Popart: Robert Jan Stips plays Supersister


5 July 2015 was a very warm day. Robert Jan Stips thought so
as well. He had agreed to play on three pianos more of less simultaneously at the Beauforthuis in Austerlitz: a Steinway, a Fazioli and a Bechstein, each with its own characteristic sound.

The three pianos were arranged in a triangle and he played complete versions of the first three LPs by his old band Supersister. The concert was recorded and was issued on CD and DVD on 27 March 2016. The concert was performed again when the release took place, and this time the weather was colder but the performance was again warmly received. All of this gave Robert Jan Stips enough reason to look back at his period with Supersister.

An escaped rabbit

Concertzender staff member Paul Lemmens had the opportunity to interview Stips at length about Supersister, their music and the concert on the three pianos. The interview was interrupted only by the return of his children from school and a rabbit that escaped from its hutch. The rabbit must have known something about Supersister, because such an action fits perfectly with the image of the band. Why? You can find out in two programmes in our series Popart in which the interview is interspersed with music by Supersister, Soft Machine, Erik Satie, Sacha van Geest and – in part two – with music from the concert on the three pianos. Robert Jan Stips Plays Supersister

Popart with Supersister / Robert
Jan Stips

Broadcast:Wednesday 5 October,
22:00 - 23:00 CET, part 1, click
here for more information.


The music from Supersister is less dated than much of the pop music from the early 1970s. Supersister
was appreciated both inside the Netherlands and internationally. Maybe that was because Supersister never betreayed their roots and – despite becoming part of the Canterbury scene – always felt a close assocation with the pop and classical music from mainland Europe.

John Peel

Supersister had more in common with Dutch contemporary classical music – Louis Andriessen and Peter Schat – than with the more usual influences from rock, blues & soul from the US. These elements, delivered with a sense of humour that ensured that things never became too serious, resulted in many fans from outside the Netherlands - including the influential BBC disc-jockey John Peel who released their music on his own label in England and always played their music during his gigs.

Star configuration with revolving stool

Supersister were no longer able to perform their own music live following the departure of the flautist Sacha van Geest and the bassist Ron van Eck. However, keyboard player and singer Robert Jan Stips realised that he could also reproduce the themes and atmosphere of the music using just a piano. Following a solo piano concert in the Beauforthuis in Austerlitz, he was asked if he would like to experiment with the three pianos that they have there. This led to the idea of a performance of the first three Supersister LPs( Present from Nancy, To the Highest Bidder, Pudding en Gisteren) with the pianos in a star configuration around a revolving stool.



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