What’s On at FOCSLE Music, Southampton

most 1st & 5th Tues., and most 2nd & 4th Weds., each month
at The Guide Dog, Bevois Valley,  Southampton  SO14 6SF
Occasionally, elsewhere in the city

Below are the next few weeks’ events.  Our online calendar shows the whole year,
or click here for our current leaflet.  Please duplex [print both sides, creating 4 copies] and distribute at will:  thanks.

To read what FOCSLE Music co-Organizer Jon Ellis has been up to in the sub-Continent, check this out.
Song of the Week: The Dewy Dens of Yarrow
26 Feb 2019


  NOTE change of night, due to a Saints match on Weds. 27th (footie fans swamp The Dog on home match nights).

Members of Live Noise

  The mostly Hampshire-based a cappella harmony quintet pay a welcome return visit to the FOCSLE.  Rupert, Nick, Jon, Alex and Toby originally met as members of the Hampshire Youth Choir.  Since then, they’ve graced a varied list of venues, including a diving club, numerous weddings, charity events, funerals, music festivals, and the odd local pub.

  LIVE NOISE create extraordinary sound-effects, vocally rendering both song-lyrics and instruments, after the manner of the Canadian folk-punk outfit Moxy Fruvous (a major influence:  they’re named after a MV album and perform several of their songs) and the Cuban group Vocal Sampling (though, mercifully, without the “air” instruments of their stage act, to ram home the message for the slow of thought).  There’s a difference, though:  VS assign one member to one instrumental sound, e.g. “percussion”, “electric guitar”, throughout one song (or, in some repetitive cases, throughout the whole gig).  LIVE NOISE can twist this straightforward modus operandi into the more impressive technique of having each band member’s vocal part flip between the lyric and musical lines within one piece.  Alex’s arrangements are subtle enough that you’re hardly aware how the ‘song’-element flows between the five of them.  It’s a ‘high-wire’ act of musical bravado that wows audiences wherever they appear.

  Their material is a mind-bending mix:  unconventional covers of well-known – and not-so-well-known – songs ranging from pointedly serious ‘issues’ numbers via the frivolous [Fruvolous???] to the plain daft, all delivered with characteristic high energy and infectious enthusiasm.  They’ve been singing together for more years that any of them care to remember, still going strong due to their shared love of music, and it shows — their relaxed, great fun stage presence is just one reason why we love ’em.  Come along and love ’em, too!

  Usual Guide Dog pattern:  Singaround first;  possibly a support act;  first guest slot;  break with raffle, which has alcohol and (usually) confectionery prize[s];  second guest slot;  [in LIVE  NOISE’s case] wild cries of “Encore!” — we’re a sophisticated lot at FOCSLE Music  [I mean, y’know:  speakin’ French ’n’ that… ]  :-)

27 Feb 2019

NO MEET TONIGHT:  see Tues.26th

5 Mar 2019

Guest:  STEVE DANIELS, with [t.b.c.] GEORGE WILSON

  The distinctive guitar and vocals of STEVE DANIELS fill The Doghouse tonight.  He is well-known in Southampton for his deep vocals and blues-influenced original songs.  He has performed at various local venues, including The Junction, Talking Heads and The Bent Brief, both solo and with his former band The Beggar’s Choice.

  Tonight, he may be accompanied by good friend George Wilson (vocal, guitar) whom I can’t recommend highly enough.  He/they deliver[s] 2 × 30-min. sets, in which Steve’s own songs predominate.

  Two support acts get a longer-than-usual airing.  Otherwise, the usual Doghouse format applies:  singaround first;  raffle in the break;  Pass-the-Hat to pay Steve [& George]

13 Mar 2019

Guest:  NICK DOW

Nick Dow playing guitar

  Traditional folksong par excellence.  One of the best folk voices of his generation, NICK DOW has been performing and song-collecting for over forty years, gleaning material from the West Country, and being given songs by the Travelling people, with whom he has lived and worked.  His guitar-playing is sensitive and well thought-out and his repertoire contains many songs you will hear nowhere else.  “A mellow, lived-in voice… ”, [like] “ … Cyril Tawney and Dave Burland” [Tony Hendry], “sturdy, well-rounded and full-toned” … “direct, unfussy delivery” [David Kidman], “excellent style” [Gavin Atkin], are just some of the nice things said and written about him by those in the know.  Nick’s gigs are informative and entertaining:  he has a great sense of humour, and audiences don’t go home disappointed.  Personal circumstances mean he’s trimming his gig-list considerably, so this is now a much rarer chance to catch this accomplished vocalist and guitarist.  In a non-musical capacity, he is trained in the dying art of Gypsy wagon painting.

  Most of the usual Doghouse Guest arrangements apply:  c.40 mins. of singaround, followed by one or two support acts (t.b.a.), plus two longer (45 mins.) spots from Nick.  Raffle in the break.  We may levy a door-charge for this event.

2 Apr 2019


10 Apr 2019


The Elderlies playing and singing

  Dave Betteridge and Tom Callaghan (vocals, guitars), both seasoned performers on the local scene, joined forces over a decade ago to create THE ELDERLYS, interpreting Everly Brothers’ songs and other music of that era, within a wider musical mix.  Both have been part of previous musical groupings for as long as I’ve been attending folk clubs (Dave was in a trio called The Southern Gents about 25 years ago).  For variety, we’ve invited them to present separate solo sets first, in addition to their polished duo renderings of rock’n’roll nostalgia, etc.  Go off into the nght with a spring in your step!

  Usual Doghouse Guest arrangements:  c.40 mins. of singaround, followed by one or two support acts (t.b.a.).  The exact flow of the remainder, including when any second floor-singer does their bit, will be up to Dave and Tom.  They may choose to each perform their solo slot uninterrupted, or take turns delivering shorter sets (over about one hour).  They’ll round off the evening with c.30 mins. of their typical ELDERLYS material.
  Raffle in the break, with alcohol and (usually) confectionery among the prizes.
  We’ll Pass the Hat for Dave and Tom.

Other things of interest

Most 2nd & 4th Weds., and
– NEW for 2019 – 
most 1st5th Tuesdays

FOCSLE Music runs live music events

usually at The Guide Dog pub, on corner of Earls & Ancasta Rds.  (Also usually) alternate meetings feature local or national guests (otherwise home-made music*), 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;  ‘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 us and 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