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NINE TOBS

RIO/Avant-Prog • Netherlands


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Nine Tobs biography
NINE TOBS was an avant-garde band formed by HAN BUHRS, a longtime composer and vocalist on the Dutch and French music scene. Hailing originally from Arnhem and later moving to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Han has been involved in many projects. Nine Tobs was one of these projects and their one-and-only album 'Gruffy Splurge' is a rare gem from the 1980s. Han's projects are always different and he always inserts an element of humour into everything he composes. Influenced by many genres of music, Nine Tobs' music is an eclectic mix of blues, jazz, punk and even disco but with an avant-garde bent. Han's lyrics are unique and his vocal style is always recognisable and distinct and perhaps an acquired taste to many.

Prog Archives is indebted to Han Buhrs for his recollections and presented below are his own words (with additional notes from the editor).

I shall let Han Buhrs set the scene about the all-important name "Tobs", which he has used in many of his projects:

"My mother, born in Amsterdam and named Jopie, was nicknamed Tobs. After the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945, she went dancing with an English soldier, who asked her for her name. Due to the noise he didn't hear her correctly and called her Tobie instead of Jopie. My mother liked that and called her self that from then on. Later on, it became Tobs.

The first band named after her was REMO TOBS (far from my mother). In 1981, this band was formed by Raymund van Santen (alt sax, organ, synthesizer) and myself (Han Buhrs), for a review of headstrong musicians (many also members of the Monomen) in the Arnhem music hall. The show was called Plan A and was later repeated at Paradiso, Amsterdam. Remo Tobs remained during 1981-1982, after some line-up changes, and played all across The Netherlands.
Next to Raymund and myself, the band was formed by Joop Clappers (a drumming artist) and bass player Frank van Berkel. The band released a cassette called 'Printemps'. In hindsight, most of what we did was based on our admiration of groups like Pere Ubu and the experiences we had during improvisation workshops of sax player Peter Bennink (multi-instrumentalist Han Bennink's brother), who was quite influential in certain circles in our home town of Arnhem.
At the end of 1982 the band split up. Raymund and Frank continued as a duo, calling themselves Hubbub Wazz (alt sax/bass) and I left for Amsterdam (working for music magazine Vinyl, under the name of Bram Dadel). I kept t...
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Gruffy Splurge
1985

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