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: The Banks of Green Willow
26 Sep 2018


  In a maybe unique pairing, main support is from DAN O’FARRELL, late of Southampton indie heroes, Accrington Stanley.

  Ex-railwayman ACCRINGTON makes a long overdue return to The Focsle.  Expect surreal humour, sung and spoken, including from a catalogue of some 450 songs written since he last visited us in 2003 (that number is in addition to his oeuvre existing by then).  His most widely-covered song, Last Train (to Bacup), is an elegy for the lost railways of his native North West, but rather gives the lie to most of his output.  A merry evening in store.

  This, from a recent e-mail where I asked for our entry in his gig-list to be edited, to reflect our new name, gives a flavour of the man’s patter;  I explained that we’d dropped all the apostrophes in the name Fo’c’s’le and hinted that I guessed he was the sort to be aghast at such dumbing down:
  “I am a cyber-dinosaur, and only have a website for contractual reasons and mis-placed street-cred.  I refuse to do internet banking, refuse to use supermarket self-checkouts, and keep pigeons for any urgent messages.  I prefer the term “neo-Luddite” but it's all the same.
  “Did you need a license to drop the apostrophes?  Where will it end?  No commas nocapitalletters colonsremoved and endless rhetoricalquestions?”

  The message had a new Subject Line:  “Accpostrophes”.

  People, you canNOT claim you weren’t warned!

  Gate price £8, not on Pass-the-Hat basis this time.  Buy a raffle ticket for the chance of winning an alcohol (and, usually, a confectionery) prize, even occasional other goodies.

10 Oct 2018


24 Oct 2018


  Two full sets from Fordingbridge-based fine wordsmith IAN W BROWN, now gigging only about once a month, “for the love of it” (and it shows.  She can’t recycle Michael \ and his folding bicycle:  you know you must be on to a winner, songwriting-wise!)

31 Oct 2018

[t.b.c.] Club Swap visit from Dorchester Folk Sundays

  While still at the drawing-board stage, as part of the less predictable formats we’re trying out when there’s a 5th Weds. in the month, we may have a visit from fiddler / vocalist / guitarist JERRY BIRD (State of Undress) and some of the regulars from the weekly session-cum-singaround held at The Convivial Rabbit micropub, Dorchester.  Paul attended an evening there in early June, and thought the venue, variety of music and the general ‘feel’ roughly comparable with ours.  Graham Moore turned up briefly, so they may get occasional ‘star’ turns there, too, but they generally run without guests.

  Plan is that some Sunday, by agreement, we’ll fix for a bunch of our regulars to make a return visit.  If it doesn’t happen on this date, we may re-float it next year when the lights are lighter.  In that case, tonight would then be a home-based singaround.

14 Nov 2018


Other things of interest

Most 2nd, 4th & 5th Weds.,

Focsle Music runs live music events,

usually at The Guide Dog pub on corner of Earls & Ancasta Rds.  Home-made music on the first meeting of each month, guests on the second, almost all unplugged acoustic.  [Approx. quarterly] 5th Weds. may be assigned to more experimental formats (house concerts, duo débuts, even workshops, etc.), but are 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.
Performers and audience equally welcome.
  Jon Ellis & Paul Clarke
  jon@focsle.org  077 7598 2908 (mid-March till mid-Oct.) / paul@focsle.org  [TEXT only] 073 8040 1951

  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 one of our mobiles (Jon’s the most certain) 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