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Focus at The Boardwalk, Sheffield (Read 7,199 times)
 
MickK
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Focus at The Boardwalk, Sheffield
23rd Apr, 2009 at 12:41pm
 
Wednesday 22nd of April 2009 saw the veteran Dutch prog rock band Focus visit The Boardwalk in Sheffield as part of their 13 date British tour in April.

Focus were backed by Manchester based Tantrum, a three piece blues/rock band who opened the show with an excellent and powerful performance of musicianship which lasted about 45 minutes. Lead singer and guitarist Jamie Walker is the driving force in the band. By the way Tantrum have a song called “Fat b@st@rd” !!.

Focus took to the stage to great applause, many of the audience were obviously of the over 45 age group and were fans of the band in the 70s. Thijs Van Leer took his place behind his battered Hammond Organ and kicked off with “Focus 1”, the first song that the band ever recorded in the early 1970s. There is obviously no Jan Akkerman in the band these days and has not been for some time but in Niels van der Steenhoven, they have discovered a great guitarist who plays the old songs very much in the Akkerman style.

Next song up was the ever popular “House of the King” with Van Leer showing his skill on the flute, this really got the audience warmed up. Other old songs such as “Focus 2”, “Focus 3” and “Black Beauty” were mixed in with material from the new album Focus 9, such as “Aye-Yuppie-Hippie-Yee” and “Sylvia’s Stepson” which was written by bassist Bobby Jacobs. A full version of the 23 minute epic “Eruption” from the 1971 album Moving Waves was warmly received by the audience and this was followed by the ever popular hit single “Sylvia” which brought the house down.

The latter part of the show featured a long version of “Harem Scarum” with a mega drum solo from Pierre van der Linden, the drummer from Focus’ heyday who left the band in 1973 and rejoined in 2004. Van der Steenhoven and Jacobs also chipped in with long solos during “Harum Scarum”. The final song …… well it had to be, everybody knew it would be ….. “Hocus Pocus” a superb finale with more drum heroics from Van der Linden.

Great performance from Focus, they are not just going through the motions, they give it everything for their fans. Thijs Van Leer mixed with the audience before he went on stage and the whole band were available for handshakes, autographs and chatting after the concert. That’s how it should be. Try to see them if you can.

Mick
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Yes Phreak
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Re: Focus at The Boardwalk, Sheffield
Reply #1 - 23rd Apr, 2009 at 7:01pm
 
Great write-up Mick K.   Thanks! Smiley Cool
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huntr_22
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Re: Focus at The Boardwalk, Sheffield
Reply #2 - 23rd Apr, 2009 at 10:09pm
 
Thank you for this story MicKK. Cool

Very interesting. But what happens to Jan Akkerman these days?



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MickK
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Re: Focus at The Boardwalk, Sheffield
Reply #3 - 23rd Apr, 2009 at 10:30pm
 
Hi huntr_22. Jan's still touring he played The Classic Rock Society at Wath-on-Dearne near Rotherham on April 4th. Which is quite close to me unfortunately I could not get because of work. Jan's official site is at http://www.janakkerman.com/index_page.html
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MickK
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Re: Focus at The Boardwalk, Sheffield
Reply #4 - 27th Apr, 2009 at 7:14pm
 
Live DVD and CD to come: This was posted today (Monday 27 April 2009 on Focus' official site:

"Focus will be recording the Wolverhampton Robin show on Tuesday 28 April 2009, for CD and DVD.
It will be Focus' first DVD shoot since 2003's Focus Live in America, recorded in Trentham, New Jersey.
The members of Focus are grateful to all the concert goers that have watched the band on its very successful British tour, and they look forward to meeting as many of you a possible at Wolverhampton on Tuesday - the last night of the tour. "
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huntr_22
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Re: Focus at The Boardwalk, Sheffield
Reply #5 - 27th Apr, 2009 at 7:26pm
 
Thx MickK!




Cool
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zappa
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Re: Focus at The Boardwalk, Sheffield
Reply #6 - 27th Apr, 2009 at 8:08pm
 
I love Jan's Pietons.recorded in 1984
thx MIKK 4 the link.
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ProgMaster
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Re: Focus at The Boardwalk, Sheffield
Reply #7 - 30th Apr, 2009 at 5:54pm
 
Thanks for the update Mick. I shall check-out the DVD when I have the time ... Cool
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