FOCUS at the Hordern Pavilion - Sydney, Australia June '74 and July '75

review-by: P.D.J.
country: Australia
divulge-mail: YES


In June 1974, I was privileged to see (for the first time) the one and only FOCUS live in concert.As a 15 year old , I was, like most teenagers,expected to blindly follow whatever trash was served up to me in the current Top 40 , but as my school music teacher explained to me - " a FOCUS fan is no musical fool".

I took a mate (who dismissed any guitarist not named Hendrix) with me to the now demolished venue at Moore Park .At 8:15pm the time was upon us.First on , skipping with flute in hand to stage left was Thijs - followed by Colin, Bert and of course Jan. Rather than try and think back 27 years for the set listing, I would like to just note some memorable aspects of the 100 or so minutes of pure musical bliss that followed i.e. - van Leer's luscious flute solo (a real mixture of styles) during 'A.Q.Q.A.'; Jan accidentally whacking Bert's face with his guitar (he immediately kissed it better); Colin Allen's huge Chinese Gong - which perforated a few eardrums whenever hit; Bert laughing his head off at van Leer's animated antics during the operatic songlines of 'Hamburger Concerto';and last but by no means least,Akkerman's absolutely brilliant guitar solos within 'H.C.'and 'Harem Scarem'(a gobsmacked audience in complete awe of such virtuosity - my mate was later to remark "Jimi who ?"). 

Then in July 1975, the growing number of Australian 'Focusphiles'had a second (but sadly their last) chance to experience the legendary Dutch Masters live. Direct from their much lauded tour of Japan , it contained the Álassic'Focus lineup (great to see you back Pierre !). Most Memorables (besides running out of superlatives to decribe the performance in general) : an excellent support set from Aussie prog. rock band Sebastian Hardie; van leer - this time stage right- performing some Bach and a slow rendition of 'Sylvia' on the grand piano; Bert's seemingly effertless basslines on 'Hot Vanilla';van der Linden throughout the gig showing us all why he is one of the best; Akkerman (appart from the now expected magnificent solos) using the mouth-hose thingamejig that Peter Frampton made famous ; and of course more eccentric energy from Mr. van Leer ! 

Well!, that's it in a nutshell. Two wonderful nights at an old venue in Sydney infront of many thousands of very appreciative fans. Thanks for the memories fellas. 


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