The Guide Dog

38 Earls Road, Southampton, Hampshire, England

Five comments

Guide Dog inn

Singaround session, musicians welcome, in Doghouse - the back room of a well-liked community pub selling range of real ales at moderate cost. Every 2nd Wed 8-10.30pm (+some 4th Wed, otherwise in Cafe Reflections, Shirley High Street, Southampton on these nights). PS. Other sessions may take place in this pub.

All welcome to sing, play, listen. No minimum level at the Guide Dog. (This is a revival of the Fo‘c’sle Folk Club which ran for 54 years and was at the Richmond for 10 years until Summer 2017.)

See : , email , mob 073 8040 1951

Re: The Guide Dog

Jon’s entry needs some updating, now we’ve been running nearly 2 years.
Hours are 8 – 11pm, and the ‘club’, under the name FOCSLE Music (see, meets on most 2nd & 4th Weds. (the “Café Reflections” venue has changed hands and no longer has DIY music aspirations). We don’t run a “session” as most people understand it (i.e. a whole evening of music led by a selection of the musicians present, with which every other musician present joins in).  Being mainly a singaround format on nights when we have no guest, instrumentalists are as welcome as singers, reciters, etc.  Those competent enough to do so (and, just occasionally, those who aren’t!!) join in “ad hoc” with either singers or ‘lead’-musicians (that’s the ‘session’ element, but it might frustrate those who want or expect to contribute musically to everything).  We have a tolerance for solo singers, and those who perform less ‘folky’ material that’s either harder to join in with, or – style-wise – doesn’t lend itself to that.
  You’re welcome to come and try us:  our DIY nights are always free (contributions invited), and most guest nights, where the format just described preludes the main act, are often Pass-the-Hat.

  Sessions DO happen on other nights (none specifically ‘Irish’, as far as I know), but a greater level of competence would be expected at them.  Monday nights host the University Folk Society, who have rehearsed pre-arranged tunes earlier that evening [this is currently listed under “The Stile”, on, but that pub is being rebuilt / converted]. 4th Mondays the session is [I think] more English style, and very high quality, led by Nic Bradford.  He also runs a “Swing Steady” night, with some “Gypsy Swing” [his publicity’s phrasing:  sorry if it offends anyone] on 3rd Tuesdays.  Sam’s Session (described as being “more European-sounding” by the landlord, who knows whereof he speaks) is a new meet on 1st Weds.  Think all these are free to listeners (and, prob., performers), but don’t quote me.

  Paul’s mobile, listed in Jon’s comment, is not the best means of contact:  all year, try 023 8046 2723;  while B.S.T. applies, use Jon’s mobile [not valid while he’s overwintering in India] 077 7598 2908;  in winter [G.M.T. dates), for the hour before an event, the only practical contact is on Paul’s mobile 073 8040 1951, but TEXT only, please.  Jon also has a Focsle e-mail:
  All other details are correct, as of July 4th 2019

Re: The Guide Dog

Further corrections re: other sessions at The Guide Dog —
Nic Bradford’s “Swing Steady Sessions” (4th Mondays) are fairly slow-paced for newcomers to jazz repertoire, or improvers, includes Gypsy Jazz music. for details. I gather there’s a tunebook
Sam [Horlock]’s Sessions (1st Wednesdays) are slow-paced for beginners to English [not European,as mentioned above] tunes, or improvers. There’s a tunebook of some 40 numbers, but I’ve no details. If Sam’s isn’t already on here, I’ll try and shove him to post it separately.

Re: FOCSLE Music / The Guide Dog

Rather late, but revised schedule from that posted when we originally started at The Dog, pre-COVID.
Second & Fourth Tuesdays, 8pm to 11, a mix of singaround, Guest nights, welcoming musicians of all levels.  No formal “sessions” [= joining in by the majority expected], per se, but that m.o. can work during individual turns in a singaround, depending on who’s present.
The pub, renowned city-wide as a purveyor of fine ales, hosts other session-style evenings, currently first & third Tues. and fourth Mons.  Their leaders [Nic Bradford / Cath Watkins / Helen Gentile] run other similar events elsewhere on other nights.
The Guide Dog’s website is [seems to be no separate non-FBk one].