It was a gloomy autumn day on November 23 in 2009. There were thunderstrucks, grey skies and.... a horrible tragedy: Kayak drummer Pim Koopman,
in his own right an established composer, multi- instrumentalist, producer and one of the most important ambassadors of Dutch pop-music,
got a heart attack and passed away.
Almost a year later, on November 22 in 2010 among others Cindy Oudshoorn took the initiative to organize a tribute concert to honor the memory of Pim.
Only Cindy and Ton Scherpenzeel (the only remaining founder member of Kayak) were on stage with the opening song Parallel Universe,
followed by the classic Wintertime.
As the evening went along we saw and felt a lot of mixed emotions: there was laughter, joy, sadness,
sympathy and above all admiration: a deep respect for the contribution that Koopman made to the whole music business
in the Netherlands but don't forget he contributed to numerous international successes also.
A very memorable evening indeed and as guitarist Rob Vunderink put it: "Pim would have loved nothing more than to have been a part of this,
so in effect this show shouldn't have taken place at all....".
Before the break Kayak played mainly Pim's compositions mixing classics like See See The Sun with for example the rather heavy tune
Man In The Cocoon sung by Cindy.
A big round of applause from the crowd for the beautiful guitar piece 23 played and composed by Joost Vergoossen especially for Pim,
with only keyboards as accompaniment.
Act of Despair, beautifully sung by Edward Reekers, was one of the many highlights in that first part.
Edward also mentioned that Pim used to call all members of Kayak by their nicknames. He stated he was rather proud of his, namely "Bel Canto".
And indeed de honored that name, because what an incredible vocalist he still is and for me personally one of the many reasons
I hope Kayak will continue to make records and play live.
Behind the drum kit we saw Hans Eijkenaar, who the band managed to hire; one of Pim's favorite drummers.
And indeed he played very well, a bit more powerful and perhaps a bit louder than Pim would have done, but it fitted the music perfectly.
Ton Scherpenzeel played in the back, mostly in the shade, probably on purpose in a very modest role to emphasize Pim Koopmans' influence on the band.
His eyes were sad and one could tell Ton had been suffering and maybe even still is, from this terrible loss.
During the break a clear 'dotted image' of Pim Koopmans and his cat on a huge screen behind the band.
After the break it was the well known Dutch Pop music critic Leo Blokhuis, who told of his meeting with Pim and as many artists would confirm,
what a wonderful guy he was. He introduced several artists performing big hits of the eighties;
almost all of them worked with Pim Koopmans as their composer or co-composer of their songs or as their producer.
As with the song Nobody Wins before the break, Hans Voerman played keyboards the whole second set.
Two of the three sisters who used to be Pussycat, performed Teenage Queenie and I almost forgot I knew that song too!
Alides Hidding of the Time Bandits, complete with his characteristic hat, sung I'm Specialized In You.
Then Blokhuis explained that the duo The President used to be former sound engineer Okkie Huijsdens together with Pim Koopmans.
This duo had several hits too and Okkie performed You're Gonna Like It.
One of the biggest successes of Maywood has probably been the song Rio and Doetie de Vries, the singer was there to sing this song once more for Pim.
One of the bands pushed by Koopmans was Vitesse.
Since Herman van Boeijen seemd to have been vanished from the face of the earth,
Kayak decided to ask their friend Syb van der Ploeg (lead vocalist for the Dutch outfit De Kast) to perform Rosalyn, one of their finest tunes.
Next in line was José (Hoebee) with the hit I Will Follow Him.
Again a good performance and a great trip to memory lane!
Then a very special song: a good friend of Pim,
Michael Robinson performed a song called Friend especially composed for Pim with awesome lyrics I couldn't remember in detail unfortunately.
One of the lines in the chorus was: 'He came from the sky and on the way down he learned how to fly'.
Cindy wiped a tear from her lovely face and the crowd was astonishingly quiet.
On the show went when Jeroen Englebert teamed up with his former band mate Rob Vunderink in Diesel.
The first tune Samantha was performed by Jeroen, the second one, bringing the crowd in ecstasy was the internationally famous hit:
Sausolito Summernight sung by Jeroen and Rob.
Kayak with Hans Eijkenaar claimed the last part of this awesome evening with some of their greatest songs:
an absolutely perfect rendition of Ruthless Queen (chapeau Mr. Reekers!), - what's in a name- Chance For A Lifetime and Starlight Dancer.
The last song was the encore Avalon: Pim remembered, sailing away to a better place, a highly emotional goodbye.
In spite of attempts by a very enthusiastic crowd, the band chose not to come back for another encore, quite righteously so.
There's no doubt in my mind that this big man in the history of Dutch Pop Music would have been proud of 'his' band and all 'his' artists.
Un unforgettable evening which can be revived by ordering the DVD recorded that night,
via this website .
For all those who missed this opportunity to see Kayak and their guests: this DVD is certainly highly recommended!
See See The Sun
Land On Water
Man In The Cocoon
Act Of Despair
Nobody Wins (organ: Hans Voerman)
Hold Me Forever
When The Seer Looks Away
Well Done (Edward & Ton)
Pussycat – ‘Teenage Queenie’
Alides Hidding (Time Bandits) – I’m Specialized in You
Okkie Huijsdens (The President) – ‘You’re Gonna Like It’
Maywood – Rio
"Vitesse" –Rosalyn, sung by Syb van der PLoeg (de Kast)
José Hoebee –I Will Follow Him
Michael Robinson (solo) –Friend
Jeroen Englebert (Diesel) –Samantha
Diesel (Jeroen Englebert & Rob Vunderink) - Sausalito Summernight
Chance For A Lifetime