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: Babe of Bethlehem
28 Nov 2018


  Smoky-toned vocalist HEATHER BRADFORD has been in several line-ups, esp. noted for being one third of the late lamented all-female a capella group Hen Party (with Sarah Morgan & Alison Muir).  A long-time Focsle supporter, she also brings with her the talents of fiddler LEWIS WOOD tonight, for an evening of [t.b.c.] alternating solos.  Lewis is/was Vice-President of the University Folk Society, whose instrumentalists meet most Mondays in The Doghouse to play what they've practised at a room on the campus earlier that evening.  Formerly half of clarinet/fiddle duo Gentile & Wood, he can also be found at Doghouse Sessions, every 4th Monday, playing along with (or occasionally leading) many other semi-pro musicians in an informal session.  Intense energy, and a relaxed bowing technique (reminiscent of Ben Paley), are among his hallmarks.

  Usual FOCSLE Music arrangements for this style of evening:  singaround first, (usually) twice round those performers present, followed by a support act, then the guests take the floor.  No door charge:  we Pass-the-Hat, so it’s your generosity that pays the musicians.  Raffle, with alcohol and (usually) confectionery prize(s) — sometimes more, depending on audience-size.

12 Dec 2018

t.b.c. Singaround (or possibly KING JOHN'S MUMMERS, if not available on 19th)

  In discussions with the Mummers to co-ordinate diaries.  Their annual visit, a highlight of our Xmas Party, should happen either tonight or the following week.

  If not them, we may engage another local act, or run a singaround.  This celebratory time of year begs for two guests in the month.  Watch this space.


19 Dec 2018


  If all goes to schedule, we'll host our Xmas shenanigans tonight, with party pieces, carols, seasonal songs, food and the Mummers.  Last year's play, in the impossibly tight space of The Doghouse, gave added frisson to the action, especially to those familiar with their thespian offering*.

  There'd be no charge tonight:  alimentary goodies (mostly provided by our regulars and supporters) and a raffle, will be on FOCSLE Music.

  If KJMs aren't available, we'll probably scratch tonight's meet, and reconvene in January.  This decision will be made well in advance.

* "familiar" would suggest that each year's performance (as opposed to the jokes) is identical to the last, which implies there's a script, or – sheeezh! – that they rehearse.  "Thespian" might over-sell KJM's acting skills.  They would deny all this, I'm sure…  :-)

26 Dec 2018

No meet, as 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