Sophia - Apr. 8 '04: King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow (UK), with M. Craft

Having traded in the intense firepower of The God Machine, Robin Proper-Sheppard has turned his hand to music of inversion, patience, even anticlimax. His recent album with Sophia - 'People are like seasons', their third - is a well-judged, nicely-balanced record, and a great chunk of the set comes from it. That's not unreasonable, but tonight these acerbic relationship songs and desperate indie blues don't really take off. The sound of Sophia at the moment hovers somewhere between Mercury Rev circa Deserter's Songs (or Ideal Crash-era dEUS) and the Angels Of Light. "Soft, mellow songs" that at their best have a sharp glow to them. There are patient buildups and quiet/loud bits, but the dynamic doesn't seem right. The set lacks polarity, it all begins to sound the same, and it generally seems like these songs are better suited to sliding smoothly from your stereo speakers. They do show their scope with a brace of songs in the middle, though, with 'Fool' and 'Desert Song No. 2' dominating the whole set. Much better on record than in person on this evidence.
craig scott,