Supersister in concert this weekend. If you’re a fan or follower of Progressive Rock, you know exactly who Supersister were and are more than familiar with their influence over the genre and how much they contributed to the establishment of Progrock as a Genre to be taken seriously. You will also know they suffered from lack of exposure, lack of acceptance of bands from anyplace other than the U.S., UK, Canada or Australia and lack of international record distribution – actually, a lot of circumstances, seen and unforeseen that prevented them from becoming the household names they rightfully deserved to be.
The Progrock movement took a while to get off the ground, and for the most part barely got out of cult status. Along the way there were many casualties; bands which had all the earmarks for potential at being successful in bridging the ever-widening gap between mainstream and underground. But sudden changes in musical direction, frustration at the economic unsustainability of what they were doing or the capricious nature of the music business which signs an act enthusiastically one day and turns in an icy dismissal the next.
Like everything, becoming a success is a miracle in and of itself. Trying to get an entire genre off the ground is virtually impossible, even if you have vocal champions like John Peel not only supporting your efforts, but being one of the first bands he signs when he launches his own label, Dandelion Records.
Supersister were and are legends. Sadly, only two original members are left. But founding member and keyboard player Robert Jan Stips is keeping it very much alive. There are always rumors and hints. Supersister were an important band who helped put the backbone in Progrock and are largely responsible for giving it direction. Their contributions can’t be emphasized enough. This concert, one of the rare few that have survived the past 45+ years, gives some idea their virtuosity and expertise are just as well displayed in a live setting as it was in a studio setting.
If you aren’t familiar with them, I would certainly the time and go exploring – there is an Official Site as well as a Facebook page for the upcoming Supersister Projekt 2019 to be held at Amsterdam Paradiso in April of this year – either one is a good place to start. Go exploring.
And in the meantime, have a listen to 1971 and 1972 all over again.