There's a brand new interview from Pennyblackmusic.com in the interview section.
Robin talks about the new studio album. He hopes to release it in April next year. His original plan was to re-record the new songs that appeared on 'De Nachten' on to it, but satisfied with them as they are and feeling that they are already the "definitive" versions, he has decided instead to concentrate entirely on unreleased material. He has written over forty five songs, and is now in the process of whittling them down to decide which ones he will record for the new CD. He also plans to release a new May Queens album in 2002. More details in the full interview.
Some God Machine related news:
US post-hardcore emo rockers Garrison have covered 'Ego' on their new split EP with Hundred Reasons. More at www.garrisonkills.com
Plus there's a Welsh band Liberty 37 - who have been picking up rave reviews recently - who have just released a new album entitled 'God Machine'. The singer said this in an interview: ” I’m Wales’ biggest God Machine fan, I think I've cried twice in my life when people have died, and one of them was when I heard that Jimmy Fernandez had died - I was heartbroken. It was unbelievably sad; they were the greatest band I had ever heard! Everyone needs the God Machine in their life!" More info at www.liberty37.com
Some news about the free tour 7". Because of the earlier mentioned manufacturing problems with the 7", Robin has decided to release the songs on cd and not on vinyl.
The cd will be sent out somewhere in 2002. The planned free split 7" with label mates Copenhagen and Elysian Fields will also be put on cd and sent out along with the Sophia cd.
Elysian Fields have also just released a new EP on the Flower Shop label.
An excerpt from a recent interview (in HUMO magazine) with Mintzkov Luna:
HUMO: What was this year's high point?
Philip Bosschaerts (singer): I don't know if this is the highest of the highest, but it must be the five support gigs for Robin Proper-Sheppard of Sophia. I've been a fan of him for years and I was overjoyed when he told us after a gig that he really liked our music.
It's official: Sophia will NOT play any extra support gigs for Mogwai during the rest of their European tour.
Those who went to see Sophia in the UK, please send in you review of the gig!
Sophia have started their UK tour supporting Mogwai. I’ve just added a short review of the Bristol gig.
The support acts for approximately half of the Mogwai gigs in Europe (mainland) have been announced and so far there are no Sophia support slots.
Sophia's support slot for the UK dates of the Mogwai tour has now been confirmed. You can find the dates in the tour section. There's no confirmation yet regarding gigs in the rest of Europe.
It looks like Sophia will be supporting Mogwai on their UK tour. And possibly for a couple of shows in the rest of Europe too. We'll keep you posted!
No Sophia news at the moment. To ease the pain: I've added a link to a streamed interview and session with Robin, which was shown earlier this year on Canal +.
(see links section)
The latest UK release dates from the Flower Shop label:
Sophia - 'De Nachten' - October 15th
Elysian Fields - 'Queen of the meadow' - October 29th
Rhonda Harris - 'The trouble with Rhonda Harris' - November 26th (NEW DATE!)
Copenhagen - 'Tales from the forest' - November 19th (NEW DATE!)
All the tabs from the 'De nachten' album are now online.
Someone with too much time on his hands made a new site which will have all the God Machine tabs very soon. You can already find a link in the link section. (Where else would it be?)
This week's Humo magazine has a nice quote from Robin at Pukkelpop. Right before the start of 'So slow' he said: "Those of you who are bored, go to the Skate Stage to mosh or something." :-)
As mentioned yesterday it looks like ‘De Nachten’ will be released in the UK near the end of October, which will coincide with a London show at Toynbee Hall. This will be with full line-up including strings. You can find Toynbee Hall here: www.artsadmin.co.uk/aaresources/location.html
Robin is finishing up the free tour 7" and as an added bonus he’s going to include a free split-sided 7" with Copenhagen and Elysian Fields (both bands are on Robins Flower Shop label).
And Robin had this to say about the Pukkelpop gig: “Please thank everybody for their support at Pukkelpop. The band and I were totally blown away by their support. As always... Belgium rocks!”
Apparantly the UK release of 'De Nachten' is only for the end of October. All the previous release dates were issued by a PR company. Apparently they fucked up.
The live reviews section has been updated with all the reviews from the Belgian press about Sophia’s gig at Pukkelpop last weekend. This is what Robin had to say about the gig: http://www.vrt.be/real/stubru/dalet/sophia.ram
Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad asked a bunch of artists which band they wanted to see during Pukkelpop. Robin Proper-Sheppard chose “Fireside. Great punk rock band, a lot better than all the sterile punk rock in the charts.”.
Today, Sophia’s live album ‘De Nachten’ is released in the UK. If you see any reviews, please send them in!
On Saturday, at the Pukkelpop festival, the band played their only gig this summer.
You can find pictures and a review in the appropriate sections.
The UK release of 'De Nachten' has been pushed back a week, so the new release date is August 27.
Belgian radiostation Studio Brussel will be at the Pukkelpop festival and will be paying attention to Sophia too. This means you can expect a short acoustic studio session, an interview and some live excerpts. You can listen at Studio Brussel on their website www.studiobrussel.be Click on 'Luister' and 'live'. Then choose your format.
Some Pukkelpop related info:
The band has been practising this week for the festival. Yep, Robin has just discovered the virtues of practising before a show! :-)
When asked about the bands of which he was very proud to have them on the bill this year, Pukkelpop-boss Chokri mentioned the following three: Sparklehorse, Xzibit and Sophia. Wahey! (source: Humo magazine)
Sophia keyboard player Will Foster is playing on the current Heather Nova tour. That means he'll be playing two gigs at Pukkelpop!
Manufacturing problems and other unforeseen circumstances have considerably pushed back the release date of the free tour 7 inch. All email and postal addresses have been logged, but it's still unclear when exactly the singles will be sent out.
But don't worry, you will get the 7" in the end. We'll keep you posted.
Keep an eye out for reviews of ‘De Nachten’ in UK magazines during the next few weeks. I’ve just added a review from metal mag Kerrang! in the album reviews section.
Some news from Robin’s Flower Shop label: ‘De Nachten’ by Sophia and ‘Queen of the meadow’ by Elysian Fields will be released in the UK on August 20.
There will also be two album releases on the label in September/October: Copenhagen will release their debut-album ‘Tales from the forest’ (FLOWCD 014) and Rhonda Harris (FLOWCD 013) will release ‘The trouble with Rhonda Harris’.
People have been asking to meet other Sophia fans at the upcoming Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium. To make the necessary arrangements with other fans please turn to the GM and Sophia mailing list.
To subscribe, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the body of the e-mail containing the simple message: subscribe purity
The line-up for Pukkelpop has changed: Sophia moves up a spot and is now the second highest on the bill (see below: 25.06.2001).
There’s a review of Tool’s ‘Lateralus’ album in this week’s issue of Belgium’s most important magazine ‘Humo’. This is an excerpt: “It immediately reminds us of The God Machine during ‘Scenes from the second storey’, very obvious a record Tool have been listening a lot to”.
Exclusive news: I've got the exact date for the Pukkelpop gig. Sophia will play in the Marquee (second biggest stage) on Saturday 25th of August. This is the current line-up of the Marquee stage (Sophia got a very nice spot!):
Mark B & Blade
Sophia will play the Pukkelpop festival in Belgium. The festival takes place from Thursday the 23th untill Saturday the 25th of August. Some of the other bands already confirmed for the festival are: Stone Temple Pilots, Sisters of Mercy, Orbital, Papa Roach, Eels, Heather Nova, Spearhead, Mogwai, Stephen Malkmus, The Hives, Zoot Woman, Mercury Rev, The Divine Comedy, Starsailor, …
More info: www.pukkelpop.be and www.pukkelpop.zzn.com
I did some more research on collaborations Robin did and found some stuff he made as the Slack Dog Ensemble. This ensemble consists of Robin Proper-Sheppard and a bunch of people from the dance scene (such as Luke Vibert, a.k.a. Wagon Christ). The discography has been updated with the releases from the Slack Dog Ensemble (the tracklist for the ‘Slackdog EP’ is still subject to change!). I also added a link to ‘Ruff dog’ in the audio section (now removed). You can hear Robin talk at the beginning of the song.
I discovered a new Sophia song on the net. It’s a collaboration with OBX called ‘Reminds me of the sun’. It’s a really nice song, almost a lullaby. It was recorded for the ‘Constant friction: collaborations 2’ cd that was released on Lo Recordings last year. More info in the discography, lyrics at the bottom of the lyrics section .
Robin and Will have just finished the tour on Saturday in Copenhagen. Robin asked me to forward this message to all the people who went to see Sophia on the intimistic tour:
“Can you do me a favour and thank everyone for buying the album at the concerts? The tour went absolutely brilliantly and the responses from the audiences really made me proud to be involved with Sophia. Honestly, it was such a great reminder of why I'm doing it all in the first place.”
A new review for the gig in Oslo mentions that Sophia used a violin player on some of the Scandinavian gigs. And contrary to earlier reports, Robin was not able to book a gig in Sweden.
Regarding the tour 7". Do not to panic. The songs are ready to be pressed. All that Robin has to do now is find out how many he needs and find out how long it will take to manufacture. One of the main reasons Robin didn't bring the 7" with him on tour is the fact that only 1 company in the UK actually makes 7" now and they told him they were backed up over 6 weeks and couldn't guarantee a delivery date.
According to Robin, the new studio album will be released in October or November.
There are a couple of nice pictures from the Krefeld gig (with string section) in the pictures section. You can find more pics of the gig plus a review of the gig (in German) at www.gaesteliste.de
There's a new release on Robin's Flower Shop label: New York based Eysian Fields released a full album called 'Queen of the meadow'. Picture in the Flower Shop section.
Will Foster (piano) has joined Robin for the German dates. The setlist and a review for the Krefeld gig (with the string section) are now online.
About the Scandinavian tour: there will probably be a gig in Stockholm on May 4. Details will follow later.
There’s also a new German interview (from the beginning of 2000) where Robin mentions that Sophia was originally intended as a trilogy of which ‘The infinite circle’ was part two. But he also said he liked the Pet Shop Boys cover with Adèle so much that he was thinking about releasing a Sophia double cd with covers and remixes. At that point Robin was looking for songs and people to record some more duets. We do not know if this project will still go ahead.
And again a new concert: Sophia will play at So What! in Oslo, Norway on May 2. (www.sowhat.no)
Another confirmed Sophia gig in Scandinavia: May 5 at the Vega in Copenhagen, Denmark. (www.vega.dk)
It looks like Sophia will tour Scandinavia: we have one confirmed date at Kvarteret (www.kvarteret.uib.no) in Bergen (Norway) on the third of May.
The German tour starts tomorrow, please send in your reviews! We're also looking for reviews from the gigs in Hasselt and Liège (B) last month.
For those who wonder why they didn't see St. Thomas supporting Sophia during the Belgian tour: someone in the band was ill (foot- and-mouth disease?) and they returned to Norway. So Robin asked Mintzkov Luna if they could also play on the 3 remaining dates.
A correction: the German tour will NOT feature the full band line-up. However, piano player Will Foster might be joining Robin again if everything regarding his father's death is taken care of.
Remember: the show in Krefeld is the only one where a string section will be joining Sophia! Don't miss it!!!
Some of the gigs of the German tour will be with the full band line-up. We can expect some changes in the Sophia line-up as guitar player Adam Franklin is moving to New York. On a similar note: May Queens drummer James Elkington has moved to Chicago.
Someday there will be a second May Queens album. It still has to be recorded and will be released a long time after the third Sophia album. Somewhere in 2015 I suppose.
The third Sophia cd is still set for a September release but if Robin has too much work with the Flower Shop label it might even be a bit later.
(news kindly provided by Christophe and Marz)
The new Sophia live album ('De Nachten') is already available in the shops in Belgium.
Support act in Münster is The A.M. Thawn (www.amthawn.de)
Sophia’s European tour started yesterday. The tour is now a solo tour by Robin as piano player Will Foster will not be joining him due to the death of his father.
The live album is simply called ‘De nachten’ and has been added to the discography. The album has eight songs and is absolutely brilliant. Everyone who buys the live album gets a postcard that has to be sent to the Flower Shop in order to get the free 7". The 7" will be sent to you near the end of April.
There’s a review of the gig in the live review section, the discography has been updated and the new lyrics will follow soon.
The Sophia gig in Prague has been cancelled. The gig in Frankfurt has been moved to Cooky's and the show in Dresden will take place at the Starclub (vakuum.net/starclub).
Some support acts for the tour: Rock Rally winners Mintzkov Luna will support Sophia in Brussels and Leuven. Ai Phoenix will support in Liège and Eeklo and St.Thomas is the support act in Diksmuide and Hasselt.
An update about the new releases: The only song that is not yet confirmed for the live album is 'Like a record'. The new song 'Ship' is now called 'Ship in the sand'.
The free 7 inch will feature 'You only tell me you love me when you're drunk' (Pet Shop Boys cover) and a new song called 'If you want a home'.
For those who wonder what Robin did during the last months of 2000: he played bass guitar in Toshack Highway (who released their debut cd on Robin's Flower Shop label).
You can see pictures of Robin and the rest of the band in the tour section of www.toshackhighway.com or in the Toshack Highway section of www.paceagency.de
I've added a new interview (first one for 2001) with Robin and Adam where they talk about Toshack Highway and the May Queens.
An update about the tour and new album:
The tour is officially called 'An intimistic night with Sophia'. Robin will play acoustic guitar and Will Foster will play the piano. The new mini album will be made available at these concerts before it hits the shops.
The mini album is called 'The Night, de Nachten - The Birthday Tapes' and is a live recording of the concerts at the 'de Nachten' festivals earlier this year. (it was his daughter's birthday that weekend)
It looks as if the whole concert will be on the cd (see live reviews section for the setlist), which means that the 4 new songs and the Lennon cover will be included!
People who buy the mini album at the concerts will also receive a free 7" single with a new song and a Pet Shop Boys cover on it. More info about this cover in the FAQ section.
The third Sophia studio album is now officially scheduled for a September 2001 release.
Some tour changes for Germany: April 14 is now a day off and the concert in Krefeld (Luther Kirche) has been moved to April 16. This is the only gig with a string section.
Received the confirmed tourdates for Germany and the Czech Republic from the booking agency:
Apr. 10 '01: Irish pub, Ravensburg (D)
Apr. 11 '01: Club 2, München (D) (www.club2.de)
Apr. 12 '01: Festung, Traunstein (D) (www.cafe-festung.de)
Apr. 13 '01: Dreikönigskeller, Frankfurt (D)
Apr. 14 '01: Luther Kirche, Krefeld (D) (with string quartet!)(www.three-2-one.com/lutherkirche)
Apr. 15 '01: Gleis 22, Münster (D) (www.gleis22.de)
Apr. 17 '01: Knust, Hamburg (D)
Apr. 18 '01: Mau Club, Rostock (D) (www.mauclub.de)
Apr. 19 '01: Roter Salon, Berlin (D) (www.rotersalon.de)
Apr. 20 '01: tba, Dresden (D)
Apr. 21 '01: Palac Akropolis, Prague (CZ)
These are all the Belgian dates of the Sophia tour:
Mar. 20 '01: Botanique, Brussel (B) (www.botanique.be)
Mar. 21 '01: 't Stuc, Leuven (B) (www.stuc.kuleuven.ac.be)
Mar. 22 '01: Soundstation, Liège (B) (www.soundstation.be)
Mar. 23 '01: N9, Eeklo (B) (www.n9.be)
Mar. 24 '01: 4AD, Diksmuide (B) (www.4ad.be)
Mar. 25 '01: Muziek-o-droom, Hasselt (B) (www.muziekodroom.org)
Sophia will do a tour as a duo: Robin on acoustic guitar and someone on piano.
A new mini-album will be released too. It will only be available at the concerts. Every buyer also gets a free 7 inch!
These are the yet to be confirmed German dates:
Apr. 10 ’01: Irish pub, Ravensburg (D) tbc
Apr. 11 ‘01: Club 2, München (D) tbc
Apr. 12 ‘01: Festung, Traunstein (D) tbc
Apr. 14 ‘01: Luther Kirche, Krefeld (D) tbc
Apr. 17 ‘01: Knust, Hamburg (D) tbc
Apr. 18 ‘01: Glocksee, Hannover (D) tbc
This date in Belgium is already confirmed:
Mar. 24 ’01: 4AD, Diksmuide (B)(www.4ad.be)
Sophia played the first two gigs in a long time this weekend at 'De Nachten' in Amsterdam and Antwerp. They played the same songs at both gigs. They premiered 4 brilliant new songs (The sea, Ship, Bad Man, I left you) and Robin confirmed that the shows were being taped in order to release a live CD. I wrote an extensive review for the Antwerp gig. You can read it in the 'Live reviews' section.
There’s a new interview from 1998, where Robin talks about the new (third) Sophia album: "I think that the album will be quite a bit different. There will a few more instrumental numbers. I've been experimenting with some things that I find quite difficult to put into words. So I thought that rather than try to force myself to explain something in words, I would just leave it instrumental and hopefully let the music speak for itself."