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Friday, 26 Nov 2021 – 19.00 for 19.30

An evening without Jake Thackray

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 humour, poetry, wit, irreverence and humanity – often all at the same time.

‘Long may John continue to keep Jake’s memory alive so skilfully’ – Sir Richard Stilgoe

John Watterson is Jake’s biographer and the UK’s leading performer of Jake’s songs. As Fake Thackray he has toured with Fairport Convention, played at many festivals, theatres, clubs and on national radio. John has recently 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 have never been heard at all.

These songs, along with never-before told stories from the biography research plus several much-loved Jake classics, feature in John’s new show – a hilarious and captivating celebration 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’



Youtube video 1

Youtube video 2


Edinburgh Fringe 4 star official reviews

Sir Richard Stilgoe

“Jake would have loved the skill, the accuracy and the affection it contains. 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.”

Jasper Carrott

I am sure Jake would be delighted with John’s interpretations and I hope this show succeeds in its ambition of bringing Jake Thackray’s brilliant songs to a new audience.”

David Francis ( Priddy Festival)

‘John is totally engaging; his show is full of fun and rich in detail about Jake’s life and music. John’s enthusiasm and love of Jake is infectious, and his interpretation is exceptional. He brings the great man back to life. John ‘s voice and guitar playing are superb and his sense of comic timing is brilliant. I have never seen an audience laughing so much!’

Mike Harding

‘Brilliant! We can’t have Jake back but this is the next best thing.’

Neil Gaiman (Author)

‘It’s wonderful to hear songs by the inimitable Jake Thackray we simply hadn’t known about, and to hear them so close to how he might have performed them…​’

Ralph McTell

‘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.’

Don Black (Songwriter and BBC Radio 2 presenter)

‘Terrific interpretations.’’

The venue is situated in Brookfield Gardens on the site of the old Unitarian Church. Access from the street is via a flight of steps with, currently, no ramped access for wheelchairs. Park for free after 6.30pm at West Kirby Concourse, only 4 minutes walk away, as there is no on street parking available at the venue. Licensed bar available.



West Kirby Arts Centre
29 Brookfield Gardens
West Kirby
CH48 4EL


Parking is available for free at West Kirby Concourse car park which is a one minute walk from the Arts Centre. Residents of the road struggle for car parking space and we'd appreciate it if visitors to the arts centre didn't add to the parking issues the road experiences. Thank you!