Scott and I have been burning through the BBC series Saxondale on Netflix. The show stars Steve Coogan as the titular character, an aging ex-roadie adjusting to life in the modern world. It’s a great show and we’ll have a full review soon but today we’ll focus (heh) on the band that provides the opening and closing tunes for Saxondale, the Dutch prog rock group Focus.
Focus didn’t have many hits, there was only so much room on the charts in the 70s for a flute oriented prog rock outfit and Jethro Tull had the market pretty much covered. Undeterred, Focus recorded House of the King, a song that sounds exactly like a Jethro Tull instrumental:
House of the King was only a minor hit but that changed in 1973 when Focus released their magnum opus, Hocus Pocus. Jan Akkerman’s blazing guitar is holds the song together but it’s singer/flautist/keyboardist/whistler Thijs van Leer who sends this over the top with his virtuoso level insane gibberish:
Focus released a few more albums before disbanding in 1978. van Leer is still active, there are some recent videos of the now in his 60s van Leer still wowing audiences with his flute and his crazy vocals.