Progessive rockers Focus choose Derbyshire venue to launch new album tour
The group, led by founder member Thijs Van Leer on keyboards, flute and vocal, play at The Flowerpot, Derby on November 9, 2023, as part of a 14-date tour which includes some of their favourite venues.
Britain holds a special place in the hearts of Focus, one of the most successful and influential bands to have emerged from the Netherlands, who have regularly toured here throughout their 50-plus years. Thijs said: “We always feel welcome, here, we always feel at home.”
Focus have so many highlights from their glorious 50-plus years including: Polydor having to close their record pressing plant to other bands for ten days to meet the demand for Focus records; being a favourite of Bob Harris on The Old Grey Whistle Test; holding simultaneous top ten positions in the UK in both singles and albums charts.
Through the decades Focus remained relevant, their music entertaining live audiences, spearheading advertising campaigns (including the Nike South Africa World Cup TV spot) and Hollywood films (including Baby Driver and Troll movie). Their compositions have also been used on the TV series Top Gear and Saxondale in the UK.
Focus have been through numerous line-ups since their early days of working for a Dutch production of the rock musical Hair. The current membership comprises Thijs van Leer, famed Focus drummer Pierre van der Linden, who joined the group on their second album Moving Waves in 1972, guitarist Menno Gootjes, who participated in Focus at an earlier stage, and acclaimed bass player Udo Pannekeet who signed up in 2016.
Four years ago the band released Focus 11, their first studio album for six years, complete with brand new Roger Dean artwork. The year was then spent touring from South America to Japan - and everywhere in between - in support of the new album.
With the dawn of 2020 came the 50th anniversary of the formation of Focus. Unfortunately, celebrations had to be put on hold due to the Covid pandemic.
Moving Waves,the album which featured the iconic track Hocus Pocus and reached number two in the UK album charts, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021. Focus re-recorded Hocus Pocus after playing it live on The Old Grey Whistle Test and within a few months had not only that song in the top 20 of the British charts but also Sylvia at number four in the same week in February 1973. Hocus Pocus went on to reach number two in the USA charts.
In 2021, the band released the deluxe anniversary boxset Focus50 featuring Blu-ray and CD of the Live In Rio concert and a studio re-record of all of the Focus numbers. In total, Focus have released 16 studio albums to date.
Focus returned to touring in 2022 and the band were delighted to be performing, once again, their classics such as Hocus Pocus, Sylvia, and House Of The King together with some of the Focus numbers also making an appearance! The group played at The Flowerpot in April last year.
Tickets cost £22 for the 2023 live show at The Flowerpot this winter. Go to www.rawpromo.co.uk