Tribute act will honour popular wordsmith

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A heartfelt celebration of the life and songs of one of the country’s finest wordsmiths is heading to Whitley Bay.

The late Jake Thackray is being increasingly acknowledged as one of the greatest English songwriters of the 20th century.

John Watterson, the UK’s leading performer of Jake’s songs under the stage name Fake Thackray, is coming to Playhouse Whitley Bay on Friday, March 17, at 7.30pm.

As Fake Thackray, John 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 undertaking research to write the first biography on Thackray, with the help of Jake’s family, friends, and fellow performers.

There will also be a special guest appearance by North East singer-songwriter Pete Scott. As a young songwriter, Pete was greatly influenced by Jake Thackray and went on to work with him, appearing as a guest on his last series on BBC2.

Pete, a regular performer on the acoustic music scene and a popular fixture at the Sunday For Sammy concerts, will be performing with his band Hired Hands, playing songs from the new album Sweet Dreams of Contentment alongside favourites like Fantastic Pasty and BB King Keyring.

Tickets – £15 or £13 concession – are available from www.playhousewhitleybay.co.uk or the Box Office in person or on 0844 248 1588.

Jake’s 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.