What’s On at Focsle Music, Southampton

Wednesday evenings at The Guide Dog, Bevois Valley, SO14 6SF.
Occasional guests at another Southampton venue

Here’s what’s on for the next few weeks.
To look further ahead, view our online calendar, or our current leaflet.
Song of the Week: Watts' Cradle Song
12 Dec 2018


  Despite our programme being in deficit to the tune of one guest night [see what I did, there?], I couldn't fix a replacement in time, so FOCSLE Music will run singaround-style tonight.  Your seasonal musical / spoken-word offerings welcome (unless you want to keep them a surprise to spring on folks at our Xmas Party next week).  Non-seasonal pieces equally acceptable:  a mixed menu is a good thing.

  Usual singaround format:  songs, tunes, spoken word pieces delivered in turn by each perfomer present, until the break, when we run our raffle.  This has a wine or beer prize, and [usually] confectionery, or another alternative (CDs/books, etc.), depending on attendance.  Then we do the music, etc. bit all over again — with different songs & stuff [obviously]  :-)   What you get, musically, hangs entirely on who turns up, how good they are, and what they choose to deliver (those with wide repertoires may accept a 'request', or two).

  Note that December's fourth Wednesday is Boxing Day, so FOCSLE Music's second meeting of the month will be a week earlier, AND IS MOVED FORWARD TO MONDAY (17th), and AWAY TO THE WATERLOO ARMS, Freemantle, perhaps enabling some of our regular Weds. absentees to join us for our Xmas Party.  More details in the cell below.


17 Dec 2018

N.B. a MONDAY:  XMAS PARTY, with SHIRLEY KNOT (QUITE), at The Waterloo Arms, Freemantle

  Note CHANGE OF DATE, DAY AND VENUE:  at The Waterloo Arms, Waterloo Rd., Freemantle  SO15 3BS.   You don't have to be eagle-eyed to have noticed the manic changes of arrangement between the three nights of the 17th thru' the 19th.  This is the final scenario:  venue confirmed, and guests ARE available.

 To avoid Boxing Day, we have TWO meetings before Xmas.  Our usual Party entertainment, King John’s Mummers, are elsewhere on Weds. 19th, and [stop press] Tues.  "The Doghouse" hosts a song session that night, so FOCSLE Music’s Party will have to [again] be on a Monday (the 17th).  Uni Folk Soc. [who pooh-poohed joining in with us at last year's double-booked event] won't want to move aside for our thing, hence our being on the move (for this week only).

  The Waterloo Arms (a known music venue with, according to commentary, "a good-sized room and good for singing.  Beer is excellent") has a conservatory out back (Jon Ellis and I inspected this space as a possible venue, when we took over The Focsle), to which we'll have exclusive access.
 Finger-food [home-made, mostly, by regulars and some not-so-regulars, all on us], Christmas musical party-pieces from whoever turns up, and carols, mostly [t.b.c.] led by four members of SHIRLEY KNOT, now a quintet of fine harmony voices that gets everyone singing (including less season-specific numbers, too).  Hat-tip to them for stepping up to the plate at short notice.  Plenty of laughter [t.b.c., in the circumstances!!!], and an uplifting end to FOCSLE Music’s 2018.  Multi-prize raffle, with (for FM regulars, or former Focsle Folk Club members) free tickets.

  SHIRLEY KNOT did us a stonkingly good gig early last Dec. when they were still a four-piece.  They now comprise John Connell (the erstwhile Doctor, or occasional Saint George, in KJM's Xmas play), John Miller (Father Christmas, ditto), Rosie MarshallRob Wilson (two stalwart FOCSLE Music supporters) and, new for 2018, Jan Carr.  John Miller is tonight's "absent friend".  Rob, returning from Glasgow only that night, will still be in flight when we start(!) and is due to arrive (straight from the airport, wot a star!) by about 9pm.

  If YOUR Christmas isn’t complete without the Mummers’ daft thespian* shenanigans (and mine isn’t!), they’ll be ‘doing’ The Guide Dog [main bar] on Sat. 22nd at about 9:40pm.  So go along there to boo the baddie, cheer the hero, and recite some of the well-worn puns along with the cast.  More at http://www.kingjohnsmorris.org/mumming/default.html

* this might imply they can act…

  To look forward to in 2019:  [to be re-booked] Heather Bradford & Lewis Wood;  Dan O'Farrell [ex-Accrington Stanley];  George Wilson & Steve Daniels;  Nick Dow (March 13th);  Live Noise

… even, just possibly, an extra Tuesday strand (subject to audience numbers).

Season's Greetings to you all from Paul and Jon [who, due to e-mail cock-up, might not know what mayhem Paul is creating in his name!]

19 Dec 2018

NO MEET:  See Monday 17th

26 Dec 2018

NO MEET:  it's Boxing Day

Other things of interest

Most 2nd & 4th Weds.,

Focsle Music runs live music events,

usually at The Guide Dog pub, on corner of Earls & Ancasta Rds.  (Also usually) home-made music* on the first meeting of each month, guests on the second, almost all unplugged acoustic.
Performers and audience equally welcome.

* currently along “singaround” / song-circle lines (i.e. working round the room, anyone who wishes to is invited to do a ‘turn’, with others joining in where suitable).  References to ‘song’ also include tunes played, and ‘music’ includes stories, poems, etc. being delivered.
  Paul Clarke (& Jon Ellis in absentia)
 paul@focsle.org / jon@focsle.org  [TEXT only] 073 8040 1951 or 023 8046 2723 (ans.)

  The Calendar shows dates of all our planned evenings, beyond those visible here.  Venue is The Guide Dog, unless stated otherwise.  Re-visit periodically or, if you sign up (see below), you’ll be sent reminders of upcoming events.  The diary, on this page, highlights any breaks to this pattern (date-shifts due to Saints matches, the odd venue-switch for higher-profile guests).  Singarounds may morph into other formats, hence suggesting you check back here every so often.

“Cosy”, “Lovely pub”, “Good subdued lighting”, “Best beer in Southampton”, “So enjoyed myself at the gig:  lovely group of people, so welcoming and friendly”:  some comments about The Guide Dog, FOCSLE Music’s civilized Real Ale venue.  Mainly a conversation space, with newspapers, books, board games, and no jukebox.

  For our info-list, e-mail us with your choice of:  performer nights;  ‘home-made’ music;  or both [edit the pre-written message to suit].  We’ll add you to the relevant one.  We hope to have a third contact very soon, just for home-made evenings.  On an event day, for any late contact try Paul’s mobile, as above.  The main post is usually updated by about noon on the day to confirm that the event is happening (if its first line has no such message, please check in again later;  or ring, if planning to travel a distance).

See links at bottom for other pages, all viewable with no login or profile (needed only for administrators).

On “Photos” page, buttons below event-details point to next / previous dates.  To reach a date directly, use the online calendar on the Homepage.


Reg Meuross - 18 November 2016

"Thanks for a lovely night!" (Reg Meuross)

"We had a wonderful evening, and made very welcome by @FocsleFC" (Adrian Harris)

Jon Witcher

Good to see Jon Witcher drop in at the club (9 Dec '16).  A former stalwart of the club, and the lead singer with Hampshire Union, Jon moved to Wales in 1989.  Somewhere down the intervening 27 years he shaved off a magnificent beard!

Paul Clarke

7 October

Mesmerizing evening with Lee Collinson: my favourite of the year.  Since his last Focsle visit (when Debra Chesman was in charge!), he hasn't lost a drop, not in vigour, fluidity, wit or authority (he claimed afterwards to be less sharp, but you wouldn't have known). The (enviable*) banjo-playing could provide him with a living on its own, yet that's a sort of sideline for him.  Keep a lookout for his occasional (3 or 4 times yearly) intimate gigs like this. Top dollar.

* inevitable jokes notwithstanding

John Licqorish ("Meon Rose")

(25 November)

Had a great night at the Collaborations singaround on Friday - great club - great people - community singing - kazoos - what more could you ask for - look forward to goin again soon