Sophia - Jan. 29 '97: Highbury Garage, London (UK)
Hi folks, I saw SOPHIA upstairs at the Garage last night. Great stuff. Robin comes on and says "Welcome to the second Sophia gig" (cool, that gives me 100% attendance so far, that's going to change as soon as they go to Europe [NB. Britain is *not* part of Europe :) ]) There was a note in the Saturday Guardian newspaper saying that the Sophia gig was one of the gigs to go to in the coming week and describing them as "post-industrial", so Robin also said "If you've come looking for post-industrial then sorry..." Anyway, they played most of the album + about 3 songs which aren't on the album. It's great of course. Some of the musicians are different from last time (drummer, keyboards) but the sound is the same. Robin is singing great (I retract my comments about his voice). Someone requests 'Home'. Robin kinda takes the piss, then later apologises saying "I'm sure there are some of you who want to hear old songs, but we're trying to move on, I hope you understand."
Anyway, they do the last song then Robin says "We were going to go off stage and then come back on, but let's just play the encore now". So they play the last song. And it's just like a God Machine song!
Starts acoustic, and gets heavy. Pounding drums. Wonderful! It's called 'Going to the river' or something. Cool! After the gig I talked to Ron Austin for a minute. He didn't really want to talk but he was nice. I asked him what he was doing these days and he replied something like "Just hanging around". I asked him about his films and he said "I'm still working on it". I dunno, he sounded a bit like he is drifting.
I also spoke to Robin (everyone wanted to speak to Robin - he's so nice). I asked about the split single [on the weekend I tried both the rough trade shop and Sister Ray and they hadn't even heard of it!]. He said that it is an import into the UK (from the US label Echostatic) so it is going to be really HARD to find . . . He says that the version of 'So slow' on it is really very very good . . . . I gave him my best wishes for his Euro-tour and he looked happy. He also said that he'll be looking at recording a second album in the summer sometime. So I guess he's planning on staying around.
Steven Galbraith