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AVRO's TopPop, 1983 (Bron: fotocollectie Beeld en Geluid)


1974 - current


new wave, pop


Officiële website


The Nits


Band from Amsterdam that exactly knows how to translate Dutch sentiments into Anglo-Saxon pop music. The Nits are also the most successful Dutch band of the late '80s, both nationally and internationally.
Full biography


Rob Kloet   drums, zang
Robert Jan Stips   toetsinstrumenten, zang
Henk Hofstede   gitaar, toetsinstrumenten, zang

Former members

Joke Geraets   basgitaar
Alex Roelofs   basgitaar, zang
Michiel Peters   gitaar, zang
Petra Lugtenburg   achtergrondzang
Peter Meuris   percussie, viool
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Mentioned in the biography of

1977   Ccc Inc.
1978   Joep Bruijnjé
1978   The Tapes
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Biography Nits

Band from Amsterdam that exactly knows how to translate Dutch sentiments into Anglo-Saxon pop music. The Nits are also the most successful Dutch band of the late '80s, both nationally and internationally.


The Nits are formed by Henk Hofstede, Alex Roelofs, Michiel Peters and Rob Kloet. It is Kloet who comes up with the name for the band. The band's musical influences vary from country rock to Mersey beat. This results in short melodic popsongs. The band spends the first couple of years recording demos.


On March 12 the single Yes Or No is released. The song gets lots of airplay but does not make it into the charts.


Eighteen months behind schedule the album The Nits comes out, which was recorded in the famous Rockfield Studio in the UK. The Nits also feature on the punk and new wave compilation album Keihard en Swingend (Tough and Swinging).


In January and February the Nits tour the country with new wave group the Tapes. The jumpy and slightly intellectual sound of the Nits is taking shape on the band's second album, Tent, which is produced by Robert-Jan Stips (ex-Supersister, Golden Earring, Sweet d'Buster and producer of the successful Gruppo Sportivo albums). The single Tutti Ragazzi is a sizeable hit and according to UK music magazine NME Tent is the second best European album of the year.

Gruppo Sportivo Supersister Sweet d'Buster The Tapes


All bandmembers give up their daytime jobs to become professional musicians. New Flat, the band's third album, comes out in November. With the release of this album the band consolidates its status in the international club scene.


The single Red Tape, which is taken from the album Work, is another hit for the Nits. In the meantime, producer Robert-Jan Stips joins the band on keyboard. Bassist Alex Roelofs leaves the band. Stips releases his first solo album S.T.I.P.S.



Stips comes up with an overwhelming amount of sampled sounds for the new album Omsk. With the single Nescio they score their first Top 10 hit. Omsk wins an Edison music award. In November of this year they release the mini album Kilo, which includes the hit single Sketches Of Spain.


The album Adieu, Sweet Bahnhof, recorded with Stars On 45-producer Jaap Eggermont, comes out.

Jaap Eggermont


Adieu, Sweet Bahnhof is less successful than expected. After the promotional tour for the album guitarist Michiel Peters quits. He is replaced by two guest musicians: Petra Lugtenburg (backing vocals) and Joke Geraets (bass).


In May the album Henk is released, a slightly modest and elaborate record. The band starts its own label, Werf Records, and comes up with a project called La Grande Parade. The project involves 39 Dutch musicians from bands like W.A.T., MAM, Tent, the Dutch and 5 Slag 1 Wijd, who are inspired by an exhibition of the same name in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

5 Slag 1 Wijd MAM Tent The Dutch W.A.T.


The album In The Dutch Mountains comes out and the title track climbs the European charts. The band again receives an Edison music award.


With he release of the slightly dark mini album Hat and the single The Dream the band continues its success. The band tours Europe, the Sovjet Union and the US.


The band's commercial highlight comes with the release of the video and triple live album Urk (hit: Adieu, Sweet Bahnhof). This year Nits (as they are now called) receive the BV Popprijs ('Pop Award'), a Gouden ('Golden') Harp and an Edison Music Award.


The album Giant Normal Dwarf is an artistic and commercial disappointment. The singles Radio Shoes and Giant Normal Dwarf fail to make it into the charts.


Early in the year the band goes on tour without Geraets, who is ill and will later stop altogether with the band. The band performs as opening act at the New Music Seminar in New York and also plays at the Roskilde festival.


Robert-Jan Stips writes a symphonic composition called Hjuvi, A Rhapsody In Time. In June the band performs the composition several times in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The rhapsody is also released on CD. In October Ting is released, a melancholic and slightly experimental album with two piano's and classical percussion instruments. Guest musicians on the album are Martin Bakker (bass) and Peter Meuris (percussion, violin and ex-Tapes). The single Soap Bubble Box dents the charts.


Nits compose the music for the Dutch and French episode of the BBC travel programme Rough Guide.


The album dAdAdA comes out. A fairly light album with easy, accessible pop tunes. In the last week of the year Nits perform with cabaret artist Freek de Jonge under the name Frits. They perform songs from Freek's cabaret duo Neerlands Hoop, and also Dutch-language interpretations of Nits songs.

Freek de Jonge Frits (1)


The album and video Dankzij De Dijken (or 'In The Dutch Mountains') are released. Nits compose the score for Bedlam Brittanica, a BBC docudrama. The compilation album Nest, the video Vest and the CD Quest are released as a Nits box set. The single Broken Wings goes with an extra CD containing three covers of Beatles songs. The group also covers the Boudewijn de Groot track Een Meisje Van 16 ('A Girl Of Sixteen') for a Boudewijn de Groot tribute.


Robert-Jan Stips announces his departure from the band. In August the band plays at the Uitmarkt in Amsterdam. The following month Stips is performs with his new band Stips. Kloet starts redecorating the Werf Studios and Hofstede tours with Swiss band Stop The Shoppers.


Stips, Roy Bakker, Martin Bakker and Hella de Jonge receive an award for best musical support of the Freek de Jonge show Gemeen Goed. Kloet and Hofstede perform (under the name Nits) at a festival in Helsinki, Finland. They have also started recordings for a new album. Robert-Jan Stips releases more solo material under the name S.T.I.P.S.


1998 - 1999

Hofstede and Kloet record the album Alankomaat (Finnish for the Netherlands). Apart from Finnish guest musicians like Kimmo Kajasto, Wimme, Ursula Länsman and Tuuni Länsman, the album also features new Nits members Arwen Linnenmann (bass, backing vocals) and Laetitia van Krieken (keyboards, backing vocals). In 1998 en 1999 the band goes on an extensive tour of The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and of course Finland.

Robert Jan Stips Soft Parade


Nits have broken with Columbia and their new album Wool is released on the Play It Again Sam label. The single Ivory Boy is about a Nits fan that died of cancer. His last wish was to record an album with the band. Nits record several Dutch-language songs written by the fan. The songs are recorded for the fan's family exclusively. During the sessions for Wool Henk Hofstede records a disco record in the Swedish language. Sony Music releases the compilation Nits Hits with remastered versions of all Nits singles. The first edition of the album contains the bonus CD Urk. The group also record a TV show for which several guests have been invited: Ibenise McBean (vocals), the Zapp Stringquartet, the Styles Horns, Leona Philippo (vocals) and Peter Meuris (marimba). As part of the celebrations concerning four hundred years of relations between the Netherlands and Japan Nit, Junkie XL and Arling & Cameron go to Japan for several shows. The band's 25th anniversary is held in Stairway To Heaven in Utrecht. One of the highlights of the day is a performance of Lice, a band which consists of Nits fans from various countries who have come together especially for this occasion.

Arling & Cameron Junkie XL Leona Philippo Peter Meuris The Stylus Horns Zapp 4


Vera van der Poel (Mimezine) replaces Leona Philippo.



Hofstede is working on a solo project based on the video appliances he designed for the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Lyon, France.


In the autumn Robert-Jan Stips joins Nits for an extensive tour to celebrate the band's 30th upcoming anniversary. They will also be joined by other former bandmembers. There are also plans to record material for a new album. Late June Het Draagbare Huis ('The Portable Home'), the first Dutch-language solo album by Henk Hofstede, is released.

Henk Hofstede


Nits tour Finland, Belgium, France and Switzerland. In June they go to Germany. That same month they are playing the Parkpop Festival in The Hague, after which they go to Spain for their first Spanish dates ever. In Canada the Bare Naked Ladies, their biggest fans locally, do a surprise appearance at a Nits show. After six and a half years, Laetitia van Krieken leaves Nits. The DVD 2004 is a live registration of the concert at Paradiso Amsterdam on March 20.


On 8 September Nits and the Residentie Orkest, directed by Hans Leenders perform an exclusive show at the Paard van Troje in The Hague. Accompanied by singer Vera van der Poel (Mimezine) the band plays old and new material like Crime And Punishment, In the Dutch Mountains, Giant Normal Dwarf and Sketches of Spain. On December 9 Nits give their first ever show in London. The concert in Bush Hall is part of the Les Nuits Tour, which runs from October 2005 to May 2006 and takes the band to countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Finland and Switzerland. Les Nuits is also the title of the new studio album which is released late October. On the album Nits consists of Hofstede, Kloet and Stips. Guests on the album include the Mondriaan Quartet and singers Marjolein van der Klauw (Powderblue) and Ciska Ruitenberg. The reissue of the book Yesterday's Tomorrow, a personal account by Belgian author Marc Hendrickx about singer Leonard Cohen, includes an accompanying CD with nine Cohen covers by Henk Hofstede, keyboard player Pim Kops (De Dijk) and singer Marjolein van de Klauw.

Avalanche Quartet Powderblue


In January Henk Hofstede and Rob Kloet play several shows with the Simon Ho Orchestra in Switzerland promoting Ho's CD A Normal Sunday LIVE. Besides contributions from Switzerland, Finland, Ireland and Germany, the album also features several Nits songs. Henk Hofstede is credited for the video footage of the CD/DVD Nacht ('Night'), De Soundtrack (November) by Henny Vrienten. He is featured on the track Nachtzwemmen ('Night Swimming').

Henny Vrienten


Henk Hofstede contributes to Eilandskind (Island Child), the first solo album by Ad Grooten (Pater Moeskroen). The band spends the summer in the studio for recordings of a new album. On 16 October Nits are part of a special musical performance by Dutch comedian Freek de Jonge in Amsterdam called De Toeschouwer (The Spectator).

Ad Grooten


Doing The Dishes (January), the band's 19th studio album, includes 15 mostly uptempo songs. Nits kick off a winter tour on 9 January in Rotterdam. The tour also takes the band to Belgium, Finland, France, Luxemburg and Switzerland. Henk Hofstede, Henny Vrienten and Frank Boeijen join forces and tour together in the Netherlands and Belgium. The three musicians release an album together called Aardige Jongens (Nice Guys). Drummer Rob Kloet plays in the live line-up of the band Mist.

Frank Boeijen Henny Vrienten Mist


In January Robert Jan Stips releases his solo album Rond (Round). The album is recorded in one afternoon with only Stips on keyboards and vocals. The album features mostly adaptations of songs from the musician's extensive oeuvre, including the Nits songs Memories Are New III, The House and The River. The show of the Doing The Dishes Tour is during the Oerol Festival. During this festival Rob Kloet performs several times on a secret location for no more than maximally four persons per show. Kloet and Mist musician Rick Treffers are responsible for the music in Mara, a play inspired by the life and work of French writer Marguerite Duras. Kloet also contributes to the album of The Woodwards, the alter ego of singer-songwriter and artist Peter Schuyff. In the autumn the Nits album Strawberry Wood comes out. The album has a melancholy touch.

Discography Nits

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Nits

Audio/Video Nits

Video Nits

Het begin
Het begin
Van speels van streng
Van speels van streng
Gouden bergen
Gouden bergen
Adieu Sweet Bahnhof
Adieu Sweet Bahnhof
Complete Interview
Complete Interview
Nits - Man on a Wire
Nits - Man on a Wire
The Nits - In the Dutch M...
The Nits - In the Dutch Mountains (live 1988)
Nits - Nescio (live)
Nits - Nescio (live)
The Nits - JOS Days (live...
The Nits - JOS Days (live 1988)
love locks
love locks
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Nits - Man on a Wire

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