By Kath Gannaway
Healesville musician Jeff Jenkins was floating an idea when he presented DYLANesque – The Bob Dylan Story – to an afternoon audience at Bulong Winery in Yarra Junction two years ago.
The show pays tribute to the extraordinary life, times and music of one of the 20th Century’s greatest songwriters.
“It was our first go at it, and I was pretty tentative,” Jeff said as he and an electrifying four-piece band, all local musos, prepare for a return gig at The Memo in Healesville on Saturday, 21 October.
“Is there something here; are people going to like it; it is a load of old bollocks,” he recalls of going public with DYLANesque.
“As I walked onto the stage the whole audience turned and listened and I thought ‘This is good’.”
It’s proved to be better than good.
In what Jeff describes as a bit of a rollercoaster two years, DYLANesque has played to audiences all around Victoria and interstate including the Old Castlemaine Jail, Frankston and Wagga performing arts centres, the Caravan Club in Oakleigh, Moorabbin Town Hall, the Flying Saucer in Elsternwick … and the list goes on.
It’s the fourth show at The Memo and if Healesville follows trend, it could well be a fourth sell-out.
“What’s terrific for us is wherever we’ve played the venues want to have us back again. That’s a great sign for us that the show is working, not just for the venue but for their audiences,” he said.
Healesville audiences can expect to see a different show to what they’ve seen in previous Yarra Valley performances, and vastly different to the Bulong outdoor event … brilliant as it was!
Dylan’s life story, words and music remain the core of DYLANesque but it’s been a two-year process of fine-tuning and adding to the experience.
“It’s a very different show to our earlier shows with professional lighting, cues, we’ve shortened certain bits and extended others, changed songs around and have a big screen projector as backing when we do the show in theatres,” he said.
“For all the people who think ‘I’ve seen that’, I’d say it’s very slick now, still reverent and irreverent in equal measure and a lot of fun.
“We really excited about playing Bob’s music and it’s an honour and a privilege to be able to do it and make some success out of it,” he says of the hard work and creative processes that have gone into making DYLANesque a success.
And Jeff says the band is pumped to be back on stage in Healesville.
“We’re all local boys and it’s a real thrill for us to be able to come back to Healesville to play and perform for our friends and local people and give them the excitement of DYLANesque.”
Tickets are on sale at The Memo, Warburton Arts Centre online at www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 368 333.