Sophia (Robin solo + strings + Vito) - Apr. 17 '06: La Maroquinerie, Paris (FR), with Vito

Review 1
Robin Proper-Sheppard, also known as Sophia, alike Marl Kozelek (Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon) or Terry Lee Hale, is among the most celebrated uncelebrated careers in rock. I mean, despite years of writing wonderful songs, recording strong albums, touring again and again, Robin still doesnít attract the attention he deserves and spend most of last years in the shadows. Well, I hear you, Sophia is huge in Belgium and Germany, shows for this tour are already sold out, butÖ yesterday, in a city like Paris, only a hundred of fansÖ Ok, quantity isnít quality, of course, but itís sad.
Anyway, how was it? Well, no surprise, it was a very very good performance, as usual. Starting with the intimate acoustic side of Robin backed with a string section, it ended like a Hawkwind gig (or God Machine!) with his friends from Vito. Four electric guitars on stage, what a sound!
So, next time, you know what you have to do, if Sophia comes nearby, please, donít miss Doctor Sophia and Mister Robin.
Philippe Préd'homme,

Vito tour diary
After a hellishly long drive from Rome to Paris, we are welcomed at La Maroquinerie and meet up with the string section specially shipped in for the Sophia show. Last time Sophia toured with strings they missed Paris, so tonight is payback for the Parisian crowd. Thanks to some fab scripting from Virginie, Vito can speak in French tonight, although how much sense was made of it we will never know. They seemed to like it, although it was strange to hear laughter when there were no jokes being told. Playing with the strings is magical and when the May Queens tunes are unfurled, the crowd look terrified/delighted. None of us have ever seen the front row of a crowd with their fingers in their ears, nodding heads along to the beat. Surreal. Try to have an early night but Norsk vodka decides its not an option for us.
No gig today, but events take a turn for the worse when in a random check on vehicles at motorway peage, south of Paris, the police pull us over and weigh the van. Turns out we’re almost 800 kilos overweight and after a pretty hefty fine, we are told that we cannot progress any further until we either get a new van or dump the gear (or band) by the side of the road. Holding panic at bay, the phones come out and in a frantic hour of cross-channel chat (and pony petting) a new van is booked, to be delivered in the early hours of tomorrow morning. In relay we head for the nearest motels and hole up for the night. And lo, at five in the morning, the Nite Flite double-axled Mercedes arrives and we transfer gear. The horrors of Mister Bed aside – we can recommend avoiding this particular chain of motel should you be travelling through France – crisis seems to be over and we can carry on to Switzerland.

Set list

1. So Slow (*)
2. If Only (*)
3. Swept Back (*)
4. The Sea (*)
5. Within Without (*)
6. I Left You (*)
7. Is It Any Wonder
8. Holidays Are Nice
9. When You're Sad
10. Desert Song # 2 (* / +)
11. The River Song (* / +)
12. Theme For The May Queen # 1 - Alright (Oh Yeah) (+)
13. Rollin' (+)

(*) with string section (only for the Paris gig!)
(+) with Vito

Photo's by Vincent Maston

Photos by Robert Gil

Photos by VITO