24-Nov-2012 De Pul, Uden (NL)

Kayak are a highly respected Dutch symphonic prog band and in order to celebrate their fortieth (!) anniversary, they are currently touring our country intensively. On a drizzly and moist evening I was heading for venue De Pul in Uden to attend one of these live shows. Arriving way before the start of the gig, I had the opportunity to talk with some Kayak fans. Some of them wore T-shirts saying 'Huge Kayak Fan' indicating the loyalty of the band's fan base. I've got much respect for these people who try to attend as many shows as possible.

When Kayak entered the stage the well-gathered audience gave them a warm welcome. The band played a set in which at least one song of all the recorded albums was performed. During the first set we were treated, amongst others, to great versions of
Cindy Oudshoorn and Edward Reekers
Phantom Of The Night, Total Loss and Nothingness,  and a large part of the rock opera Merlin was played as well. On stage you could notice the chemistry between the individual band members. Lead singer Cindy Oudshoorn used all the space on the podium and her performance was a real sight for sore eyes. Unlike lead singer Edward Reekers she interacted with the other band members or danced by herself during the instrumental parts. When Edward Reekers sings with his brilliant voice, he's focussed on the music in the centre of the stage without moving that much. Nevertheless, he also communicated with the other musicians between his parts. The third vocalist of the band is Rob Vunderink, always dressed in a suit combining his distinguished vocals with intense guitar playing. During the set the audience could often enjoy the perfect harmony vocals of the three aforementioned vocalists together with Ton Scherpenzeel, mister Kayak himself. This musical genius, co-founder and main composer of the band added fine backing vocals, played great melodies on the keyboards and above all, played those superb characteristic solo parts.

After a short break Cindy had changed the black outfit for a white one, still looking great. During the second set the band played strong versions of Life Without Parole, Starlight Dancer and
Joost Vergoossen and Jan van Olffen
my personal favourite Alienation, brilliantly sung by the two lead singers. They also performed pieces of the forthcoming concept album Cleopatra. Being a guitar junkie I really enjoyed the way Joost Vergoossen played the guitar, providing the older songs with some extra energy and a powerful sound, but without violating the original compositions. I think Vergoossen belongs to the top guitar players in The Netherlands, playing great melodies and solos with a lot of emotion. During Alienation, bass player Jan van Olffen finally got his solo spot with a stunning solo, after which the audience shouted for more. Between all these fine performances there was also a moment of silence when they commemorated Pim Koopman, the former drummer, friend and co-founder of Kayak, who passed away on the 23th of November 2009, exactly three years ago... To honour and respect him the band performed Nobody Wins, one of his compositions. Hans Eijkenaar, the drummer who replaced Koopman, sat behind a wall of plexiglas; probably the only way to control his powerful drumming...

After the regular concert, Kayak played some encores finishing with their most popular song Ruthless Queen, a big hit in The Netherlands and a perfect song to conclude a wonderful evening containing great music presented by a professional band. After the show, the band members talked to their fans thus creating a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. When I went home the weather hadn't changed a bit. It was still wet and windy outside, but I felt the sun in my heart and a big smile on my face. I've had a great evening!

Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Kayak:

Set 1:
Hope For A life
They Get To Know Me
If This Is Your Welcome
Sweet Revenge
Phantom Of The Night
Total Loss

Set 2:
Frozen Flame
Life Without Parole
Pagan's Paradise
Nobody Wins
Hunter And Prey
Passing Cloud
Starlight Dancer
Chance Before A lifetime

Before The Angels Fell
Ruthless Queen

Pictures Kayak by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Pictures Kayak by Henri Strik

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Kayak:

(left to right)
Joost Vergoossen:
guitars, backing vocals
Cindy Oudshoorn:
lead and backing vocals, percussion
Hans Eijkenaar:
Jan van Olffen:
bass guitar
Edward Reekers:
lead and backing vocals, additional keyboards, percussion
Ton Scherpenzeel:
keyboards, backing vocals
Rob Vunderink:
guitars, lead and backing vocals

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