|Sophia (Robin + Will) - November 26 '03: VPRO Club 3voor12 radio session, Amsterdam (NL)|
For anyone who didn't hear or see the live-stream of the performance at the Desmet-Studios; Robin and Will once again played a couple of songs of the new album in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, at the end of the first song, I Left You, a string of his guitar snapped. While Preston (of the other performing band P.W. Long) kindly volunteered to change it, Robin had to improvise, which resulted in a version of Swept Back, only accompanied by Will's excellent piano-play. Although it had a very nice sound to it, it's not likely to hear that version another time. When he got his guitar back and 'in tune', they played So Slow. While tuning his guitar again for the last song, this night, something (still) didn't sound right, yet after a couple of attempts they decided to play Desert Song no 2. But after some more string-trouble during the
musical climax of the song, Robin got so frustrated that he violently smashed his guitar on the stage, Jimi Hendrix-style...
maRz for SophiaMusic.tk
Sophia wins ‘break the guitar string’ competition in Club 3voor12
What a line-up yesterday in Club 3voor12. We started with two legendary cult personalities: Robin Proper-Sheppard (ex-God Machine) and P.W. Long (ex-Mule). Also on the bill was Mr Belgium himself Tom Pintens, who debuted his new band 2000 Monkeys. This might explain the huge turn-out (despite the football match Ajax vs. AC Milan) for a gig that ended up as a ‘break the guitar string’ competition. Robin Proper-Sheppard from Sophia, which was downsized to a duo for the occasion, immediately broke a string on his acoustic guitar during the first song. Seeing how the American melancholic plays the more sensitive kind of music, this was a big problem. The fact that he didn’t have a spare guitar at hand – very professional - didn’t make things easier. Your host immediately went looking for his own wooden guitar, which should have been backstage (but where?), but P.W. Long (already seriously affected by the vodka) was already busy restringing his colleague's guitar.
In the end everything was ready in time for the third song, and there was nothing wrong with the performance itself. Good songs, played with vigour. But we wisely decided not to air the tuning pause of approximately 10 minutes. In the end I was very happy I hadn’t loaned my guitar to Robin as he smashed his at the end of the set, a gesture that reminded us of John Hiatt’s song ‘Perfectly good guitar’ (“I don’t know who they think they are, smashing up a perfectly good guitar”). (Memorize this, all you young potential guitar heroes: always bring an extra guitar with you for a radio show, and if you can’t tune a guitar, buy a 30 euro tuning device.
Jaap Boots for VPRO Club 3voor12, 28/11/2003
Pooooooor robin, last night he went from a charming interview into string-breaking hell! but before the grand finale of him exploding in a cursing, guitar smashing tantrum, this is what he & will played: I Left You, Swept Back (*new*; and due to guitar difficulties it was just will on piano & robin singing! it was adorable, he looked so vulnerable up there, eyes shut tight, clutching a can of grolsch in one hand, swaying and singing his heart out), So Slow, and Desert Song 2 (but with many fits and starts, culminating in said furious outburst). later, though, he and will were both relaxed and smiley at the bar.
And yes, there was quite some chat about this site. host jaap boots asked robin why he doesn't have a website, which eventually led to mention of sophiamusic.tk--robin said, (and i paraphrase) 'when i need to find out what i'm doing, i just look at wouter's site. you know, it's like "oh, i'm playing there? cool!"'
it was also interesting to hear his main reason for shifting more of the business and organisation burden to city slang, he said that after years of making the music, recording the music, selling the music, booking the tours, he really just wants to be able to enjoy more of the sophia experience.
1. I left you
2. Swept back
3. So slow
4. Desert song no. 2