PARADISO, Amsterdam, PIM KOOPMAN Tribute

KAYAK, 2010-11-22 (NL+E)
maandag, november 22, 2010

Op een miserabele herfstdag in november 2009, werd Pim Koopman plotseling uit het leven gerukt. Hij was de drummer, multi-instrumentalist, componist en producer van Kayak. Onder regie van onder anderen Cindy Oudshoorn werd op 22 november 2011 in Paradiso een show opgevoerd als eerbetoon aan Pim. Het was een gedenkwaardige, mooie, sfeervolle en ook emotionele avond daar in Amsterdam.

Gitarist Rob Vunderink zei dat Pim niets liever had gewild dan erbij te zijn en dat deze avond er dus niet had moeten zijn. De bandleden hadden soms moeite hun emoties te bedwingen, zoals Cindy Oudshoorn die af en toe een traan moest wegpinken, zeker toen Pims vriend Michael Robinson in het tweede gedeelte een gevoelig nummer vertolkte dat hij speciaal voor Pim had geschreven. Tijdens de tekst van dit fragment - he came from the sky and on the way down he learned how to fly '- kon je in de zaal een speld horen vallen. Ton Scherpenzeel, oerlid en mede-oprichter van Kayak, speelde vrijwel steeds heel ingetogen, mogelijk met ingehouden verdriet. Hij nam genoegen met een zeer bescheiden rol op de achtergrond.

Er was groot enthousiasme bij het publiek in het eerste deel van de show, waarin de huidige bezetting van Kayak, aangevuld met Pims favoriete drummer Hans Eijkenaar, een perfecte bloemlezing vertolkte uit de veelal prachtige composities van Pim, waaronder See See The Sun, Wintertime, Hold Me Forever, When The Seer Looks Away, Mammoth en het stevige Man In The Cocoon. Gitarist Joost Vergoossen had met 23 ook een speciale compositie voor Pim geschreven, een schitterende gitaarsolo slechts begeleid door toetsen. Na de pauze, gepresenteerd door Leo Blokhuis, begeleidde Kayak samen met toetsenist Hans Voerman een aantal coryfeeën uit de jaren tachtig die hun succes mede aan Pim Koopman te danken hadden, zoals Pussycat met Teenage Queenie, Alides Hidding (Time Bandits) met I'm Specialized In You, Okkie Huijsdens, die samen met Pim The President vormde, met You're Gonna Like It, Doetje de Vries (Maywood) met Rio en namens Herman van Boeyen (Vitesse) vertolkte zanger Syb van der Ploeg (De Kast) de megahit Rosalyn. Ook was daar José Hoebee met I Will Follow Him, de reeds genoemde Michael Robinson met Friend en tenslotte zanger Jeroen Engelbert, gesteund door mede bandlid van Diesel Rob Vunderink, die met de hits Samantha en Sausolito Summernight de zaal uit het dak liet gaan. Tenslotte nam Kayak afscheid met Ruthless Queen, Chance For A Lifetime, Starlight Dancer en als laatste het ontroerende Avalon. Ik ben er van overtuigd dat de grote man in de Nederlandse popgeschiedenis trots geweest zou zijn op 'zijn' band en 'zijn' artiesten. Er zijn opnames gemaakt voor een dvd die via de website besteld kan worden: ik kan deze dvd op voorhand van harte aanbevelen!


It was a gloomy autumn day on November 23 in 2009. There were  thunderstrucks, grey skies and tragedy: Pim Koopman, drummer of the Dutch ban Kayak, 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 Oudshoorn 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 Pim Koopman made to the whole music business in the Netherlands. Don't forget he also contributed to numerous international successes of other artists. A very memorable evening indeed and as guitarist Rob Vunderink said: "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 of Pim's compositions mixing classics like See See The Sun with the rather heavy tune Man In The Cocoon sung by Cindy. A big hand from the audience for the beautiful guitar piece 23 played and composed by guitarist 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 that he was rather proud of his nickname Bel Canto. And indeed he honoured 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 favourite 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's 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 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 (Time Bandits), complete with his characteristic hat, sung I'm Specialized In You. Then Blokhuis explained that the duo The President used to be the 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 the two sisters 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 seemed to have been vanished from the face of the earth, Kayak decided to ask their friend Syb van der Ploeg, the 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: MIchael Robinson, a good friend of Pim, performed a song called Friend especially composed for Pim with awesome lyrics. Unfortunately I couldn't remember the lyrics in detail, but one of the lines 'he came from the sky and on the way down he learned how to fly'. Cindy wiped a tear from her face and the audience was astonishingly quiet. The show went on and 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 audience 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, 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 audience, the band chose not to come back for another encore, quite rightly 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 For all those who missed this opportunity to see Kayak and their guests: this DVD is certainly highly recommended!

Set 1Parallel Universe, Wintertime, See See The Sun, Land On Water, Man In The Cocoon, Act Of Despair, 23, Nobody Wins (organ: Hans Voerman), Hold Me Forever, Because I, Selfmade Castle, Mammoth, When The Seer Looks Away, Well Done (Edward Reekers & Ton Scherpenzeel)

Set 2PussycatTeenage Queenie, Alides Hidding (Time Bandits): I’m Specialized In You, Okkie Huijsdens (The President): You’re Gonna Like ItMaywood: 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, Kayak: Ruthless Queen, Chance For A Lifetime, Starlight Dancer.

Encore: Avalon