Sophia (Robin solo) - Mar. 24 '01: 4AD, Diksmuide (B)
Set list:
*I Left You
*So Slow
*Are You Happy Now
*If Only
*Every Day
*Ship in the Sand
*The Sea
*Is It Any Wonder
*Losing My Directions
*When You're Sad
*Jealous Guy
*Last Night I Had A Dream

Review 1
3rd Sophia gig in 5 days! And still not bored! This guy rules! If it wasn't Sophia that played, I would have stayed home with my fucking headache. No way, Jose. Sophia is playing in town. Support act Mintzkov Luna was better than yesterday. Too bad, I wasn't able too see St. Thomas, the announced support act. 3x Sophia, 3x Mintzkov Luna.
OK, Robin was wearing a nice shirt, and I noticed during the check-up he was preparing to stand up during the show. He tried it standing up. It didn't work out. I was thinking on Elvis when he was playing, microphone to low, guitar around his neck... "I left you" wasn't a success. Had to stop the songs a couple of times. I was thinking "this is going the wrong way". But the rest of the songs went well. Saturday could be an amazing gig. Except for some people in the back. They talked accross the songs, and during the softer songs it was really annoying. After some warnings, they kept their mouth. Robin continued to play, and I was happy that he played "when you're sad". First time this week that I heard this song. "Ship in the
sand" was amazing. Some people were surprised about "Jealous guy". Some people have absolutely no clue who John Lennon is. Oh well.
Robin was really into guitar playing Saturday. I do not know why, but his regular black Ovation stayed off court, and this time he used his Jasmine guitar. I really tought he would break some strings soon. He didn't. First Sophia gig I've seen without strings flying around. I liked the Robin that played Saturday evening. But I was a little disappointed by the audience (maybe because we had to stand up).
Oh well, can't wait for the Krefeld gig!
Dries Neyrinck

Review 2
Since I went on a crusade to nearby Eernegem last weekend, I went to see Sophia at the 4AD-club. Last Saturday, Robin hit Diksmuide, well-known among allied survivors of the first World War and among European farmers since the precaution principle killed a few hundred pigs in a local farm a few weeks ago because of possible foot-an-mouth disease.
Only 150 pigs are still healthy and well in Diksmuide, and they all came to the 4AD, the only place still allowed to sell beer to non-vaccinated pigs. It should have been an intimistic night with Sophia, but unfortunately, some infected pigs in the back of the venue kept on talking aloud all the time. Several times, Robin begged 'those local bartenders who probably got in for free' to shut up, but it didn't help a lot. Only during "Is It Any Wonder" all was quiet on the western front ('this was the most silent moment of the tour so far').
As last Tuesday at Le Botanique, Robin started with newie "I Left You" and oldie "So Slow". Again things didn't go as scheduled. This time, the lightman was to blame (Robins version ...). Anyway, he did a very nice and beautiful gig. He started standing up (first time he tried to play this way in the post-God Machine era), but chose to sit after about fifteen seconds. Maybe it's just better for the atmosphere: sitting on a chair with a glass of white wine next to him ... relaxing sight! For the first time, I took some pictures at a Sophia gig, might be on the site in a few weeks.
With each time I hear new songs "Ship In The Sand" and "The Sea", I'm getting more curious to here the stuff on the upcoming third Sophia album. The only new (hum hum) song that still hasn't convinced me, is the Lennon cover "Jealous Guy" (though I do like the original and the Roxy Music cover). Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Robin made fun of our local accent just before he started that particular song: 'you people talk like the Swedish chef in the Muppet Show' ... well to be honest, he might be right (that's why we tried to invest in speech technology).
When someone replied "Losing My Directions" on Robins question what we wanted to hear, he admitted "Directionless" might be a terribly chosen songtitle and he stated it will be "Losing My Directions" from now on. Typical audience interaction ... I guess he just loves to have some chitchat with the audience inbetween two songs. And that's a good way to prevent that everyone goes home crying ...
An intimistic start of a decadent night that ended ten hours later singing and drinking in the garden of the house we rented for the weekend, accompanied by a huge church-cross we 'found' on our way back.
Christophe Demunter