UPON learning of the death in 2002 of acclaimed storytelling singer-songwriter Jake Thackray, Manxman and adopted Yorkshireman John Watterson decided it might be a fitting time for a mid-life crisis.
John, who had first seen and met Thackray at a Manx gig in 1974, decided the songs were too good not to be kept alive, and promptly gave up his day job in the laundry business to begin performing tribute show Fake Thackray.
John is based in York but was born and grew up in the island. His one-man show ‘Fake Thackray – the life and songs of Jake Thackray’ comes to Peel’s Centenary Centre on Sunday (July 29).
Jake Thackray’s satirical, witty, hilarious songs and poetry brought him fame and extensive TV exposure in the 60s and 70s. The Englishman’s style was greatly influenced by four years spent in France, performers of the ‘chansonnier’ tradition like Jaques Brel and Georges Brassens having a particular impact.
Relocating back to his native Leeds, Thackray began appearing on local BBC programmes, leading to regular slots on national TV. In nearly 30 years of performing he made more than 1,000 radio and TV appearances, and, with major record label EMI, produced seven albums between 1967 and 1991.
John’s tribute is full of the warmth, humour and sincerity that you would expect from a lifelong fan.
‘Jake’s work is pure genius, and the lyrics are timeless. His songs are warmly appreciated by audiences of all ages, and it is a privilege to perform them’ said John.
He added: ‘I recall going to the Falcon Cliff pub with friends to see Jake and we had never laughed so much. It is a privilege to be able to sing some of his wonderful songs back on “home ground”. I’m hoping that friends from my formative years will pop in and say hello!’
The show starts at 8pm and tickets, costing £10, are available from Celtic Gold in Peel, Shakti Man in Ramsey, and Peter Norris Music in Douglas and from.eTickets.im/jp