In this current coronavirus climate which the world is enduring, people, artists and musicians to name a mere few are taking to the internet and streaming live content constantly, more than ever before. In our corner of the world in the Greater Manchester area of Saddleworth, one such artist Jake Fletcher is performing a weekly gig at 8pm on Saturday evenings hosted by the facebook page ‘Visit Saddleworth’ created by friends of his Rick and Max Lees in the local area. Jake formerly co-fronted bands Gramotones and Cupids before becoming a solo artist. He usually performs at his six weekly pub gigs in and around Saddleworth and Altrincham doing a mixture of covers with the odd one or two of his own songs, including friend Paul Weller’s favourite Daltry Street which PP Arnold has recently covered on her most recent album New Adventures. His now condensed once-a-week live stream, sees around four hundred or so viewers tuning in. His audience comprises of family, friends, musicians, fans old and new and the sense of conviviality, mutual appreciation and love of good music created is as refreshing and healing as it is exciting and entertaining.
Not only do these gigs raise money for The Cavell Nurses trust, they help to give those involved a bit of money to live on during these unprecedented times for those self-employed and/or in the music and events industry. This is done via a humble but non-compulsory request for donations through paypal.
The most recent one was perhaps Jake’s best yet. It showcased his vocal range and ability to ‘have a go’ at anything and everything people ask him to play. Having been inundated from the start with requests, he is often at a loss trying to get through all the songs, however he jokes and laughs, gives us anecdotes about what he’s singing and why, jokes about the can of spam in his studio and his sister Poppy -a singer herself, joins him on occasion. Their harmonies are effortlessly performed and make for a spine-tingling experience to behold.
From Led Zeppelin to John Martyn, Aretha Franklin to Ocean Colour Scene, as well as his much requested own material, he takes us on a beautiful journey of music in a friendly, inclusive and magical way. He plays songs his mum asks for as well as those requested by people he has never met. If you’d like to be a part of it, follow the Visit Saddleworth Page and be ready with a drink at 8pm every Saturday night until ‘we ask him to shut it down’. Follow the Jake Fletcher page for all the latest info on his music and recent album which dropped at Christmas 2019.
image of Jake Fletcher courtesy Alex Mcleod
Author: Julia Grantham
Julia Grantham is an independent music journalist currently writing for @poppedmusic and @eventhestarsuk