Pentangle was an English folk-rock band from London that released six albums between 1968 and 1972 on Transatlantic–Reprise. After a twelve-year absence, they reemerged with a trio of albums on Spindrift, Transmedia, and pläne during the second half of the 1980s.

Members: Jacqui McShee (vocals), Bert Jansch (guitar, vocals), John Renbourn (guitar, sitar, vocals, 1967-73, 1982-83, 2008-15), Danny Thompson (bass, 1967-73, 1982-84, 2008-present), Terry Cox (drums, 1967-73, 1982-86, 2008-present), Mike Piggott (violin, guitar, 1983-86), Nigel Portman Smith (bass, keyboards, 1985-94), Rod Clements (guitar, mandolin, 1986-88), Gerry Conway (drums, 1987-94), Peter Kirtley (guitar, 1988-94)

Pentangle formed in 1967 when guitarist/songwriters Bert Jansch (1943–2011) and John Renbourn (1944–2015), both veterans of the UK folk scene, enlisted singer Jacqui McShee, bassist Danny Thompson, and drummer Terry Cox.

Between 1965 and 1967, Jansch cut four albums and Renbourn cut two for Transatlantic. As flatmates in St John’s Wood, London, they played on each others recordings. Their earliest collaborative effort is the 1966 Transatlantic release Bert and John, marked by their contrapuntal acoustic guitar figures.

McShee (b. 1943) first edged into the London folk scene as an unpaid floor singer. By 1965, she conducted folk nights at the Red Lion on Sutton, Surrey, where she befriended Jansch and Renbourn. In 1966, she formed a live duo with Renbourn and sang on his second album, Another Monday.

Thompson and Cox were the rhythm section in Alexis Korner’s mid-’60s band Blues Inc. They jointly appear on two albums by Korner (Sky High, I Wonder Who?) and one by Gerry Lockran (Hold On – I’m Coming!). Thompson played on The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion, the 1967 second album by the Incredible String Band. Cox appears on the 1964 album I’ve Grown Accustomed to My Bass by jazz double-bassist Johnny Hawksworth.

Pentangle, a variant of “pentagram,” came together during a Sunday night residency at the Horseshoe Hotel in Tottenham Court Road, where Jansch and Renbourn were gradually joined by McShee, Thompson, and Cox. On May 27, 1967, they premiered to the broader public with a sold-out show at the Royal Festival Hall.

The Pentangle

The Pentangle released their self-titled debut album on May 17, 1968, on Transatlantic.

Sweet Child

Pentangle released their second album, Sweet Child, in November 1968 on Transatlantic.

Basket of Light

Pentangle released their third album, Basket of Light, in October 1969 on Transatlantic.

Cruel Sister

Pentangle released their fourth album, Cruel Sister, on November 27, 1970, on Transatlantic.


Pentangle released their fifth album, Reflection, in October 1971 on Transatlantic.

Solomon’s Seal

Pentangle released their sixth album, Solomon’s Seal, in September 1972 on Transatlantic.

Open the Door

Pentangle released their seventh album, Open the Door, in July 1985 on Spindrift.

In the Round

Pentangle released their eight album, In the Round, in 1986 on Spindrift.


  • The Pentangle (1968)
  • Sweet Child (1968)
  • Basket of Light (1969)
  • Cruel Sister (1970)
  • Reflection (1971)
  • Solomon’s Seal (1972)
  • Open the Door (1985)
  • In the Round (1986)
  • So Early in the Spring (1989)
  • Think of Tomorrow (1991)
  • One More Road (1992)


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