Archive for the ‘Sophia’ Category



It was a Sonic Youth curated indie festival, but I managed to miss their set.

Four of went, in a rental car, listening to Soulwax’s 2 Many DJs all the way down.

It was the one with No Fun / Push It on.

I’d built this weekend up quite heavily in my head.

I was turning 31 on the Sunday and I’d been telling everyone and myself that I was going to quit drinking and heavy drugs.

The headline attraction was Sonic Youth, who I’d never seen.

The weather was awful.

And despite having done family holidays in holiday camps in the late 70s and early 80s I was shocked at how basic the chalets were.

We had a huge amount of coke.

This was the weekend when the thing I’d been having with someone turned into an actual affair.

At the time I looked at it like doomed romanticism.

Fucking on drugs when we should have been watching the headline band.


A long lunch at some generic pub on a grey, wet coast alternating Stella Artois with lines in the toilet.

But now it all seems tawdry and sordid. I just didn’t realise it at the time.

I thought my friends were being supportive of me spending time with someone.

It wasn’t till years later I found out that they couldn’t believe what I was doing and they were worried for me.

I don’t make those kind of conversations easy.

I saw part of a Steve Malkmus set. It was OK.

I saw Cat Power stumble through a very weird set.

I saw Explosions in the Sky and Sophia, and Sophia were louder.

There was a running joke between us about Vincent Gallo.

There was a catchphrase of “Are you easily shocked?”

On the Sunday night I’d basically gone back to the chalet and tried to get myself together. I had a four pack and what was left of my stash.

I worked through it feeling really weird and trying to read a book.

It was Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

The guys showed up with some other people we knew at midnight.

They’d got Mission of Burma to sign a copy of their new ONoffON album for me. I still have it.

Everyone was listening to Mission of Burma that year.

They’d been in Michael Azzerad’s Our Band Could be Your Life which I think everyone had read.

They were the band that none of us had known about before reading it.

We pretended we liked their set more than we actually did, but Academy Fight Song and Revolver were great.

Everyone chanted along.

At the end of it all, we went to see LCD Soundsystem play a very crowded room.

They were late on stage. Very late, and I didn’t feel very well at all.

I just about remember Losing My Edge.

When I got home on the Monday, I emptied the fridge and poured a bottle of absolut down my sink.

High: insanely

Drinking: insanely

Thinking: insanely




This was a strange and confusing time for me.

This show was five days before I quit drinking for a while.

I’d been telling people I was going to do it since the end of 2003.

It was the only way I thought I could make sure it happened – to know that other people would think less of me if I didn’t.

I thought it was odd that no one else was telling me to do it, because I thought I was saving my life.

The first I knew of Sophia was when someone I knew started playing with them.

For a while he was also playing in a weekly pop quiz team in a pub in Finsbury Park.

The rest of the team included Robin from Sophia, Adam from Swervedriver and a couple of well known music journalists.

Then there was me. So I knew some of Sophia.

Here’s what you’d never know about then from listening to the records. They were one of the loudest bands you’d ever see.

And that’s what I remember about this show.

I thought the PA was going to blow.

High? If a Change is Going to Come.

Drinking? Soaked. Absolutely drenched in it.

Thinking? How to do this sober. 

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