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Kayak (band)

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Kayak are a Dutch progressive rock band formed in 1972 in the city Hilversum by Ton Scherpenzeel and Pim Koopman In 1973, their debut album "See See The Sun" was released, including three hit singles Their main popularity was in the Netherlands, with their top hit Ruthless Queen reaching No 6 on the Dutch charts in March 1979 They disbanded in 1982 after releasing nine albums

In 1999 the band was asked to perform on the TV show De Vrienden van Amstel Live After this performance, they decided to reform, and released seven further studio albums and three live albums On 4 January 2008 they released Coming Up For Air That same day saw the start of their 35th anniversary-tour On 7 October 2008, they ended the tour at the Paradiso in Amsterdam The concert was released on CD and DVD as The Anniversary Box in December 2008

In October 2009 the band embarked on a Dutch tour According to Ton Scherpenzeel on the band's website, after that tour Kayak would no longer do the album-tour-album-tour cycle They would probably keep on making new music though, as Scherpenzeel stated But the sudden and unexpected death of Pim Koopman in November 2009 halfway through the tour made the future of the band very uncertain

In May 2010, the band's website announced a tribute concert for Pim Koopman The concert was held on 22 November at the Paradiso It involved not only Kayak, but also some artists with whom Koopman had worked in the past Some of the names that appeared on stage: Pussycat, Caren Maywood, Alides Hidding, José Hoebee and Michael Robinson Okkie Huysdens with whom Koopman formed The President and Jeroen Engelbert one of many members of Koopman's band Diesel also performed For the occasion, Kayak used Hans Voerman as an extra keyboard player The drumstool was occupied by Hans Eijkenaar After the concert, Kayak announced that Eijkenaar was the new drummer of Kayak With Eijkenaar on drums, Kayak released their album Anywhere But Here in September 2011

On 21 September 2012, it was exactly 40 years ago that the band's name was chosen To celebrate this, Kayak went on a tour titled Journey through Time, after one of their songs They played at least one song from each studio album Also included was an excerpt from their forthcoming album Cleopatra - The Crown Of Isis That excerpt was also released on an EP, backed by a newly recorded version of Symmetry, a song that Scherpenzeel and Koopman originally wrote in 1971 The album Cleopatra - The Crown Of Isis was released in November 2014

At the end of 2014, Cindy Oudshoorn and Edward Reekers announced their departure from Kayak, leaving the band without lead vocalists At a one-off live performance of Cleopatra in March 2015 on the Dutch isle of Texel, Oudshoorn was replaced by Marjolein Teepen, who had worked with Kayak before Male vocalists were Martin van der Starre, Alexander van Breemen -both of whom also sang on the album- and Rolf Koster

In the summer of 2017 Kayak announced: "The band that will go on tour features keyboardist Ton Scherpenzeel, guitarist Marcel Singor and vocalist Bart Schwertmann, as well as bass player Kristoffer Gildenlöw who can be heard on the new album 'Seventeen' and- recently added to the band- drummer Collin Leijenaar"


  • 1 History
  • 2 Personnel
    • 21 Timeline
  • 3 Discography
    • 31 Studio albums
    • 32 Live albums
    • 33 Box sets
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Kayak 1974

Co-founder Ton Scherpenzeel is the only member who plays on every Kayak album Apart from keyboards, he also plays accordion, occasional bass guitar for instance on the entire "Nostradamus" album and double bass He also provides backing vocals, and sings lead vocals on the song Love's Aglow on the original "Merlin" album

Singer/drummer Max Werner does lead vocals on the first five albums He switched to drums and percussion in 1978, a position he hels for the following 4 albums In 1999 he returned as lead singer for the "Close To The Fire" album After that album he did a short tour with Kayak, but left the band in 2000 Max has made four solo albums, and he had a hit in Europe in 1981 with the single Rain In May

Johan Slager played guitar on every album until the split in 1982 He joined the band for the occasional live performances in the nineties, but he was not involved in the reunion of 1999 He was replaced by Rob Winter, who played on two albums before Joost Vergoossen became the next and current lead guitarist

Drummer Pim Koopman was also a founder member After "The Last Encore" he decided to leave the band; he was offered a job as a full-time producer, working with Dutch artists Maywood, Valensia, Robby Valentine and Petra Berger He came back as drummer of Kayak in 1999, and did not leave the drum stool until his death on 23 November 2009, aged 56 Apart from drums, Pim played occasional keyboards and guitar, as well as providing lead and backing vocals After leaving the band in 1976, he was replaced by Charles Schouten, who was subsequently replaced by vocalist Max Werner in 1978 until the band's breakup in 1982 Following his death he was replaced by Hans Eijkenaar

Original bass player Cees van Leeuwen left in 1975 to concentrate on his studies He became a lawyer, and in 2002 he became the Dutch State Secretary of Culture and Media in the short lived Balkenende 1 cabinet

In Kayak he was replaced by Bert Veldkamp, who played bass in 1975-1976 and returned for the 1999 reunion After the 2003 album "Merlin - Bard Of The Unseen", Bert left Kayak because he could not combine his work in a band with his own career

Peter Scherpenzeel, Ton's younger brother, was Kayak's roadie in the early days In 1978, he joined as the band's bass player, when Theo de Jong left after just one album Peter played bass on Kayak's best-selling album "Phantom Of The Night", as well as on the two following albums He later owned a Tiffany lamp studio in Amsterdam

Long-time Kayak fan Edward Reekers became lead singer in 1978, when Max Werner changed to drums The first song he recorded was "Ruthless Queen", which became Kayak's biggest hit He remained lead singer until 1982 After that he did two solo albums, and worked as a backing vocalist, doing commercials, and lending his voice to cartoon movies and children's TV-shows When singer Bert Heerink had other commitments in 2003, Edward replaced him at some "Merlin" concerts It was the beginning of his comeback, followed by the "Nostradamus" album in 2005 on which Edward plays the part of the monk After that album, Bert Heerink left the band and Edward was Kayak's only male lead singer again

In 2003 female singer Cindy Oudshoorn had joined Kayak for the "Merlin" album and tour, and she decided to stay In October 2014 both Reekers and Oudshoorn announced that they would not take part in the live performances of the "Cleopatra"-album in 2015 The club tour of November and December 2014 would be their last tour with Kayak, but the possibility was left open that they would return in the future

From 1978 until 1981, Kayak was augmented by two female background singers Katherine Lapthorn, wife of bassist Peter Scherpenzeel, sang on three studio albums After the split in 1982 she left the music business Ton Scherpenzeel's wife Irene Linders not only sang backing vocals, but also developed into the band's main lyricist When Kayak reunited in 1999, she became the band's manager

Bert Heerink ex Vandenberg was asked to help the band out on tour in 2000 The plan was that on stage he would do the songs that Edward Reekers did originally, leaving more room for Max Werner to do his own Kayak songs and play percussion But when Max left, he was not replaced, so Bert became lead singer He did three studio albums and one live album, before concentrating on his solo career

Rob Vunderink joined in 2001, as extra guitarist and vocalist Vunderink is an experienced musician who played in many Dutch bands since the sixties He collaborated with Pim Koopman in the Diesel band, which reached the 25th place in the Billboard Hot 100 with the single "Sausalito Summernight"

In 2005 Jan van Olffen joined Kayak as their bass player He had previously worked with Sister Sledge amongst others, and he played in the houseband for many Dutch stage musicals Monique van der Ster also joined the band briefly in 2005 as a vocalist

After the Pim Koopman Tribute in 2010, drummer Hans Eijkenaar was asked to become a full member Eijkenaar is a wellknown drummer and producer, who has worked with artists like Candy Dulfer, Herman Brood, Thijs van Leer, Anouk and Toots Thielemans Besides playing drums, Eijkenaar was also responsible for the mixing of the Kayak albums Anywhere But Here and Cleopatra - The Crown Of Isis Being one of the Netherlands' most wanted session drummers, Eijkenaar is not always available for Kayak concerts Sjoerd Rutten is the drummer when Eijkenaar is unable to perform




Studio albums

  • See See the Sun 1973
  • Kayak II 1974
  • Royal Bed Bouncer 1975
  • The Last Encore 1976
  • Starlight Dancer 1977
  • Phantom of the Night 1978
  • Periscope Life 1980
  • Merlin 1981
  • Close to the Fire 2000
  • Night Vision 2001
  • Merlin – Bard of the Unseen 2003
  • Nostradamus – The Fate of Man 2005 double CD / Excerpts from Nostradamus – The Fate of Man 2005 single CD
  • Coming Up for Air 2008
  • Letters from Utopia 2009
  • Anywhere but Here 2011
  • Cleopatra – The Crown of Isis 2014
  • Seventeen 2018

Live albums

  • Eyewitness 1981 "Live" studio album
  • Chance For A Livetime 2001 Double CD
  • Kayakoustic 2007
  • The Anniversary Concert 2008 Double CD + 'Highlights' DVD
  • The Anniversary Box 2008 4 CD + DVD

Box sets

  • Journey Through Time 2017


  1. ^ Allmusic
  2. ^ "Kayak – Journey Through Time" Sounds Recordshop Venlo Retrieved 23 June 2017 

External links

  • Official site
  • Pim Koopman's site
  • Peter Scherpenzeel's site
  • Interview with Ton Scherpenzeel on Kayak's 35th anniversary September 2007
  • http://wwwtop40nl/indexaspxweek=13&jaar=1979&maand=3&pos=6 Official Dutch Top-40 of march 31, 1979

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