Influences



Jacques Brel (1929-1978)
In my opinion simply the greatest singer/songwriter/performer who ever lived. He had been dead for three years by the time I first saw a clip of him singing Amsterdam on the telly in France in 1981, but it was a mind-blowing experience that changed my life. Up until that point (having been a punk rocker) Id thought the only way to be powerful on a stage was to shout into a microphone while someone played an electric guitar as fast as they could behind you and yet here was a man in a suit singing with an orchestra and nobody else before or since has ever been able to touch him. Marc Almond described him as the first punk. Ive spent my entire singing career trying to copy him.

www.jacquesbrel.be

Jake Thackray (1938-2002)
One of the finest singer songwriters ever in the English language, criminally overlooked, he should be treasured and revered by all. Often seen as a 'novelty' songwriter because of the humour in some of his songs, his lyrics contain an insight and tenderness that so many 'stars' can only dream of.
Good old Jake, he should be required listening for every shit up-and-coming singer-so-called-songwriter before they're allowed to smear their contributions on a market already creaking under the weight of so much musical effluent. Particular favourites are 'The Bull', 'The Ballad of Billy Kershaw', 'Poor Sod', and 'The Brigadier', though trying to pick out diamonds from so many gems is perhaps inappropriate.

www.jakethackray.com
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The Argus [19 Sep 2011]

Philip Jeays © Sean K

Released April 18th 2016 Take The Slow Train album

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