AN AUDIENCE WITHOUT JAKE THACKRAY – JOHN WATTERSON as “Fake Thackray” celebrates Jake’s music, genius and humour

Date/Time Sun 08 Mar 2015 7:45 PM

Price Online - £8 + 80p booking fee; On The Door - £10


john_wattersonJohn Watterson, an adopted Yorkshireman, was born and grew up on the Isle of Man, which is where he first saw and met Jake Thackray in 1975. He recalls a performance which had the audience in stitches and a chat with a very modest and self-deprecating Jake at the interval – ‘a huge talent who earned a standing ovation and yet was happy to have a pint at the bar and didn’t really see what the fuss was about’.

On learning of Jake’s passing in 2002, John decided that the songs were too good not to be kept alive, so he set about learning more of them. John performed at a memorial evening in Monmouth attended by Jake’s widow, Sheila, and two of their sons (who signed the back of his guitar – now a much treasured possession). ‘The scariest gig of my life – but such a privilege!’

John is a talented guitarist and vocalist and his appreciation and love of Jake Thackray’s music is obvious to his audience. His performance is a celebration of Jake’s life, his work and his genius –  a highly entertaining, heartfelt tribute to one of the finest songwriters of the 20th century.

Jake’s songs are exquisitely funny, satirical, incisive, irreverent, witty and gloriously un-PC – and sometimes all of these at the same time. Jake was a one-off, his poetry broke the rules yet worked beautifully. He was a true craftsman of the English language, and his legacy of scores of songs continues to delight audiences of all ages today.

John toured the show with Fairport Convention on their 6-week nationwide tour, and performed 20 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, earning several 4-star reviews.

‘It is wonderful that Jake still has so many fans across the country, and the younger generation are catching on to a man who should be regarded as one of our greatest national treasures’ says John.

‘Jake would have loved the skill, the accuracy and the affection….but he would have been utterly baffled that anyone would have written a tribute to him. One of Jake’s many unique qualities was that the word flattery was completely absent from his otherwise huge vocabulary. Long may John continue to keep Jake’s memory alive so affectionately and skilfully, and introduce more people to one of the most remarkable talents I ever met.’ – Sir Richard Stilgoe

‘Jake Thackray’s songs are funny, poignant, witty, tricky, romantic and wise. John Watterson brings these wonderful songs to a new public who will no doubt love them as much as Jake’s old fans. It is marvellous that Jake’s treasured songs ride again. They are in safe hands.’ – Ralph McTell

‘We can’t have Jake back but this is the next best thing!’ – Mike Harding

‘I knew Jake and am sure he would be very proud of what John is doing!’ – Richard Digance

Watch John Watterson singing Jake Thackray’s ‘On Again On Again!’, with Malcolm Jeffrey on bass: