Although I live in Hamburg I never went to the Fabrik so I was kind
of surprised about how big the Fabrik in Hamburg is. I mean a "big
venue" for a sophia gig.
Jansen were quite interesting but I think as a complete band they
must be much better.
It seemed that Robin P. S. was quite happy because he talked to the
people in the front row while he was checking the equipment a couple
of minutes before the show started. But he remarked after ¾
of the show that his leg was shaking at the begining because of the
big crowd in hamburg compared to the last show there. Actually he
talked a lot to the audience. He also told the " for-150-dollars-ebay-good-machine-demo-sellers"
to fuck off . At every Sophia gig you´ll find some strange people
who think that they´ll be the ones that are privileged to listen
to a good machine song performed by Sophia but somehow they don´t
In reference to the music it was a very good show. What I found interesting
was that beside a really rocking version of "If A Change Is Gonna
Come" even the older sophia songs like "Every Day"
were performed with more dynamic and louder guitars. So I think it´s
going to be a bit louder on the next records but that´s just
a guess. It would be a consequent development anyway.
After the show some friends of mine met Robin in a bar. Unfortenately
I went home right after the show.
Marc A. Steiling
Three days later and I feel able to finally write a little review
about the Sophia Concert.
Most of you probably dont know Sophia, they are still a pretty unknown
band and until last summer I havent heard of them either. But D. had
a cd with her when we were travelling around and we were listening
to Sophia all the time. Especially in the evenings and even more at
the end of the journey when we were so terribly sad that we'd have
to go back to Hamburg.
Since then I've been listening to Sophia obsessively and D. and I
always hoped to see them live but never thought that would happen
one day since we hardly heard anything new about the band. But when
the tourdates came out we couldnt believe it. And on February 19th
was the big day.
We arrived at the venue at around 8 and went to the stage immediatly.
We sat ourselves on the stage and remained there until the end.
It took quite a while until the concert finally started.
Before the concert, we've met D.'s ex boyfriend, which annoyed me
quite abit. He told me, that he has just bought "Fixed Water".
And he told me "You still can get it on Ebay for 28 €".
I only thought "Fuck you" but didnt react cause I didnt
feel like talking to him. He noticed that and did stupid comments
like "T. is probably on drugs again" (cause he believes
I'm doing drugs).
Anyway. At around 9:15 the supporters band "Jansen" appeared
Not my kind of music really. Two guys doing songs that sound like
french chansons but in German. The guys were funny and seemed nice,
but I usually always hate supporters band cause it makes the time
until the concert seem even longer.
They performed around 45 minutes but inbetween we already saw Robin
Proper-Sheppard, singer of Sophia, standing in the back of the venue.
Watching him was a nice destraction.
Then there was another break of a couple of minutes and then Robin
finally appeared on stage, doing a soundcheck.
A terrible Groupie, blonde and with big tits threw herself on him
straight away. He seemed rather irritated but she was really turned
on when he shook her hand.
D. was really excited and hyper, I wasnt at all. I was really calm.
Very unusual for me as I am always excited before concerts. But I
was a little afraid what would happen if he played some older songs.
And justifiably so.
Sophia started performing. Finally. We still sat on the stage. Almost
right in the middle. Around 1 or 2 meters away from Robin. We had
the best view ever and I am sad that I didnt have a camera with me.
Robin started with the song "I left you". An old song which
is sad and D. and I looked at us and thought about the same "Oh
great, he starts with the old ones, the ones that always get us".
But then, the second horribly sad song. "If only" ( "If
only I could believe that tomorrow when I wake from my sleep that
you'll still be with me, oh my love, my love will always be").
D. had tears in her eyes straight away. I started crying at the first
chorus. I knew that we would cry but not at the second song already.
We actually spent the whole song hugging and crying.
The next couple of songs were a mixture of older songs and some of
the new songs. We didnt cry and could relax and enjoy the beautiful
songs. I personally got annoyed by this groupie who was rocking and
headbanging to some songs. And that was so not appropriate when he
is singing about death and loss.
Robin seemed to be in quite a good mood. He was talking alot between
the songs and made some jokes and generally said some amusing things.
He seemed like a really sweet and lovely man.
The first part of the concert went over so fast. He went off stage
and B. said "That was it, he wont do an enchore". But he
He came back on stage and said "This was the first song I wrote
after the death of my friend and bassist from the godmachine. Its
called "So Slow". I just looked at D. and said "Oh
During the first few lines the tears shot into my eyes and during
the first chorus ("but death comes so slow when you're waiting
to be taken, and death comes so slow when it's all you want and it
takes the ones that don't") I was crying terribly. D. and I again
spent the entire song hugging and crying. My make up was completely
messed up and I couldnt see properly anymore, but I just couldnt stop
crying as I associate this song with someone I would like to forget
or at least get over.
Robin kept looking at us during the song, saw how we were crying.
Thank god, during the next two songs we could calm down.
Then, a few minutes before midnight he left the stage but said he
would sign some cds afterwards.
We of course went to the table to get something signed. We didnt have
cds, but we let him sign our ticket and into our agenda (in which
also Conor Oberst, Azure Ray and Pat Onkes signed already).
I started talking with this roadie guy who sold cds, I said "I'd
love to have a cd as well, but I am a very poor student. But it was
my birthday two days ago, could I have a cd for free?"
- "Its your birthday today?"
- "Erm, yes"
- "Oh, Happy Birthday"
- "Thank You"
- "Unfortunatly I cant give you a cd anyway"
- "Awww. What about that poster?"
- "Oh, thats only decoration, and its promised already"
- "Oh damn, ok, thanks anyway"
And then he sang "Happy Birthday" to me, which also Robin
Then it was our turn to get signatures by Robin. He was really nice
and sweet and we were talking for quite some while. But it was pretty
crowded so we went away but stayed near the table. When most of the
people were gone we went back to the table to talk to him again. All
suddenly we saw how a big package of posters were brought to the table.
Robin just looked at us, smiled and handed us two posters straight
We wanted to get a signature on the poster as well and stood ourselves
on the table again. Robin looked at us and just said "Ah, the
Birthday Girl". He wrote a huge "Happy Birthday T."
on my poster (which is now glueing on my wall and looks awesome).
D. and I told him that his songs are the only ones that make us cry
immediatly and he said "Yeah I saw it during "So Slow"."
After some small talk D. again brought my birthday up. We stood infront
of Robin, made big sad eyes and he just said smiling "Oh look
at these girls ... what cd would you like to have?"
I couldnt believe it.
I chose "Fixed Water". The cd B. was showing off with a
couple of hours before.
On D.'s poster he then wrote "See you on your birthday?"
We again said Thank You and left the venue cheering and laughing.
I kinda guessed Robin would be cool, people who write such songs have
to be cool, but I never thought he would be so incredibly nice and
sweet and lovely.
After the concert we went and ate Falafel. And during that we tried
to make plans how to see Sophia again. We are really poor at the moment
so we couldnt go to Hanover yesterday or Berlin tomorrow. But Sophia
are in Cologne next month and we are seriously considering going there.
I am sure Robin would remember us.
I've been listening to nothing but "Fixed Water" since Friday
and its one of the best records I own. Its so wonderful and just awesome.
I cant get enough of Sophia.
That concert was, without any exaggeration the best concert I have
ever been to.
So many emotional up and downs. At first excitement, then extreme
sadness and many tears, then some chilling and enjoying, then even
more sadness and more tears and then overwhelming happiness when I
got the cd.
But still I feel overly sad lately. I dont even exactly know why.
I think its because of all the insecurity concerning my future. I
have no idea what to do after school. We said we'll travel around
but ... I dont see that happening yet. We have no money at all. And
I have no idea how to get lots of money quickly without doing something
horrible like working.
Maybe I should marry a rich musician. Or just become a roadie / groupie
who travels around with a band. Or maybe I should move my spoiled
ass and do something for money.
Die pralle Frühlingssonne samt Wind und Regenschauern
Ein wenig traurig klinge der Name "Sophia" ja schon, so
Frontmann und Mastermind Robin Proper-Sheppard in einem Interview.
Ein wenig traurig drein schauten in der Tat einige der Besucher in
der ansehnlich gefüllten Hamburger Fabrik. Andere dagegen knutschten
unentwegt, während ein nicht minder beträchtlicher Teil
des Auditoriums sich fortwährend in Plauderlaune zeigte. Letzteres
war beim gelinde gesagt unaufgeregten Support Jansen noch vertretbar.
Jansen, die aus den eigentlich unsterblichen M.Walking on the Water
hervorgegangenen beiden Krefelder, erregten zwar Aufsehen durch einen
sich karussellisch drehenden, aus vielen kleinen Lämpchen bestehenden
Sonnenschirm, blieben ansonsten aber blass. Eloquenz und Charisma
erfüllten erst den Raum, als gegen 22 Uhr Proper-Sheppard und
Band die kleine Bühne betraten. Nichteingeweihten fiel es schwer
zu glauben, dass dieser Mann im eleganten Dunkelblau mal Mitglied
einer Industrial-Kult-Combo namens The God Machine gewesen sein soll
und jetzt Lieder schreibt, die auf dem aktuellen Album "People
are like Seasons" mit solch scheinender Melancholik vorgetragen
werden, dass es einem die pralle Frühlingssonne samt Wind und
Regenschauern in die Augen treibt.
"I left You" an den Beginn zu setzen, zeugte schon von ziemlicher
Dreistigkeit. Andere würden sich alle vorhandenen Finger danach
lecken, einen solchen repetitiven Edelstein als Abschluss auf der
Setlist zu haben, Proper-Sheppard warf dagegen diesen großartigen
Achtminüter als Opener ins Rennen. "Every Day" und
"Oh my Love" wurden danach zum livehaftig gewordenen Teil
eines imaginären Mixtapes. Nach Gitarrenwechsel geriet The
River Song hörbar zum vielfach herbeigewünschten Teil
eines Ganzen, das zu zwei Dritteln aus Songs von "People are
like Seasons" bestand, aber auch gerne auf "The Infinite
"Swept Back", auf der aktuellen Scheibe schon zum Dauer-Repeat
verurteilt, leitete über in einen Zugabenteil, welcher mit "So
Slow", dem ersten Stück nach dem Tod des "God Machine"-Weggefährten
Jimmy Fernandez, begann. Zugaben, so führte Proper-Sheppard aus,
seien der Teil des Konzerts, welcher sich dem Zeitpunkt gefährlich
nähere, an dem in den großen Städten die Besucher
zu den letzten Bahnen eilen. Diesem Phänomen begegnete er zu
oft, aber heute treffe er diese alten "Fans" wieder auf
seinen Konzerten, und sie bringen alte "God Machine"-Scheiben
zum Signieren mit. Man sah dem Manne während seiner Erzählungen
das Unbehagen über derlei Spuren der Vergangenheit nur zu gut
an. "The River Song" und das prophetische "A Change
Is Gonna Come" ließen kurze Zeit später allerdings
den Gedanken an die letzten Bahnen kaum zu und machten vergessen,
dass das Licht an diesem Abend auch wieder angehen könnte.
Gar nicht verschlossen und abgekehrt von dieser Welt traten Sophia
auf, wie mancher im Vornherein befürchtete. Warum dieses Ganze
am Ende "nur" 11 von möglichen 12 Punkten auf der Richterskala
bekommen kann, lag lediglich an der Akustik, die, erst einen Tacken
zu laut, dem Schlagzeug eine Idee zu viel Präsenz einräumte
und dann noch mit kurzen linksseitigen Insuffizienzen zu kämpfen
hatte. Wohl dem, der auf der mitternächtlichen Heimfahrt im Nachklang
nicht auf die Radiosender unserer Breiten angewiesen war. Ein wenig
traurig wäre das dann am Ende doch auch schon wieder gewesen
Michael Kellenbenz, www.popfrontal.de
lange musste ich warten bis ich nach dem grandiosen 2001er konzert
wieder robin proper-sheppard mit sophia live sehen konnte. letzte
woche war es dann so weit. war das konzert vor beinahe drei jahren
noch rein akustisch mit gitarre, klavier und streichquartett, stand
diesmal eine komplette band auf der bühne -ohne streicher- um
sophias neuste platte people are like seasons vorzustellen.
und auch mit band verstehen es sophia das publikum zu fesseln. die
traurigen stücke standen dabei im deutlichen gegensatz zu einem
offensichtlich bestens gelaunten proper-sheppard. wie rührend
schön die musik ist, lässt sich wohl am besten dadurch verdeutlichen,
dass bereits nach dem ersten stück am rande der bühne die
ersten tränen flossen! das programm bestand aus einer guten mischung
aller alben und enthielt sogar das wunderbare are you happy now vom
ersten album fixed water. die wenigen "rockigen" stücke
wie the river und if a change is gonna come kamen alle hintereinander
am schluss des konzertes. die versionen waren dabei so intensiv, dass
ich gleich von mehreren leuten nach dem konzert gefragt wurde, ob
es sich dabei um god machine songs handelte.
besonders interessant war auch der gitarrist: adam franklin, gitarrist
und sänger der legendären swervedriver! er verstand es,
durch seinen sehr eigenen stil und ungewöhnliche sounds, die
fehlenden streicher mühelos zu ersetzen. sehr beeindruckend das,
besonders wenn man wie ich leider nie in den genuss gekommen ist,
swervedriver live erleben zu dürfen.
einziger wehmutstropfen war die anlage der fabrik. zuletzt war ich
vor ca. zwei jahren auf einem konzert dort. damals fielen schon ständig
die boxen auf der linken seite aus. leider passierte das diesmal auch,
glücklicherweise erst zum schluss. unbegreiflich, dass die crew
der fabrik, das problem in zwei jahren(!) nicht in den griff bekommen
I Left You
Are You Happy Now
Ship In The Sand
Desert Song No. 2
Oh my love
If A Change Is Gonna Come