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: Horn Fair
25 Jul 2018

Guest:  JOHN WARD TRIO, at Café Reflections, Shirley

  From East Anglia, the source of much of their material, come the energetic JOHN WARD TRIO, another Focsle ‘first’.  Their multi-instrumental line-up includes guitar, whistle and double-bass, which accompany powerful vocal harmonies and sharp, intelligent songwriting.  You'll hear ballads delivered with strength while retaining the inherent tenderness of such music, but expect an eclectic blend of humour, entertainment and uptempo numbers.  The only reason you won’t be dancing in the aisles by the end is because we don’t have any aisles…  :-)

  Their website [click the ‘link’ icon in the heading] is recommended, with plenty of music-clips:  one section that jumped out for me is a cultural entity called Broad Roots (a pet project of John’s, I gather) which has its own separate tab.  My interest was piqued because I don’t hold with the idea of narrow categorization for things cultural:  apart from its smacking of a convenience for those who market that culture, or for those who lack the imagination to try it blind, it’s also a truism that the richest environments tend to be those where different habitats intersect.  That ethos clearly feeds the trio’s musical offerings.

  One of our floor-spots will almost certainly be one of Jon’s and my predecessors in the Organizer role, Debra Chesman, on another welcome visit from the U.S.A.  Fine, dulcet-toned unaccompanied singing, mostly of Trad. and more contemporary American offerings, usually incorporating something to join in with.
We also welcome back John Knowler to MC.  He last did us a mini-‘spot’ at our previous Reflections visit in August 2017, and has graced us only at our Xmas Party since then (he rehearses on Wednesdays year-round for a choir).

  £7 at the door, otherwise the usual guest night arrangements:  brief singaround, followed by support acts, then the guests;  raffle in interval, with wine and confectionery prizes.  While the Trio can perform unamplified, this event will use a P.A., due to the acoustics.

  Check out Café Reflections’ website here.

8 Aug 2018

Singaround, at The Guide Dog

22 Aug 2018

Guest:  ROBIN IRENE MOSS (U.S.A.), at The Guide Dog

  Yet another artiste new to the Focsle Music audience, new-generation folk singer-songwriter ROBIN IRENE MOSS, accompanies her blend of emotion, intelligence and poetry on guitar.  Currently based in New York, she’s over this side on a wide-ranging tour, ping-ponging across all parts of Britain as well as several Continental breaks before the late autumn.  Plenty of full-length song-clips on her website.

  Format matching usual guest nights at The Guide Dog:  a round or two of performances from any musically-inclined audience, then a couple of supporting spots, followed by the main act.

   Pass-the-Hat collection for our guest (recommended donation:  £5+;  some of her ticket-only gigs are already sold out, so we consider ourselves lucky to secure her on a generous pay-as you-feel basis).  Also, our raffle (participation optional) with, as minimum, a confectionery or alcohol prize.

29 Aug 2018

Format t.b.a., but most likely not at The Guide Dog

  In months with five Wednesdays, we plan to still meet, but in a different format.  House Concerts (similar to gigs at The Dog, but in someone’s house, on a BYOB basis) are one possibility.  For insurance purposes, they have to be “invitation-only” but this isn't as formal as it sounds:  you tell us you’d like to come, and we invite you!

  With [t.b.c.] a US (Focsle) débutante on the bill the week before, we may go for an American-leaning evening, if tonight’s date becomes a House Concert.  This would give our late summer / early autumn run a definite Transatlantic flavour (FRICTION FARM also début on Sept. 12th), something we’ll try and reflect in our choice of support acts.

12 Sep 2018

Guest:  FRICTION FARM (U.S.A.), at The Guide Dog

  Focsle Music débutants from the eastern seaboard of the USA, Aidan Quinn and Christine Stay are FRICTION FARM, "a modern folk duo of singer-songwriters with thought-provoking, socially-conscious and humorous songs, with inspiration ranging from books to poignant observations on people and nature" [from their own blurb].  They have 5 CDs to their credit.  Interesting lyrics, in our opinion, with an unusual clarity of sound.  More details when we have them.

  Gate price t.b.a., but not on Pass-the-Hat basis this time.

Other things of interest

More flesh on the bones

of Focsle Music’s rather fluid diary.

We’ve settled into a more predictable pattern, of mostly home-made music on the first meeting of each month, and guests on the second.  From August, we're restituting the mooted [approx. quarterly] 5th Weds., for maybe more experimental formats (house concerts, duo débuts, even workshops, etc.).

The Calendar (one of the links below the amber heading-banner) shows dates of all our planned evenings, beyond the ones visible here.  Re-visit periodically or, if you sign up (see below), you’ll be sent reminders of upcoming events.

  Jon Ellis & Paul Clarke

“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, our civilized Real Ale venue in Earls Rd.  Mainly a conversation pub, with books, newspapers, board games, and no jukebox.  In its back room (The Doghouse [geddit?]), most 2nd Wednesdays of each month, Focsle Music hosts a ‘singaround’ / song-circle format;  on most 4th Wednesdays, it’s a more guest-focused entertainment.  See calendar for any breaks to this pattern (date-shifts due to Saints games [no chance of that until at least August], the odd venue-switch for higher-profile guests).  Singarounds may morph into other formats, hence suggesting you check back here every so often.

  To join our mailing-list, e-mail jon@focsle.org / paul@focsle.org (good idea to Cc both of us).  Please say whether you want info on performer nights, ‘home-made’ music, or both, and we’ll add you to the relevant one:  thanks.  For any last-minute contact, try 077 7598 2908 (mid-March till mid-Oct.) / [TEXT only] 073 8040 1951.  The main post is usually updated by about noon on the day to confirm that the event is happening (if there's no such message on the first line, pls. check in again later).

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