John Watterson Keeps The Music of Jake Thackray Alive, in Pewsey

Chansonnier Yorkshireman Jake Thackray is paid tribute in Pewsey’s Bouverie Hall on May 26th by fellow Yorkshireman John Watterson, aka “Fake Thackray……”

An adopted YorkshiremanJohn Watterson, grew up on the Isle of Man, which is where he first met Jake Thackray in 1975. Recalling the performance at his local folk club, which John explains, “had the audience in stitches,” chatted with a very modest and self-deprecating Jake at the interval, describing him as “a big man and a huge talent, clearly embarrassed by the standing ovation, Jake preferred to have a pint at the bar with the punters and didn’t really see what the fuss was about.”

Influenced by the likes of Jaques Brel and Georges Brassens, Thackray wrote and performed unique folk songs recognisably rooted in the English countryside, at times painfully funny, yet often sad, tragic, rude, irreverent, and incisive, and all these things at the same time. His performances in folk clubs led to appearances on The Frost Report, Braden’s Week and That’s Life. In nearly thirty years of performing he made over 1,000 radio and TV appearances ranging from a topical song in magazine programmes to broadcasts of live concerts on both radio and television. His EMI catalogue produced seven albums between 1967 and 1991.

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. Performing them at a memorial evening in Monmouth, and John is currently researching and writing a biography on Jake with the help of members of the Thackray family. This is where tribute act really takes on a favoured notion of true homage, his appreciation and love of Jake Thackray’s music reflects in this show he has toured with Fairport Convention nation-wide tour, and has performed twenty shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. He has also been delighted to support Ralph McTell, Richard Digance, Vin Garbutt and many more of his music heroes.

Tickets are £12.50, and include a light supper in the interval. Available from Around the World, Woottons and the newsagent in Pewsey (cash only please) Or call 07876 230 540.


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