- If This Is Your Welcome
- When Hearts Grow Cold
- Periscope Life
- Sweet Revenge
- Two Wrongs (Don’t Make a Right)
- Chance for a Lifetime
- Starlight Dancer
- Ruthless Queen
- Close to the Fire
- Full Circle
- vocals: Bert Heerink
- guitar: Rob Winter
- guitar: Rob Vunderink
- keys: Ton Scherpenzeel
- bass: Bert Veldkamp
- drums: Pim Koopman
Karel, Nick, Gijs, Martijn
Yesterday, on the evening before Queen’s Day (a Dutch national holiday) Kayak did a performance on the Heuvel square, in the center of Tilburg, my home town. It was an open air concert, free admission, on the occasion of Queen’s Day. There were a lot of bands playing that day, and Kayak was the closing act.
I went there with a couple of friends; we were meeting near the stage about 10 minutes before the start of the concert. One of them would come a little later. While we approached the stage, Pink Floyd’s Division Bell was playing. Never been my favorite album… :) I looked around a bit and noticed there weren’t only fourty-year-olds around, also plenty of younger people like myself. If they were just attracted by the music, not knowing who Kayak were, or if they were dragged along by their parents, or if they were genuine Kayak fans, I don’t know.
A few moments later, the band came on stage and started to play. I hardly know any Kayak, in fact I knew only two songs well enough to be able to recognise them before the concert: Ruthless Queen (which I don’t really like) and Close to the Fire (which I love). At first I thought the first song they played was Close to the Fire, it had a similar intro. But it wasn’t. About halfway the show there was another song I thought was Close to the Fire in the beginning. I had to wait till the first encore to hear that one though.
In the mean time the band played their songs. Ton Scherpenzeel is a brilliant keyboardist. Bert Heerink a fine singer but unfortunately the words were often hard to follow. One of the guitarists (Rob Winter) reminded me a lot of Queen’s Brian May, both in hairstyle and guitar play :) But the one I really admire was the drummer, Pim Koopman. According to Bert Heerink, he had a fever of 40 degrees Celsius (about 104 Fahrenheit) and a tooth ache, and he still played for one and a half hour without break, like nothing was wrong! According to Karel, one of my friends, he played very well, and that means a lot coming from him as he’s very critical about drums. You could see that he grew tired near the end, though.
Bert Heerink seemed like a fun guy, asking the audience about the other bands that had played that day, and saying that he wouldn’t mind playing till the sun came up again (it was about 11pm), but he didn’t know what the rest of the band thought of it, or the local authorities for that matter. The audience seemed to like the idea though :)
I was able to take a lot of pictures, I had to take a lot against the lights on the stage though. We’ll see how they work out.
The music was good, but I thought there were no songs really standing out, a lot of it seemed like a lot of the rest of it. At one point, and I don’t remember during which song, I thought one of Ton’s keyboard solo’s resembled a lot a song that he did for Youp van ‘t Hek, a famous Dutch cabaret artist that Ton has had a long term professional relationship with. The last three songs were the best, in my opinion. Those were Ruthless Queen, a song that I never really liked, but did stand out at this concert. It was played just before the band left the stage. When they came back, they played Close to the Fire (yes! finally! :) and another song that I really liked, I don’t know it’s name though. It had a bit of a Celtic vibe; it resebled Alan Parsons’ song Jigue, but also some Mike Oldfield tracks. It had a very long instrumental part, with a keyboard-guitar question-and-answer play in it. It was really good. If someone can tell me the title of the song, please do!
Afterwards, my friends and I went to a terrace facing the stage, which was being taken down at that time. Division Bell was playing again. At a stand next to the stage they sold Kayak cds, T-shirts and other merchandise. Karel and I went to take a look there, and I got myself Ton Scherpenzeel’s solo album Heart of the Universe, a rare album which was re-released this year in a limited edition, which is a collaboration with Chris Rainbow, a singer I’ve grown to like from his work on the Alan Parsons Project’s albums. I also got a Kayak cigarette lighter. Not that I smoke, but it looked cool and it was cheap :) Looking to the right, Karel saw one of the guitarists (the one that looked like Brian May) talking to some fans, doing a little backstage meeting. I didn’t see Ton Scherpenzeel there, if I did I’d have probably gone there and get him to sign the cd :) But since I’m fairly new at Kayak, I didn’t have anything to get him to sign, nor anything to talk about, so I decided to go back to my friends.
All in all, it was a great night, and I didn’t feel like I wasted any money on the concert, even if I did have to pay for it :) Kayak is a good band, and I’m planning to get to know the music better in the near future.
NP Ton Scherpenzeel - Wheels