Jack in a Barrel

Jack in a Barrel

Seven-piece acapella folk

Jack in a Barrel are a seven-piece acapella group from Turvey, Bedfordshire.
We sing a range of traditional and “sounds traditional” songs, from standards like John Ball to more reflective numbers like John Tams’ Devonshire Carol, taking in the odd shanty and music hall number along the way.

We make the most of the seven voices in our arrangements, whether it’s to create a Wall of Sound or to produce close, squishy harmonies.
There are always plenty of opportunities to join in, so come ready to sing. And watch out for our Spotty Dick.
We rehearse every week with the aid of a child’s Casio keyboard and gin.

Album News!

I Know Not Where I Live - album cover

Our new album I Know Not Where I Live was released on 26th July 2019. CD available from the band at gigs or email jackinabarrel@gmail.com. Digital download available from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc.

"Highly recommended debut album... Acapella folk at its best" - Invisible Folk Club

Song Clips

See our YouTube Channel for more clips.

John Ball (Sydney Carter) 'Turvey Sings' 30th June 2018

Devonshire Carol/Stand To (John Tams, arr. Tim Brewster), Great War commemoration concert, North Crawley, 16th November 2018

Brickmaking (Graeme Meek), featured in 'The Bricks that Built a Community' a film commissioned by Higgins Museum (Bedford), 2019

The Last Hoffmans (Graeme Meek), featured in 'The Bricks that Built a Community' a film commissioned by Higgins Museum (Bedford), 2019

Gigs

Tues 3rd Dec 2019, 1.30 - 2pm Bedford SoupFest, fundraising for Bedford's homeless
Harpur Square, Bedford
Tues 3rd Dec 2019 Carols at The Hare
The March Hare Public House, Dunton
Fri 6th Dec 2019, 7.30pm Stoke Goldington Charity Christmas Concert, in aid of Willen Hospice
Stoke Goldington Village Hall
21st December 2019, 8.30pm "Jack in a Carol", Folk music for Christmas, The Three Cranes, Turvey
Sat 4th Jan 2020 Dunton Wassail
Dunton Folk - Wassail 2020

Biog

Jack in a Barrel are a 7-piece acapella group based in Turvey, Bedfordshire.

Formed in early 2018, JiaB came together as an offshoot of their larger, multi-instrument incarnation, Twangling Jack. The motivation may have had something to do with the appeal of rocking up to gigs with only a concertina to get notes from (compared with TJ’s van-load of kit), but whatever the reason they’re all agreed that this was a Good Thing.

From the outset, something clicked about the sound. Having seven voices has so much scope. The Wall of Sound is pretty much expected, but still impresses when it hits you. Less expected is the detail in the harmonies. Arranging for seven voices allows close harmony with a squishiness you can’t get with a smaller group, and JiaB make the most of this.

JiaB sing a range of traditional and “sounds traditional” songs, from standards like John Ball to more reflective numbers like John Tams’ Devonshire Carol, taking in the odd shanty and music hall number along the way. There are always plenty of opportunities to join in, so come ready to sing. And watch out for our Spotty Dick.

The Barrellers all bring something different to the band. Some are time-served folkies with 40+ years on the scene, some have a background in music for the theatre, some are writers, some are composers and arrangers. Some are smart-arses who do several of the above. They’ve all worked together in lots of combinations in the past, which all adds to the mix.

Jack in a Barrel rehearse every week with the aid of a child’s Casio keyboard and gin.

Gigs Archive

Sat 16th Nov 2019 Music and Words for Remembrance (in association with The Living Archive Band)
Turvey History Society, at All Saints Church, Turvey
6th April - 29th Sept 2019 Two songs feature in a short film commisioned for The Journey From Bunyan to the Brickworks
The Higgins, Bedford
25th - 28th July 2019 Warwick Folk Festival
Tues 2nd July 2019 Main Guest
Great Knight Folk Club, Northampton
Fri 14th June 2019, 8.00pm Showcase
Royston Folk Club, Herts
Fri 7th June 2019, 8.00pm St Neots Folk Festival, Cambridgeshire
Sat 25th May 2019, 11.00am Courtyard performance to open the Brickworks Open Day and Invisible Folk Club Festival, The Higgins, Bedford
The Higgins, Bedford
Sat 23rd February 2019 Filming for Bedfordshire heritage exhibtion
The Journey From Bunyan to the Brickworks
19th January 2019 Podcast recording, Invisible Folk Club
15th January 2019 Open Stage spot, St Neots Folk Club, Cambridgeshire
4th January 2019 Main Guest, The Song Loft, Stony Stratford
22nd December 2018 "Jack in a Carol", Folk music for Christmas, The Three Cranes, Turvey
16th November 2018 WW1 Commemoration, an evening of readings, songs and poetry to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. North Crawley.
20th October 2018 Apple Day, Turvey Village Hall, Turvey, Beds.
16th October 2018 Support to The Shackleton Trio, Great Knight Folk Club, Northampton
5th October 2018 Featured artist, The Song Loft, Stony Stratford
30th June 2018 "Turvey Sings", Turvey Choir Festival

Warwick Folk Festival 2019 - West Gallery Workshop

PDFs of pieces used in our West Gallery workshop held at Warwick Folk Festival, Sunday July 28th 2019.

  • Blest is the Man Whose Bowels Move
  • Evening Hymn
  • Hail Smiling Morn
  • Jacob's Well
  • Newton's or St Paul's (Curly Hark)
  • Spanking Roger
  • Vital Spark