dA dA dA Tour 1994
created: 15-4-98 / last update:
Overview The dAdAdA Tour followed the album by
the same name. This tour lasted from April to at least November and covering
concert halls in the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Belgium and France. I
suspect also Canada, Switzerland, Austria and maybe Italy were played, but I
have no confirmation of this. In the Netherlands most concerts were in
non-seated concert halls. This is very unusual, because usually seating-only
theatres were played in the Netherlands. This caused some more enthusiasm with
the audience, but ticket sales were lower than previous years, so at the next
tour they returned to the seating-only theatres. Abroad the concerts were mainly
held at standing only venues, as usual. The concerts were usually between 120
and 130 minutes long. There were also several radio and TV performances during
Band The band was the same since 1992's
Ting tour. This band would be together until 1996.
Hofstede: lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, bowl of marbles, popping toy, right ear
Stips: keyboards, accordion, backing and lead vocals
Rob Kloet: drums,
percussion, triangle, backing vocals
Martin Bakker: electric and
standing bass, mandolin, backing vocals
Peter Meuris: percussion,
violin, standing bass
Stage The stage setup was beautiful, unique
and typical nits, as usual. The band was positioned in the same way as they were
on the previous tour. Robert Jan to the front left with 2 or 3 keyboards,
Peter's percussion setup was in the back left. This percussion set was smaller
than the one used during the Ting tour. Rob's drum set was on the back right.
Rob didn't use the larger percussion set with Peter as on the previous tour.
Martin was on the front right of the stage and Henk could walk around on the
center of the stage. For some songs there was also a small setup that was put up
on the front of the stage, with a percussion set for Peter and a bass drum for
Rob. All 5 nits members would be in a row at the front of the stage.
The backdrop was formed
by different sized white circles on which slides could be projected. For
instance the word 'dA' during 'dAdAdA' or goldfishes during 'whales of
tadoussac'! The lights also gave the stage and circles beautiful colors.
picture and two more pictures can be found on the nearly official
homepage. This picture was taken during a soundcheck by Tom
Telman (nights light-man)
Songs The songs were mainly drawn from the
latest album: dAdAdA. All the songs from this album were played during this
tour. In between were of course the hits and some nice surprises. This tour also
featured requests. Henk would ask the audience what they would like to hear,
preferably a song not written by the Nits. If the band knew the song they would
try to play it.
This tour features the
'big sound' of this nits line-up. The previous tour had a more subtle sound for
most of the songs. It seems that during this tour and the next Nest tour the
Nits wanted to sound as loud as possible. Peter and Rob hitting their percussion sets hard
and often, Robert Jan using clean and hard synthesizer sounds, Henk's fierce
acoustic rhythm guitar playing and Martin laying
a solid groove under the songs.
Overview of all songs played
The final tune from
'dAdAdA' usually also was the last song of the show (sometimes 'nescio' was the
last song). The live version of the song has an ambient intro and Peter plays
violin throughout. It was played as on the album with Robert Jan and Henk both
singing the lead vocals, but Henk's voice was much more pronounced, sometimes
completely covering up Robert Jan's vocals. This was one of the few songs that
doesn't have the 'big sound'.
Adieu, Sweet Bahnhof
This very popular
song was not played at all the concerts this tour. When it was played it was an
unplugged version, with Robert Jan on the accordion. The song would start out
with percussion and guitar and after a while Robert Jan joins in. This version
of the song was very slow and sparse throughout, although it got somewhat louder
towards the end, but never resulting in the 'big sound'. At the Amsterdam
concert this song was a request. They played a 30 second version of it with
guitar, organ and spoken lyrics. Later in that show they played the full
Autobahn According to Kirsten Roeleke and
confirmed by Jochen Stein, this song was played at the Cologne concert. The song
is the famous early synthesizer hit by Kraftwerk.
mentioned to me:
The line 'wir fahr'n fahr'n
fahr'n auf der Autobahn' was sung by Henk.
Bike In Head
This was played in every tour since
1986, but after this tour it got some rest. After a disagreement with the record company about the release of a remix of this song
as a single, the Nits decided not to play it in the Nest tour and it only
returned in 2000 when the Nits had a new record company. It almost seems that
they know it's going to be the last time in a while for this song, because it is
played in the best way ever. No earlier version came close to this tour's
arrangement. The song started out with the bike bell and other weird sounds. The
drums built up and the piano theme was played. After the drums had fully arrived
Henk and Martin started playing. After a while the song shifted from controlled
chaos to the structured composition we know from the Henk and Urk albums. The
body of the song was played as usual, but with the percussion heavy 'big sound'.
It seems like Peter tried to hit as much things as he could. The best part of
the song was where normally the breakdown took place. In this spot Robert Jan
now played a new, up tempo keyboard theme and the band soon followed with a
heavy groove with both drummers pounding strongly away and Martin providing some
solid bass lines. The song built up to a frenzy and the weird noises from the intro
returned. Slowly the song shifted back to more familiar territories, with a real
heavy ending (Rob and Peter drumming very loud). The song would end with the
band shouting very loud (but not in the microphone): 'Bike in Head!'. The new
middle part could vary in length. Usually it was 1 or 2 minutes long, but the
performance in Zutphen showed a particularly spectacular jam. This jam features
2 solos by Robert Jan, lots of percussion, weird bouncy improvisations and the
highlight: a triangle solo by Rob! The rest of the band laughingly paused to
listen to this, while Rob tried to hit the triangle as hard and fast as
possible. All in all the song was stretched to about 9 minutes at this show! I had the good
fortune to be present at that show and this song, and especially the triangle
solo, is one of the Nits concert memories that I probably will never forget!
This fun, uptempo song started
out with a weird sweeping synth noise from Robert Jan, in which sometimes strange
things could happen (for instance a performance of Kraftwerk's 'The Model' in The Hague). The actual song was played almost the same as on the album, only a
little bit faster and with an extra keyboard part added. Martin provided most of
the backing vocals. Robert Jan played a few short solos behind the 'dut-dut-dut'
sections. The lyrics that were
improvised during the recording of the studio version were rather faithfully
repeated by Henk. Sometimes at the end of the song would improvise some new
lyrics, but not always.
Boy in a tree
This song, which is
about 6 minutes long, was played completely. It followed the album version
closely, but with the extra pleasure of added guitar, bass and extra percussion
parts. This song really benefited from the big sound of this version of the
nits. As do all the giant normal dwarf songs in this and next tour. I love the
original album version, but this bands manages to make these songs sound full
and powerful, while the album versions are more subtle.
Cabins This song was not part of the normal
repertoire of this tour. As far as I know it was only played once, as a request
at the Zutphen concert. This band had played this song before in the Ting tour,
but this was a completely different arrangement. Henk, Rob and Robert Jan played
the song as they always did before the Ting Tour (similar as on Urk) and Martin
and Peter follow along, although they never played it in this way. The song
turns out to sound a bit bouncy and fun to hear. The orchestral ending with the
extra few bars as on Urk is played, completely surprising Martin and Peter. This
causes laughs from the whole band.
Cars And Cars
This song is the '90s nits classic. Although it wasn't a big hit when it was released on single,
the audience seems to love this song. In this tour it was usually played as an
encore. The song would start out with piano and guitar and after a while the
percussion entered. Peter played the violin throughout the song. The
instrumental middle part was always great, with Robert Jan playing his
'mathematical' piano lines'. He would often take liberties with the written
parts and improvise new melodies. This version sounded fuller than the Ting
This songs came
right out of the train noise from the song 'the train'. Martin started the song
out on mandolin, joined by Henk on guitar and Peter on standing bass. The song
was played as on the dAdAdA album. This up tempo song usually was received very
well by the audience.
dAdAdA This song was played a bit heavier,
but similar to the album version. The song is an excellent live song and the audience seemed to like this song a lot,
judging from the reception it usually got. The song started out with a drum only
intro by Rob. Henk and Robert Jan soon came in with the main melody on guitar
and keyboards. Soon after that the rest joined in and the song was played all
the way through ending with a beautiful power chord. Peter delivered a violin
solo on the appropriate part of the song, as on the album. On
the round screens the word 'dA' was projected on alternating places.
Day And The Night
The lyrics of this
song are some of the most somber in the whole Nits catalogue, dealing with
death, but this was not reflected in the bouncy music. This song was
always fun to watch and/or hear during concerts. The band usually was very
concentrated playing this or laughing when it went wrong. On good nights (which
was most often the case) it was
played exactly as on the album, but on 'bad' nights (especially the Den Haag
concert) this song could turn out messy with some band members hitting the wrong
note. Peter would pluck his violin strings like a guitar during this song.
Rob added small cymbal touches now and then.
Desert Island Song
To my knowledge
this was only played once at the tour premiere in Tilburg. Maybe there are later
performances but I haven't heard tapes or reports of concerts that contain this.
I wonder why it was only played once, on the tape I got it sounds pretty good.
The song itself was basically played as on the dAdAdA album, but with a few
differences. The song didn't starts out with the Ting type intro that's on the
album, but a longer piano intro took its place. Once the bass and the drums get
the song going it settled into a somewhat continuous groove. After Henk started
playing the guitar or the mandolin and singing the lyrics the song was as on the
album. Towards the end the mandolin and/or guitar brought the song to a stop.
The Dream This song is usually always played in
the same way and this tour's version was no different. It often was the first
song in the show that was played on the big setup and usually had a good
Dreams This song was written for the big
sound of this group and as such it appears on the album. The live version was
pretty close to the album, but the live version added some extra charm to the
song. An extra reprise was usually played a few seconds after
the original song ended. This extended part varied in length for the different
shows. It was put there to accommodate audience sing-along, which usually
happened. Sometimes there also was some soloing by Robert Jan during this part.
The audience loved this song and it's a pity it wasn't played at later tours.
An Eating House
This song was
played on the small set either at the beginning of the concerts or during the
encores. This tour's version is a return to the arrangement similar as the album
version after the strange version that was sometimes played at the Ting tour.
This version sounds very similar to the Urk version, complete with Robert Jan on
accordion and the 'child' and 'distorted' voices.
Fire In My Head
This song was
played similar to the Ting version, but with some changes. The percussion was
done by Rob on the normal drum set, while Peter played violin. Robert Jan played
very melodic piano throughout the song, much more melodic than on the studio
Fishes Walter Schäppi's Nits Overview mentions that this song was played at
the St. Gallen concert. It's a song from the dreams cd-single.
This was played the
16th of June in Paris for Rob. Martin started out the melody in bass. The
audience sang the song.
Where did this come
from? At most concerts on random places Henk starts out this 20 second song that
ends the Beatles' Abbey Road album as a short and funny intermezzo.
This song was great
live. It was similar to the album version, but more loosely played. The song
built up nicely to the Louis Armstrong part. This part, sung by Robert Jan ('I
was thinking about my baby, I was thinking about a wonderful world.'), was much
more pronounced than the studio version. Robert Jan also used a very cool
trumpet sound throughout this part. Sometimes Henk would give an explanation of
the song before it started or over the intro. At the the Hague concert he told
the audience that the song was about a girl who said to him 'I'm afraid of black
man', instead of the more usual 'I'm afraid of old man'!. During the song this
lyric was also used instead of the normal ones. Why he did that I don't know,
but that show was a very messy one anyway (see also 'day and the night'), with
Henk breaking strings all the time and the band making a lot of mistakes.. I was
present at that show, but I don't have a tape of it. So if anyone does: please
The House As with desert island song I believe
this song was only played once, at the tour premiere. The song sounded similar
to the Urk version with Robert Jan taking the lead vocals and Henk harmonizing
in the choruses. A difference with the Urk version is that Henk played soft
guitar throughout the song. My Tilburg tape is incomplete (actually it's only 2
songs long), so I don't know where in the concert this was played or if it took
the place of the common Robert Jan vocal song 'instead of..'. Anyway, this
beautiful song is great to hear.
This is one
of those Giant Normal Dwarf songs that really benefited from the big sound. The
songs started out with a bass and drum intro. Robert Jan provided sound effects,
while Henk played around with the whammy bar on his guitar. The song itself
followed the structure of the album version, but it was a more busy version. The
'I'm sitting in a car' part was particularly fierce and loud. The 'you say I
never be the same' part sounded very good and after that some manic percussion
and drumming followed before the bass kicked in and the song returned to end in
the same fashion as the beginning of the song.
This song was
Robert Jan's showcase. As with most of the tours since 1988 Robert Jan would
take the lead vocals on at least one song during the show. This tour it was this song
from the dAdAdA album. The song was
played as on the album, but with the added bonus of hearing Henk create some
beautiful sounds with his guitar. Henk also provided backing vocals. As on the
album Robert Jan did a little bit of whistling. This
slow, spacy song usually was a quiet moment during the show with 'big sound'
songs before and after it.
The Den Bosch
concert featured a short instrumental intermezzo when the band came back for the
encores. To the beat of the audiece clapping, some guitar, bass and synth was
played. Not very structured and not very long, but funny. It more or less segued
into Soap Bubble Box.
In The Dutch Mountains
This song was
usually played as the last song before the encores, leaving the crowd shouting
for more. This tour's version was faster than the album version, as were most
live versions after it was released in 1987. It was very similar to the Urk
version, actually it was the same as the 'Dankzij De Dijken' version, but with
the original English lyrics of course. The song featured the repeated 'mountains
- buildings' ending, with the band following Robert Jan's samples. During at
least one concert (Paris) the Beatles song 'Strawberry Fields Forever' served as
an intro to in the Dutch mountains.
This was usually
played in the beginning of the show on the small setup. It was played in the
regular up tempo version, similar to the Urk version. No surprises during this
song (except for Henk stumbling on the lyrics now and then...).
The Model This Kraftwerk song was played at the
The Hague concert. During the weird sounding intro of 'bilbao boa' Henk suddenly
said: 'Kraftwerk?', after which Robert Jan picked it up and the band plays a
short version of this classic song. I was present at this show, but I
unfortunately have no tape of it, so I have to describe this from memory and I
can't give more details.
Mourir Avant 15 Ans
This beautiful and
dramatic song was played similar to the album version. With its almost 7 minutes
it usually was the longest song of the concert. The lyrics deal with an
exhibition Henk saw in Montréal that showed photographs of young children that
died in several wars. These very touching were the inspiration for Henk top
write this song in which he mentions the exhibition, the photographs and some
things dealing with Montréal (e.g. St. Lawrence River). The English translation
of the title is 'To Die Before You're 15', which is also sung seferal times in
the song. Martin and Rob provided the
backing vocals (which weren't bad, but were not as effective as the woman's
voices on the studio version). The band usually played a pretty
tight version of this song (although the Den Bosch version features a very shaky
beginning..). The sound was a bit louder than the album, because of which some
subtlety was lost, but that's only a minor comment.
Moved By Her
This song was a
surprise. The studio version of this song appears on the Cars And Cars cd-single
and in an orchestral version it can be found on Hjuvi. For the people who don't
know it: it sounds a bit like a happier version of 'Fire In My Head'. This live
version is my favorite version of the song because of its great arrangement.
Robert Jan was the driving force behind it all with 'mathematical' piano lines'
throughout the song. The intro was Robert Jan solo, with Henk sometimes making
noises with a popping toy. He used it regularly throughout the song making short
popping-sounds now and then. Although percussion and bass were very sparse
during the song, this song managed to sound very powerful. Robert Jan often also
changed and improvised his piano lines throughout the song, sometimes resulting
in horribly false notes, but mostly it was just beautiful. I
always find the dramtaic last lines not too fitting with the uplifting and happy
nature of the song, but it's not that distracting.
Nescio In this tour the song was played as
an encore. It sounded very similar to the original Omsk album version, with an
extra added piano bit after the 'I don't know' part. Also instead of the fade
out the power chord ending is played after the loud end part, as on the Urk
version. Robert Jan, Rob and/or Martin sang backing voacls in teh English
section. Compared to the Ting tour extravaganza this version sounded very
This Beatles song
was played at several tours, but this tour has only one performance I have heard
so far. It was a very unusual version as well. It was played as an instrumental
during the band introductions at the Zutphen concert. After a band member was
introduced a few seconds of 'Norwegian Wood' was played. Although it is nothing
much, it is interesting and fun to hear.
Orange This song appears on the dAdAdA album
as a unlisted, hidden bonustrack about a minute after Abandoned Mine ends. At
the concerts the song was played during the encores. The song was actually
played as it appears on the 'Mourir Avant 15 Ans' cd-single. This version was
the same as the album version, but without the ambient intro sounds and the fade
in. This is the only nits song that features steel drums (even though they're
actually keyboard sounds)! Peter added many percussion sounds,
Martin played the tight bass line and sang backing vocals with together Robert
Jan. Henk sometimes let them both sing and only added some extra vocals here and
there. Rob's drum-break was not as prominent as on the album.
Pelican And Penguin This was played at the Den Bosch
concert as a request. After a literally false start, Henk retuned his guitar and
the song slowly started up with Martin's bass. The rest soon joined. Robert Jan
used a different keyboard sound and played rather laid back versions of his
parts. At one point Henk started singing like Bob Dylan and the lyrics started
to deviate from the original (probably due to the fact that Henk couldn't
remember them..). He even quoted Dylan's She Belongs To Me in the last seconds
of the song. They played a full 4 minute version of it. This was maybe not the tightest
version ever, but it's definitely great to hear in this tour.
Port Of Amsterdam
This great song
returned to the setlists after a few years absence. The song was always
spectacular and a crowd favorite. There were different ways this song would
start. The most common was a guitar intro, after which Robert Jan came in with
the well-known Port Of Amsterdam sounds, later followed by the drums and bass.
Another way to start the song was a drum intro, followed by the bass and after
that Robert Jan joined with the Port Of Amsterdam sounds. During the intro (and
sometimes also during the whole song) Robert Jan would play lots of weird melodies and sometimes some famous ones,
like the James Bond theme, the French national anthem or other well-known
phrases and themes. The Den Bosch version is particularly full of little Stips-melodies.
The body of the song
was similar to the version that was released on Urk, but with double percussion
throughout. Peter used his melodic wood blocks regularly, but also hit
everything which was close... The drums in the 'goodbye' and 'jajaja' parts where particularly loud this tour.
Another noticeable thing is that Henk often seemed to forget the lyrics to the
'we're heading for no destiny' part. After this tour this song
was retired and hasn't been played since.
Requests At the end of the show Henk would ask
for requests from the audience. This was a regular feature on all the tours
since about Urk. They would play the song if they knew it, preferably a song by
another artist. This tour had pretty usual requests like: 'tutti ragazzi' and
'cabins'. One of the more unusual requests that were played was 'yes or no'. At
the end of the Dutch part of the tour Henk had an ear infection and was almost
deaf on his right side. He didn't hear the requests that came from that side of
the stage! At the Den Bosch concert Henk and Rob played a few
seconds of something which sounds French, but is hard to understand what it
actually is. They also play Pelican and Penguin as a request that show.
Sketches Of Spain
Another song with
the 'big sound'. This song was never before played so loud. It always had a
beautiful, extended intro with Henk playing around with his guitar's whammy bar
and Robert Jan playing variations on the main piano melody.
This tour's sketches featured busy percussion and a great, spooky violin solo by
Soap Bubble Box
This cheerful song
from the Ting album was not played at every concert. When it was played it was
played in a busy and fast version. The song started out with some heavy
drumming. The basic part of the song was played similar to the album, but with
very wild drumming. In the instrumental parts there were a lot of weird sounds
throughout. The 'he is walking ..' part is played without the drums, providing
some rest in the song, but soon the drums are back in full power. The multi-step
ending was present for this tour. Not the best
version ever of this song, but always good to hear. The Den
Bosch version did not have the drum-intro, but started with the whole band and
featured Henk playing the main melody line on his electric guitar in the intro
and a few times during the song. He also added some touches here and there (some
more successful than others). the Den Bosch was rather loose and messy anyway.
Sometime In Winter
This song opened
most of the shows, which is surprising because it wasn't released for most of
the tour and when it was released, on the 'mourir avant 15 ans' cd-single, it
was very hard to find. This version was closer to version that is now available
on Quest. The original cd-single had female backing vocals. This straight
forward version was started with bird noises and followed the Quest version quite close. It was played on the
Sorrow The intro of this very beautiful song
was played on guitar, percussion and bass. Robert Jan joined in later with a
great saxophone keyboard sound. He would also use some marimba sounds in parts
of the song. The song was played similar to the album version. It was
unfortunately not always played, but when they did Henk's singing was fantastic.
Strawberry Fields Forever
This Beatles song
was played rarely and most of the time it was very short, maybe a minute long.
Just from the famous intro up until the first verse and chorus were played. In
Paris the song seamlessly flowed into in the Dutch mountains, serving more as an
intro than a real song. In Amsterdam this song was played at the requests, but
it was nothing more than one line: 'let me take you down'! Luckily the band
chose to play this song also on the 2 Meter Sessies TV and radio show. It was
only broadcast on the TV, not the radio. This time they played a more complete
version, lasting about 2 and a half minutes. The beginning sounded similar to
the Beatles version, but the opening keyboard intro was missing. The first part
of the song was played with the 'big sound' and featured great drumming by Rob
and very cool keyboards (mellotron sound). About halfway through the song a
piano and organ solo were played and the song broke completely down, featuring
some cool keyboard sounds. This break ended the song. Musically this was one of
the coolest things I ever heard the Nits play.
A Touch Of Henry Moore
This song made a grand re-entry in
setlists after being absent since 1989. It's an always spectacular song in which
sometimes also the stage or soemthing else is played as an instrument. This tour of
course featured plenty of percussion effects and Henk made sounds with a bowl
full of marbles. He held the microphone close to the round bowl and moved the
marbles around, creating a loud rumbling noise. The song starte with a keyboard/percussion intro. After the
familiar keyboard melody line was introduced the bass joined in. The song was then
more or less played in the way it was documented on the Urk live album, but with more
percussion. Another difference is that the chorus was actually sung (by Henk and
Martin), unlike the version
on Urk or most other tours.
The Train This was the heaviest version of this
song ever played by the Nits. It started out with a loud and busy cymbal intro by
both Rob and
Peter and soon Henk joined in with the rhythm guitar. After Martin started the
bass line and Robert Jan the familiar melody the song was played all the way to
the train noise part, while it continued to have the 'big sound'. After the
train had come to a standstill Henk and Martin kicked in the mandolin version of
'Chameleon Girl'. So the the song did not continue, as on previous tours.
Played as a request
in Zutphen. Henk started out the song on guitar, followed soon by Robert Jan's
'jumpy' keyboard playing. The rest of the band soon followed as well. It was
played pretty regular for about a minute, then everybody stopped but Rob wanted
to continue and played a small drum solo. The rest of the band returned for a
wild 'big sound' second part, including the last verse of the song.
Whales Of Tadoussac
This song was
played as on the dAdAdA album. I really like those cool synth and clear bass
sounds. Rob's drumming is usually very tight on this song.
What We Did On Our Holidays
This was the only
dAdAdA song that didn't premiere on this tour. It actually was played at some of
the later Ting tour concerts in pretty much the same arrangement we know now.
This tour followed the studio version closely. It was played on the small setup.
Yes or no The first Nits single. Released in
1977, but almost never played live. It was played as a
request in Amsterdam. This was a very rare performance, possibly the first time
it was played in 15 years! Henk seemed quite surprised someone requested this
number. Although this version had something in common with the album version, it
was very different. It was more an improvisation than a real song. Henk started
solo on the guitar and the bass and drums joined in. The vocals were just some
repeated singing of 'yes or no', with no real lyrics. A short drum solo ended
this very simple performance after about a minute and a half.
This song was played at the Zurich
concert. This very nice, Japanese sounding song is based on the song 'Sukiyaki'
by Kyo Sakamoto (1963). The Nits used the melody and replaced the Japanese
lyrics by newly written English ones. The song is about meeting a girl named
Yoko at the Yokohama train station. The Nits played a full version of this song
and it sounded quite well-rehearsed. I guess it was played at a few other
concerts as well. In 1996, during the Amsterdam-Bern Connection, a song named
'He She Me' was played which also was about this subject.