Dutch Prog

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mudshark
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Dutch Prog

Postby mudshark » 05 Apr 2021, 23:26

I don't know how thorough the BCB search engine is, so I could be wrong. When I searched for "Alquin" the result was zilch, so I reckon this lot never got a mention over here. So for all you lovers of progressive music I'd like to invite you to look up a band called Alquin. The band was founded by some university geeks in Delft, The Netherlands, back in 1971. Their first 2 albums ("Marks" and "Mountain Queen") were released in 1972 and 1973 respectively. These are full of innovative, pleasant music. The albums were on Polydor. Deep Purple was signed with Polydor as well and the A&R people over there clearly saw some potential in the band, which is probably the reason why DP producer Derek Lawrence did the 2nd one. This connection also resulted in a support tour of the UK in 1973/4. The third album, "Nobody Can Wait Forever" (produced by the same guy that did Sabbath at the time, dunno his name). was released in 1975. It's clearly an attempt to become more commercial. It's funkier, they got themselves an actual singer and weere 'going places', or supposed to be but it turned out that the majority of the members preferred university life to that on the road. It's a pretty good album though. It also has their only Hit Single ("with a bullet!") on it: Wheelchair Groupie. In my opinion it's their best one but that's because it's the first one I heard and I have that problem: too often I find the first one of any band I hear the best. They made a fourth album (Best Kept Secret) but that one's better kept secret.

Why now? Since year 3BC (Before COVID) I've been traveling a lot back to Europe in search of 'something'. I'd rented myself a nice apartment in Rotterdam. Spent there 6 months out of the year. Of course I had brought a bunch of CD's with me, amongst which those by Alquin. When last year Feb all COVID broke loose I had to head back to the USA in a effing great hurry because they were going to shut down the place. So over 1000 CD's, 100 kilos of books and virtually my entire wardrobe has to be left behind. It's now in storage. Got new pants but I miss my CD's. Qobuz has the 2 first Alquin releases in its system and I listened to them today in the car. Brought back memories of yesteryear. I hope some of you will partake.
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trans-chigley express
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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby trans-chigley express » 06 Apr 2021, 02:20

They name sounds very familiar and I'm sure their album Mountain Queen has appeared in Prog Corner once or twice. I can't recall anything by them off the top of head but will give them a listen. Dutch prog is usually pretty good.

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C
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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby C » 06 Apr 2021, 10:36

Ray is correct, Alquin have cropped up a few times on Prog/Reap Corner.

I have the second and third Mountain Queen and Nobody Can Wait Forever

I think I prefer Mountain Queen - hence why it has been posted once or twice.

Very pleasant stuff

I will join you Erik and give at least one a spin today





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never/ever
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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby never/ever » 06 Apr 2021, 11:11

I have got Marks/Mountain Queen and Nobody Can Wait Forever/Best Kept Secret on two of those double disc jobbies the Dutch are so good at. The first one is by far the best of them. Popped up last decade for a reunion tour and two decent albums too.

Personally I rate Focus, Earth & Fire and Supersister ahead of Alquin in the Dutch prog stakes, with Kayak, Brainbox, Pandorra Ensemble, Group 1850 and Egdon Heath close by.
kath wrote:i do not wanna buy the world a fucquin gotdamn coke.

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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 06 Apr 2021, 12:33

There was a time (60's/70's) when Dutch bands and artists were very popular in Flanders. Even more so than our own Flemish ones.
They tended to throw the towel after a couple of singles or -at best- one album.
The exception being the so called 'kleinkunst' artists à la Boudewijn De Groot. Johan Verminnen, Kris De Bruyne, Jan De Wilde, Raymond, all had long careers until very recent.
In Holland, on the contrary, the bands were allowed to make several albums and toured Europe.
Radio Veronica (for the singles) and Muziekkrant Oor (°1971 and in newspaper format then) were the pricipal drivers behind this phenomenon. At least to my ears.
As a young lad I didn't have much money so I mainly went for British artists at the time. But since I swapped LP's for CD's I built a nice little collection of Dutch 60's/70's music. Nowadays I don't even know what's going on in Holland musicwise.
So, Alquin.
Not directly my main favourite but a decent enough band. Other Prog? Yes:

Supersister
Groep 1850
Earth & Fire
Solution
Kayak


Never been big on Ekseption or Focus.
Brainbox, on the other hand, now that's my second all-time Dutch band.
Kaz Lux and Jan Akkerman. See also their duo album 'Eli'.

As for my number 1, Golden Earring. Singles, albums, live, a 60 year long career.
Unfortunately, due to George Kooymans' illness, the band has officially ceased to exist a couple of months ago.
What a shame and I'm glad I still got to see them live (with Bertus Borgers) a couple of years ago.
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never/ever
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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby never/ever » 06 Apr 2021, 12:48

Walk In My Shadow wrote:Kaz Lux and Jan Akkerman. See also their duo album 'Eli'.


Hell yeah. Good album!
It's a shame Akkerman's solo albums are so patchy and Kaz started to do this blues pastiche thing that bored the pants of me.

I forgot to add Ekseption on my list! Rick van der Linden...holy shit!

Will add Cuby to the list.... listening to it now, heard that recently their first guitarist passed away. It's still mind-blowing to me how Muskee and Gelling got blues greats like Alexis Korner and Eddie Boyd jamming on their farm in Grolloo.
kath wrote:i do not wanna buy the world a fucquin gotdamn coke.

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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby C » 06 Apr 2021, 13:33

never/ever wrote:It's a shame Akkerman's solo albums are so patchy


Agreed!

Also, I rate Supersister highly too in preference to Alquin, Golden Earring and one or two others

Has Trace been mentioned yet...?






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Last edited by C on 06 Apr 2021, 13:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Walk In My Shadow
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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 06 Apr 2021, 13:35

never/ever wrote:
Walk In My Shadow wrote:Kaz Lux and Jan Akkerman. See also their duo album 'Eli'.


Hell yeah. Good album!
It's a shame Akkerman's solo albums are so patchy and Kaz started to do this blues pastiche thing that bored the pants of me.


Will add Cuby to the list.... listening to it now, heard that recently their first guitarist passed away. It's still mind-blowing to me how Muskee and Gelling got blues greats like Alexis Korner and Eddie Boyd jamming on their farm in Grolloo.




Yes, I forgot Cuby too. Appleknocker's Flophouse!

And that first Livin' Blues album.

They both could compete with any band. Anywhere.
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mudshark
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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby mudshark » 06 Apr 2021, 18:36

The guitarist of the Livin' Blues, Ted Oberg, often was rated higher than Akkerman (who's a cunt, maybe that's why) in the music magazines. Great band. To each his own, of course, but I rate Alquin's 2nd and 3rd higher than anything Kayak's ever done and most of what Focus has produced.
Cuby & The Blizzards were legends. They actually played on the great UK festivals in the 60s and were high in demand as session musicians, which is how they made contact with Alexis Korner etc. I saw them live when they toured in support of their come-back album Kid Blue in 1975 I think (they'd called it quits in 1972). Herman Brood played piano in the band. Soon after Kid Blue he left and started the band Wild Romance which also has done some fantastic stuff. Heart & soul Rock & Roll junkie!

One of the weirdest alums to come from the lowlands is Waterpipes & Dykes. Dutch Psych from the late 60's.
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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby Neige » 06 Apr 2021, 19:32

never/ever wrote:I have got Marks/Mountain Queen and Nobody Can Wait Forever/Best Kept Secret on two of those double disc jobbies the Dutch are so good at.



Me too. I like the first two much better than the second two.

never/ever wrote:Personally I rate Focus, Earth & Fire and Supersister ahead of Alquin in the Dutch prog stakes, with Kayak, Brainbox (...) close by.


Me too

(I've excluded bands I'm not familiar with from the quote above)


They're not prog I know... but my favourite Dutch band of all times are The Nits
Thumpety-thump beats plinkety-plonk every time. - Rayge

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mudshark
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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby mudshark » 06 Apr 2021, 22:39

Interesting that you mention The Nits. Not really my cup of tea, but one of the members deserves a mention: keyboardist Robert-Jan Stips. Founding member of Supersister, then joined Golden Earring for a couple of year, then co-founded Sweet d'Buster (another band I like) and finally Joined the Nits in the early '80s. He also produced a bunch of albums, a.o. those of Vitesse and Gruppo Sportivo (another band I like).
Last edited by mudshark on 07 Apr 2021, 00:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dutch Prog

Postby never/ever » 06 Apr 2021, 23:58

I love the Nits! Very proficient art-rock. Seen them live in Utrecht a few times too.
kath wrote:i do not wanna buy the world a fucquin gotdamn coke.