‘A hilarious and heartfelt celebration of the life and songs of one of this country’s finest and funniest wordsmiths. Highly entertaining whether you are discovering Jake for the first time, or an ardent fan.’
The late Jake Thackray is being increasingly acknowledged as one of the greatest English songwriters of the twentieth century, a unique talent, whose songs are full of poetry, wit, irreverence and humanity.
His intelligent and hilarious lyrics, talent for storytelling, clever wordplay, occasional, artful use of vulgarity and surreal imagination delighted many viewers and outraged some. Since his death in 2002 there has been growing recognition of his genius and a resurgence of interest in his work. His admirers include Jarvis Cocker, Alex Turner, Don Black, Thea Gilmore, Cerys Matthews, Benjamin Clementine and Neil Gaiman.
John Watterson is the UK’s leading performer of Jake’s songs. As Fake Thackray he has toured with Fairport Convention and performed at Latitude, Cropredy and the Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. He has also played for Jake’s family and appeared on Radio 4’s ‘Great Lives’. For the past three years John has been researching to write the first biography on Thackray, with the help of Jake’s family, friends and fellow performers. In the course of this research, John has uncovered 15 wonderful songs written by Jake but never released - some have lain forgotten in the BBC archives for decades, others found in Jake’s personal papers haven’t ever been heard. These songs, along with never-before told stories from the biography research plus several much-loved Jake classics, feature in John’s new show.
‘We are so pleased that Dad’s work lives on through John’s brilliant performance’. Sam Thackray
‘John Watterson’s joy in performing Jake’s wonderful songs is obvious. My dear friend Jake was a modest and shy man, but I think he would be quietly grinning in approval… a wonderful celebration of the life and work of a unique and sadly missed artist.’
‘Long may John continue to keep Jake’s memory alive so skilfully’
Sir Richard Stilgoe
‘Brilliant! We can’t have Jake back but this is the next best thing’
‘It's wonderful to hear songs by Jake we simply hadn't known about, and to hear them so close to how he might have performed them’
I can't add anything to what is written about without repeating it all. If you'd like to hear a flavour of John's renditions, please click here. Of course, we don't have Fairport Convention backing John at our gig, but you get the idea. Or check the video at the bottom for John's rendition of one of Jake's finest (well, I think so), 'On Again.'
We are lucky to have enticed John to make the pilgrimage from his Yorkshire home down to Devon for our gig on Thursday 12 October. Tiny details like price to be announced in a while, but this will be another of our sumptuous gig with witty and entertaining dinner evenings at The Cafe on the Green. If you'd like to come, just let me know... (contacts page up there on the right...)