FOCSLE Music  1963 – 2023
real live music in Southampton, UK for the past 60 years

In‑person events at The Guide Dog, Bevois Valley, second Tuesdays

Page updated May 18th '24.

In‑person FOCSLE Music meets
on SECOND TUESDAYS (and occasionally others)
at The Guide Dog, Bevois Valley, Southampton  SO14 6SF

Next Guests28th May 
After far too long off the road, they’re back!!  TANIA and MIKE bring their multi-instrumental, acoustic World Music magic to FOCSLE Music’s shores once again


dazzling array of musical textures, via vocals, hammer dulcimer, harp, recorders, ocarina, djembe, guitar, drums and more.  Plenty of mischievous humour, too!

Add your comments on our Facebook page.
See a date-order calendar of all events, live and virtual, here.

ANDY WALL   click/tap for sound clip (from Terry Helyar’s magnificent series of recordings made in his ‘studio’ caravan, a treasure-trove of musical material by a spectrum of musicians both famous and obscure.  Worth delving into, in its own right).

50+ years on the scene, across the UK and around the world.  Andy currently lives in Ely, runs the city’s folk club, and is on the board of their Festival.  Beautifully ‘marinated’ vocals, with guitar and Appalachian dulcimer;  wide range of songs, from Trad. to contemporary, incl. some from the now disbanded story-telling group he was in, The Penland Phezants.
Tues. 11th June   The Guide Dog  8pm

Other music events on Tuesdays at The Dog mean FOCSLE Music can’t run weekly there, and all Weds. are now their Curry Nights [recommended, but too busy for us to have use of The Doghouse].
We rely on your, and others’, good sense in taking some respiratory-illness precautions, and on your not attending if you have symptoms.  COVID ain’t beat, so please continue following the simple counter-procedures.
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Virtual FOCSLE Music
Every WEDNESDAY, 8pm UK time
further down;  our Facebook header [NO m’ship / account / log‑in needed:  FBk won’t even track your click] acts as backup update-space, just in case we can’t access this server.
See all events, virtual and live, here, date-by-date.
FOCSLE Music ‘LIVE’   Entry by donation.   Raffle in break, with alcohol, confectionery and – new for 2024 – CD prizes
Next Event: 

‘LotL’ Singaround
Tues. 21st May  7:15pm

Venue:  Steve’s boat Tyro
   Kemp’s Quay  Quayside Rd  Bitterne Manor  Southampton  SO18 1BZ
This will be berthed, not sailing

Live on the Lawn [= LotL] / Live in the Lounge Singarounds were conceived during COVID, facilitated by the accuracy of online weather-forecasting.  In the e-alert, we’ll hint whether we’re likely to be meeting indoors or out
[and you can check, too:  as of May 15th, it looks like we may escape the rain forecast for earlier in the evening].
Differences from the pub version include:
  • BYOB
  • changing venue, each month [usually alternating between western, eastern and central postcodes]
  • earlier start [to catch best light / temperatures]
  • earlier finish [ad hoc, but likely c.10pm], at the say-so of the Host
Familiar elements:
  • (usually) just turn up without notice
  • DIY music
  • friendly atmosphere
  • raffle

Aspects applying to this LotL date, in bold underlined CAPS
Be prepared to:
  • wrap up warm [according to season / forecast]
  • CLIMB / DESCEND A “LONGISH” RAMP, WITH HANDRAILS, [steeper on arrival, as we’ll be on a rising tide].  Note that, to access the boat, you’ll need to be able to step over “KNEE-HIGH GUARD-RAILS, WITH HANDHOLDS AVAILABLE”
  • allow longer to find a parking-space in an unfamiliar area
  • BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR [needed, if numbers exceed those who can fit in the cockpit]
  • interact with pets
  • BE ON A MAILING-LIST, if venue needs to limit numbers, WHICH IT WILL [TO c.6] IF THE WEATHER’S POOR.  As of 15th May, list is almost full, but we should be lucky with the weather and not need to invoke it
  • IF WET, RESTRICT NUMBER OF INSTRUMENTS, poss. to one guitar!
Hosts may, but are not required to, provide TEA, COFFEE, juices, nibbles and BATHROOM FACILITIES, WHICH ARE “GROTTY, ASHORE, UP TWO SHALLOW STEPS WITH HANDRAILS”;  and, if they wish, be M.C.  Feel free to bring home-made nibbles to share.

     Rec. £2pp in the pot

…and after that:
GUESTS, Tues. 28th May, as above

Weds. 5th June  8pm  Singaround
Venue:  The Wellington Arms
   56 Park Road  Freemantle  Southampton  SO15 3DE
     Rec. £2pp in the pot

‘LotL’ Singaround & Guest night
Tues. 18th June  7:00pm

(note slightly earlier start-time, even in a LotL context, to accommodate the two Guests)
Venue:  John M’s   Old Tiles   Church Lane   Martin   Fordingbridge   SP6 3LE
Unusually for a LotL evening, part of it will be a gig, courtesy two Guests visiting from the USA:

FOCSLE Music is delighted and honoured to present the UK débuts of both
highly contrasting singer-guitarists and songwriters (even if Mary Ann tends to hide her talents in that regard under a bushel!)  Depending on advance ticket-sales, the Guest element, post 9pm, may be held in the Village Hall (SP6 3LD), c.60 yds/m. away.  We will decide this before the night, and inform ticket-holders.

If you wish to order [unreserved] seating, pls. pay by bank transfer
  • sort code:  30-90-34
  • a/c no.:  01271883
  • a/c name:  NEW FO’C’SLE MUSIC CLUB
  • amount:  £10 pp
Pls. also
e-mail to provide your name, so we can cross-check this against your payment, and your ticket on the night.  Thank you.

You will be refunded if the Guests, for whatever reason, don’t turn up [but, naturally, not if YOU don’t!]

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Virtual FOCSLE Music             e‑mail for access-codes
Join us and our international music friends (incl. some professionals)
WEDNESDAYs  8pm (UK)   = 3pm Eastern / NY   = 12noon Pacific / LA
Click/tap for other details, incl. our start-time wherever YOU are in the world
Answers to some FAQs:  we run Singaround-style = whoever shows up performs a turn, while the rest listen in, muted
Musically, any genre welcome, ideally unplugged      Audience as welcome as performers
Themes mostly arise on the fly, esp. among the more verbally playful of our number
Pre‑arranged Themed Sings on the fourth Weds. each month:  your compliance entirely optional
  See upcoming themes here
Despite the maritime-sounding name* [Southampton is a port city, geddit??], it’s not just a “Shanty Sing”:  they’re a serendipitous part of the mix
Turn up, and leave – and/or come back, even – as suits your schedule
Nice things put on the record:

   I love these   …most enjoyable.  The Focsle crew is a delightful bunch, including some breathtakingly good performers      (Austin, Texas)

…love the atmosphere of FOCSLE [Music] as well as the range of styles…
…enhanced further…  …by having a theme — it really brought out the best in people
…a very enjoyable evening…  …especially when quite a few other
[online] sessions are getting a bit tired.
   Well done for playing such a big part in keeping so many people sane through these strange times
      (Staffs., UK)

   Thanks for all the warmth you put into your hosting.  Felt welcomed and included…  …muchly enjoyed this      (St Paul, Minnesota)

   Congratulations on a very successful event      (Lincs., UK)

   Thanks for giving me the opportunity to meet, hear, and sing to/with a very talented group of singers.      (S. London, UK)

   You have an amazing geographical spread on your Focsle Zoom meetings…  …the four corners of the North American continent from…
   …California and Arizona in the south to Oregon and Alaska in the north west and Toronto in the east, plus an attendee from Sydney, Australia…  impressive!
   The art of compering is much underrated…  …You do it very well.  It helps that you know so many of the performers.
Zoom folk clubs have been the silver lining to the pandemic.  However, what you have at the Focsle is exceptional and truly international.      (Hythe, Kent, UK)

   Thanks for the much-needed musical fix today.  And…  …for the creative theme ideas.      (Eugene, Oregon)

…truly enjoyable, meeting so many different people with so many different songs.      (Derby, UK)

   Fantastic — great session     …amazing!     Lovely…     …entertaining…     …a range of talented performers     …fine folks
   It’s been great       Excellent…  …again     …wonderful sessions every week       …thank you for doing this
      (from around US & UK)

   I rate your 2 sessions as the tops!  [= FOCSLE Music and a US-based virtual ‘cousin’]      (Coventry, UK)
* When The Fo’c’sle Folk Club launched, it was typical for port-based ventures to point up their maritime city connections, hence the pun.  It’s pronounced “folks’ll” [not “fox’ll”];  also, “forecastle” – from which the term fo’c’s’le derives – is the upper deck in the bow of a sailing ship where the crew were quartered, and would relax to play tunes and sing
Contact Paul for all queries about VIRTUAL events
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Performers, Acts, their Agents, or anyone seeking to play at FOCSLE Music

Please sign up to FOCSLE Music’s regular Zoomaround list, for info about virtual events,
or this one, for in-person Sings and periodic guests.