17 Jun 2020
Guests: CANCELLED Brian Hooper & his various duos
TONIGHT’S EVENT POSTPONED but will be rescheduled if so (to be hoped later this year).
This page is where we’ll post updates first. Also, in case they don’t inform us(!), you can check whether the The Guide Dog itself is open or closed on its Facebook page.
BRIAN HOOPER is easily FOCSLE Music’s longest-standing regular attender, and part of several musical outfits, of which three play for us tonight. Blues ace PETE HARRIS shows no signs of slowing down after nearly 40 years, gigging all over the South and beyond. Their duo DOUBLE CROSS plays a broad range of U.S. material. TONY FRY, performing only rarely these days, dusts off his guitar to recreate the HOOPER & FRY sound from the early '90s: contemporary folk song, with high-voiced harmony vocals. Frontman of JEFF HENRY’S GHOST RIDERS, Brian’s most recent partner also appears regularly solo, as singer-guitarist and songwriter, echoing much of HOOPER & HENRY’s output.
BRIAN has been involved in the folk world since the '60s, and with this club since 1975, as MC [and author on the subject], frequent guest, even more frequent floor-singer, latterly its Organizer, plus an irrepressible humorist and all-round good egg [the wry pedant in him would insist that ALL eggs are round… it hurts the chicken, elsewise]; in fact, he’s the nearest thing there is to a “Mr Fo’c’sle”! Though he stood down from running it in June 2017, his experience is still invaluable to those taking FOCSLE Music on its next steps.
He’s a singer and guitarist (with mandolin, ukulele, mandola, harmonica and bouzouki up his sleeve) with eclectic tastes; broadly, anything with melody, especially from the '60s, but lots earlier and later, and / or with subtle messages; plus an impressively varied explosion of his own compositions over a purple patch of about 10 years. With the rare mix of humour and seriousness, this outpouring covers topics as diverse as unfaithful lovers, Southampton, campanology, gambling, God, and the after-effects of too much curry [you just have to there… ]. Collaboration weaves throughout his musical arc: as well as tonight’s duos, he was a member of CATS WHISKERS (the Fo’c’sle F. C.’s “house” band during the '80s), with TONY and JEFF and ANNETTE COSTELLO.
DOUBLE CROSS, the earliest, has recently revived, covering BRIAN and PETE’s joint interest in Americana, delivered between one-liners of historic value [THEY haven’t changed in 40 years, either]. Later, HOOPER & FRY, a spin-off from his and TONY’s time in CATS WHISKERS, became another of “Brian’s serial infidelities”, to quote one A. J. Fry* :-) In the 2000s, the still-current HOOPER & HENRY took over, spawning several CDs [most available tonight] and becoming part of the team that wrote and staged the highly-regarded Look Out!, Southampton’s Titanic Story in Song.
Usual Doghouse Guest night arrangements: preliminary singaround; raffle in the break; no formal entry charge — please buy raffle tickets, or put some consideration in the tin. M.C.: t.b.c. [the best M.C. in the room is one of tonight’s guests; so, regrettably, we can hardly ask HIM to do it!]
* also “He’s very much the Boris Johnson of folk music”. The mind boggles.