Tiny Violins – The latest project from Jack Dean

Published May 10, 2024


Jack Dean & Company are a band and artist collective, from Devon and mostly based in Exeter. Their music is a self-described "magpie's nest" of folk, indie, hip-hop, post-rock and a whole host of other influences.

Jack's lyrical narratives tie together the old and the new, mythology and pop culture, anarchist theory and living with a "super wonky brain".

Their 2022 concept album and live show Hero & Leander toured the UK, including performances at our Theatre in the Park season as well as at the South Bank Centre, London and Beautiful Days festival. Now you can catch them in our main auditorium, Thursday 16th May!

Tell us about the inspiration behind Tiny Violins.

It's an album about being sad, and what that means in the present historical moment. We are often told that our personal feelings and problems don't matter, leading to the "World's Tiniest Violin" meme represented on the cover art. That's a tricky place to be in as an artist, because personal feelings tend to be the main thing our work is about. In an era of violent change and collapse, it seems especially self-indulgent to talk about anything that isn't related to that. But I suppose the concept of the album, if there is one, is that actually that's ok. That our tiny violins make up the orchestra of life. Emo is a big chunk of the vibe, musically and lyrically.

What can audiences expect on 16th May? i.e. new material / old classics, reworking of traditional songs, style of music, etc.

It'll be me and a guitarist on stage for this one, and we use live looping to make a really big sound together. There'll be some deeply irreverent reworkings of english folk songs, including Hares on the Mountain and Lowlands Away, There'll be a lot of moody shoegazy bangers from the album. There'll be a song or two from past shows we've done. And there's a very daft but fun moment where we make a song from scratch using audience suggestions.

Tell us a bit about your experience of making work locally and what you love about the Exeter scene.

Exeter's arts scene is in flux a lot, but I stay here because it's a good place to live day-to-day. There's lots of green space and water and you can walk everywhere, and most of my friends are here. The theatre artists Joy & Clerke said you should live somewhere that makes you happy. That's always stuck with me.

Tickets are available for what promises to be a beautiful, intimate show here >>>>