TrompRock aan zee


De Honselse Harmonie en de Helemaal Uit Elswijk Band: A Tribute to The Alan Parsons Project:

  1. The Nirvana Principle
  2. Sirius / Eye in the Sky
  3. Beyond the Pleasure Principle
  4. Don’t Let the Moment Pass
  5. May Be a Price to Pay
  6. Silence and I
  7. Time
  8. Lucifer
  9. What Goes Up
  10. Old and Wise
  11. The Turn of a Friendly Card Suite: The Turn of a Friendly Card, Part 1
  12. The Turn of a Friendly Card Suite: Snake Eyes
  13. The Turn of a Friendly Card Suite: Ace of Swords
  14. The Turn of a Friendly Card Suite: Nothing Left to Lose
  15. The Turn of a Friendly Card Suite: The Turn of a Friendly Card, Part 2
  16. Don’t Answer Me

Kayak: Merlin, Bard of the Unseen

  1. Merlin, Bard of the Unseen


  1. Starlight Dancer
  2. Ruthless Queen
  3. Wilhelmus / God Save the Queen medley

The company

Karel, Aart


Aart advertised this event on the list as ‘the best event of the year’. And he was right. Not only that; it was also the best event of the day, ‘cause the Stones concert was cancelled :).

Aart sent Karel and me (and the list :) a mail with a description of where we would meet: a bus stop in a street he didn’t know the name of, in Naaldwijk, a town I’ve never been. So I tried to exchange cell phone numbers, just in case we couldn’t find it, and then it turned out that Aart doesn’t have a cell phone, and maybe would borrow Marina’s, but wasn’t sure, because he hates the damn things. So, wondering if we would see Aart at all that day :), Karel and I stepped into my parents’ car and drove off to the sea, where we would, if all went well, be seeing:

TrompRock aan Zee, with:
De Honselse Harmonie and the Helemaal uit Elswijk Band, performing 'A tribute to the Alan Parsons Project', and:
Kayak, with the North Sea Philarmonic Orchestra and the dancers of Opus One, featuring Petra Berger and former Toto-singer Bobby Kimball, performing the rock opera 'Merlin: Bard of the Unseen'.

This concert would be held as a part of the Tromp Festival; a festival to commemorate Admiral Tromp, one of the great naval heroes of our nation. This year, he’s been dead for a certain number of hundreds of years: killed in a battle in which he was defeated by the English. Odd reason for a party, but with the lineup above, I’m not complaining :).

All went well. We found that dodgy bus stop easily, waited 10 minutes, and lo: there was Aart! I hadn’t seen him for almost four years – the last (and first) time was at the ‘99 Utrecht concert.

We had already decided to get something to eat before we would go to the arena (later more on the arena), so Karel and I left the car (no, not at the bus stop itself – on a nice parking place in a residential area behind the bus stop) and stepped into Aart’s car to go to the centre of Naaldwijk, where we found a nice Greek restaurant without too much trouble. On the way there we passed the theatre where cds were sold of the Tribute to Alan Parsons, which was to be performed tonight. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to have any copies; at least not where we could see them.

I must say, and some of you might already know it, but dining with Aart is a very interesting experience. He’s a colourful person with loads of great stories, mostly about back-stage adventures. The three of us all took the same dish, but I think it took Aart about half an hour longer than me to finish it. And I can tell you all: in real life, Aart is a lot nicer than he might seem in some of his e-mails :). This dinner alone was almost worth the trip.

After dinner we went to Ter Heijde, the village where the concert would be held. There were road signs to the Tromp Festival, which led us to an industrial site, where we were supposed to park the car and get on a bus to the actual festival site. The bus actually drove a long part of the way that we had taken to get to the industrial site. When we arrived, it was already getting late, not only because of dinner taking long, but also because the bus had waited for two people who would ride along, but didn’t show up. Didn’t matter; the concert hadn’t started yet.

On entering the festival terrain, we (and everyone) had to show the contents of our bags. They didn’t care about our cameras, but Karel had to turn in his half-empty bottle of water. They were very strict about drinks.

Talking about cameras, I had been doubting a long time whether to bring mine. I’m not really good at making concert photos, and besides: Aart would be there. Aart, the man who had had the guts to take a huge bag of photo equipment to the ‘99 APLP-concert. Surely his pictures would be way better than mine. Nevertheless, I decided to bring my camera, so that I would have some pictures of my own to put on my site. Turns out that Aart didn’t even bring his camera! Saying that he wanted to listen to the music for a change. A noble cause, of course, and I was glad I brought my camera.

On the terrain, there was a huge arena, built in the dunes, with room for 7000 people. And it looked to be sold out! Who says there’s no market for symphonic rock anymore?

After a few minutes, we hadn’t found a good place to sit, and we basically just decided to stand where we stood and watch the concert. And with the sun setting to the left of us the concert began.

The stage held a big brass band, and on the left side the band stood. They had a keyboard player, a couple of guitarists (I’m including the bass here :) ), two drummers/percussionists, and five singers, one of whom also played sax. Although we couldn’t really see the band from where we were standing, fortunately they had two big screens on either sides of the stage, where they displayed images made by a couple of cameramen who roamed about the stage, so we got to see the band anyway. Many of my pictures were taken off the screen, and not off the stage, because it was much more visible from where we were standing :). Later, BTW, Aart spotted us three unoccupied seats not far from where we stood, and we sat there for the rest of the first set.

The first set, as mentioned above, was the Honselse Harmonie (Honsel Brass Band) with the Helemaal uit Elswijk Band (All the Way from Elswijk Band), giving a tribute to the Alan Parsons Project. And what a tribute! They had an absolutely great setlist. The first song was an instrumental one, and it took me quite a while to recognise it, because it was such a surprise: The Nirvana Principle! (Or was it Beyond the Pleasure Principle? I always get those two mixed up. But no matter, because later, they played the other one too!) Aart commented that he’d never heard it live, which is quite a statement from an über-fan like him :). And there were several other big surprises: Silence and I! Don’t Let the Moment Pass! Maybe a Price to Pay! And even the complete Turn of a Friendly Card Suite! When they finished Turn of a Friendly Card Part 1, Karel said to me it was a shame they didn’t play the single version. So I replied, jokingly, that it would be even better if they played the entire suite. And then they actually did that! It was great.

Unfortunately, there were some problems too. In several of the songs, the singers’ microphones weren’t set up right. Most notably in the first non-instrumental (Eye in the Sky), the singer wasn’t audible at all in the beginning. When they finaly got the balance right, the singer got a big applause! And the guy who sang Maybe a Price to Pay (the sax player) was way off on his timing. And while a ‘normal’ band can often improvise around something like that, try asking a large brass band to do the same :). Fortunately for the singer, he didn’t seem to care about that: judging by the way he acted on the stage, he seemed to think that he was great anyway :). But most of the singers were pretty good, even though you couldn’t always hear it, because of the bad mix :).

I was a bit disappointed with the encoure, though: Don’t Answer Me. I’d hoped for another big surprise :). Well, in a way, it was a surprise, picking such an obvious tune, in that I didn’t expect that. But I won’t complain, because otherwise the setlist was really, really great. During the concert, Karel kept track of the songs played on his Palm computer, so see his post for the exact list.

After the tribute to Alan Parsons, it was announced that cds of the concert could be purchased at the theatre we passed in Naaldwijk. Next, there would be a 45 minute break to set the stage for Kayak, in which we left our seats to find a toilet. I saw one at the side of the stages near where we sat, so I went there, only to be sent back, because it was for the artists only. In the mean time, a little girl was asking to get through as well, searching for her dad, and while she was debating with the girl who ‘stood watch’ there, one of the singers (the one that did Eye in the Sky, amongst others) of the band came out and the girl jumped in his arms. I turned around and saw that Aart had joined us too. He made a compliment to the singer, and then we went to find another toilet and to get ourselves a drink.

The sun had completely set in the mean time, and we could see the stars above our heads. Not very clearly, because of all the lights, but still it was nice. The weather was really great!

When we returned, we decided to get seats in a spot nearer to the middle. We actually managed to find some, so we had great seats to see the building up of the stage, where a huge sword had been set in the background.

At one point, when the 45 minutes were already long past, it was announced that there were some techincal difficulties: each person on stage had his own microphone and ear piece, and it took a little longer to get it all set up and to get all the instruments tuned. Then they announced the location of the merchandise stand, so Aart left his seat and went in search of it, because it was clear the concert wouldn’t start for some time anyway. When he returned, he happily showed us his copy of the cd that Kayak would be playing: ‘Merlin: Bard of the Unseen’. He said that he heard that the band would come out to sign cd’s, but that he should keep it a secret so not all 7000 people would show up after the show :).

And, indeed, not much later, the concert started.

The Kayak concert was really spectacular. It started with video images of forests and castles and stars on the screens next to the stage, with a voice-over telling the story. This would return between each song. When the voice was done, the band started to play, and the screens started to display images from the concert itself.

Again, there were several singers, and each singer had a specific role in the Merlin-story, with accompanying costume. Bert Heerink, the band’s current singer, played Merlin. Cindy Oudshoorn, who joined the band specifically for this project, played Morgan, and Rob Vunderink, one of the band’s guitarists, played Mordred.

Petra Berger and Bobby Kimball played Guinevere and Lancelot, respectively. Unfortunately for the guy wearing the Toto shirt (I noticed only one, though there were undoubtedly more), there was only one song for Bobby Kimball, and he had to share it too! It was a duet with Petra Berger, about the love they had for each other. So, basically, Bobby flew from the States just to sing half a song :).

Anyway, he was good, and during this song something happened that I kind of liked. During the song, Bobby and Petra got closer and closer, ending up in each other’s arms, and just as they were about to kiss, Joost Vergoossen cut through with his guitar; quite literally: he used the neck of his guitar as a sort of axe to separate the two, but he did it very matter-of-factly, as if it was the most normal thing in the world that he would separate a couple in love and about to kiss, just to take the center of the stage, and merely to play one of the best guitar solos of the entire show, while the two stood waiting at either end of the stage, waiting for the song to end …

Did I mention the laser show yet? No? Well, there was a laser show. It was only during a few songs, but still, the effect created a nice atmosphere, almost as though there was suddenly a roof above us. It made me think a bit of the Fata Morgana, an attraction in the Dutch theme park De Efteling, even though Fata Morgana has an Arabic theme and almost no laser effects at all, and therefore is quite unrelated :). Nevertheless, it has more or less the same atmosphere, so I thought I’d mention it, just to give those who’ve been to De Efteling an impression of the atmosphere there :).

Did I mention the dancing yet? No? Well, there was dancing. The dancers were from a group called Opus One, and though I’m not a big fan of dancing, it added greatly to the already excellent atmosphere of the show. Very well done.

And, of course, the music was good too :).

When the show was over, the audience stood up to give them a standing ovation. There was a very big change in the attitude of singer Bert Heerink at this point. During the show, he had been in his role of Merlin all the time. But when the rock opera was over, he dropped out of his role of Merlin and into his role of entertainer, the entertainer that I’ve seen at the Tilburg concert a few years ago. They came back for an encore quite quickly, and while the musicians prepared themselves, Bert made a few jokes, like they couldn’t ‘play the roof off’ (a Dutch expression). Then they played Starlight Dancer and Ruthless Queen, and the 7000 people in the audience kept standing up during these encores, which I thought was quite impressive.

Then, the announcer said that, especially for this occasion: the commemoration of Admiral Tromp, and also to bring the Dutch and the English closer together, Kayak had been asked to rehearse their own arrangement of the Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem, and of God Save the Queen, the British one. And then they played an absolutely rocking version of the Wilhelmus, seguing into God Save the Queen, and back to the Wilhelmus. Excellent! Only drawback was that it was instrumental … I think it would have been nice to have Bert Heerink sing it, too. Nevertheless, it was the least boring version I’ve ever heard of out national anthem :). And, obviously, it was a good thing the audience was still standing up :).

Now, the concert was really over. It had lasted, in total, from eight o’clock until about midnight. We went to the exit, and decided not to wait until the band came out to sign stuff. Instead, we went to the buses, and remembered the fact that we didn’t know where we had parked the car, so we didn’t know which bus we had to take. Aart talked to one of the bus drivers and found out that, fortunately, the buses would pass every parking spot, so we were bound to find the car sooner or later.

We found the parking spot quite easily as it turned out, but the way back to Naaldwijk was a little more difficult :). Nevertheless, Aart managed to return us safely to my parents’ car, where we said our goodbyes. It was great seeing Aart again, and we’ll probably see each other again in October for a Camel concert :).

Karel and I hit the road to Breda, to my parents’ place, where we would spend the night, to return to Eindhoven, where we live, the next morning. We had a little trouble finding the right road back home, and at one point there was a bright red flash in my eyes. Damn. Turned out there was a speed limit there for 60 km per hour, and I drove at 80, the ‘regular’ speed limit outside of towns. My first speeding ticket since I got my licence, 2.5 years ago … I wonder how much I’ll have to pay :).

At about 2am, we got home, and we went to sleep immediately after. Despite having been ‘flashed’ on the way back, it was an absolutely great evening. Indeed the best event of the year! At least, of the year up to now: we’ll just have to wait and see if Camel (with Kayak’s Ton Scherpenzeel on keyboards!) will be able to top it in October! Can’t wait!

Jan (who is surprised still to remember 15KB of text, a day after the fact :).)

Aart’s story

Hi all,

Yesterday finally arrived. I looked forward for this concert more than anything else the last few weeks. (Some people on the list now why exactly THIS concert !).

Because I had to take the highway, direction The Hague, I left early, because it was rush-hour. But obviously a lot of people in our part of the country still celebrate their vacation, because I had no delays at all and arrived in Naaldwijk at the meetingpoint at 17.10 hr. Karel and Jan were already there !

It was good to see them again….. Karel didn’t change much over the years (a bit more weight, Karel ?) but Jan sure was no longer a boy ! (No offense, Jan !!)

Because we had enough time, we ate something in a Greek restaurant. It seems like Greek food is becoming my daily dish :-) We talked a lot about everything that happened with our favorite band, the people on the list (nice gossip :-)) and as usual time flew….

The concert started at 20.00 hr and the venue opened at 19.00. At 19.15 we drove from Naaldwijk to Monster where we were directed to a parking place and where a bus was waiting to bring us to the festival ground.

We arrived just in time. It was completely sold out (7000 people). The stage was huge and completely filled with the “Honsels Harmony” and the band “Helemaal uit Elswijk”. This was only the second time ever they did this complete Alan Parsons Tribute Concert. It sounded so good and the play list was so different from any Alan Parsons’ concert I ever attended. Karel will write more about that. I liked the way they did the so familiar songs. It was nice that the audience recognized the beginning of O&W. A huge sigh went thru the audience…. (BTW Karel told me O&W is now on place 4 on the top 40 of Dela……. a company that arranges funerals ! They have their own top 40 of played songs during the ceremonies.)

All in all it was a nice concert although you could hear they don’t do it this way too often. I heard a few mistakes in the lyrics. But it was nice to see 80 people on stage doing an hour of Alan Parsons’ songs, just like you always wished….. I’m one of the lucky who saw AP with a huge orchestra during the NOTP. And believe me….. not one concert of AP with the band only, came close to that experience. This evening however did do some justice to the orchestral parts of APP music.

The singers of the band were very different. Some were excellent, some were terrible. But again, they did a good job. Especially when they sung the more difficult parts with 2 or 3 voices through each other.

The guitarist was very good. The way he played the solo’s during “Silence and I” and “Nothing left to lose” was perfect !! And yes…… there was an accordion player on stage !! :-) :-)

Can’t believe that an hour is so short :-(

During the break (they had to rebuild the complete stage) they played some very familiar music in the background : “Heart of the Universe” ! (Chris Rainbow with Ton Scherpenzeel)

And then…………. Kayak !!!

It’s hard to describe for me, because I was and still am so impressed ! What a performance !

Perhaps a bit a description of the stage can help to start….

On the left and on the right side of the stage was one half of the orchestra. The band was in the middle on stage. On the left and right side were huge screens where every song was introduced with a story about Merlin, King Arthur, the magic sword etc. etc. . They showed on screen some nice old paintings, photographs of old English castles and in the meanwhile you learned a lot about the famous tales. Now as some of you might know, Merlin originates from 1981 and was only a few songs. This year Kayak added songs to the original album and made a rock opera from it. It’s now called “Merlin, bard of the unseen”. A lot of the songs were new for me too !

And…. I liked them and I can advice this CD to everyone. On Kayaks website I read that a DVD will be made too. I hope this DVD includes some of the nice scenes we saw yesterday. Guys and girls dancing on stage in a musical way (hehehe !) on music you won’t hear on Broadway….. They asked the leadsinger of Toto to do a song and he flew over from the USA for one song only !!! Just because he liked the music so much !! The perfection of the band was almost incredible. The lead singer has such an excellent dynamic voice…. it made me shiver ! The lightshow with a lot of lasers were a nice experience too…

BTW this was one of the few concerts I didn’t have any camera with me. I just wanted to concentrate on the music only. But …. I didn’t expect the show to be so spectacular…. Anyone who has seen Gambler live in Germany, can have an idea how it looked. The audience was very enthusiastic . Everything sounded just right ! And everything looked just right…. I cannot add anymore :-) I’m still too overwhelmed by this experience….. Luckily Jan and Karel did have a camera. I keep my fingers crossed that the pics come out fine !!

Needless to say I bought the CD and am playing it for the third time now :-)

Later on this year we go to Camel with Ton Scherpenzeel on keyboards. I now know already that it will be a nice concert too ! Because Larry is right : Ton Scherpenzeel is one of the best keyboardplayers alive !

Jan and Karel will add more……..

kind regards


Karel’s story

Hello all,

One week ago, Jan and I were discussing the Camel concerts that will take place in October here in The Netherlands. Because it is their farewell tour, and because Dutch keyboardist Ton Scherpenzeel is part of the Camel band, we decided to buy two tickets for two separate shows. We figured ol’ fart Aart would probably want to go along with us, so I sent him an E-mail. A few seconds later I received a response, telling me to surf to a certain website. It wasn’t immediately clear to me what the horrible FrontPage/Java website was about (, but soon I read the announcement of TrompRock, a part of the big TrompFestival, celebrating… Errr… Some kind of huge sea battle between The Netherlands and England some centuries ago. Or something like that.

Then again, since when do Dutch people need a reason organise a great party? :)

During Tromprock, as you have heard from Aart and Jan already, there would be a big orchestra and a band playing a “Tribute to The Alan Parsons Project”. I was very excited to hear about this news, as the two times I visited an Alan Parsons concert, the setlist was not entirely to my liking, and visiting a concert with orchestral songs of APP is every fan’s dream. Jan and I quickly agreed with Aart on going to the festival together.

Aart is right about Jan, he’s not a boy anymore. He could even borrow mommy’s car and drive it himself. :) And yes Aart perhaps I’ve gained some weight but we’re working on that area currently. :) Aart however was still as loony and entertaining as the last time I met him, he rocks, really.

Before the concert Jan, Aart and I went to a fine Greek restaurant, and had a nice meal while discussing good old times, nice anecdotes about our lives, APP concerts, the mailinglist etc. etc. I have known Aart for some good 6 years now through the mailinglist (god, time flies when you’re on coke) and Jan for some 5 years. The APP mailinglist has been good to me. Funny note: Aart told me he asked Scott some time ago what the fight was all about that we had a few years ago. Just like Scott, I honestly don’t remember anymore. Perhaps it’s time to patch up differences during a show of Dr. Phil. ;)

For those who are interested: all three of us had the Mixed Grill plate of 15 EUR, with Gyros, lamb chops, beef, pork meat, Taziki and salad. For those who are still interested: Aart ate all his meat except for his Gyros, but it turned out he was saving it for last. :)

Anyway we went to the festival terrain. We were a bit on the late side, so we went to stand at the left side at the podium, while the first recognizable notes of the concert resounded over the terrain. There were seats in the middle and on the sides, in total giving place for about 7000 people. The orchestra was sitting in the middle and to the right of the podium, while the band was on the utmost left. The singers were cramped somewhere in between.

Here’s the setlist for the TrompRock festival:

  1. The Nirvana Principle
  2. Sirius
  3. Eye in the sky
  4. Beyond the pleasure principle.
  5. Don’t let the moment pass
  6. May be a price to pay
  7. Silence and I
  8. Time
  9. Lucifer
  10. What goes up…
  11. Old and Wise
    Turn of a Friendly card Suite
  12. Turn of a friendly card pt. I
  13. Snake eyes
  14. Ace of swords
  15. Nothing left to lose
  16. Turn of a friendly card pt. II
  17. Don’t answer me
  • The Nirvana Principle - I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard it: I never thought I would hear Freudiana live, but it was very nice! The sound was horrible the first half of the concert, but just the sheer feeling of hearing this song finally, live, after I have heard it a thousand times on CD, is incredible. The arrangements were quite nicely done, although the cowbell rhythm was slightly different at the beginning. The song was quite a surprise, and I’m glad Aart (who knew the setlist) didn’t tell Jan and me anything before, magnificent!!

By the way, I’m still quite positive that this song was also played (on tape?) after the World Liberty Concert in 1995, but that’s another story.

  • Sirius & Eye in the sky - During the first notes of Sirius, a guy standing next to me was like: “Ah, this song is finally Alan Parsons”. Oh well, it’s a shame that almost no one knows of the existence of the best Alan Parsons Project album in existence. :) Funny thing is: the carrying melody tune of Sirius was not computer-loop generated, like Alan Parsons Live, but played live on guitar. Also, the drummer used the hi-hat in the beginning just like the original version. The guitar player almost copied Ian’s solo, playing an (Epiphone, yeah) Les Paul.

Eye in the Sky was sung by a weird guy with long blonde wavy hair that reminded me of Goldilocks, only his voice was deeper. He was average, just slightly better than Mick Muffins at the World Liberty Concert. The guitar player however, who also had long blonde hair (oh man the IQ must have been dramatically low on the stage during that song) was quite good, and started out with copying Ian’s solo, while giving his own improvisation in the end.

  • Beyond the pleasure principle - Again the faces of people turned puzzled after the sigh of recognition and relief of the last two songs. Myself, I was almost wetting my pants because I really didn’t expect any more songs from Freudiana to be played. Anyway, magnificent, wonderful, I really don’t know how else to call it. Then a guy with a alto sax came up the stage and did quite a good job on the sax solo. Nice, very nice.

  • Don’t let the moment pass - Wow. Who is THAT girl on stage? The girl who sang this some had a beautiful soprano voice and looks to match: she and her voice were simply gorgeous. Seamlessly without any trouble she sang all the high notes of this song into perfect detail and with much feeling. One of my favourite songs of the Freudiana album and musical, very very nice.

  • May be a price to pay - The sax player returned to the role of singer during this song. Not one of my favourites, but the orchestral/instrumental part was simply great. The singer messed up some lyrics at the end, but on the other hand it’s not the easiest song to remember. The singer himself didn’t seem to mind though, he just closed his eyes in some kind of trance, rocking his body, singing the occasional “#hmmmm (I don’t) #aaaaaahhh (remember my) #oooooooh (lyrics anymore) #iiiiii”. Oh well. :)

  • Silence and I - Wow, indeed. Incredible, THIS song being done live is I think one of the best things that can happen to an Alan Parsons fan. The singer was quite… Euhm… Different than Eric Woolfson. I think he was gay. :) But he had a great voice, and he was definitely really into the song, knowing what it was about. Wonderful voice. The orchestral solo was impressive, pretty damn impressive. Keeping up the correct rhythm is quite difficult, but the orchestra and the band managed to do so seamlessly, quite so during the tempo change just before the last verse. The guitar player again did a wonderful job on his Les Paul. Fortunately, during this stage, the technicians were finally delivering a good job on the sound quality which was only average before this song.

  • Time - Eric, Eric! Aart joked to me. :) And indeed. Not one of my favourites, the song itself was performed quite well, without having to cut off the balls of the singer. Special kudos to the two background singers. ;-)

  • Lucifer - Just when I thought the audio was alright again, somehow the technicians couldn’t mix or blend in the acoustic guitar very well in this song. Also the orchestra sounded very thin. Too bad, one of my fave instrumentals, but nice to hear with an orchestra. Reminded me of TAPPPBAP (The Alan Parsons Project played by Andrew Powell).

  • What goes up - probably one of my least favourite APP songs ever, but I liked this version!! There were 4 singers doing the song simultaneously, which enriched the melody enormously. I must admit that the part-singing was extremely well done by the singers together…

  • Old and Wise - a cheer went through the audience when they heard the first few notes of this song. Although Old and Wise never managed to get into the charts in Holland, this remains the one most famous song of The Alan Parsons Project in The Netherlands. Every year, this song will make it into the Top 20 of the “Top 2000 of All Times” which is being broadcasted by Dutch radio between Christmas and New Year. Anyway, quite a nice performance, and the sax player was so incredibly impressive during the solo of Old and Wise. He took some risks with high notes that are extremely hard to play on a sax, and the result was quite impressive.

Aart was right on rather having Colin sing this song though. :)

  • Turn of a friendly Card pt. I - when I heard the piano I was like, wooow woow, I mean, c’mon, how many of us have dreamed of this song being played live? And up till this point, I thought they were only playing part one (Aart thanks for not revealing anything!). It was a woman who sang this song, unfortunately not the same as “Don’t let a moment pass” but a blonde woman who had an alt voice, better suited for this song. Although not always on tune, it was so great to hear this song sung live with a great orchestra backing it up. There was even a real gong at the end of the song, “… As he enters the cathedral…”

  • Snake Eyes - What the heck? Oh my god they are going to play the whole darn suite!!! At this time I was really wetting my pants. :) This song was sung by 4 singers simultaneously and it was simply perfect, it rocked!!!

  • Ace of Swords - this is one of my favourite songs of the TOAFC album, and it was done perfectly, again. The orchestra and keyboard players were awesome, as well as the guitar player who was again doing a very solid job. Ace of Swords live, incredible!!!!!!!!

  • Nothing left to lose - I have to admit I really like Eric’s voice on this song, actually. :) Although the performance here at TrompRock was also incredibly touching, especially with Aart next to me humming along with the lyrics. Nice accordion solo, too, very much like the original.

  • Turn of a friendly card suite pt. II - Wow. Wow. Oh my god. They are going to play it. The orchestral solo in the end was so incredibly near the original… Either Andrew Powell himself has had a hand in it, or someone has listened to the CD for several consecutive nights time after time and jotted all things on paper.

Or, they just transcribed one of the MIDIs on Aart’s site. ;-)

No, I’m kidding, the orchestral solo in the end was simply incredible. I mean, come on, The Turn of a Friendly Card, LIVE, with a full blown-orchestra, let’s wet our pants altogether now!!

  • Don’t Answer Me - this was actually the encore. Don’t answer me was commercially speaking the most successful APP single in the Netherlands, topping at #7, and most people do recognise this song. It was just a happy ending of an incredible concert. Wow, never thought I would experience such a thing like this after Alan Parsons stopped touring after TTM.

After the APP tribute, there was an hour-long pause before Kayak started their ‘Merlin: Bard of the Unseen’ rock opera. I won’t go into much detail on this part, but performance-wise, musically and artistically, this was THE incredible part of the evening. While the stage technicians definitely messed up parts during the APP tribute, the sound was just incredible during Kayak.

Next to the stage there were two big video screens, where in between songs, information was given about the story of Pendragon, Excalibur, Merlin, Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. During the songs, some excellent live images of the singers and musicians were being showed, just like during the APP sets. Jan and I have seen Kayak live before once, but in a much smaller setting, this was just blowing my socks off: the singers and musicians were great, great expression on their faces when acting/singing the songs. There was a laser show during the songs as well, the songs really told the story of Pendragon in quite a fascinating way. I was rocking off my chair completely. Also, there were some dancers of Opus One, who did a nice job of bringing just a little hint of musical (ok, Rock Opera) into the performance. Very very nice and impressive.

To round it up, we came back at Jan’s place on 2 am, tired, but absolutely still enjoying every second of it. I can’t wait for the Camel concerts in October, which I will attend with Jan (2 of them) and Aart.

Oh and I must say that I never believed Larry when he said that all the Treasures are to be found in Holland, but I think I’m starting to believe him. Larry, next time get out of Chicago, drive to O’Hare Airport and get your ass over here to Holland and we’ll take you to Greek restaurants and concerts like these!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One fine day!

  • Karel