Nits – Live in Bordeaux – December 8, 2021 – RTS Coleur 3, Switzerland –
Nits (previously known as THE Nits) have been around since 1974. They’ve gone through numerous incarnations as well as personnel and direction changes – in that time they’ve released a staggering 36 albums, none of which have appeared in the U.S.
In their ranks is at least one name instantly recognizable among collectors and fans of Prog; Robert Jan Stips, who plays keyboards for Nits was also a founding member of the milestone Prog band Supersister. After the demise of Supersister he did brief stints with Golden Earring and Gruppo Sportivo as well as several solo projects before joining up with The Nits where he’s been ever since.
Henk Hofstede and Alex Roelofs, students at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, founded The Nits in 1974 together with Michiel Peters and Rob Kloet. The first concert was on December 12 that year, during a student party in De Brakke Grond in Amsterdam. A performance at OOR ‘s Eerste Nederlandse Groepen Partij in Amsterdam’s Paradiso on 25 October 1975 left them with a record deal. At Burdorf Booking – a sub-label of Dureco – they were allowed to record a single in 1976. Yes Or No was released in 1977. They came up with it in Toppop , but because the single was almost unavailable, it just didn’t get a top-40 listing.
In September 1978 the limited edition album The Nits was released . The band performed more and more often and with the song Tutti Ragazzi the group took part in the OOR album Keihard & Swingend. The Hague manager Aad Link was charmed by the band and, with producer Robert Jan Stips, contacted record company CBS, later Sony . The Nits were ransomed and signed a contract.
At the end of 1979 the album Tent was released. Tutti Ragazzi, which was already on the debut album in another version, was the first hit single. The successor New Flat (1980) was warmly received abroad. That was reason for the band to tour in West Germany.
After the release of the album Work , in 1981, Alex Roelofs left the group. He had had enough of traveling. His place was taken by producer and keyboardist Robert Jan Stips.
Their biggest hit in the Netherlands was “Nescio” (1983), a tribute to the Dutch author Jan Hendrik Frederik Grönloh. The major hit that brought the band to the attention of an international audience was “In the Dutch Mountains” (1987). Other well-known Nits songs include “J.O.S. Days”, “Adieu, Sweet Bahnhof” and “Sketches of Spain”. Top 10 albums include Omsk (1983), In the Dutch Mountains (1987), Urk (1989), Doing the Dishes (2008) and Hotel Europa (2015).
In August 2017 new album and tour angst were announced for September. Preceded by the songs “Flowershop Forget-Me-Not”, “Yellow Socks & Angst” and “Pockets Of Rain”. On Friday September 15 “Yellow Socks & Angst” was added to Spotify’s popular New Music Friday playlist. angst was released by the band’s own WERF Records and largely sold through the band’s own website. Despite this, on the back of very good reviews in OOR, Algemeen Dagblad and Lust For Life a.o., and promo shows on Dutch Radio, it entered the Dutch Album Top 100 at #40. The European 2017-2018 tour started in September 2017. Early November 2017 a 12-second promo for the tour was broadcast on Dutch TV, featuring “Port Of Amsterdam”, from the albums Henk (1986) and URK (1989, live). Late November the band played “Radio Orange” on Holland’s biggest TV show De Wereld Draait Door, after which angst returned to the iTunes Top 15. Early December NITS played the same song on Belgian TV show “De Zevende Dag”. In January 2018 Spotify released the playlist This is: NITS featuring 40 songs from Tent (1979) all the way up to angst (2017). From Tutti Ragazzi to In The Dutch Mountains and from Giant Normal Dwarf to Pockets Of Rain.
On November 22, 2019 Knot was released to favourable reviews in OOR, Parool and Written in Music a.o.
Enjoy the show.