Since selling his U2 records to buy a banjo and harmonica as a teenager, Jake or ‘Shabby Jake’ (as he is known to his pals) has been entertaining, inventing musical contraptions and making a living from singing and playing in any musical style he can make a recognisable tune.
With a nudge from his pal and one man band supremo Pete Moser, Jake resurrected the drum and harmonica harness of years before, starting sewing buttons on his hat and waistcoat and very soon he had metamorphosed into ‘Shabby Jake’s Have a Banana One Man Band’.
In the years since then he has performed on TV comedy shows such as Al Murray and Russell Howard. For Radio2 he has been interviewed for Jeremy Vine and given Alex Lester one man band lessons. G.Bennett’s OMB has been in great demand performing in diverse locations from the Epsom Races to local village fetes, to corporate fundraisers.
Have a look round this website and feel free to drop us a line. Whether your interested in a Mary Poppins hoe down or fancy something smooth from the Poshest One Man Band in the World
Click here for a curious little composition called 'Symphony of a One Man Band' based around a loop of my one man band with a new horn
A Tale of Two Cities and Two One Man Bands
As Jake lives in London it seemed fitting when he decided to recommence his one man band journey that his unique angle would be to create a truly London one man band act. In part his outfit has a nod and a wink to Dick Van Dykes 'Fred' from Mary Poppins but it is more inspired by Pearly King outfits and his favourite Old Time Music Hall star Gus Ellen the singing costermonger.
Jake's character can have a go at singing anything in the cockney style as evidenced by his Beyonce renditions for Pub Landlord Al Murray but his favourite musical pool is the vintage repertoire of Music Hall & Variety. With props such as spoons and banana's he'll whip any audience into an old time sing-a-long with songs such as My Old Man's a Dustman, Daisy Daisy, Knee's Up Mother Brown.
It did strike Jake though that London really is a place of two cities. So with this in mind he created the 'Poshest One Man Band in the World' as the dashing one man band alter ego if you can say that ! Champagne Charlie is impeccably dressed and sings only the best tunes such as 'Supper at the Ritz' 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen' and 'Top Hat White Tie and Tails'
Jake's One Man Bands are great additions to any event, festival or party. He is completely acoustic and cna perform either in one space or wander and mingle with his audience.
At a festival he can perform 3-4 performances in a day of 25-40 mins and is also able to per-
form both acts (though not at same time of course). Jake can customize and insert material at your request and has performed original pieces or adapted songs for weddings etc.
Jake is also able to perform a static show or perform a cabaret slot with his one man bands. This can involve audience participation or for example recently at a Mary Poppins themed party he made audience sing-a-long sheets and everyone sang the hits of Mary Poppins
Contact Jake if you have any questions or proposals. He'll be happy to supply references and he has fully Public Liability Insurance and an up to date DRB status.
Jake live on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio2
talking & teaching One Man Bands