Sophia (Robin Solo + Vito) - May 09 '06: Arenbergschouwburg, Antwerp (BE), with Vito

Review 1
After another great set by Vito (considering the cd sales after the gigs, I'm not the only one who likes this band), Robin takes the stage with his little black book in hand. It was already half filled with requests so he could he could only add a couple more. This still turned out to be one of the longest solo sets of the current tour. Now that Robin's voice is back he was able to pick songs from his entire Sophia back catalogue (and no, he doesn't play tracks from that other back catalogue). We had a great audience that was dead silent during tracks like 'Another trauma" and 'Is it any wonder'. Personal favourite was 'Swept back', a track that begs for an acoustic version.
Then it was time for the Vito boys to join Robin for the usual foursome 'Desert Song n° 2', 'The River Song', 'Theme For The May Queen # 1' and 'Rollin'. It's great to see how the band are enjoying themselves while playing these songs. I love it how during the noise part of 'Desert Song no. 2' they keep getting more and more intense and louder and louder. The most rock 'n roll part of the evening was when foam started to spill out of Robin's beer bottle (which was standing on top of his amp) because of the vibrations his amp was causing during the noise parts of 'Desert Song n° 2' and 'The River Song'.
Robin was kind enough to honour my request and play the new 'We are you now' at the end of the gig. This song has been stuck in my head for two days now, which probably means this would be a great first single for the upcoming album. It's an up-tempo, rather 'poppie' lament for a lost love and it reminds me once again why I love this band so much.
Wouter Berteloot, 11.05.2006,

Review 2
wat een persoonlijkheid.
een lach en een traan, vrolijk maar toch neerslachtig...
die ver uitliggende emoties legt hij zonder schroom naast elkaar. doe het maar eens, zeg ik zo, Hij kan het zo mooi verwoorden daar waar anderen uit de bocht schuiven en de melige toer opgaan. en net dat is zijn sterke punt...
ik had enorm hoge verwachtingen van Sophia (Robert Sheppard), maar toch oversteeg hij die... onbeschrijfelijk dat is het gewoon. De kleine zaal van den Arenberg was uitverkocht, maar er was net genoeg volk om het nog onwaarschijnlijk intiem te houden. hij en zijn versterkte akoestische gitaar, waarop hij rustige tokkelde, maar geregeld ook eens enorm stevig op uithaalde. hij stond er gewoon. punt uit!
Nadien kwam de band erbij en werden de stevigere songs afgewerkt, rocken en vree stevig rocken. ik stond toch wel ff versteld van die tegenstrijdigheid. het toont twee verschillende kanten van de man. echt mega herkenbaar...

Vito tour diary
Holed up in Antwerp and the Vito bug has moved on causing more sickness, but again the show must go on and the Arenbergschouwburg is a great place to do it. First appearance of reggae-Sophia (The Irises) causes much amusement at soundcheck although I don’t expect they’ll be seeing the light of day before the Beach Bar/Banana Boat dream is realised. Really cool crowd tonight and pretty good album sales too. All good!

Set list
1. Another trauma
2. I left you
3. Swept back
4. So slow
5. Are you happy now
6. If only
7. Ship in the sand
8. The sea
9. Is it any wonder
10. Holidays are nice
11. Oh my love
12. Desert song no. 2 (*)
13. The river song (*)
14. Theme for the may queen no. 1 (oh yeah – alright) (*)
15. Rollin (*)
16. Where are you now (*)

Photos by Johan Bauwens

Photos by Ilse Roosens

Photos by Sven Van Hamme

Photo by VITO