chosen to record this album anywhere.

But she came here. I think that's a little feather in Tauranga's cap, and this album lives up to every expectation. Good job!


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