Sophia - Apr. 4 04: All Tomorrow's Parties, Camber Sands (UK)

Review 1
“Well, hel-LO!” Ah, now this is more like it. “Hope you like us! We’re a bit hit and miss…” Ain’t that the truth. Still, rare to see a band prepared to come out with an opening gambit like that, but then again this is Sophia, an excellent combo who, annoyingly, have just made an album that doesn’t do them justice, although they more than make up for that here. Initially there’s something awfully seductive about their narcoleptic reveries, all held together by the wonderfully named and, conventiently, also wonderful Robin Proper-Sheppard, a man with the presence of Greg Dulli and the voice of the result of an alarming tryst between Paul Heaton and Hope Sandoval, possibly with Nick Cave looking on askancely. And then it happens. The walls of sphincter-slicing, granitey screeee come out of nowhere, and it’s so brilliant we could do with coming up with some brand new profanities just to describe it. Knucklefuckingly magic, then. Why, people are even genuinely scared!
Iain Moffat and Jeremy Allen (

Review 2
Sophia meanwhile seem to be on a mission to destroy everyone in the main room’s hearing and possibly bring the ceiling down as well. This is an odd move considering the quiet and downbeat nature of their heartfelt alt-country. Things seem to be going swimmingly morbid on the gorgeous opener "Slow Slow", then they play "Desert Song #2", it isn’t even that loud on record but it seems Robin Proper-Sheppard is carrying out some kind of white-noise experiments for the US Government and the PA goes into some kind of weapons-grade overdrive. Our balls start to shake and people start to leave the room. Ooops.
nick farrow,