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 June 14th '24.

In‑person FOCSLE Music Guest nights
on SECOND* TUESDAYS from 8pm
at The Guide Dog, Bevois Valley, Southampton  SO14 6SF
(* occasionally others)

Next Event‘Live on the Lawn’ Singaround & Guest night
FOCSLE Music is delighted and honoured to present the UK débuts of:
the magnificent
and the rocking RONNEE STOLZBERG (Rhode Island, USA)
Tues. 18th June  7:00pm
(note slightly earlier start-time, even in a LotL context, to accommodate the two Guests, at c.9pm)
Venue:  John Meriton’s
   Old Tiles  Church Lane  Martin  Fordingbridge  SP6 3LE
Unusually for a LotL evening, part of it will be a gig.  You can attend either, or both element(s).

*  with her brand new CD Night – we may the first outlet to offer it – she had them delivered to her only on Thursday, and prob. won’t have time before leaving the USA to process advance orders.
Martin has no public transport at night.  Cars, with offfers to ferry, are going from So’ton, poss. one returning before the end (useful if you need to be back by 11-ish), others from Lymington and maybe parts of Dorset.  Don’t be put off coming for lack of transport:  e‑mail so we can co‑ordinate.

More details further down;  add your comments on our Facebook page.
See a date-order calendar of all events, live and virtual, here.

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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Steve Freedman, fine, hearty-voiced singer, wit* and sailor
With a sense of total disbelief, it’s my sad duty to inform you that Steve was found dead on his boat Tyro at Sandwich harbour on the morning of 14th June 2024, on a trip to “the Far East”**.  Have no more details at the moment, but at least he was doing the thing he loved:  sailing.  We’ll miss his merry demeanour (a unique combination of harrumphing and joie de vivre!), enthusiastic singing, and his enthusiasm FOR singing.  It seems unbelievable that, less than four weeks ago, some few lucky ones piled on to Tyro for our previous LotL event, a crazy idea he embraced with his usual whole-heartedness.
On behalf of the whole FOCSLE ‘family’, our sincerest condolences go to his family, and all who knew him.  Sail on, sunshine.

* e.g. the penultimate e‑mail I had from him, on June 10th, reported “heading for Sandwich tomorrow (where I plan to buy a sandwich at the Sandwich Sandwich shop)”.  With tears draining from my eyes as I type this, I do so hope he got his sandwich!
* & ** i.e. Essex and Suffolk…
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’   Singarounds and Guest nights.  Raffle in break, with alcohol, confectionery and – new for 2024 – CD prizes
Next Event: 
‘Live on the Lawn’ / in the Lounge’ 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 
highly contrasting singer-guitarists and songwriters (even if Mary Ann tends to hide her writing talents 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 event, and inform ticket-holders.
Note this latter half of the evening is a fixed-price gig, not our usual Entry‑by-donation.  It’s OK to attend just the gig, or just the Singaround (where MAM and RS will participate, but – at their request – not be given special treatment).

We expect at least one car to be going from So’ton with up to 3 spare seats, poss. another returning before the end [useful for those needing to be back home by 11-ish], and another from Lymington (with one return spare seat).  e‑mail if this would help.  Others are coming from Dorset, and Poole, and may be able to help with ferrying.  Again, squeak if you could avail yourself of this:  parking in the church car park may be tight, and you can’t rely on street-parking in the village.

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 your name, to cross-check against your payment, and your ticket on the night.  Thank you.

N.B. due to my lo-tech world, I won’t see e‑mails after c.1pm on the day.  TEXT me 073 8040 1951 from then on, and pick up ticket at the door.  You will be refunded if the Guests, for whatever reason, don’t turn up [but, naturally, not if YOU don’t!]

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:  weather outlook in Martin].

Differences from the pub version include:
  • BYOB
  • changing venue, each month [usually alternating between western, eastern and central SO postcodes]
  • earlier start [to catch best light / temperatures]
  • (usually) 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 just to this LotL date are in bold underlined CAPS
Be prepared to:
  • wrap up warm [according to season / forecast]
  • TRAVEL FURTHER THAN USUAL, since Martin is 30 miles west of The Guide Dog.  We plan to co-ordinate lifts, from several quarters
  • allow longer to find a parking-space in an unfamiliar area
  • BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR [a few available:  check with us, well before the day]
  • interact with pets
  • be on a mailing-list, if venue needs to limit numbers
Hosts may, but are not required to, provide TEA, COFFEE, JUICES, nibbles and BATHROOM FACILITIES  and, if they wish, M.C. proceedings

     Rec. £2pp in the pot, OR BUY A £10 GIG TICKET

…and after that:
SINGAROUNDS, but with a difference…

Tues. 25th June  8pm  Singaround plus…
Venue:  The Guide Dog
   38 Earls Road  Bevois Valley  Southampton  SO14 6SF
We’re being visited by London-born, US-based singer & actor DAVID JONES with his partner, storyteller and reciter LOUISE SHERMAN.  Notwithstanding his almost 90 years, David is in really fine vocal shape, and likes his chorus-songs [which it’s almost criminal to sing over!]
     They’re coming to participate in the Singaround, not as a “formal” Guest, and to firm up our many online ‘meet’-ings, but we may Pass the Hat for them.  O/wise, rec. £2pp in the pot

Weds. 3rd July  8pm  Singaround, with Guest  DAVE MASON
accomplished singer & songwriter [and, tho’ unlikely to have his instrument with him, an award-winning piper].  We’ve reduced Guest presences at The Welly for about a year now, but this is the only date Dave can easily make
Venue:  The Wellington Arms   56 Park Road  Freemantle  Southampton  SO15 3DE
     Pass the Hat for Dave, &/or rec. £2pp in the pot

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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;  we’re definitely not a platform for watching videos (even if you’re IN them) rather than you performing directly for those of us in the ‘room’
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.