Al 'One-Eye' Edelist writes:
It was just dumb luck that I looked up the band Kayak on the internet a few years ago, just as I had done a few years earlier with Procol Harum, and discovered BtP. The only difference is I missed Redhill by a year and was devastated.
I had listened to Kayak since the early 70s and watched them break up in '81. Not surprisingly, they had the same problems many bands do with management! I started tracking the gig list in the hope that something they had scheduled would coincide with a PH tour. It didn't happen, so I started looking at dates in April of 2006. I emailed Hans Tammes in The Netherlands and we tried to work it out, but I couldn't get over.
Later that year in August, the Danish Paler Festivities were planned. As Hans and the famous Frans Steensma were attending, I knew we would have a conversation about this famous Dutch band. We planned a December rendezvous in Amsterdam to enjoy two of the nights that were planned as electric though it was supposed to be an acoustic tour. Surprise, Frans had worked previously with Irene Linders, the wife of Ton Scherpenzeel, one of the two pioneers of the band – the other being the amazing drummer who plays very much in the BJ style, Pim Koopman.
Joining us on Friday and Saturday was BtP webmaster, Roland; Saturday, with an unexpected flight-cancellation and a reschedule, webmaster Jens came over. I had an interesting Moroccan dinner with Frans and a couple of his friends on Friday after the soundcheck and introductions to the band.
Needless to say, we had two amazing nights of music, great conversation with the band and our Dutch hosts who went beyond the call of duty in making us more comfortable than one could have ever hoped for! Josh Phillips had hoped to join us, but had a busy season of projects.
Kayak soundchecking at De Kade, Zaandam, Holland
Cindy Oudshoorn, voice; Jan van Olffen, bass; Edward Reekers, voice; Pim Koopman, drums; Rob Vunderink, guitar
Joost Vergoossen, guitar; Ton Scherpenzeel, keyboards and principal composer
Meeting-place for Dutch Procol Harum fans Frans Steensma, Hans Tammes;
and for Roland from the UK, and Al 'One-Eye' Edelist from LA, our convenor
Joost, Cindy, Jan and Edward in performance
Jan was a riveting bassist to watch. Curiously Ton, the
keyboardist, is also an expert bassist: his compositions,
like those of Gary Brooker, reflect a keen interest in melodic basslines, and chords in various inversions
Joost and Cindy. A warm rapport was evident among the band members
Spotlight on the sweet, powerful voice of Edward Reekers
Rob Vunderink: by day, a journalist; by night, a great guitarist ... and an exciting stylistic contrast to Joost as well
Soundcheck the following day in Zoetermeer. All the Paler crowd
had been invited along to this event.
The material was already familiar and it was fascinating to hear the five-part vocal harmonies in action
as well as hearing the instrumental playing from various angles
Hans and Roland sidestage (where, as keyboardists, they can watch Ton closely:
the Kayak stage set-up doesn't let the audience see much of his hands)
Ton with his many keyboards. 'I'm just playing power piano,' he
There was nonetheless some pleasingly intricate stuff going on
Long-shot of the stage set-up at De Boerderij: the drums are behind Perspex this time
Jan on the Chapman Stick (thanks for showing this to Roland afterwards!); Joost on guitar
Ton, quietly commanding from the keyboards
Rob somehow looking a bit like Keith Emerson
Pim played a fantastic uninhibited set behind these screens. It
was easy, this second night, to hear why One-Eye considered
him to be a drummer in the BJ mould. Pim's own comment about this: 'BJ virtually invented the idea of the four-bar fill'!
Procol Harum fans were well-represented at the concert whose
ticket is shown here,
which commemorated the very sad death of Pim Koopman on 23 Novmebr 2009 (thanks, Frans)
Ton and Cindy
Edward and Jan
Webmaster Jens had flown in from Norway for this second Kayak gig.
Here two drummers embrace.
Pim looks slightly reminiscent of the Hero sailor on the A Salty Dog album, no?
Jens and Hans after the show; Roland and Ton are talking keyboards.
'Chords with no third in them ... nice and hollow,' says Ton.
Hans and Roland with Edward and Cindy
And after all this it was back to Hans's place for the BtP contingent, for a happy evening of food,
and great Matthew Fisher songs tackled on two guitars by Hans and Roland, long into the small hours.