dA dA dA Tour 1994

created: 15-4-98 / last update: 21-10-04


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 the tour.


The band was the same since 1992's Ting tour. This band would be together until 1996.

Henk Hofstede: lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, bowl of marbles, popping toy, right ear deafness.
Robert Jan 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


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.

This 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)


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

Abandoned Mine

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 version.


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.

Kirsten 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!

Bilbao Boa

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.


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 album version.

Chameleon Girl

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.


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 reception.


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 version.


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.

Happy Birthday

This was played the 16th of June in Paris for Rob. Martin started out the melody in bass. The audience sang the song.

Her Majesty

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.

Homeless Boy

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 contact me!

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.

Ice Princess

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.

Instead Of..

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.

J.O.S. Days

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.


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 normal.

Norwegian Wood

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.


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.


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 Peter.

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 small setup.


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.

Tutti Ragazzi

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.

Yokohama Station

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.