Looking at the music of Dutch rock band Focus, started in the late sixties by Thijs Van Leer (b /31/03/48) with Jan Akkerman (b 24/12/46). Van Leer still performs and records under the name today (official site here). Akkerman's site here.

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20101024

Love Remembered

Round goes the gossip

Focus Live @ Jazz Cafe 2

Track by track 112

Archive number: 112 [u]
Title: Drum solo
Main Album: Unreleased
Track number: 4
Genre: Live Drum solo
Venue: Unknown
Length: 03' 33”
Composer: Pierre Van Der Linden
Musicians: Pierre Van Der Linden – Drums.
Producer: Bobby Jacobs and Thijs Van Leer
Engineer: Unknown
Label: None
Date of recording/release: This track was recorded in 2006 and appears on the Old Skin collection
Note: The track appears to be a live recording of Van Der Linden doing what he does best.

Track by track 111

Archive number: 111 [u]
Title: Hello
Main Album: Unreleased
Track number: 5
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental
Studio: Fieldwork Studios, Schoten, Belgium
Length: 06' 30”
Composer: Jan Dumee
Musicians: Thijs Van Leer – Hammond organ, Voice; Jan Dumee – Electric Guitar; Bobby Jacobs – Bass, Voice; Pierre Van Der Linden – Drums.
Producer: Bobby Jacobs and Thijs Van Leer
Engineer: Han Nuijten
Label: None
Date of recording/release: This track was recorded in 2006 at the start of preparations for the album Focus 9 – after the departure of Bert Smaak but before the departure of Jan Dumee. It is in the Old Skin collection and has been made available on Jan Dumee's website.
Alternative version: A vocal version by John Lawton with Dumee
Note: The track announces its presence with the sound of a cymbal and two lots of four notes on electric guitar with organ, bass and drums backing (00:01-00:18). We then move into a plaintive guitar led section (00:19-01:09) that becomes perhaps a little more brilliant (01:10) then more quiet (01:33). Dumee seems to be groping for a melody that does not really develop much. At 2:12 a sudden spark of life appears as Van Leer adds an onomatapoeic voice. This continues to 2:30 where the plaintive guitar returns. The voice returns for a longer run, 03:52-06:16. In this section the guitar and band get a little wilder. The piece then tails off with a drawn out voice and organ ending.

20101021

Focus live @ Jazz Cafe 2010


These clips show Focus at a recent gig in the Jazz Cafe, London. This was the last gig of the tour. Unusually, the guitarist is Menno Gootjes, the regular guitarist having had to drop out. Here we have House of the King followed by bit of flute and scat from Thijs, a little Cathedrale and the repeated Sylvia finale. Thanks guys! Menno has subsequently become the regular guitarist.