The God Machine: Great Lost band?

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Tim, Thursday, 15 August 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Great band, friendly guys all. Will have more thoughts on this later.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 15 August 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Never heard'em. Friend told me about'em after I mentioned I WUV Sophia - the post GM band, non?

nath, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Great lost band? Absolutely. Absolutely. Brilliant band.

Jerry, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Tim, I believe both albums are out of print. So if you ever see them, buy them. Meanwhile just download them. Sophia are pretty good too. Saw them finally in Glasgow support Mogwai.Where the crowd hated them because they didnt 'rock' enough. Robins baiting of the said crowd was funny though. The Mayqueens album is well worth checking out too. R.I.P. Jimmy Fernandez.

Kerr, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Indeed a great lost band. If only they could have stolen many a rock bands thunder that emerged in the mid-nineties

sonicred, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

You've only heard Sophia, have you Nath? TSK. ;-) But Sophia are grand, to be sure. Actually, the Flowershop label in general has much to offer; Robin's a good label boss (Copenhagen? Great band!).

R.I.P. Jimmy Fernandez.

Yes. To explain further -- okay, so I heard about them via MM in 1991 and after (had to give them some attention, them being San Diego and all), and enough articles and things cropped up that when the album came out I should give it a listen. And Scenes from the Second Storey, as I go into more detail here, was and is pretty damn amazing. Was lucky enough to see them on their one American tour opening for Cop Shoot Cop, put on a hell of a show, then interviewed them afterwards. Jimmy and Ron were both chatty and relaxed, but I remember Robin in particular being VERY intense, and not in an unfriendly way -- just looking at me directly throughout, intelligent and talkative, focused. Wish I had the tape that was on, it's long lost.

And then Jimmy died the following year. Fuck.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 16 August 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

nine months pass...
Saw Sophia on the european tour supporting Mogwai several years back. Are they similar to The God Machine?

Cary, Sunday, 15 June 2003 22:12 (eighteen years ago) link

Sophia is far more calm and vaguely alt-country, the God Machine more pounding epic psych/metal/goth. Robin's said that the God Machine reflected a more angry and dramatic period of his life that he doesn't feel as much anymore.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 15 June 2003 22:20 (eighteen years ago) link

Thw May Queens rocked out.

Miguel, Monday, 16 June 2003 11:08 (eighteen years ago) link

God Machine were my favourite 90s band for most of that decade. I got into them via The Cure, them being on the Fiction label, and that's shaped my love for the God Machine ever since. GM was probably the only band that's attempted to pick up where the Cure left off after 'Pornography'.
I really dug Sophia initially but somehow rarely feel compelled to listen to their stuff. Maybe a bit too samey..

Fabrice (Fabfunk), Monday, 16 June 2003 12:01 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Relistened to Scenes for the first time in a while today. The power was still there, refracted, recast in my mind, maybe less immediate than I had first thought, but just as intense and dramatic overall. "It's All Over" in particular leapt out at me, the burnt, sad acoustic guitar-led song smack dab in the middle of the album, rivalling anything as gripping as what the Cure did in Faith/Pornography days, to echo Fabrice there. "Purity" in particular still feels like a combination of benediction and exorcism. The show they played with Swans in 1992 in London that I read about in MM must have been a mindblower.

Great way around covers too -- Bauhaus, Echo and the Bunnymen, Peggy Lee and the KLF? Genius.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 14 May 2005 23:12 (sixteen years ago) link

eight months pass...
"Scenes from the second storey" is one of the greatest albums of all time. If you don't own it go to e-bay and buy it now! Beautiful!

Dr Greyhound (Dr Greyhound), Monday, 16 January 2006 12:26 (fifteen years ago) link

One Last laugh... is bloody great too.

I always regret not going to see them.

Last Of The Famous International Pfunkboys (Kerr), Monday, 16 January 2006 12:57 (fifteen years ago) link

I was lucky enough to see them at the St.Helens Citadel in 1992. They had an atmospheric intro tape of monks chanting that went on for about 15 minutes. I've never heard three people make so much noise before. Also Ronald Austin went through about 5 sets of drum sticks! Intense.

Dr Greyhound (Dr Greyhound), Monday, 16 January 2006 13:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Great fucking band. Put on an amazing show at CBGB's back in the day that I remember in part because a bunch of people I knew were there who hated much "loud" music yet I thought the band were as heavy as anything, especially live.

Brian O'Neill (NYCNative), Monday, 16 January 2006 13:18 (fifteen years ago) link

one month passes...
unbelievble fact that this is the only thread about "god machine".
there arent many bands who elevate metal into an effective art form.(ok,also indie..)

revivel, Wednesday, 22 February 2006 18:58 (fifteen years ago) link

and only 16 answers too.

Last Of The Famous International Pfunkboys (Kerr), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 19:48 (fifteen years ago) link

sophia can rock out if they want, ned. anyways they have nothing to do with alt-country. more like alt-sentimental. did robin proper-sheppard release anything after the phantastic people are like seasons?

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 20:49 (fifteen years ago) link

I miss the God Machine. One Last Laugh is one of my favorite album of all times and remains so linked to a very specific time and place. Never really got into Sophia though

Le Baaderonixx de Clignancourt (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 22 February 2006 23:01 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
I just popped in Scenes From The Second Storey while organizing CDs, explaining to my friend helping me that he would love it. He asked me to describe it; I said that back when it came out I threw them in with Course Of Empire (another overlooked group) in that they were shoegazing and metallic at a time when those two camps didn't converge all that much. Upon the listen tonight, I feel kinda the same way - they definitely set the table for the Aereogramme's of the world, methinks (until the new dissonance-free disc at least).

I remember seeing the band play CBGBs when that disc came out, one of the best shows I ever saw. All of my 'alternative' friends were there wondering why the hell I went and I thought it was the sillliest question I was ever asked especially since the band was even heavier and more dense live.

NYCNative, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 08:19 (fourteen years ago) link

Ah funny, I also put it on the other day and was thinking that with proper marketing this could be sold as the godfathers of emo (with an obligatory oliver stone biopic)

baaderonixx, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 09:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Wish I had seen them live. One of my absolute all-time favourite bands. And as I said 4 years ago (up above) Sophia were really good supporting Mogwai, and I listen to that Mayqueens album regularly.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 11:57 (fourteen years ago) link

What's the Mayqueens album like?

baaderonixx, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 12:05 (fourteen years ago) link

It's a lot poppier than The God Machine. And Nothing like Sophia either.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy, Wednesday, 14 March 2007 13:08 (fourteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Remembering.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 11 October 2010 15:53 (ten years ago) link

Absolutely brilliant band (and a nice piece, Ned). My first encounter of the God Machine was a two-minute snippet from some European festival on 120 Minutes. I don't even remember which song it was, but it made quite an impression. A few weeks later I found Scenes... at my local library (in the north of Holland!) and voila.
I also remember the happy shock when I discovered the source of the opening sample of 'Dream Machine', in one of the final scenes of Bertolucci's The Sheltering Sky.

A few years later, after a Sophia concert, I asked Robin if he ever played any GM songs any more. He said he only played 'Boy by the Roadside' now and then, when he was by himself.

Brilliant band.

ArchCarrier, Monday, 11 October 2010 16:30 (ten years ago) link

Thanks very much. Sometimes I wonder if they are THE great lost band of that time.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 11 October 2010 16:38 (ten years ago) link

They are.

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 11 October 2010 16:38 (ten years ago) link

hah i posted on this thread 8 years ago. Saved me retyping the story about Sophia supporting Mogwai.

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 11 October 2010 16:39 (ten years ago) link

I think i sent nathalie mp3s of the albums iirc

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 11 October 2010 16:40 (ten years ago) link

GM was probably the only band that's attempted to pick up where the Cure left off after 'Pornography'.

Insta-sold.

I think I saw these fellas on Ned's 136 list when I browsed it a couple weeks ago?

Where to start, etc.?

i'm just saying let ilxor say something nice to me ffs (ilxor), Monday, 11 October 2010 18:13 (ten years ago) link

Get both albums and you've got most everything, but definitely search out the various singles as you can -- Home, The Desert Song, Ego, the original Purity EP.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 11 October 2010 18:16 (ten years ago) link

then get some bootlegs

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 11 October 2010 18:20 (ten years ago) link

Ah yes, okay, I'll search the albums first.

YouTube'd a few tracks and this sounds waaaayy up my alley. Fantastic.

i'm just saying let ilxor say something nice to me ffs (ilxor), Monday, 11 October 2010 18:43 (ten years ago) link

the god machine piss all over the cure btw

pfunkboy (Herman G. Neuname), Monday, 11 October 2010 19:06 (ten years ago) link

Okay let's not get ahead of ourselves Herman...

i'm just saying let ilxor say something nice to me ffs (ilxor), Monday, 11 October 2010 21:32 (ten years ago) link

Without a doubt, one of the best bands I have seen live, in the 150-200 capacity Hull adelphi. It was rammed and GM floored everybody with their gorgeous - and at that time fairly original-quiet/LOUD.

For some reason,Robin PS's incongruous baseball cap sticks in my mind along with the drummer's felt ball drumsticks.

That and the freakouts by Jimi. A tragic loss.

Fer Jessie the Drunk Dutch Mountain Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Monday, 11 October 2010 22:47 (ten years ago) link

Sorry, I meant Jimmy. Respect.

Fer Jessie the Drunk Dutch Mountain Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Monday, 11 October 2010 22:49 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, a ferocious live band. I recall seeing them in a lot of places like the New Cross Venue, the Underworld, and various Sausage Machine venues. They also played a great + powerful set on the second stage at Reading one year. They were sort of on the periphery of the Camden 'lurch' scene, and certainly played with most of those bands despite not really fitting it, sound-wise.

Position Position, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 01:05 (ten years ago) link

Well obviously, from the few songs I've now already heard, Jimi's got nothing on Jimmy...

xp

i'm just saying let ilxor say something nice to me ffs (ilxor), Tuesday, 12 October 2010 01:05 (ten years ago) link

I used to have an album by this lot, can't remember much about the way it sounded except that it was a bit miserable. I should dig it out.

A brownish area with points (chap), Tuesday, 12 October 2010 01:09 (ten years ago) link

Haha one of my first posts up there in 2003. Still love these guys but have to admit that as a comfy mid-30sth I usually find it too intense to listen to them anymore.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 12 October 2010 09:23 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

God damn, Scenes from the Second Storey is fucking awesome. I think I have the Home cd single somewhere with their lovely version of Fever.

I don't hear The Cure here, hmm?

kraudive, Sunday, 13 May 2012 00:47 (nine years ago) link

Sorry for the bump, just enjoying the record.

kraudive, Sunday, 13 May 2012 00:48 (nine years ago) link

It's there, trust me. But it may take a little time to fully sink in.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 13 May 2012 00:58 (nine years ago) link

no apologies for bumping; now unsuspecting folks like myself get the privileged of hearing them for the first time...

arby's, Sunday, 13 May 2012 01:17 (nine years ago) link

Ned, you're writing of Disintegration era Cure, I guess?

kraudive, Sunday, 13 May 2012 01:28 (nine years ago) link

Nope -- to quote myself:

"It's All Over" in particular leapt out at me, the burnt, sad acoustic guitar-led song smack dab in the middle of the album, rivalling anything as gripping as what the Cure did in Faith/Pornography days, to echo Fabrice there.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 13 May 2012 01:49 (nine years ago) link

This band could do with a nice lil' box set collecting all their odds and ends

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 14 May 2012 10:08 (nine years ago) link

five years pass...

all of a sudden I need to know if brad has heard Scenes from the Second Storey

Simon H., Tuesday, 7 November 2017 14:51 (three years ago) link

One of my top 5 albums, ever.

ArchCarrier, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 15:01 (three years ago) link

Wow, I posted in this thread seven years ago.

ArchCarrier, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 15:05 (three years ago) link

Scenes from the Second Storey is extraordinary. I passed up the chance to see them in 1992, and hugely regret it.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 15:26 (three years ago) link

blimey i posted on this thread 15 years ago

Algerian Goalkeeper (Odysseus), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 15:47 (three years ago) link

What's good to check out of the satellite stuff? I've tried a couple of Sophia records, but only desultorily.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 15:50 (three years ago) link

the may queens album

Algerian Goalkeeper (Odysseus), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 16:05 (three years ago) link

May Queens are good, but I like the first two Sophia albums better.

ArchCarrier, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 16:15 (three years ago) link

all of a sudden I need to know if brad has heard Scenes from the Second Storey

Yeah it feels like a Brad album

Tim F, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 20:48 (three years ago) link

It does indeed.

Damn I'm so glad I did see them the once.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 21:02 (three years ago) link

When I saw this thread was being revived I hoped it might finally mean there was an e.p. compilation appearing. Would love a single cd collection with all those e.p.s with the various cover versions.

Glad I got to see them several times.

There are some live sets and videos that have been shared on torrent sites over the years. hope I still have the drive that has taht stuff on somewhere active.
Not sure what happened to Austin, I know that Robin Proper-Shepherd went on to Sophia.
Also interested to know if he had played guitar much before they became a 3 piece with him on guitar. I'd heard he's previously been a vocalist with limited instrumental experience. Certainly made a good job of what i've heard.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 7 November 2017 21:47 (three years ago) link

Checked out the last Sophia album that came out last year (they are relatively "indie"-big here in Belgium & Netherlands) but it felt kinda bland. Still, I'm very happy Robin's managed to make a good living out of music.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 8 November 2017 08:40 (three years ago) link

I found out last night that you can get the 2 God Machine lps reasonably cheaply on Amazon after they were reissued in 2010.
Wondering what kind of audience awareness of them there is or was at that point which was really posthumous for them as a band.
have they been covered at all?

Would love those studio covers from the e.p.s there were some really good ones in there.
Trying to think if there were many more things they covered live.

e.p. versions of songs also on lps tended to be different too I think. Some of them heavier or more impactful at least.

Stevolende, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 10:08 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

Finally tried to do them some justice.

http://thequietus.com/articles/24109-the-god-machine-scenes-from-the-second-story-review-anniversary

Ned Raggett, Monday, 26 February 2018 14:13 (three years ago) link

awesome!

Algerian Goalkeeper (Odysseus), Monday, 26 February 2018 14:34 (three years ago) link

Excellent, indeed

StanM, Monday, 26 February 2018 16:08 (three years ago) link

Thanks, Ned! Came here to post that link.

ArchCarrier, Monday, 26 February 2018 16:30 (three years ago) link

Too kind, all of you.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 26 February 2018 17:28 (three years ago) link

Great piece, thanks so much!

It reminded me of buying One Last Laugh... and then weirdly not being able to listen to it for weeks, I recall wondering to myself if people ten years older than me had the same problem when Closer came out.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 27 February 2018 00:11 (three years ago) link

This is intense, RPS smashes his guitar in the first few seconds so the song becomes a vocals, bass, drums and extended Voix Bulgares freak out jam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJmZbBdCxK0

MaresNest, Tuesday, 27 February 2018 00:30 (three years ago) link

Thanks Ned. I feel we're really reaching the point where, without efforts to keep their memory alive, this band will be completely forgotten, engulfed under the waves of time.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 27 February 2018 09:02 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOF-XAeNG_o

Maresn3st, Monday, 17 May 2021 16:08 (one month ago) link

Have hoped there might be an e.p. compilation at some point. I think I didn't get them all at the time so would like a one stop you could find them at.

Stevolende, Monday, 17 May 2021 16:10 (one month ago) link

Yeah, that would be nice for sure.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 17 May 2021 16:17 (one month ago) link

God, what a band. That live set is fantastic.

Just idly noting that Scenes OG vinyl currently going for £530 on Discogs.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 17 May 2021 18:07 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

missed this three weeks ago - thank you Maresn3st!

StanM, Monday, 7 June 2021 15:27 (two weeks ago) link


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