Born 1984, Jack Peñate is a singer/songwriter from Blackheath, South London. He is the grandson of Mervyn Peake, author and illustrator of The Gormenghast Trilogy.
Along with the likes of Lily Allen, Jamie T, Kate Nash, Adele, etc, he is often included in the "Estuary English" pack of UK musicians - the 2006/2007 UK trend of young musicians singing without consciously altering their spoken English accent. (Estuary English being the accent commonly found around the south east of England, most notably in London , considered a compromise between Cockney and RP)
At 17 he started the band Jack's Basement with his friend Felix White. The band split in two, one half going on to form The Maccabees, the other forming Jack Peñate's band, including Joel Porter (bass) and Alex Robins (drums). Having started a Classics degree at UCL he hooked up with London indie club and label, Young Turks and his studies were dropped in favour of a music career.
His eclectic mix of styles incorporates elements of his varied influences which range from rockabilly and folk to jazz and trip-hop. He lists Prince, Jeff Buckley, Shuggie Otis, Todd Rundgren, JJ Cale, Harry Nilsson and Herbie Hancock among his influences. Yet he delivers a genuine London voice and still manages to sound original.
His live performances are characterised by his much commented, "individualist" style of dancing where he plays guitar and dances simultaneously with a vigorous fluidity - he finds it hard to keep still.
In autumn 2006, Peñate signed to XL Recordings who delivered main-stream success with the release of his debut album Matinée. It was followed up in 2009 with Everything is New.