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Supersister - Sweet OK Supersister CD (album) cover

SWEET OK SUPERSISTER

Supersister

Canterbury Scene


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5 stars It was a very pleasant surprise when Supersister got together for a reunion tour. This was initiated by the organisers of Progfest who asked Supersister to play on the year 2000 edition of the festival. And so they played together for the first time since 1974. After Progfest they did a few more show in The Netherlands, like in Groningen (which I saw) and in Amsterdam (at Paradiso) where the show was recorded. In 2001 this was released on a double CD (Supersisterious) and now it is finally released as a DVD. So everyone who didn't have the chance to attend one of the reunion concerts can experience this. The first disc contains the concert, the second disc contains a documentary and archive material.

With the first track, Present From Nancy, it is magic. This is why I love the music of Supersister so much. It is great Canterbury music with it's jazzy and psychedelic leanings. They play great melodies with an ever changing rhythm. The fuzzy organ and the typical voice of Stips are of course very essential to the music, as is the beautiful flute playing by Van Geest. The great thing about this performance is that the band has so much fun in performing. And when you think of it, a part from Robert Stips who has been playing after the break up of Supersister, the other three musicians haven't been playing live since that moment, the performance is excellent. The songs you can both hear and see are from the first three albums. Included in the set is also the live favourite Wow, the single She Was Naked and the odd 6 Blauwe dwergen. In between the songs Stips explains the meaning of the songs like in the long introduction to WOW where he tells they wanted to write an intelligent song.

The second dvd contains a documentary of how they got together to perform at progfest. It contains footage of the first try out in Delft and the Progfest performance. There are lots of interviews with the band members, with the organisers of the festival an with the fans. Unfortunately there is not much archive material from Supersister. On this dvd they included an item from 1971 which was aired on Dutch television. It is a portret of Supersister during rehearsal and travelling. Then there is a slide show of pictures from the band from 1965 to 1974. It ends with a long list of all the names and place that were involved with Supersister. And for those who don't speak Dutch, there a English subtitles.

This is a marvelous dvd. A great performance by one of the best canterbury styled bands. And it is still sad that Sacha van Geest died not long after the reunion.

Report this review (#75470)
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Last night I saw the Nits (I don't recall how often I saw them) with Robert-Jan Stips. The merchandise-stand had this new dvd from Supersister. Of course I had it signed by Robert- Jan after the show. My favorite dutch band of all time for the first time on dvd. After coming home I immediately played it and saw what I missed late 2000 (I was hospitalised on the day of the 013-show and had to stay in hospital for a few days, so I also missed the Paradiso-gig).

Robert-Jan told me there were some technical problems in making the dvd, that's why it took some time before it could be released. The result is a must have for all fans. A great show from a band clearly having a good time playing together after all that time. Some of the best tracks from the ultimate Supersister line-up.

The bonus dvd has a VPRO-featurette which must be familiar for dutch fans, it has been on TV several times in the past. The progfest documentary is the key-feature of this dvd, because it was this festival that made the band reunite.

Sadly there will never be an encore, as it is said in the liner-notes: 3 will never feel as 4. Thanks Sacha for having been here (and for your kind words when I was in hospital)

Report this review (#77966)
Posted Friday, May 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This long awaited DVD release of Supersister's " Supersisterious" live concert release from a few years back should drive fans to seek out a "region free" DVD player in quick haste to enjoy this one over and over.After the first 20 minutes of this stunning live retrospective of the band's first 3 LPs, you feel you've eaten an aural feast - and there's more than an hour and a half of excellent sounds yet to experience. Supersister were a specimen unto itself, crafting wry,popish snippits of songs within a juicy,trippy,sonic landscape that included;wildly fluctuating time signatures,kitchy sci-fi passages,deep soul-jazz grooves,bossanova,proto speed-metal ( without guitar!!!),catchy interwoven riifs and savoury elements of total dischord. It's hard to believe any band could tie all these elements seamlessly... and a group of Dutch teens at that!!!! I first heard about the band because my aunt in Holland had been sending me Dutch music mags thru the late 60s and early 70s although I didn't know the language. And she would send over records I'd ask for. I remember seeing a 4 star review of "Present From Nancy" in Muziek Expres. I was fascinated and so a copy was sent to along me.It gotta be one of the most "out of left field" revelations in 70's prog - and sounds just as great today... Supersister came about in the second wave of highly inventive Dutch rock. the first, with bands breaking the R&B (Pretty Things...)mode of things such as;Ro-d-ys,Sandy Coast, and Groep 1859 (whom Supersister owe at least a passing nod...).By 69/70, bands with instumental muscle and inventiveness found alot of success. Among those,Solution,Earth & Fire,Focus gained fans in the States and around the world. Supersister though, have had a fervent, loyal, if scattered following even through the years passed their break-up in 1974. Progfest wooed them out of retirement and to LA at the turn of the Millenium. They then had a series of concert triumphs (in Holland...) and sadly their charismatic flute player, Sacha, died suddenly and it was all over. This DVD set is a testiment to the power of their music and fanbase.One DVD has a touching documentry on their re-union gig at Progfest peppered with adoring fans and excellent rehearsals. A triumph... It too, has a Dutch 11 minute documentry when the band has just released "Present From Nancy" and a lengthy photo retrospective set to music. The jewel of course is the DVD of the Amsterdam re-union gig from 2000. The band sails through their complex body of work like assassins - with all the wit,musicianship,dexterity that floored listeners apon hearing their debut LP in 1970.
Report this review (#81253)
Posted Friday, June 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars There must be some sort of an inside joke that I don't get. I have two albums by this group and although there are some mischievous tricks in the songs I never really liked them alot. As I heard that this group has made a comeback and a live DVD that is better than ever I though to give it a shot. I don't get it. Is this some sort of sircus prog? Should it be funny? It don't make me laugh... and certainly the music is not very special. Good playing yes, after 25 years of not performing. Well rehearsed. Not very interesting melodies but it flows OK. But why do they do those silly jokes? This could work in a kindergarden well. I'll recommend this to serious fans and collectors only.
Report this review (#84907)
Posted Thursday, July 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Supersister - Sweet OK Supersister dvd (2006)

This dvd shows one of the unexpected comeback concerts of one of the main Dutch progressive bands from the seventies: Supersister. The band has keyboard-magician Robert Jan Stips, Ron van Eck on Bass, Marco Vrolijk on drums and Sacha van Geest on flutes.

In the early seventies Supersister started with 'Presents from Nancy', a debut that had a lot of influences of the Canterbury-scene. Follow-up To the Highest Bidder can be seen as their swan-song, but Pudding and Gisteren also has an amazing likable sound. Supersister plays only tracks of these first three albums.

The key-sounds and structures of the Soft Machine are very recognizable, but Supersister ain't no spin off act. They re-invented the jazz-rock genre in their own way with trippy and repetitive up-tempo instrumental parts with jazzy flutes as a solo instrument. There are no guitars. The vocals had always been a bit funny because of Stip's un-trained yet catchy and happy voice. It gave them this crazy and free sound, which became very acceptable because of the amazing musicianship and the bands abnormal rhythmical possibilities. The compositions of Stips sound Canterbury-like, but there's also a bit of Frank Zappa and some quirkiness of Gentle Giant. The band sounds heavier then most groups of the Canterbury genre.

The comeback of Supersister is one of the best of the Dutch prog history. The band succeeded in recreating their classic distorted organ sound and their heavy rhythmical section. The vocals of Stips sound as if nothing has changed in thirty years. The stage-performance is good, the extremely sophisticated musicianship and happy vocals of Stips work very well. However, Stips should not have talked between the songs. His stories sound boring and he looks very shy. The band plays very tight and professional, but I must say the band slightly looses it's perfect grip after the Pudding en gisteren part. The vocals are often good, but on some multi-vocal moments they are horrible. Luckily these moments are extremely rare and it proves the band didn't changed anything in the studio, which is honorable.

The track-listing of this dvd is amazing. Not one important Supersister song is missing. Even the 20-minute Pudding en gisteren epic is played! Other highlights are Present from Nancy, Memories ar new, Mexico, A girl named you, Judy goes on holiday and Wow. There are also some poppy songs, but they are very funny!

Conclusion. An amazing document that should get attention from all Supersister fans. This dvd will be a very good addition to every-one interested in Canterbury music, trippy Jazz-rock, Dutch prog and rhythmical sophisticated progressive rock. Four stars!

Report this review (#160640)
Posted Sunday, February 3, 2008 | Review Permalink

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