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.