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Thread: Nits (long-standing Dutch rock band)

  1. #1

    Nits (long-standing Dutch rock band)

    Another impressive band that I've just recently discovered because some good soul brought them to Moscow. I heard a couple of their albums over the years and thought it's generally nice, well-crafted stuff, but the concert blew me away. Three guys well into their 50s doing what I thought was pop music par excellence - clever poetic lyrics, intricate keyboard arrangements (courtesy of one and only Robert Jan Stips, former leader of Supersister that might well be my favorite Dutch band ever), strong voice and frontman presence from Henk Hofstede, and a very European atmosphere, which is hard to explain, but I vividly see all those cosy narrow sidestreets of old European towns when I'm listening to their songs.

    One important thing that this concert taught me: there are no bad sounds. Some of the timbres they used (like poor synthesizer drum machines - in addition to real drums, or faux-accordion keyboard pads) would've been beyond bad taste in the wrong hands, but it somehow works when the tunes are good, and they are.

    Another thing: I got to chat with mr Stips, one of my true musical heroes, for as long as 1,5 hours, and this is surely one of the most interesting interviews I've done. Of course we were focusing mostly on Supersister and his prog years, and now I should find another 1,5 hours or more to bring the audio conversation into a printed text.

    But back to Nits - here are a few top tracks from various stages of their career:






  2. #2
    And a few more - since I'm not allowed to share more than three video links in one post:






  3. #3
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Count me as a fan.

    I first saw them live in the early 80ies. Over the years I lost intrest in them several times but I always came back to them. I think they are (internationally) a very underrated artpop band.

    I think you are right about the tastefull use of sounds and arrangements. Especially in the 80ies for me a lot of pop music is unlistenable because of the horrible use of synths and electronic drum sounds. This never bothered me with the Nits. Robert Jan Stips' use of electronics has always been extremely tasteful.

  4. #4
    Very fine band indeed.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    I think they are (internationally) a very underrated artpop band.
    Damn right, considering the attention this thread garnered!

  6. #6
    Just saw this thread, one of my favorite Dutch acts.
    Hjuvi and Torni are perhaps pretty close to prog.

  7. #7
    Playing that Henry Moore song at a huge festival like Pinkpop and getting away with it, damn the times have really changed.

    Nits are pretty much a national treausure IMHO and I hope they keep on doing what they do fir many more years.

  8. #8
    Love this song:



    I like the Italian/English lyrics and Stips’ piano playing on this song is divine.

    -------------
    MIKE (a.k.a. "Progbear")

    "It is not an obscenity to be free. It is a divine right." --Annette Peacock

    N.P.:“Night Flight”-Night Flight Project

  9. #9
    Progstreaming-webmaster Sunhillow's Avatar
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    Big fan here! I like almost all their albums, but the live album Urk and Ting Ting are masterpieces.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    Love this song:



    I like the Italian/English lyrics and Stips’ piano playing on this song is divine.

    -------------
    MIKE (a.k.a. "Progbear")

    "It is not an obscenity to be free. It is a divine right." --Annette Peacock

    N.P.:“Night Flight”-Night Flight Project
    This is one of those songs from groups I love, I didn't like when I first heard them.
    b.t.w. Originally they wanted Dutch singer Willy Alberti, who is dead and gone for some time, to sing the Italian parts, but his manager opposed it.
    Willy Alberti in Italian

    Willy Alberti in Dutch

  11. #11
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunhillow View Post
    Big fan here! I like almost all their albums, but the live album Urk and Ting Ting are masterpieces.
    Agreed. I would ad "Giant Nomal Dwarf" to that list and you have the most essential Nits albums.

  12. #12
    Member Birdy's Avatar
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    Great band. I have pretty much all they've done except the new one Malpensa. Also saw them live in the 80's in a small club in toronto and it was a GREAT
    show. Early stuff is so-so but everything from 1985 on (In the Dutch Mountains) has been great. Anybody heard the new one Malpensa?

  13. #13
    Progstreaming-webmaster Sunhillow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdy View Post
    Great band. I have pretty much all they've done except the new one Malpensa. Also saw them live in the 80's in a small club in toronto and it was a GREAT
    show. Early stuff is so-so but everything from 1985 on (In the Dutch Mountains) has been great. Anybody heard the new one Malpensa?
    Yeah, it's very good. Great artwork too:

    00091497.jpg

    Here's a track:


  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXymphonia View Post
    Playing that Henry Moore song at a huge festival like Pinkpop and getting away with it, damn the times have really changed.
    Yeah, you can say it again! I was astounded when I first saw this video.
    Quote Originally Posted by Birdy
    Anybody heard the new one Malpensa?
    Yup, I have it, and it's very good. Actually, the last video that I posted (the third one in the second post in this thread) is a song from "Malpensa", one of their proggiest in a long time, with a long, somewhat Canterbury-sounding instrumental part in the middle. They actually played it live in Moscow too, bringing in their road manager to do an electric guitar solo - for the first and the last time during the set!

  15. #15
    They always impressed me...
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  16. #16
    Member Birdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levgan View Post
    Yeah, you can say it again! I was astounded when I first saw this video.

    Yup, I have it, and it's very good. Actually, the last video that I posted (the third one in the second post in this thread) is a song from "Malpensa", one of their proggiest in a long time, with a long, somewhat Canterbury-sounding instrumental part in the middle. They actually played it live in Moscow too, bringing in their road manager to do an electric guitar solo - for the first and the last time during the set!
    Hey, great stuff!! Thanks for posting these. What an innovative band these guys are. Very classy artistic pop/prog/rock

  17. #17
    Sad news for the Nits-members and their fans: their rehearsal- and archive-room was destroyed by a fire yesterday.
    RJ Stips says some of the archival stuff had back-ups which were saved somewhere else, but a lot of material is gone


  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by interbellum View Post
    Sad news for the Nits-members and their fans: their rehearsal- and archive-room was destroyed by a fire yesterday.
    RJ Stips says some of the archival stuff had back-ups which were saved somewhere else, but a lot of material is gone

    Yes, I read this as well. Very sad news for the guys. Wonder if they had the towers, used for the performance of Torni, stored there.

  19. #19
    Go fund me-action for The Nits: https://gofund.me/fe893412

  20. #20
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by interbellum View Post
    Go fund me-action for The Nits: https://gofund.me/fe893412
    Thanks for the notice. I will contribute a bit.

  21. #21
    New album NEON will be released next month. Here's the third single, The Ghost Ranch:


    source: http://www.nits.nl/

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by interbellum View Post
    New album NEON will be released next month. Here's the third single, The Ghost Ranch:


    source: http://www.nits.nl/
    Sounds interesting. I need to buy more Nits.
    Never thought I would hear Robert Jan Stips do some vocals with them at least not at the foreground.

  23. #23
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Another great Dutch band.



  24. #24
    Some members of The Tapes also played with Dutch singer Mathilde Santing.

  25. #25
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Cool! New information. Santing's first solo EP is nowhere near as strong compositionally as the Tapes stuff, but it's still interesting hearing Hermsen & Meuris in a different setting.

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