Pentangle are a British folk rock (or folk-jazz) band. The
original band were active in the late 1960s and early 1970s
and a later version have been active since the early 1980s.
The original line-up, which was unchanged throughout the
band's first incarnation (19671973), was: Jacqui McShee,
vocals; John Renbourn, guitar; Bert Jansch, guitar; Danny
Thompson, double bass; and Terry Cox, drums.
The artwork for this album was created by Iconic artist Sir
Peter Blake,and reproduced as a signed limited edition fine
art print and sold by the leaders in this field of fine art
St. Pauls Gallery Birmingham.
The print makes for a real eye opener with it's multi
coloured glitter print technique.
The name Pentangle was chosen to represent the five members
of the band, but the pentagram symbol also has a number of
mystical associations and is the device on Sir Gawain's
shield in the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green
Knight which held a fascination for Renbourn.
In 2007, the original members of the band were reunited to
receive a Lifetime Achievement award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk
Awards and to record a short concert that was broadcast on
BBC radio. In June 2008, the band, comprising all five
original members, embarked on a twelve date UK tour.
The original group formed in 1967. Renbourn and Jansch were
already popular musicians on the British folk scene, with
several solo albums each and a duet LP, Bert And John. Their
use of complex inter-dependent, guitar parts, referred to as
"folk baroque", had become a distinctive characteristic of
their music and was featured on Bert and John and in some of
the duet tracks on Jansch's Jack Orion album. They also
shared a house in St John's Wood, London.
Jacqui McShee had begun as an (unpaid) "floor singer" in
several of the London folk clubs, and then, by 1965, ran a
folk club at the Red Lion in Sutton, Surrey, establishing a
friendship with Jansch and Renbourn when they played there.
She sang on Renbourn's Another Monday album and performed
with him as a duo, debuting at Les Cousins club in August
Thompson and Cox were already well-known as jazz musicians
and had played together in Alexis Korner's band. By 1966,
they were both part of Duffy Power's Nucleus (a band which
also included John McLaughlin on electric guitar). Thompson
was well known to Renbourn through appearances at Les
Cousins and working with him on a project for television.
In 1967, the Scottish entrepreneur, Bruce Dunnett, who had
recently organised a tour for Jansch, set up a Sunday night
club for him and Renbourn at the (now defunct) Horseshoe
Hotel in Tottenham Court Road.McShee began to join them as a
vocalist and, by March of that year, Thompson and Cox were
being billed as part of the band. Renbourn claims to be the
"catalyst" that brought the band together but credits Jansch
with the idea "to get the band to play in a regular place,
to knock it into shape".
Although nominally a 'folk' group, the members each shared
catholic tastes and influences. McShee had a grounding in
traditional music, Cox and Thompson a love of jazz, Renbourn
a growing interest in early music and Jansch a taste for
blues and contemporaries such as Bob Dylan.