Kilo Tour (1983-1984)

first published: 24-9-98 / complete rewrite: 17-12-98


This tour wasn't really a tour of its own. It was more or less an extension of the Omsk tour with a couple of new songs from the Kilo album. It started in November 1983 and lasted up until June 1984. They visited the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Switzerland. The Dutch part of the tour was mostly part of the CJP-tour. CJP is a 'cultural youth passport' that gives discounts to theaters, museums, concerts and other cultural things and this tour was to promote the CJP. Although this tour lasted more than half a year only one (short) performance was available among traders. Tom Telman offered me the chance to hear a complete concert of this tour and this expanded the views of this tour a lot.


This was the same band that played together from 1981 - 1985.

Henk Hofstede: vocals, keyboards, guitar, marimba
Michiel Peters: vocals, guitar, bass, trumpet, marimba
Rob Kloet: drums, percussion, backing vocals
Robert Jan Stips: keyboards, vocals


The band played in front of a large sheet with on it the Kilo album cover.

***Stage Photo Coming Soon!!***


Several songs were played the same way as in the previous tour, but there was also a lot of new stuff. The concert was split up into two sets. The first one concentrated on 'old' songs from the Tent album to the Work album. The second set had the newer songs from the Omsk and Kilo albums. Five of the six Kilo songs I have heard. Only 'Memories are New III' I haven't heard, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was played as well.

Song played for the first time:

sketches of spain, bild am sonntag, acres of tintoretto, dapperstreet, your next tyres, typical.

Songs played for the last time:

man of straw, walls have ears, bild am sonntag, clean shirt in paris, typical, spirits awake, the young reporter, statue, saragossa.

Overview of all the (known) songs played:

Acres of Tintoretto

Tintoretto was a painter from Venice (Italy) who painted huge paintings in the 16th century. Henk probably saw some of his paintings at a museum. A short biography of Tintoretto can be found using this link. Three Tintoretto paintings can be found on this website.

Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto (1518-1594)

Henk linked the painter from Venice with two movies that have Venice as a background (which I both haven't seen). The first one was Death in Venice (1971, directed by Luchino Visconti), which is described on the homepage of the classic video club as:

Mann's novel, Mahler's music, Venice in winter. An ageing aesthete in search of beauty and death, which he finds in Tadzio, the beautiful boy and in a city gripped by cholera. An exquisitely-made film. Unfortunately, the print and sound quality have the usual Italian sloppiness and the film seems to go on forever. Dirk Bogarde is very well worth reading on it in Book 2 of his autobiography: Snakes and ladders.

The other film was Don't look now (1974, directed by Nicolas Roeg). On it is described as:

A psychological horror film about a couple who take a trip to Venice after the tragic drowning of their daughter. There, the father continues to be haunted by glimpses of the little, red-coated girl darting around street corners. Based on a story by Daphne De Maurier.*

The song probably mentions several images from Tintoretto's paintings and both movies in its lyrics. And now about the music... On the Kilo album the band had gained a very mature sound and they were able to put that maturity into a great atmospheric album. Live however the band still was playing mostly rather loud arrangements of most songs and 'acres of tintoretto' sounded quite different from the studio version. It had a fast intro in which the chorus was already sung over a rather wild backing. Soon the music got a little bit more jazzy, especially because of the keyboard bass and synth melody. Some melancholic and other soundeffects were played. For the chorus the music returned to as it was in the intro: wild and fast. Michiel sang backing vocals to Henk's rather dramatic lead singing. In the instrumental part Michiel played an echo-y guitar melody. This melody returned towards the ending. This part was very upbeat and had Henk mumbling some 'death in venice' and 'don't look now' lines. The actual ending consisted of just two guitars playing a dramatic part. All in all a very interesting version, but I prefer the album version, or the later Henk and Urk tour versions for that matter.

During the studio sessions for this song it was first recorded in a fast version, before the band decided to completely change the arrangement. In a conversation with Henk he told me that they really hated this version (as well as an early take of 'sketches of spain' and that the decision to change it was very important for the band. It marked the beginning of a new way of doing things. The live version was close to the original fast version. I don't know why they decided to play the original version and not the much better jazzy arrangement. Maybe the band had to gain more confidence to dare to play in a much more subtle way. This would change over the next few years.

Bild am Sonntag (As Usual)

In this song the band proved they were very well capable of being subtle on stage. It started with either a drumcomputer or incredibly tight drumming by Rob. Michiel played the guitar melody over this. On the album version this has many layered vocal harmonies. In the live version this was done by putting a lot of reverb on Henk and Michiel's vocals. Sometimes Robert Jan joined in as well. The result was ver nice, the harmonies sounded very good, although they couldn't beat the album version. Robert Jan played an organlike synth and synth bass. In the 'time's passing by' part Michiel played some nice guitar parts. Before the end harmonies there was an instrumental part.

Clean Shirt in Paris

This beautiful song was played in the same way as on the Omsk Tour. It featured the percussive sound, synth accordion, french guitar playing by Michiel, acoustic guitar by Henk and great singing.


This song is based on a famous dutch poem by J.C. Bloem. Henk borrowed several lines of this poem in his lyrics. Henk's lyrics deal with the tearing down of houses in the old street in Amsterdam and the memories that will be lost once the street has changed, while the original poem deals with the poet's preference to the city over the countryside. The original poem is as follows (with my attempt at translation):

De Dapperstraat (The Dapperstreet)

Natuur is voor tevredenen of legen. (Nature is for people who are satisfied or empty.)
En dan: wat is natuur nog in dit land? (And then: what still is nature in this land?)
Een stukje bos, ter grootte van een krant, (A piece of wood, as big as a newspaper,)
Een heuvel met wat villaatjes ertegen. (a hill with some small villas against it.)

Geef mij de grauwe, stedelijke wegen, (Give me the somber city roads,)
De’ in kaden vastgeklonken waterkant, (the in quays riveted waterside,)
De wolken, nooit zo schoon dan als ze, omrand (the clouds, never as clean as when they, framed)
Door zolderramen, langs de lucht bewegen. (by attic windows, move along sky.)

Alles is veel voor wie niet veel verwacht. (Everything is much for those who don't expect much.)
Het leven houdt zijn wonderen verborgen (Life keeps its miracles hidden)
Tot het ze, opeens, toont in hun hogen staat. (until, suddenly, it shows them in their high state.)

Dit heb ik bij mijzelven overdacht, (This I have contemplated myself,)
Verregend, op een miezerigen morgen, (rained through, on a sleety morning,)
Domweg gelukkig, in de Dapperstraat.  (simply happy, in the Dapperstreet)

The introvert music of this song matched the reflective lyrics of this song perfectly. The live version had the same warm and atmospheric atmosphere as the album. It started with a slow synth intro. The percussion and synth bass joined after a while. Some soft acoustic guitar was also played during the song. Henk sang the lead vocals, with the rest of the band harmonizing in the 'ah-ah-ah-ya-ah-ah-ah' parts. Robert Jan introduced a trombone sound during the song and this became more prominet towards the end of the song. This beautiful song would be a regular member of setlists for years to come, making it a Nits classic.

Empty Room

This started with the echo-y guitar theme repeated a few times before the strong drums, with a lot of cymbals, and the synth bass entered. Henk's vocals contained a lot of echo. More synth sounds entered after the first chorus. Te long instrumental section started with some fast guitar over a piano melody. After some time heavy sequenced synth sounds took over. These sounds were mostly low, but some high effects were also part of it. The piano melody joined as well after a while. The song returned to the vocals, but with the sequenced sounds remaining in the background for a while. The end music was  the same as in the beginning of the song. It featured some nice breaks and a long 'I-I-I' by Henk with a little more vocals.

Hook of Holland

This started with some 'growing' synth noises that were continued into the song. These noises were joined by Rob's metallic percussion before the guitar melody and a low synth entered. The vocals were sung very slowly. From the first chorus Rob started drumming, using his full kit. Michiel sang backing vocals and played the guitar melody and various touches throughout. Robert Jan and Henk played the atmospheric synths. The instrumental part featured a prominent low synth and echo-y piano parts. This music was continued for the 'girl from Switzerland' section, in which the guitar joined again as well. The 'trains & boats & planes' part was not sung.

How the West Got Lost

This song had a completely new arrangement. It started with a sequenced synth intro. Rob played some rumbling drums over this. Also some echo-y piano touches were played. The synth bass entered, soon followed by the main theme on surf guitar and heavy synth. Rob introduced a whip sound now and then. The bridge featured some horn-like sounds on the synth and some more melodies. The drumming intensified after this. A nice rhythmic break with the synth solo followed. The song continued with a variation of the main theme on surf guitar and synth. The heavy synth bass returned near the ending, which mostly consisted of a return to the original theme.

Man of straw

This b-side of nescio was played the same as on the Omsk Tour. It featured a heavy keyboard bass and it was played much tighter than the original studio version. Michiel wrote this song and sang lead vocals, Henk sang backing vocals. Michiel also played some very typical sounding guitar parts. He also played a cool solo. Some nice keyboard sounds can be heard in the song. It wasn't part of the Arnhem concert.


 This was played as on the Omsk tour. It had the piano/vocals intro, similar to the version on Urk. Michiel played electric bass, while Henk played the acoustic guitar. Henk and Michiel both sang the 'phone rings' part. In Arnhem Henk commented after this: 'this was the last nescio in 1983', emphasizing the importance of this song that year.

New Flat

The intro consisted of percussion and the melody on guitar and synth. Under the vocal parts the music consisted of a static synth bass and percussion. After the first 'new flat' a clock sound was the only thing heard, but soon the song continued with a rough guitar in it. The chorus featured an acoustic guitar as well. During the 'there's an interesting ..' part a few sequenced synth sounds were played. The usual drumbreak now consisted of a loud electronic handclap sound. No guitar powerchords were played behind this, but the band fully returned very heavily after a while. The music became rather wild, but it was still very structured. During the song Michiel sang the backing vocals. This was a very good rendition of this classic.

Office at Night

This great song was also part of this tour. The arrangement had changed a bit from the Omsk Tour.  There was no 'OH!' intro. It started with heavy synth bass and percussion. Over this Henk's vocals were sung. The 'and the light falls..' parts were sung by Michiel with a lot of echo on his voice over the synth bas and a higher synth sound. Henk joined him on this at a very few instances. The long instrumental ending had a real, haunting trumpet solo by Michiel. The music consisted of the synth bass, drums and a new rhythm guitar part, which sounded rather nice. A loud 'OH!' ended the song.

Red Tape

After the completely new arrangement during the Omsk Tour the song returned closely to the original version for this tour. Michiel sang backing vocals and played the electric guitar, including the solo. Henk sang lead and played acoustic guitar throughout. In the instrumental part both guitars were very prominent. Robert Jan's and Rob's part followed the original version closely.


Sequenced synth noises with varied noises started out this song. This transformed into the bass line. Fast drums entered and weird guitar noises were probably played by Henk. The main guitar melody and touches, played by Michiel, started. The long instrumental was followed by the vocal part. Michiel sang the song. During the verses there was a nice synth countermelody. The structure of the song was the same as ever, but although it was much still a rather heavy song, compared to the years before it was much less so.

Sketches of Spain

This tour was the first one to feature this classic song. It hasn't left setlist since then yet! The song was a small hit in the Netherlands. Henk wrote the lyrics of this song when he traveled to or from Barcelona by train while he listened to the classic Miles Davis record 'Sketches of Spain'. Musically the song has nothing to do with that record. The band had recorded another version before this more quiet one, but they didn't like it so they completely changed the music. The song is credited to both Robert Jan and Henk. The lyrics are about the spanish civil war (1936-1939).Michiel played the famous bassline with his bass guitar. He started the song with it. Robert Jan played orchestral sounds and piano, while Rob played some appropriate percussion. After an instrumental intro Henk started singinging and a rather straightforward version of the song followed. Robert Jan sang the backing vocals in the 'I have seen the..' part. A long instrumental part, which featured a lot of piano, was played.Also some acoustic flamengolike guitar can be heard. This was probably Henk, because I think it was Michiel who played the bass. After this instrumental bit the song returned to the vocal part until the end of the song. While it wasn't the most spectacular version of this song ever, it sounded fresh this tour and this arrangement would be the blueprint for most of the later versions.

Slip of the Tongue

This was played similar to the previous tour's version. It started with a hesitant accordion like sound, soon joined by piano. After a while the drums and the marimba (Michiel?) joined. After they joined the music changed from hesitant to much more fluent. The fist few vocals were sung by Robert Jan with Hen. Henk continued for the next set of vocals. The 'be silent' parts were sung by Robert Jan, Michiel, Henk and maybe also Rob. A short harpsichord part transitioned the song into a new, faster, rough sounding part. The guitar solo was played in this section. After the guitar solo a synth bass solo was played. The song then changed into a very jazzy section with percussion, bass and piano. A synth sax solo was played over this. The tempo suddenly increased and slowed down again immediately. Over the jazzy background the lyrics returned, sung by just Henk. This was kept up until the end.

Spirits Awake

This often overlooked song from the Omsk album was played during this tour. It started with low synth noises which changed into the synth bass. The percussion and piano played the very percussive melody. This remained the main music for most of the rest of the song. Another keyboard melody was started and Michiel began singing the lead vocals. More synth melodies were added throughout this rather nice and atmospheric song. Michiel's voice was suited perfectly for these types of songs. Henk provided some backing vocals late into the song.


This tour was as far as I know the last one for this song from the New Flat album. It began with the guitar theme over a low synth and slow drums. Michiel's singing was rather suspense like. Henk joined him in the chorus. Low synths played spookily in the background. Henk sang backing vocals in the chorus and the loud vocals in the bridge. A heavy keyboard bass provided the right groove. In the instrumental part the synth took over the main melody, while the guitar shifted to rhythm parts. A return to the chorus, followed by another bridge introduced a long climaxed ending with an acoustic guitar present.

Suddenly I Met Your Face

This was played in the same way as during the Omsk Tour. It featured a hyperactive synthy piano part and a strange drum rhythm. A second piano joined just before the vocals. Synth touches were part of the song. Michiel sang backing vocals in the chorus. The song was already very 'take 5' like, but in the instrumental part, right after a big piano crash,  it really sounded like that jazz classic from the mid '60-s. Robert Jan played a synth trumpet solo, ending it with some siren like sounds. A rather spectacular drums and percussion solo was played under the continued synth bass and piano. Rob's percussion touches remained during the return of the vocals. A second big piano crash.

Tons of Ink

This was played the same way as on the Omsk Tour. It featured 'yo-oh-oh' chanting and it had a rather chinese sounding atmosphere, even more so than the original version. This was most obvious in the instrumental part, where Robert Jan played several chinese melodies. Stacatto and more fluent parts alternated throughout the song. Two synths and a marimba were played. Michiel sang backing vocals. The whole band did the 'yo-oh-oh's.  The chorus featured a nice 'sweeping' sound.

a Touch of Henry Moore

This started out with the keyboard melody, drums and percussion. I think Michiel again played a real bass. After a while a second keyboard melody was played, probably by Henk. The song slowly shifted into the regular version of this song. The 'clean shirt in paris' percussive sound was also part of the song, as well as some marimba playing. The 'sometimes' vocals were sung by Robert Jan, other backing vocals were provided by Michiel. As in every live version of this song before 1994 no chorus was sung. Some very intense instrumental parts was present at the place of the chorus though, it featured both the keyboard melodies again. A harpsichord played the melody that was originally sung in the chorus. Near the end of the song a break with a  fast 'clean shirt in paris' sound was played with some drum noises before the song abruptly stopped.

Tutti ragazzi

This song featured the 'pinball' sounds in the intro. In the first part of the song Michiel's guitar sounded acoustic, but later on it was clearly an electric guitar. Henk and Robert Jan played the keyboards. Robert Jan concentrated on the bass sounds, but he also injected several other melodies. An organ sound was used to play the melody in the instrumental part. Henk's singing was very enthusiastic sounding. Near the ending the organ returned for a very cool breakdown part, before a a sustained chord ended the song. No 'Telstar' quote was played this tour. This song wasn't played at the Arnhem concert.


This song is a very special case. Between the end of 1981 and 1985 the band hardly played covertunes or unreleased songs. There were some rarities, for instance b-sides, but the real obscure stuff was missing. But at the Arnhem concert the last song was this one. It is very likely titled 'typical', although I'm not 100% sure. I also don't know if this is a cover or an unreleased Nits original. In any case, the song isn't that good, but interesting nonetheless. It's a fast and busy pop tune about a girl who is, well, typical. The sound of this song was rather different from the Kilo album, so it might be an older outtake or it just wasn't good enough to release. It featured a very heavy synth bass, which was the most prominent instrument. Drums and electric guitar were played as well. Henk sang the rather silly lead vocals. Unfortunately most lines are hard to understand, so I couldn't transcribe them accurately enough to put them here. Michiel sang backing vocals. Towards the end the guitar became more to the front and there was a nice break and some nice 'hits'. All in all a rather nice, but not great song.

Unpleasant Surprise

This nice song was played the same way as on the Omsk Tour. A heavy synth bass, the synth melody and percussion changed in the intro to more fluent music. the marimba joined as well. Another synth joined, as well as a nice synth trumpet part before the vocals by Michiel started. This trumpet returned a few times during the song. Henk sang backing vocals on some 'oh-oh-oh's and the 'finally..' parts. A nice rhythmic break was part of the song as well.

the Vermilion Pencil

Another song that didn't change too much from the Omsk Tour. I think I can hear Michiel play the bass guitar again, so that would leave Henk for the guitar parts. This song had a strong groove and very nice melodies, mainly played on the piano. Henk's singing was very enthusiastic. The song had a very strong and full sound. The rhythm guitar sounded very cool and there was a short, but great instrumental part. It featured the 'scottish' ending with an organ sound.

Wake up

This rocktune from Robert Jan's U.P. solo album was played regularly from 1981 to 1985. It featured straightforward drums, electric guitar and low and high synths. Robert Jan sang lead in the verses. The choruses were sung by both Henk and Michiel. Michiel played a nice guitar solo. Over it's years of service this song never changed much in its arrangement. The most radical change would happen the next tour, when only Michiel sang the chorus... Especially from 1983 on it was one of the heaviest songs of the setlists. They left behind most of their rock/new wave influences around then, but this was a reminder how it was before.

Walls Have Ears

This was played as on the Omsk Tour. It had an even more chinese sound than tons of ink. Many keyboard sounds were used, including bells, and the synth bass. A low synth sound was used for the melody. A very cool instrumental part, which featured faster melodies, was played. This wasn't played at the Arnhem concert.

Walter and Conny

This instrumental was one of the first songs Robert Jan wrote for the Nits. It started with the synth bass line. Rob's fast, jazzy percussion joined quickly. The main melodies were played several times, using various synth sounds and distortions. The synths were most of the time joined by Michiel's echo-y electric guitar. The arrangement didn't deviate too much from the original. The later 1986 and 1988-1989 versions were superior to this version, mainly because of the real bass guitar.

the Young Reporter

This version sounded a lot smoother and more relaxed than the original. The structure of the song was the same though. The instrumental part featured acoustic guitar, rumbling drums and synth noises and melodies. I'm not sure if Henk or Michiel played the acoustic guitar. Michiel sang backing vocals. The result this tour was a very nice and poppy version.

Your Next Tyres

tyres.jpg (26009 bytes)

Henk recently told me that he considered this song a big mistake. If it was up to him now, he would remove it from the Kilo album. Indeed it is stylistically different and the lyrics are quite angry, but I feel it's a nice contrast from the other, more ballad like songs. Although apparently they didn't like the song , they still attempted to play it live this and the next tour, s they must have had hopes of getting it in an arrangement they liked. The song was performed even heavier than the album version. It stared with a rather light and funny sounding guitar part, but soon the very heavy synth bass and the drums took over. Henk sang the vocals over this. Michiel played electric guitar melodies and touches.  Michiel and Robert Jan sang backing vocals in the 'you have to do it on your own', the 'ohohoh' and 'your next tyres' parts. Henk played some acoustic guitar. The instrumental part was rather loud and it gained some 'yo-lo-lo-lo-lo' lyrics. The song returned to the vocal parts and it had a heavy climaxed ending.

Concerts considered in the above songlist:

Arnhem 30-12-83 (soundboard, complete show from the Nits Archives, thanks Tom!)
Bourges 2-4-84 (festival, not a very long concert, but it has some songs not played in Arnhem)

If you spot mistakes or if you want to give comments or additions please mail:

Dennis Versteeg

Click to go back to the Nits Concert File.