Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Focus

I believe I actually had the concert ticket in my hand, before I was made aware that guitarist Jan Akkerman had taken leave of Focus on the eve of the tour in support of new LP 'Mother Focus'. The gig in 1976, featuring Philip Catherine in Akkerman's stead and, future member of Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour Band, David Kemper on drums, was a subdued affair and, judging by the size of the audience, I'd say that more than a few tickets had been returned when word of the personnel change got around.


In spite of it's perception as one of Focus's minor works, I retain great affection for 'Mother Focus', however the band's fortunes subsequently fell away sharply and within a year they would, bizarrely, be working on an LP in cahoots with 1960's trouser-splitter P.J. Proby.

7 comments:

Singing Bear said...

Love their early stuff and have 'Mother Focus' on vinyl. It's not up there with 'Moving Waves' but it's not half bad. I would have been gutted to miss Mr. Akkerman.

C said...

Amazing that you've still got the ticket! (Have you kept them from all gigs? I bet it tells a tale if so!)
I never got further than Moving Waves (which was in my sister's collection) but they were just such brilliant musicians and so *different*. Mr SDS likes to regale the story of how he and some mates went to see them at Cambridge Corn Exchange in '73, but not having bought advance tickets. When they got to the venue the queue was out the door and round the corner and they couldn't get in! So they took it in turns to sit on each other's shoulders and watched the entire gig from outside through the window! (And then missed the last train home to boot).

(Damn, I wish that could have been MY anecdote...)

The Swede said...

SB. Yes, I definitely prefer the earlier stuff too. Would loved to have been at The Rainbow in '73.

C. Brilliant tale from Mr SDS - perhaps you should offer him a guest post! Yes, I still have a lot of ticket stubs, but not, alas, the many autographed programmes I accumulated, which were sold off during poor-times in the 1980s.

Old Pa's Corner said...

Focus without Jan would have been a massive dissapointment...sad to hear about your programmes...but I suppose we have all been there. I am thinking about selling my pride and joy a mint original copy of Martin Sharp's Mr Tambourine Man Poster...I need the cash

The Swede said...

OPC. No! You can't part with that. Stick it in a frame, enjoy it and have one less beer per week to save a bit of cash, but don't get rid of the poster!

Old Pa's Corner said...

Dam it you right...I had professionally framed with uv glass etc...it really is in mint condition. Was found in a loft in Sweaden....got it about 10 years ago for £550 and paid over £100 to get it framed.....there is a new series of 350 released recently and signed by Martin Sharp at a cost of £350. But nine is a sixties original. It really is a magnificient poster. A symbol of the sixties. One less ESB next time i'm in UK...If i do thant every time????

The Swede said...

Good man OPC, you know it makes sense!

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