What’s On at FOCSLE Music, Southampton

most 2nd & 4th Weds. each month
at The Guide Dog, Bevois Valley,  Southampton  SO14 6SF
PLEASE:  no mail to venue — e-mail one of us for address

Below are the next few weeks’ events.  Our online calendar shows the whole year,
or click here for our current leaflet.  See within info-panels below for the flyer for that event.
We’d appreciate your printing off and distributing them anywhere that will show them.
Where relevant, please duplex [print both sides], cut up and distribute at will:  thanks.
24 Jul 2019


people having fun at The Focsle singaround

  Come and show us what you can do, in one of our “home-made” music evenings:  any style, providing it’s acoustic*.

   N.B.  The 7:30 start, briefly posted here, was to give enough time for the singaround involving DEBRA CHESMAN and family, as well as James Rowley’s set.  Debra has had to postpone their trip by a week, so the evening will revert to a normal 8pm-start singaround with a Feature Spot…  [STOP PRESS]  … or possibly withOUT.  Mr.Rowley has withdrawn.  We’re trying to fix a replacement service, but the notice is pretty short.  Check back here in 24 hrs.

  Regular Doghouse singaround arrangements apply:  no formal entry charge (donations invited, or you might be more generous than usual in buying raffle tickets!);  raffle has alcohol main prize [and likely confectionery, too, subject to numbers];  non-performing audience just as welcome as singers and players.
M.C. t.b.c.

*  small-scale electric / electronic instruments acceptable, as long as setting them up doesn’t interrupt the evening’s flow.  At FOCSLE Music, we’re trying to encourage all-acoustic music, but recognize that some sounds can’t be created that way

14 Aug 2019


Woman Wants Tall Man: Debbie and Martin Ansell

  WOMAN WANTS TALL MAN are Debbie & Martin Ansell from Blandford Forum.  They play acoustic guitars, banjo, bazouki and both of them sing and harmonize.  They have toured with John Martyn, Van Morrison, Jools Holland and collaborated with Sally Barker and The Poozies.  As well as their own songs, they cover many luminaries, including Joni Mitchell, Sandy Denny and Bob Dylan.  Find their albums on Bandcamp and YouTube

  Please print off copies of Debbie & Martin’s flyers [note they're meant to be duplexed], and distribute wherever you can.  Thanks.
   If nothing seems to happen when you click / tap, check your Downloads folder (for WWTM_JMflyrs.pdf), or wherever else your set-up may default to save it:  repeated clicks just put more copies of the file there!

  We MAY be graced with a visit from the U.S. by DEBRA CHESMAN – a fine, sweet-voiced unaccompanied singer, who ran The Focsle 20 years ago – and family (who also solo or add harmonies to Debra's songs).  Will update when we know for sure.  Otherwise, usual FOCSLE Music singaround provisions apply (though we'd invite Debra & Co. to do a few extra numbers, reflecting the rarity of her attendances):  preliminary singaround, raffle in the break.  Modest entry charge.

  M.C.  Jon Ellis

28 Aug 2019


people having fun at The Focsle singaround

  Usual Doghouse format, with each performer present taking a turn, “round robin”-style.

  M.C.:  [t.b.c.] Paul Clarke

11 Sep 2019

Guest:  JOHN MERITON. with [t.b.c.] JON HARDCASTLE

John Meriton playing guitar

  “Observer of life, teller of stories” JOHN MERITON is a singer / songwriter from Hampshire.  Having visited The Focsle / FOCSLE Music several times, always displaying his exemplary musical skills, it’s high time he had some focused, announced exposure.

  JOHN MERITON’s songs are about life as he sees it:  real people, places, emotions and experiences;  lyrically and melodically interesting, they take the Tradition forward, without being noticeably OF the Tradition at first hearing.  With a powerful, warm and witty delivery, he performs solo with guitar.  He also leads his eponymous band at folk and acoustic clubs and festivals across The South.

  In 2010, his first CD, The Line, brought together his old and new songs to celebrate his passion for songwriting and acoustic music.  The 2012 disc, The Ballad of Colin Loader, featured songs about his then home town of Emsworth.  Gis latest, The Wind Up Heart Chronicles was released in 2016.

  If available, J.M.Trio member JON HARDCASTLE (guitar, vocals) may accompany JOHN M. tonight [t.b.c.]

  M.C.:  Jon Ellis.  Usual Doghouse format will operate, so preliminary singaround before the guest(s), and a raffle in the break, with at minimum, an alcohol prize.  Admission t.b.a.

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) 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.  Typically, Guest nights are preceded by a singaround, sometimes in lieu of floor-spots
  Jon EllisPaul Clarke
jon@focsle.org 077 7598 2908 / paul@focsle.org 023 8046 2723 (ans.) or [TEXT only, pls. don’t call] 073 8040 1951

  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.  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.  On an event day, for any late contact try Jon’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