Sophia will play at the Primavera
Festival in Barcelona, Spain on May 27th.
The Flower Shop limited edition 7 inch series will
be brought back to live. The first bands that will be recording tracks
on Old Betsy Satan, the Flower Shop 8-track, are Girls
in Hawaii and La
Three new items are now on sale at the Flower
shop online store:
1. the limited edition CD by The May Queens has been added. The May
Queens was a side project by Robin and the other Sophia members back
in 1999. For those who don't know how they sound, there's an MP3 from
the album in our audio section. By the way, if you liked 'If a change
is gonna come' from People Are Like you're also gonna like the May
2. The last few copies of the 'Desert Song no. 2' 10 inch are also
3. And by popular demand, the Collections:One T-shirt can now be bought
through the online store.
will be broadcasting the Sophia gig at the AB in Brussels. The show
is called 'Live is music' and hits the airwaves on Sunday between
5PM and 6PM. A first part of the show will be aired today. More will
follow in the coming weeks.
The support act at tonight's gig in London is The
Silent League. This is the new band of Justin Russo who used to
be a member of Mercury Rev and the wonderful Hopewell.
Now that the Fall tour is almost finished, Robin has announced
that he will start working on a new Sophia album as soon as possible.
He might record it in America as quite a few people from the Sophia
Collective live there now.
Sophia's keyboard man Will Foster will also be very busy next year
as a touring member of The Tears. The Tears is the
new band of Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler (both ex-Suede).
People who went to see Sophia on the current tour and bought the Collections:One
album already know this: the Flower Shop webshop can be found
A new Sophia T-shirt has been designed and is currently being
sold on the Fall tour. There's a photo of the Collections:One themed
A new release on the Flower Shop Recordings is Copenhagen's
'Sweet dreams...' album.
The album was recorded and co-produced by Robin Proper-Sheppard. Robin
also added some acoustic guitar, vocals or keyboard to 4 of the songs.
You can download 3 songs from this excellent album from the Copenhagen
Official release date is November 15.
Also on November 15 Sophia will be in 'Buzz' on PURE FM (Belgian
Robin will be interviewed and will play a session. The show is aired
between 4PM and 7PM and can be followed online at www.purefm.be.
UPDATE: The interview and session have been cancelled!
As you probably know, the legendary BCC Radio 1 DJ John Peel
sadly died this week. The God Machine was one of those bands that
got noticed by John Peel and were given the chance to play a Peel
Ron Austin (The God Machine's drummer) set up a little tribute site
where he 'd like to share a memory and a song with everyone who will
remember the famous DJ. You can download 'Double dare' (Bauhaus) from
the God Machine's May 29, 1992 Peel session at http://beatfactoryrecords.com
Ron had this to say about the track:
"The three of us (Jimmy, Austin, Robin) sat in a small flat with
a crap radio listening to our Bauhaus cover introduced by John Peel.
It was the first time we had our stuff on the radio and so many things
changed that evening. I'm so honored to have been part of it. Thanks
The Fall tour has started. Please mail us your reviews,
set lists and pictures. They will be added in our tour section.
Sophia's main man, Robin Proper-Sheppard, has compiled a tour
CD that will be sold on the Fall tour. The CD is called 'sophia:collections:one'
and has an enhanced section. It will be a numbered limited edition
of approximately 3000 and will cost £8/12 EURO. For those who
can't come to the tour, don't worry: a number of these cd's will be
sold through the new Flower Shop online webstore (more about that
later) and through a limited number of shops.
When the limited edition sells out, more will be manufactured BUT
they won't be in the special sleeve designed by Kirsa Wilkenschildt
(of the band Copenhagen) and they won't be numbered. The only reason
why this is a limited edition is because of the packaging (all hand-folded)
and numbering (hand-stamped); not as some marketing game.
This is the track listing:
1. Airports (2003) - outtake from the 'People are like seasons' sessions
2. Easy (if you want me) (2004) - new song
3. Wind In Your Sail (2003) - a.k.a.'Someday' but with new string
4. You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk (2000) - with Adele
Bethal (Arab Strap/Sons and Daughters)
5. Razorblades (2004) - with band and string arrangement
6. Holidays Are Nice (2004) - the new unreleased version
7. If you want a home (1999)
8. Genius (2003) - new mix of previous version
9. Zinc (1998) - an instrumental song from the early days of Sophia.
Recorded with James Elkington (now of The
Zincs) on Drums and Guitar.
10. Reprise:Crescendo - Sebastian Schipper, the director of Absolute
Giganten, has let me use the scene from the film that includes the
re-recording of Reprise for this special release.
A bit of background about the CD delivered by the master himself:
"The CD had a working title of The "Save The Sophia Tour"
CD. This is because when I originally booked the tour with the string
section, extra crew and BIG sleeper coach (needed because we have
12 people travelling on this tour) I didn't understand exactly HOW
MUCH it was going to cost and soon realised that I wasn't going to
be able to cover all the extra expense with just the fee's we get
from the concerts, so rather than a. cancel the tour b. not bring
the strings c. run and hide, I put my thinking cap on came up with
Tour CD idea. Tour saved, strings saved, we're all happy and... On
The Road AGAIN. (I guess
it's a similar story to De Nachten except that while 'collections'
has saved the tour, De Nachten, honestly, saved Sophia.)
When I first asked if I could use the clip from 'Absolute Giganten'
I thought they would have the english subtitled version on the DVD.
Well guess what? They didn't. So after getting 3 or 4 people to help
with the translation (funny, they all came back with different translations
and they were ALL German-speaking) Neil Henderson - also from the
band Copenhagen - and I took a little creative license, compiled what
we felt were the best translations from each person and did it ourselves.
It's certainly not a DIRECT translation but you can still really understand
the emotion beneath the scene which is why,
after all, I worked on the song in the first place. The German-speaking
community may find it funny to read but I think we did a pretty good
And I just want to add that while this isn't intended as the new Sophia
album it certainly wasn't just thrown together either. I spent 4 weeks
in the studio deciding what songs I would use, working on the older
songs and writing the newer pieces, recording and mixing what is finally
being released and putting together the enhanced section. It's definitely
a collection and as such doesn't have the same sense of concept or
dynamics that an album, thought through from beginning to end, would
have but having said that I did enjoy the freedom to create outside
of normal the 'album' environment and can difinitely see where I might
be headed in the future. Of course these things change all the time..."
Adam Franklin (ex-Swervedriver) will join Sophia again to play
guitar during the Fall tour.
He had this to say about it:
"Sophia heads out on the road again around Europe for a month.
This tour's a bigger operation as there's gonna be a string quartet
out with us also. I've only played with the strings twice, a festival
in Belgium and a radio session in Paris but for some strange reason
the string players are always the ones who go straight to the back
of the bus and start skinning up and then later on they're all wasted
and shit - they're far more rock'n'roll than they oughtta be in other
Adam also recorded some new songs that may end up to be a new Toshack
Highway record. In his own words:
"We've done these new recordings that sound a lot more electric and
rocky. I'm still not sure if these recordings should be as Toshack
Highway or not, especially as Jeff Townsin doesn't play drums on them
- there was originally a plan to record with Jeff and Will Foster
who are both also in Sophia as well as having done those Toshack shows
back in 2000. In the end though we couldn't find a time when everyone
was available and so I went up to Toronto in August and recorded ten
songs with Ley Taylor and Matt Durrant from Sianspheric and Dean Williams
who does this electronica thing called Quasimojo with Ley. I'm especially
pleased I got to finally lay down this instrumental tune called "Theme
from LSD" which was something that Steve George, Jeff Townsin
and me came up with during a Sophia s
soundcheck in Milan a few years back."
Adam Franklin will also appear on a Wire tribute album which
is out on November 9, 2004:
"These guys at Words On Music, a label operating out of Minneapolis
contacted me and said they'd love for me to be on the Wire tribute
album they were doing and that the whole album was gonna be versions
of the one song, Outdoor Miner! A great song for sure, but a whole
album of one song? So I figured that I should try and do something
that sounds totally different to the original. So it's an acoustic
finger-picking folky-sounding thing although there is also some pump
organ and electric guitar feedback in there. We originally tried to
record it on the road on the Sophia tour when we were in Bergen and
Dublin but it didn't sound right so I recorded it back in Brooklyn
at Jason Marcello's studio Excello in the end."
Sophia will play a gig at the Scala in London on November
If you live in Copenhagen you should check out the 'I need no map'
group exhibition at the Overgaden Institute of Contemporary
German artist Johanna Domke is showing a video called "You'll
miss what's gonna stay" which uses Sophia's 'Reprise' as the
score. The video is about a group of young people hanging out. Nothing
much happens and time seems to stand still. After a while you realise
that you're looking at a 15 seconds loop, which is very hidden through
a technical complicated effect. Sophia's 'Reprise' is playing as a
loop in the background, charging the scenario emotionally.
All the works in the exhibition take their starting point in the real
world but simultaneously remove themselves from reality taking a course
of direction towards parallel universes, utopian ideas and fantasies.
The exhibition runs until October 18th. More info at www.overgaden.org
Most of the support acts for the Fall tour have been announced.
The Album Leaf will join Sophia for most of the German, Belgian and
Scandinavian gigs. They cancelled all their September gigs to tour
Thalia Zedek will support Sophia in Italy.
We've finally installed a decent forum
on the site. You can use it to report, chat, discuss or fight about
all Sophia, God Machine, May Queens or Flower Shop related issues.
There's also an Off-topic section that you can use for all stuff which
is not directly related to Sophia.
Please register first, it's really quick and simple. The forum is
still brand new so if you encounter any troubles please report them.
You can mail me or post in the Off-topic section of the forum.
The Fall tour has been extended with 3 gigs in Italy: Turin,
Bologna and Rome.
Four new dates have been added to the Fall tour: Linz,
Rubigen, Basel & Köln.
According to the website of the For Noise festival in Pully,
Switzerland Sophia will be joined by a string section for their gig
at the festival (August 6).
'Holidays are nice' is now a radio single all over Europe
(including the UK).
Sophia played one of their biggest gigs to date at the Rock Werchter
festival on Saturday. You can listen to a backstage interview, read
some reviews and check out the pictures in our tour section.
Concert organiser Mean Fiddler has announced that the Schüttorf
Festival will not take place in 2004. Apparently they were unable
to book the necessary headliners. Sophia were scheduled to play at
the Schüttorf Festival.
Sophia kicked off their festival season without a bass player.
Robin and Will (piano) had to fill in the bass parts themselves. Read
the Aerodrome review in the tour section for more info.
The first date of the Fall tour is in: Fabrik, Hamburg (Germany) on
Two new festival appearances have been confirmed: the For Noise
festival in Switzerland at the beginning of August and the Schüttorf
festival in Germany early September. More details and links on the
Labels have made the new rerecorded 'Holidays are nice' available
for download. You can find the MP3 in our audio section.
'Holidays are nice' is the new single from the 'People are
like seasons' album. A rerecorded version of the song (featuring the
whole band) has been sent out to radio stations in Germany. A commercially
released single should follow soon(ish).
Robin recently played a few radio sessions in the UK, where
he premiered 'Holidays are nice'. The song has also found it's way
into the current set list and has been played for the first time during
the concert in Oslip, Austria. Three new gigs in Italy have
been in the tour section.
Today exactly 10 years ago Jimmy Fernandez (who played bass
in The God Machine) died unexpectedly from a brain tumor. Jimmy's
gone but not forgotten.
As mentioned last month Sophia will do another tour this Fall.
It will be a very special, singular project featuring a string section.
So Sophia & strings will be 9 people on stage. Tour period will
be October 20 to November 14, 2004.
Something seems to have gone awfully wrong with the pressing of
the 'Oh my love' single. The CD has the tracks in the wrong order
and the B-side on the 7" is the wrong one ('Someday' instead
of 'I hope that I don't fall in love with you').
More tour news: after the summer festivals Sophia will do an extra
European tour. This time they will be playing bigger venues than
during the current tour. Dates are still being booked but rumour has
it they will play at the AB in Brussels, Vera in Groningen and Paradiso
(main hall) in Amsterdam.
Two new festival dates in Germany have been added in the
Tune into XFM, London's premier alternative station tomorrow night
(Thursday April 8th) to hear exclusive session tracks from
Sophia on the Claire Sturgess show. For those listeners outside London,
you can still listen in at www.xfm.co.uk
The show runs from 2100-2300 GMT.
No rest for the wicked. Sophia has been booked for the FM4
tour in Austria at the end of May. Other bands on the bill are
Die Sterne, Waxolutionists and Stella. The FM4 tour will come to Oslip,
Salzburg and Innsbruck. More details on the tour page.
The UK release of 'Oh my love' has been postponed and will
now be released on April 5th 2004 on CD and 7" single.
M. Craft will support Sophia at the London Islington Academy gig.
Sophia will play the FM4 stage at the Aerodrome festival in Wiener
Neustadt, Austria on June the 11th. Other bands on the bill are Red
Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Pixies, Slayer, Korn, Linkin Park,...
More info at www.aerodrome.at
Although Sophia are on a European tour at the moment, that doesn't
mean that Robin's Flower Shop label is on hold.
The new Copenhagen album 'Sweet Dreams', which was produced
by Robin Proper-Sheppard, should get released November 15. (updated
Stingray Firecracker have enlisted some new personnel and should
release a single and an album (also produced by Robin) on the Flower
Gamine who supported Sophia in Brussels are now officially
part of the Flower Shop posse, so we might expect some material from
There might be another Rhonda Harris album as well.
And then there's also The Hissyfits (a three piece girl punk
rock band from New York) who have a single called 'Can't keep waiting'
ready for release.
'Holidays are nice' has been re-recorded with the full band
and will be the second single from the album. Potential B-sides are
an acoustic version of 'Razor Blades' and the instrumental 'Airports'
which was originally meant to be the last song on 'People are like
seasons'. The single will probably be released towards the summer.
But first there's the UK release of 'Oh my love' on March 22.
We've been adding reviews, set lists and pictures of the current European
tour in the tour section. Please keep sending in those reviews,
set lists and photos.
We can exclusively reveal that Sophia will play the Rock Werchter
festival in Belgium this summer. Rock Werchter is a 3-day event and
Sophia will play on Saturday July 3. Other confirmed bands are: David
Bowie, The Pixies, Metallica, Moloko, Muse, Placebo, Kosheen, Lenny
Kravitz, The Darkness, Monster Magnet, Korn,...
'People are like seasons' is released in the UK today!
Here are some reviews from the UK press:
"This is easily a match for the big, universal songs of Flaming
Lips or the Verve and deserves to be massive. To be loved long-term."
The Daily Telegraph
"Ryan Adams should start looking worried." The Independent
"A decade's worth of life lessons compacted into less than
fifty minutes... A fruitful affirmation of hope over despair."
"Like the Marianas Trench in the Pacific, Robin Proper-Sheppard's
latest album has considerable depth." Jockey Slut
"Proper-Sheppard is revelling in his rediscovery of rock's
raw power without sacrificing his trademark emotional honesty. It's
quite a trick." Uncut
"I simply can't stress enough how much you should go out and
buy this record. You'll be playing it over and over again and wondering
why it isn't number one already... So get it, you will love it, I
have said enough." The Sunday Telegraph
Quote of the day: "I had to give up my appartement in Brussels
this week and also the one in London, it's just me, my suitcase and
the road" (Robin)
The European tour has started. Please feel free to send
in concert reviews, set lists and pictures. They will be added in
our tour section. As promised we added 5 more gigs in France.
The second single from 'People are like seasons' will be 'Holidays
are nice'. Rumour has it that the song has even been re-recorded for
Last night Sophia played a small, warm-up gig in Evreux to prepare
for the kick-off of the European tour tonight in Brussels. The tour
is now extending into May with the addition of 2 new dates in France.
There should be even more new concert dates in the next few weeks.
There's a new downloadable MP3 in the audio section with an interview
that Robin did for toazted.com at the end of last year.
UK release of 'Oh my love' is March 22. The single will be
release as a CD and a 7".
CD track list:
1. Oh my love (radio edit)
4. I hope that I don't fall in love with you
7" track list:
1. Oh my love (radio edit)
2. I hope that I don't fall in love with you
'People are like seasons' is entering the album charts all
over Europe: No. 8 in Belgium, No. 66 in Germany, No. 105 in France,...
There's a whole bunch of new interviews on the site. One of
the interviews is an overview of the records that formed Robin's musical
taste. There's some funny information in there about what The Cure's
'17 seconds' means to Robin. You'll need to understand some French
Oh, don't forget: the European tour starts at the end of the week
with gigs in France and Belgium.
The Sophiamusic starship has reached its final destination!
We've moved to a reliable and bannerless server. The site also got
its final (!) domain name: please update your bookmarks one
last time to www.sophiamusic.net
A big 'thank you' goes out to those who helped us with all the changes
during the last few weeks. You know who you are.
The UK single for 'Oh my love' will be released on March 22
as a four track CD and a two track 7". The video for 'Oh my love'
was filmed in Vienna, and sees Robin Proper-Sheppard reunited with
his former God Machine colleague Ron Austin, who directed it (Austin
also directed the video for 'Are You Happy Now').
The song was originally conceived as a duet, so Austin and Robin used
this conceit as the basis for the video. Robin wanted to reinforce
the idea, however subtle, that the song is actually a duet and therefore
have the girl in the video mime the words that she would have been
singing (including the chorus, which gives a totally new perspective
on what the song is actually about).
The video is still available our audio/video section.
There are new tour dates for France, the UK and Italy. The
gig at La Maroquinerie in Paris will get a new date later.
Cucamonga, a program on Belgium's Radio 1 recently had an interview
with Robin, you can download an MP3 of the interview in our audio
Robin premiered a new (and unfinished) song called 'Razor
blades' during his Studio Brussel session. Check the audio section
for a link to streaming audio for a part of that session. We've already
added the lyrics for 'Razor blades' in the lyrics section.
Apparently the song was also played at the Mono gig in Oslo, January
Sophia (+ string section) played a Black Session for
France Inter on Monday. The setlist has been added to the tour
page. Robin's laptop (with the electronic parts of the songs on its
harddisk) crashed, so they had to improvise a bit.
The first part of Robin's solo session for Studio Brussel was
aired this Sunday. The second part will be aired in Rock Bottom on
Sunday 25th of January.
If you want to go and see Sophia perform their Black Session
in Paris this Monday, make sure you have confirmed entrance tickets.
There's only room for 250 people, but several thousands of fans have
already applied for tickets!!
If you're in Germany, you should check out SchwarzWeiss on HR1. They're
broadcasting a Sophia special this Saturday from 9 pm until 11 pm.
Robin's record label 'The Flower Shop Recordings' have just launched
a new website:
Copenhagen have completed a new record (produced by Robin) which is
set for an April 2004 release on the Flower Shop label.
Robin already has some songs ready for a new Sophia record. One of
them is called 'Technology won't save us'. It's a song with lavish
orchestration and was originally meant for 'People are likes seasons',
but it didn't really fit in with the rest of the songs and was eventually
omitted from the album.
We've added several interviews and a couple of reviews. Feel free
to send in scans or transcriptions of interviews and reviews from
where you live!!
Talking of interviews, there's one with Robin in this weeks HUMO magazine,
Belgiums most influential mag. And they're giving away free tickets
for all 3 Belgian Sophia concerts. Visit www.humo.be
The UK release of 'People are like seasons' has been postponed until
The cd has an enhanced part with lyrics, screensaver,...
Robin played a session for Duyster on Studio Brussel (Belgian
radio station). The session will be aired this Sunday evening.
Earlier that evening Robin will be interviewed in Rock Bottom, also
on Studio Brussel.
'People are like seasons' is the album of the week on German Radio
Eins. Have a look here.
Robin wil be interviewed (+ maybe a session) tonight on Belgian Radio
21 during Expresso which is broadcast between 19h30 an 20h00.
(update: Robin played 3 songs: 'Fool', 'I left you' and 'So slow')
Support band for the Botanique gig in Brussels is Gamine (www.gamine.net).
A Season Drive will support in Switzerland (wwww.aseasonsdrive.com).
The UK release date for the 'Oh my love' single will be
either March 22 or 29. Here's the tracklisting for the single:
1. Oh my love (radio edit)
4. I hope that I don't fall in love with you
The last song is a Tom Waits cover (from the album 'Closing Time')
Sophia (full band with strings) will be doing a Black Session in
Paris on January 19. The session is open to the public and ususally
lasts about 50 minutes. The session will be broadcast during 'C'est
Lenoir!' on France Inter. You can listen to the show online at franceinter.com.
Visit the website of 'C'est Lenoir!' to get free tickets to attend
Robin and Will (piano player) will be doing a duo showcase in Oslo
at Cafe Mono on January 21 (www.cafemono.no).
The German band Jansen will be the support act for all Sophia
gigs in Germany and Austria. For more info about Jansen go here: www.jansennetz.de