Monday, November 24, 2014
New DVD: Jake Thackray and Songs
Thanks to The Jake Thackray Project for the information below.
The Jake Thackray Project is delighted to announce the release of the DVD Jake Thackray and Songs, by arrangement with BBC Music.
Yorkshire-born Jake Thackray (1938-2002) was a unique talent, a brilliant writer and performer
whose songs are full of humour, wit, irreverence and humanity. He became known to tens of millions through his regular performances in the 1960s and 1970s on programmes such as 'Braden's Week', 'The Beryl Reid Show' and 'That's Life'. His distinctive appearance, deadpan delivery, clever wordplay, occasional, artful use of vulgarity and surreal imagination delighted many viewers and outraged some.
Jake is most famous for his comedy songs, such as Bantam Cock (a fowl tale of farmyard lust), Sister Josephine (about a burglar disguised as a nun) and Lah-di-Dah (about marriage and putting up with the in-laws). However, there was much more to the man than clever, surreal comic storytelling: in truth, he was a chansonnier, a singer-poet, in the tradition of his hero, Georges Brassens. He had his own unique take on the world, standing squarely on the side of the underdog, and was capable of writing songs of wit and real depth. 'The Remembrance' is surely one of the greatest ever anti-war songs, whilst 'The Bull' is a song for our times - a hilarious, vulgar attack on authority, hierarchies, deference and celebrity culture.
In 1981 the BBC gave Jake his own six-part TV series, Jake Thackray and Songs. Jake was a brilliant, if nervous, live performer who built a superb rapport with audiences. The programmes capture Jake at the height of his powers and paint an intimate portrait of him, playing to audiences in the small venues where he felt most comfortable. They feature performances of thirty of his greatest songs, along with his inimitable between-songs chat and storytelling.
'Jake Thackray and Songs' marked a peak for Jake. Following this and the accompanying live album (his last and, sadly, not currently available), he continued to be a popular live performer, but his television appearances became less frequent. It is wonderful, therefore, that Jake's performances from this series at last have seen the light of day again, and we can watch this brilliant and truly original performer at work, taking chances on a stage, in front of the punters, with 'no frig', as Jake would put it.
This is the only DVD available of Jake performing. It also includes previously unreleased performances by three of the outstanding guest artists who appeared in the series: Ralph McTell, Alex Glasgow and Pete Scott.