Nest Tour (1995-1996)

first published: 05-08-98 / last update 25-10-04


The Nest tour is was a historical one in many ways. It was the last tour with Martin Bakker and Peter Meuris, both excellent musicians that really added something to the band. More importantly it was also the last tour of Robert Jan Stips with the Nits after being in the band since 1981. His songwriting really defined the Nits as they are now. At the time it was not know of course that he would return in 2003. The tour was based on the greatest hits album Nest and the related Quest rarities album and Vest video collection. The tour was a long one, starting in October of 1995 and ending at the Uitmarkt in Amsterdam in August 1996. All the usual countries were visited: the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, Finland and Canada. More unusual countries for the Nits to visit are England, Greece, U.S.A. (New York), and Luxembourg. I'm not sure if they played in Austria, Sweden and/or Italy. Concert were planned in Estonia and Latvia were planned, but didn't happen. A lot of great radio and tv performances were done during this tour. In October, before the tour really started, they did a Dutch radio show (Denk Aan Henk) and one in France (Black Sessions). In November they returned to Denk Aan Henk and also did Leidsekade Live. All these performances resulted in great recordings. The first Denk Aan Henk appearance was very special to me. I won a contest and was invited to the studio. In my very first contribution to the Nits Mailing List I wrote about this, the date of the post was on 17-10-95 (I had joined the list 2 or 3 weeks before this).

This is my first posting on the list, I have been lurking around for a few weeks now and today was the ideal day to make my first post. Yesterday the Nits played live on Dutch radio show 'Denk Aan Henk'. Last week they announced a competition where you could win a nest/quest/vest box and the winners were allowed to be in the studio during the radio show. I was one of the lucky winners :) It was a great experience, we were allowed to sit in between all the instruments in the very small studio. Before the nits went on the air they did a soundcheck, which was also great to hear. the only bad thing about it was that because it was in a studio the band were wearing headphones and there were no speakers set up in the studio, so we could only hear the acoustic parts of the songs, no keyboards or bass :( it was great though to hear Henk sing without the microphone and to hear the power of the drums and percussion. Now that's what I call unplugged.. I will now give the setlist: rhythm of the rain-interview-magic of lassie II-road not taken-aisle caisse (broken wing in French). After the broadcast they played some more songs:-boy in a tree-oom pah pah-the train-cars and cars-the dream-home before dark. After this we all got our nest/quest/vest boxes (which sounds great by the way), all members of the band signed the boxes for us, and we talked with them for a while. I asked Henk and Rob if they had seen the internet site and they said they knew about it and will check it out as soon as possible. The address of the mailing list and the WWW-site are printed in the booklets of nest and quest. it was a great day.

The Black Sessions performance was very good, with the Nits playing for 70 minutes, including some songs that would only appear very rarely in the tour. The Leidsekade Live show featured half an hour of live Nits music, including three songs in Dutch. The Poggibonsi tv show had a very rare 'broken wing' slow version performance.

This was the first real Nits tour that happened while the internet mailing list had started, the Frits concerts of late 1994/early 1995 s hardly were described on the list at the time. I went through the archives from 1995 up until September 1996 to find reviews and concert reports from this tour. And there were many! Highlights of the early maling list messages are the 'historical' first post by Bert to the first 5 subscribers, introduction messages from many of the now nitslist veterans, Paul Telman's first messages, the concert reports, the news that Robert Jan was going to leave, the news that the remaining Nits wouldn't quit, the ASCII art puzzle frenzy of the summer of 1996, the beginnings of the List plays Nits tape and the Uitmarkt concert stories.

After it was known that Robert Jan was going to leave a lot of fans anticipated his final concert in Amsterdam at the Uitmarkt. This was a free festival and the Nits closed the Saturday with a very special performance in the middle of Amsterdam with a lot of spectators (probably around 10000). It was broadcast live on television, but unfortunately they didn't show the encore, 'adieu sweet bahnhof', which was Robert Jan's final song as a Nit for a while. Guests like Freek de Jonge and the Finnish shouting choir made this a great show. It was rather emotional, especially near the ending of the show. I met several foreign fans that day, including two from the United States. Later it appeared that it had also been the last show of Martin and Peter (who had very weird hair for this performance...) with the Nits.

From this tour an official live CD was released by the international Dutch broadcasting organization. It was a very limited release and it wasn't available in record stores. Luckily I managed to track one down. It features 13 live tracks and 13 interview parts, with Henk explaining the song. The live tracks were recorded in Brussels (27-12-95) and Utrecht (21-02-96). Frank Veldkamp made a page for this album, featuring scans of the cover, the tracklisting and the text of the interviews. To go there, click here!

Some photos from this tour can be found on the web at the following places: Nits images Page & Steve Groom's Uitmarkt page, where also a lot more information about this historical Nits concert can be found. Brian Williams has also some great photos from two concert of this tour on his page: Utrecht and Quebec.

I obtained Henk's setlist from the Hengelo concert after the show. I've scanned it and put it here.

All the tapes, concert reports and radio/tv performances provided a lot of material about this tour. This and the very large amount of songs that were played make this page very large :-)


This was the final tour of the five piece Nits. They had been playing together since 1992. Robert Jan went solo and took Martin with him in his own band Stips. Peter left too, he is still working behind the scenes for several Dutch artists, but also has other enterprises going. Peter returned as a percussionist in 2000 for two concerts that were recorded for the Wool DVD. Henk and Rob would continue, they recorded the next album together in 1997 and started touring with 2 new members in 1998.

Somewhere around December 1995 Martin had a hand injury. He couldn't play the standing bass, but luckily still was able to play the electric bass. He played with his hand in a bandage. Later in the tour he could play normal again.

Henk Hofstede: vocals, guitar, toy keyboard
Rob Kloet: drums, percussion, hitting houses and ladders, floor castanets, vocals
Martin Bakker: electric and standing bass, mandolin, vocals
Robert Jan Stips: keyboards, harmonica, accordion, vocals
Peter Meuris: percussion, violin, hitting houses and ladders, electric bass


Amsterdam Concert:
Freek de Jonge: vocals

Paris Concert:
Kent: vocals

Uitmarkt Concert:
Freek de Jonge: vocals, poses
Mieskuoro Huutajat: finnish shouting choir


The stage setup was very spectacular this tour. The main feature was 3 aluminum houses standing at the back of the stage. The houses had a door and a window. For the first part of the show these houses were completely closed. The first song was even performed inside the middle house. The outer two houses contained Peter and Rob's percussion setups. On the front of the stage two small percussion setups were placed and they were used mostly in the first part of the concert.

During typist of candy Rob and Peter would play inside the closed houses, while the roofs went up and down. In a touch of Henry Moore the houses were used as an instrument. Peter and Rob would hit the walls and the roofs with mallets. The sounds were captured by microphones, which also distorted the sounds. In home before dark Rob would close the dootr on the right moment to give an appropriate bang. During pillow talk smoke would come out of them. In the beginning of the concert the sun would rise over the houses.

For the second part of the concert the front walls of the houses were removed and both percussionists could be seen while they played their instruments. At some foreign concerts or festivals the halls weren't really made for such a theatrical setup, or sometimes it was just too expensive to fly all the stuff over to one place (for instance Finland) they had to play without the nice stage. Later in the tour they used a ladder at these concerts instead of the houses, which was rigged with microphones. This was used as a percussion instrument during A Touch Of Henry Moore the same way as with the houses.


The tour was based on a greatest hits and a rarities album and this was also reflected in the concerts. All the classic songs were present, as well as many songs that were never or very rarely heard live. The songs didn't just come from the Nest album, also old album tracks were played. Most of the rarities that were played can also be found on Quest. There was a request section in most of the concerts and this also resulted in many special songs from the Nits or other artists. A few covers were played rather regularly throughout the tour outside of the request part: 'twist and shout', 'heaven' and 'love of my life'. This tour featured a lot of songs that had the 'big sound': loud playing and full arrangements. But unlike the dAdAdA tour, which was designed for standing room concerts, this tour also had a lot of subtle and theatrical moments. For a lot of foreign standing room and festival concerts the setlist was adapted to have more 'big sound' songs. The order of the songs was also changed for these concerts. In theatres they used almost only the small drums setup before the intermission, while after the intermission most songs were played on the big drum sets. During the tour more and more dAdAdA songs were played at concerts. Henk said they rediscovered that many of those songs were a lot of fun to play. In the beginning of the tour there only was 'chameleon girl', 'what we did on our holidays' and 'dAdAdA', but later 'homeless boy', 'orange', 'mourir avant 15 ans' and 'whales of tadoussac' were also  regularly played. The setlist had a lot of variations throughout the tour, but there still were a lot of similar concerts. On the mailing list it was even reported that Paul Telman said that for the Karlsruhe show they used the setlist from Helsinki that Suonna had put on the mailing list! Luckily every concert had its unique moments, usually in the requests part, but often also spontaneous things happened on stage. This and the great choice of songs makes this one of the nicest tours to collect tapes of.

Overview of all the (known) songs played:

Adieu, Sweet Bahnhof

Although this is one of the most famous Nits songs it wasn't always played, especially not in the first part of the tour. It would pop up in the setlist more and more as the tour progressed. It was documented on the official Nits in Concert CD though, including some lyrical problems by Henk. The song started out on guitar and keyboard accordion. The rest of the band soon joined. I really like the bass playing in this version of the song. Besides the accordion sound Robert Jan would also play piano. Martin provided backing vocals and Peter played the violin throughout the song. In the instrumental part he took a solo. This was not much more than the main melody accompanied by Robert Jan, who used an organ sound for this. The same stop-and-go ending as on Urk was played. The version at the Uitmarkt song was very historical, because it was the last song Robert Jan ever played while he was a Nits member. Unfortunately it wasn't broadcast on tv, they cut it before this encore. At the Paris concert Kent joined the band for this song and they performed it in french. The french studio version can be found on the french edition of Nest. The music for that version was the same as the 1984 studio version, but new vocals by Henk and Kent were added.


This song was written and performed by Kraftwerk in 1975. It was one of the very first synthesizer songs and it was a relatively big hit. Henk has named Kraftwerk as one of his influences. They already played a song of them (the model) during the dAdAdA tour and this time they did a very short version of this one. During the intro for cabins Henk would sometimes start singing the lyrics 'wir fahr'n fahr'n fahr'n auf der Autobahn' and Robert Jan would supply the appropriate synth sounds. I know this happened a only handful of times, but mostly the cabins intro didn't have this. The only performance I can confirm were it happened is at the Enschedé concert, which I was present at myself.

Avec Une Aile Cassé (Fast Version)

This translates as 'With a broken wing' and it is the French version of broken wing. On the French Nest album this version replaced the normal english version. To my knowledge they performed it two times, both in October. The first time at the first Denk Aan Henk concert (Dutch radio!) and the second time at the Black Sesions (although Henk tells the audience it's the first time…). These two versions were the same, which isn't a surprise because there were only two days between the performances!. It was the fast arrangement based on the original studio version. At the Black sessions Henk stumbled a bit over the lyrics. See the broken wing (fast version) entry for a description of the music.

Avec Une Aile Cassé (Slow Version)

The version of this song they played at regular concerts was different in two ways. The music was the slow version and the lyrics were sung by Henk and Kent, as on the the studio version. See the 'broken wing (slow version)' entry for a description of the music. It was played this way in Paris and Brussels.

The Bauhaus Chair

This was played a couple of times as a request. The version in Enschedé segued very nicely from 'boy in a tree', but they kind of messed up the beginning of the song with a few mistakes. Later on they got it under control and finished it. It was played similar to the Ting tour version, complete with violin solo.

Boy In A Tree

This was never really part of the regular set, although in October 1995 at the two radio performances they played it both times (although the Denk Aan Henk version wasn't broadcast). It only rarely popped up during the tour, mostly as a request (for instance in Enschedé). This version of the song was very beautiful and very long, lasting almost 8 minutes. This was mainly because of the extended instrumental intro, which consisted of a lot of atmospheric sounds, including wind sounds, bells, percussion, crow samples and 'eastern' sounds. Also the bass, a guitar keyboard sound and a real guitar were part of the proceedings. This lasted a rather long time (between one and two minutes) until Henk started to sing. From here on it was more or less the studio version with an added real bass and extra percussion, quite close to the Ting tour version. The great organic playing made this version also much more warm sounding than the studio version. During the song the intensity increased, but it never reached the 'big sound', because the song itself is too subtle for that. Throughout the song regularly all kinds of interesting percussion action happened. Robert Jan and Rob provided backing vocals in the 'boy in a tree' and 'he's been looking round and round and round' parts. For the 'boy in a tree' parts Henk didn't have a distorted echo on his voice as he had during the Ting tour. The length of the song was also like this because of the lengths of the instrumental part and the outro. The end part was a return to the atmospheric sounds of the intro with win, bell and crow sound effects.

Broken Wing (Fast Version)

I have no reports this was played, but I guess it must have once or twice very early in the tour. They did play a fast version of the French translation of the song at least twice though at the two October radio shows. The fast version was the closest to the original Nest album version. The studio version had overdubbed guitars and some other difficult to play stuff, so after a while they drastically changed the arrangement. The fast version started out with the guitar, a typical percussive keyboard sound, bass and percussion. It sounded a bit like the version of R.E.M.'s 'the one I love' they played in previous years. Martin and Robert Jan provided backing vocals to Henk's lead. Robert Jan also provided the fast harmonica parts. I think this version of the song sounded rather nice, but I can understand why they changed the arrangement.

Broken Wing (Slow Version)

As mentioned above the Nits weren't happy with the fast version of this song, so they completely changed the music somewhere in early november of 1995. It was played in november and maybe also december as part of the regular setlist, but eventually this version also got dropped. It was only very rarely played in the 1996 part of the tour. The most notable version is the one they did at the very weird Poggibonsi tv show. A few days after that performance I wrote a report of it on the Mailing List:

Last saturday the nits were featured in the weird tv show 'Poggibonsi'. Before they played Henk and the presenter arrived in a car, driving through a Dutch landscape (windmills, etc). They played a slow version of 'broken wing'. Rob only had one little drum, Peter had some more drums, Henk sat on the ground and played his baby-synthesizer. Robert Jan and Martin both were in a hole in the stage! Martin played the standing bass, only his head and the top of the bass were visible. Robert Jan was completely underground, the synthesizer was placed on the stage, so he played it with his hands over his head!

The song started out with some sparse percussion and some slow bass notes. The keyboard with a guitar sound entered the song after a short while and Henk began singing the lyrics, also much slower than the original version. The 'oh-oh' vocal parts were replaced by a 'small' keyboard sound played by Henk, only at the last time these parts were done vocally. Later in the song there was also some more drumming. I really like this version of the song, since it puts the whole song in a completely different perspective. The moody lyrics probably fit better with this slow version. The Dutch version of broken wing, 'de gebroken vleugel', also featured the slow music. The version in Zaandam was preceded by several weird synth sounds before the slow version was started by the bass.


The version of this song started out with a keyboard bass sound. At some concerts this transformed into Kraftwerk's Autobahn, but most of the time it went straight into a rather regular version of 'cabins'. The real bass took over and Peter provided violin effects. In the intro Henk also would often make some nice shouting sounds. This version was different from the Urk version because of the strange intro and the presence of the violin. It was also played a little bit faster. It was a great 'big sound' song, that was usually played during the encores. It had the classical ending with the few extra bars.

Cars And Cars

This started out with just the piano. Robert Jan's playing slowly shaped into the cars and cars melody. Some small percussion touches were present and after a while Peter joined on violin, which resulted in a piano/violin duet. After a while the vocals entered over this duet. The last musician to join was Martin. For the chorus the music got more powerful with full drumming and the entry of the guitar, while the piano melodies became faster. In the instrumental part a great 'mathematical' piano solo was played. This solo was always the same, but never fails to be impressive. After this the band returned to the slower music of the beginning with the piano melodies and the very prominent violin. In the following vocal part more and different percussion touches were played. For the choruses the music got stronger again. Martin provided the 'oh-oh-oh-oh' backing vocals. The ending sounded very nice with a final violin note by Peter. Late in the tour Henk would play around with his toy keyboard in this song, making strange noises with it. It was the same arrangement as during the dAdAdA tour and this was probably the best version they ever did. This song was documented on the Nits in Concert CD.

Chameleon Girl

This song was played unplugged. Henk actually unplugged his guitar for this one. It was performed just by Henk and Martin. Henk played his acoustic guitar, Martin played the mandolin and both sang the vocals. They would stand in the middle house for the song. The music was basically a stripped down version of the dAdAdA album version. Sometimes they would play parts of the song alternating very soft and loud. The had a lot of fun doing this one. A strange thing happened at the Den Haag concert. After they finished the song someone shouted if they could play it again. Henk unplugged his guitar again and the song was played for the second time. Now it sounded even more cheerful. They even performed part of it a capella , while the audience clapped along with it. 



This is a song by Talking Heads. During soap bubble box Henk would toy around with his toy keyboard. He always started a little programmed groove that was in that keyboard. Usually he let this go on for a few seconds before stopping it, but in Reading he suddenly started singing the lyrics to this song over it, which actually sounded pretty good.

dA dA dA

This song was played usually in the encores. It started out with just Rob on drums, after a while the full band joined in. This was one of the songs that seemed to be made for the big sound this version of the Nits was capable of. The guitar and keyboard provided the main melody. Martin provided backing vocals. Many keyboard melodies were played, as well as a lot of percussion. Peter played the violin, taking the same solo as on the album version. The song ended as it started with just Rob's drum rhythm, before one big chord ended the song. A version of this song can be found on the Nits in Concert CD.

Dankzij De Dijken

At the Uitmarkt concert Freek de Jonge came on stage during 'in the Dutch mountains' and he sang the Dutch version of it. Frits was back together once again. They were helped by the Finnish shouting choir for this one. For more info on this performance see the 'in the dutch mountains (3)' entry. At the concert in Amsterdam earlier in the year this song was also performed with Freek de Jonge.


This was only played a couple of times as a request. The music was very similar to the version they played at the Ting tour. In Hengelo Henk forgot some of the lyrics and improvised some new ones. It was also played in Köln and Utrecht.

Day And The Night

This was played as a request in Helsinki. It probably was played the same way as in the dAdAdA tour.

The Dream

This was played as always. Except for some more percussion than the original, there were no major changes. Martin used the standing bass on this song. It was one of the song that sounded very nice with the 'big sound'. It can be found on the Nits in Concert cd. Peter used a wide range of percussion instruments during this song.

Drum Solo

In Apeldoorn during the requests someone asked for a drum solo. Rob started to play a very fast solo, with a lot of apparent 'random' hitting. Various drum rolls were part of the solo and the speed increased towards the end. After about a minute it was over. This solo inspired Henk to start the Golden Earring song 'radar love', which was played next and featured another drum solo.

An Eating House

This song opened the second set in the theatre performances. Very appropriately it was performed inside the middle house. The walls of the houses were removed so it was possible to see the band playing in the very tight space. As with 'pelican and penguin' this was performed completely unplugged. Robert Jan had his accordion, Peter had some percussion instruments with him, Martin had the standing bass, Henk the guitar and Rob played on some pots and pans. The band was standing under one microphone that was placed in the top of the house. Robert Jan was seated on a one-legged chair and I remember one concert were he would turn around all the time on this chair while he played ,he probably was rather dizzy at the end.. The music was very similar to the Urk version, but with no kick drum. The 'hungry' vocals were distorted and the backing vocals had the same childish sound as the Urk version.


This song was a b-side for the dreams single in 1994 and was also released on Quest. It's a typical dAdAdA style song. To my knowledge it was only performed once, in Den Haag as a request. Although Henk said before the song 'let's try it', they succeeded very well. They must have played it before, maybe at soundchecks or rehearsals. Henk started it out on soft acoustic guitar, but soon the whole band joined. The song was played similar to the original and Henk remembered all the words! Rob's strong drumming also has to mentioned. This performance lasted for a couple of minutes. All in all a very nice and rare performance and one of the reasons to hunt down a tape of this concert.

Fly Me To The Moon

This unexpectedly popped up during the intro of 'Giant Normal Dwarf' in Tilburg. It's an old show tune made famous by singers like Frank Sinatra. Henk sang a few lines of it before laughingly returning to 'Giant Normal Dwarf'.

De Gebroken Vleugel

A dutch version of broken wing. This was a one time only performance on the Leidsekade Live radio show. In the interview with Henk at the begin of the program he mentioned he had just written down the lyrics that afternoon. He also mentioned since there was a version in english and one in french he should also have a dutch one. The music was the slow version of broken wing. The lyrics were quite beautiful, much more poetic then the english version. This is probably the advantage of writing in your own language, the choice of words become much more subtle. This version of the song is much darker than the other ones and i's very clearly about death. At the time I transcribed the lyrics and tried to translated them into english as good as possible, they can be found in the foreign languages page on the nearly official homepage. Scroll down beyond the rode vaas translation to find it. Please take a look if you want to experience one of Henk's best songwriting.

Giant Normal Dwarf

This was only the second tour they played this great little song. This band did a lot of good things to this song, the 'big sound' worked very well and the song sounded very happy. It started out as on the album with Henk singing the intro over a keyboard backing, but when the tour progressed something funny evolved in this part. After Henk would sing the first line Rob would repeat it after him with a high voice. This sounded very funny and Henk would often make the comment 'Pavarotti and friends' before continuing with the song. With Martin Rob would continue to provide backing vocals during the song. Robert Jan used a lot of different sounds: marimba, orchestra, trumpet, guitar and 'kettle' sounds. The percussion was very straightforward and the instrumental part sounded very nice in this arrangement. The song ended as on the album with Henk singing at a rather high voice he hardly could reach sometimes. Rob would often sing along with this last line. After a few seconds of nothing the band returned for a reprise of the instrumental part and a chorus. The audience was usually already applauding for the song, so often they would clap along with this extra part. Sometimes Henk would whistle along with the instrumental part. A nice climbing scale on the keyboards really ended the song. A version of this song can be found on the Nits in Concert CD, but unfortunately it's an edited version. The reprise part at the ending is missing and Rob's high voice during the intro was cut for some reason. It's a shame that they did it, but the actual song is very nice to hear anyway. The version i Tilburg featured a few lines from the old show tune 'Fly Me To The Moon' over the intro.


This song made a few appearances very late into the tour. It's a cover of a great Talking Heads song from 1979. The Nits played a very faithful, 'big sound' version of it. Peter played the violin and Robert Jan used an orchestral sound. This was a very nice addition to the setlists.

Het Is Beter Zo

This song from the Frits album was performed at the Amsterdam concert with Freek de Jonge.

Home Before Dark

This Nits classic was of course also part of this tour's setlists. The arrangement was a return to the great accordion version, similar to the one on Urk. It was almost completely acoustic on the small set (Martin used an electric bass). During the song smoke was coming from the houses and Peter and Rob would go to the houses to check what was happening. Rob opened one of the doors and right before the 'I'm ready for a kick in the back' part he slammed it close, exactly on the right moment. This often caused great hilarity with the audience. Sometimes the band would pause the song until the laughter stopped before continuing. It was played last in a trio of Henk songs, the others were 'pillow talk' and 'typist of candy'.

Homeless Boy

This entered the setlists somewhere late in the Dutch theater part of the tour. This was one of the dAdAdA songs that slowly entered the setlists in later parts of the tour. It was played as on the previous tour, a little more lively than the studio version. Especially the 'Louis Armstrong' part was very nice, with Robert Jan doing his impression and trumpet solo. This song has a nice build up and live this was even more evident than on the album version. Peter played a lot of violin, especially in the 'Louis Armstrong' part. Robert Jan used multiple keyboard sounds, but none that were much different than those on the original version. The end part was slightly softer with just drum, bass, vocals and a gentle flute keyboard sound. This ending was longer than on the album.

The House

This song they had to play this tour of course, with 3 houses on the stage! It was played as on Urk, with Robert Jan instead of Henk on lead vocals. Henk only provided backing vocals in the chorus, while standing in the middle house. Except for some sparse bass and percussion this was performed almost solo by Robert Jan. He used multiple keyboard sounds, like piano, bells and a slow horn sound. This was usually one of the most subtle songs of the concert. 

House Of The Rising Sun

A little part of this classic song from '60s was played on Groningen, probably as a request.

Ice Princess

This tour's version was the same as the one played at the dAdAdA tour. The arrangement was a 'big sound' version of the Giant Normal Dwarf track. The real bass and extra percussion made this song very powerful. It started out with the bass, rattling percussion sounds and sound effects. Henk played his guitar with a lot of whammy bar effects. This sounded very good. Robert Jan used multiple keyboard sounds, examples are the trombone and female 'ah' samples. The 'I'm sitting in a car' part was played much more fierce than the atmospheric first part. The whole band, except Peter, sang the 'why is my heart so cold' lines. Peter played the small toms in the song. The very intense 'you say I'll never be the same' part was sung with a lot of echo on the vocals. After this the music got softer with almost just drums. After a while the bass, trombone sounds and percussion effects came back and the song transitioned back to the music of the beginning. The ending was Peter's toms with some sound effects. It was a regular in the first months of the tour, but later it got dropped regularly from the setlists. On the Nits in Concert this song is luckily also included.

In A Play (Das Mädchen Im Pelz)

Before this tour this song was only very occasionally played. To my knowledge it never was a regular choice in setlist up to this tour. Now it was a common part of the encores. The arrangement of this song was less jazzy and more bluesy than the original. The instrumentation was guitar, piano, brushes drums, standing bass and violin. Robert Jan's piano playing was very subtle. Peter's violin replaced the pedal steel guitar parts of the original, including the solo. This replacement was mainly the cause for the change in atmosphere, but sounds very nice. Behind the violin solo Robert Jan played a organ backing.


At the Swiss Gurten festival between several songs small intermezzos were played according to a report, which described them at various points in the setlist as:

'Intermezzo - in Spanish (flamenco - why not)'
'Intermezzo - In Finnish !'
'Intermezzo - Spanish again'

In The Dutch Mountains (1)

This was played in three different versions during the tour. The version that was most commonly played was the regular fast version, similar to the one on Urk. It featured a lot more percussion than that version though. The term 'big sound' is probably not sufficient for this song, maybe it should be called 'huge sound'. The ending was the repeating mountains and buildings samples. The Nits in Concert CD opens with this song. They slightly edited it though. The ending was cut to just one 'mountains and one 'buildings'. This edit is unfortunately not very smooth and very audible.

In The Dutch Mountains (2)

Early in the tour the arrangement of this song was quite different. It might be described as the 'eastern' version of the song. A bouncy guitar part opened the song, while Robert Jan provided very Indian sounding keyboard line with the normal 'in the Dutch mountains' sound. Rob and Peter played appropriate djembé and toms percussion. The tempo of the song was also slower than usual. In the 'I lost a button of my shirt' part there was no percussion, but after this part ended they came back in full force to play the last half of the song in the 'huge sound' version that was described above. Robert Jan would still insert some eastern melodies and the tempo still wasn't very fast. This version ended with just one 'buildings' sample instead of the usual three. Somehow the band must not have been happy with this version and decided to change it back to the version they had played the previous years. A great documentation of this version of the song can be found on the Black Sessions radio show.

In The Dutch Mountains (3) / Dankzij De Dijken

This was the weirdest version of the tour and it was only played once, at Robert Jan's final concert at the Uitmarkt in Amsterdam. Before it started Henk spoke to the audience about the band turning into an old tree with one of the important branches falling off. After this he said he wanted to kiss all the band members, the men with the big hearts, and he did! Then he mentioned that in the top of the old tree something new started to grow. After this they started the regular version of the song. While they were playing the Finnish shouting choir Mieskuoro Huutajat walked on stage. This choir consisted of a lot of Finnish men in suits with very serious faces. Some of these men carried homemade horns from PVC tubes and other materials. There also was a conductor. The job of this choir was to replace the usual 'mountains' sample with a shouted 'mountains'. This actually sounded (and looked!) quite cool. After a while the band stopped playing and the choir did a 'solo', a rather melodic shouting thing, probably in Finnish. While this was happening Henk walked to the back of the stage and came back with Freek de Jonge. Now Frits was back again for one last time. Freek wore a very cool blue suit with red musical notes on them! He is very famous in Holland, so when he walked up the stage the audience reacted with a lot of enthusiasm. After the Finnish choir had stopped Freek recited the first part of the Dutch translation of the song 'Dankzij De Dijken', which had been a small hit in Holland the year before. The band started playing the song again from the beginning, but now Freek sang the lead Dutch vocals while making very strange poses. The choir still provided the 'mountains' parts at the appropriate moments. Henk was having a good time on stage and played guitar and did backing vocals. Robert Jan also sang backing vocals. The repeating 'mountains' ending was done by the choir. The audience was very enthusiastic about this performance. It also was quite an emotional rendition, with several mistakes, but that didn't matter. This was supposed to be the last song Robert Jan ever played with the Nits and from his face the emotion was very well visible. They left the stage for about a minute, but after the noise the audience made they had to come back to play one more song: Adieu Sweet Bahnhof. So that was really Robert Jan's last song. Unfortunately on the tv broadcast they had already stopped after 'in the Dutch mountains', so this historical moment wasn't aired. But it's worth to see the video of this performance just for the in the Dutch mountains performance.

J.O.S. Days

Usually this song's arrangement has more or less been the same since 1987, but for this tour it was changed a bit. Instead of the usual up tempo version, this time it was played much more sad and melancholic. Also it was only performed in concerts outside of the Netherlands. In the Netherlands J.O.S. Vrees, the Dutch translation, was played. The song started on guitar. Robert Jan's harmonica and Martin's nice flowing bass entered, followed soon by the percussion, which used the small setup. The song never really found a lot of pace, but this quiet version wasn't bad at all. Early in the tour Rob used the small drum set and his drumming was quite fierce, but later he switched to the normal drum set and it definitely became a slow song. The song was based much more on guitar than keyboard. Martin, Rob and Robert Jan provided backing vocals. From the short instrumental harmonica driven part near the end Rob's kickdrum livened up the song somewhat. The song ended with a spoken part by Henk:

'When you always win, you're star.
When you sometimes loose you are a her.'

This is a translation of the little 2 line poem that Freek de Jonge would do after a Frits performance of this song. At the Uitmarkt concert the English version was played, except for the last verse and the poem which were done in Dutch. That performance was somewhat faster than the normal version this tour, and more a return to the old version. This song can be found on the Nits in Concert CD in the slow arrangement.

J.O.S. Vrees

In the Netherlands the dutch translation of J.O.S. days was played. The music was usually the slow arrangement. The title translates as 'J.O.S. fear'. The translation was done by Freek de Jonge and it was originally part of the last few Frits concerts in early 1995. It was released as the b-side of the very rare Quo Vadis single by Frits. The translation is very well done (even though he wrote it within minutes an hour before a concert in the Frits tour, capturing the original mood and subject. This is a difference with 'Dankzij De Dijken', of which the new lyrics focused on a different subject (dykes, flooding, dutch landscapes). The song ended with a two line poem, written by Freek de Jonge and this time recited by Henk:

'Wie altijd wint is een vedette.
Wie soms verliest een held.'

At the Amsterdam concert this was played with Freek de Jonge, who probably recited the 2 line poem at the end.

At the Uitmarkt concert the English version was played, only the last verse and the poem were in Dutch. At the Leidsekade Live radio show this was one of the three Dutch language songs they played (the others were 'de rode vaas' and 'de gebroken vleugel').

Love Of My Life

This Frank Zappa song from the late '60s popped up regularly in setlists from 1992 until 1996. This tour it usually had a french song as an intro ('tous les garçons et les filles' or 'tombe la neige'). This song sort of emerged from out of these songs. Robert Jan sang the low 'do-do-do' backing vocals, while Henk sang lead with a strangely distorted voice. His vocals were split into his normal voice and a strange high one. The music was rather simple with just drums, bass and piano. Henk sometimes would do some weird shouting and the rhythmic part in the middle featured some 'Louis Armstrong' singing by Robert Jan. It was also played a couple of times as a request, but I don't know if those versions were different or included the French songs. A very nice performance was done at the Black Sessions radio show.

Magic Of Lassie II

This song was released as a b-side on the 'j.o.s. days' cd-single and it was a new version of the track that can be found on the 'in the Dutch mountains' album. On Quest it is also present. In the 1987/1988 'in the Dutch mountains' tour it was also performed. The music is quite loud and this 'big sound' version of the Nits played a great version of it. Peter and Rob both provided a loud 'military' rhythm on the snares. With two drummers banging as loud as they could the tone for this song was set. The rest of the band was trying to be equally loud as both percussionists. Robert Jan played the high energy synth lines. Martin's bass was very strong and Henk played fast rhythm guitar and sang. During the song the intensity even increased more and the last part was a long instrumental section up until the ending. A very nice version was played during the first Denk Aan Henk performance.

Mourir Avant 15 Ans

According to reports from the mailing list this song was played in Köln (Cologne). I have no more info about this, except that I expect that it was played as they did at the dAdAdA tour. At least as much as they could remember of the song.. A few days later they also played it in Luxembourg and Quebec.


A few lines of this French song by Gilbert Bécaud were sung at the Köln concert. I don't know much more about it.


This was the normal version of Nescio, as can be found on Urk, minus the piano/vocal intro. This tour it started simply with the orchestral sound. Robert Jan would trigger it and stand like a magician with his hands raised behind his keyboard while the sound got louder and louder. At the Uitmarkt performance Robert Jan could be seen turning all kinds of knobs, but to my ears nothing changed in the sound… The drums, percussion and bass entered after a short while, as did Henk's vocals and Robert Jan's intricate piano melodies. Robert Jan and Rob sang the 'phone rings..' part. The ending of the song was the fast acoustic guitar heavy part. At the Black Sessions Robert Jan hit a horribly false note during this section… The song is also included on the Nits in Concert CD.

I jumped of a bridge and went swimming for hours

The Night-Owl

This was only played during the end of the tour and once in the beginning at the Helsinki concert. The only version I heard was the one at the Reading festival. The song was another one of the 'Giant Normal Dwarf' album that was enhanced to the 'big sound'. And as with the other songs the real bass was a great improvement for the live version of the song. Peter provided a bit extra percussion. Robert Jan played piano and orchestral sounds. This song was quite surprising to be played, but it sounded great. At the Helsinki performance the last verse was done in Finnish by Henk, using the yöpöllö translation.

Nights In White Satin

This was played a very few times during the tour, usually as a very short intro to 'sketches of spain'. In Den Haag it was played as a request in a longer version, using the 'big sound'. The song is a cover of the famous Moody Blues song and the Nits had played it regularly since 1988. The version in Den Haag started with the vocals. Rob and Robert Jan, who used an orchestral sound, joined first, soon followed by Martin on bass. Henk's singing was very strong. The instrumental part was also present with a great violin solo. This performance was great and the audience appreciated it by applauding very loud.

One Eye Open

On the mailing list a report from the Gent concert this song was mentioned in the setlist. I'm not sure if it really was played, if it was a full version, or if it was a mistake by the person mentioning it. But if it was played it would be extremely rare. There is evidence of only one earlier performance at one cocnert in 1987. Maybe it was a request? 


On Quest this song appeared in a medley with an early version of 'the train'. This was also the reason why this very rarely played short song from 'in the Dutch mountains' was played again this tour. It served as a minute and a half intro to 'the train' in this tour. It started out with guitar, while Robert Jan used a subdued version of the 'port of amsterdam' horn-like sound for the melody. Peter played percussion, he used a wooden strip of which he held one side on the drum and the other side he bent in the air and released to obtain a bouncy sound. Henk slightly changed one line of the lyrics:

don't open the door
don't look under your bed
I'm afraid

After this the rest stopped playing and Henk slowly segued the guitar from 'oom-pah-pah' to 'the train'. A version of this song can be found on the Nits in Concert CD, but there it's mistitled as 'oompahpah men'.


Early in the tour this bonustrack from the dAdAdA album sometimes popped up, but at the end of the tour it became a regular in the setlist. In Apeldoorn it was played as a request. The song was started on bass. The drums and vocals joined after a while. The main melody of this very basic rendition was performed on piano. At performances early in the tour this remained so for the rest of the song, but later it was changed to the more regular version. After Rob's drum break Robert Jan started to use the steeldrum sounds and also an orchestral sound. Henk also started to play the guitar from there on. Martin provided some weird backing vocals. The speed increased towards the end.

Paint It Black

This very famous 1966 song by the Rolling Stones was played as a request in Enschedé. It was very short, but the band did manage to play the basic parts of it. That concert they did a song by the Rolling Stones and one by the Beatles!

Pelican And Penguin

In the dutch theatre concerts this song opened the set. First a sun rose over the houses, while a rooster made noises. Then seemingly out of nowhere the music to pelican and penguin started. It appeared that the full band was playing the song inside the middle house. They played it acoustically into one mike that was mounted somewhere in the ceiling of the house. The sound therefore was rather flat. Henk played the acoustic guitar, Robert Jan the accordion, Martin the standing bass and Rob and Peter some simple percussion. The shouted backing vocals came from all band members. After a while the door opened and the band walked out, usually greeted by the audience with a loud applause. They continued the song at their microphones and the sound became full. The playing was very loose and informal.

Pillow Talk

This song hadn't been played live since the Henk tour in 1986/1987 and it was very nice to hear it in concert again. It was usually played in a Henk song trio as the middle song. The trio consisted further of 'typist of candy' and 'home before dark'. The funny vocal samples were played by Robert Jan, who lip-synched them while he played them. Rob did some jazzy drumming, Peter some sparse percussion and Martin played the standing bass. It was played on the small set. Robert Jan used piano and bell sounds and Henk played the guitar. During this very nice and overlooked song smoke came from houses, as if they were on fire. The little rumbling percussion break was played as on the album. This very light song ended with dramatic singing and piano parts. At standing room-only concerts (most non-Dutch shows and festivals), this song wasn't played for which it probably was too soft.

Port of Amsterdam

Apparently this was played at the Zürich concert. I guess similar to the dAdAdA tour version, but without the bowl of marbles.

The Potato Eaters

Although this song is on Quest it wasn't part of the regular setlist. To my knowledge it was only played as a request in Zaandam. Between 1986 and 1989 it was played very regular though, so the three members from that period that were still present knew how to play it. After it was called from the audience Robert Jan started playing the melody on piano, soon joined by Rob's drums. They made a few mistakes, but it still sounded very nice. The song sounded quite light with the bright piano melody. Henk sang the few vocals and the rest of the band also joined in, although they probably had never played it before. The bass and extra percussion parts didn't sound awkward though and fitted very nicely. It lasted just about a minute or so.

Quo Vadis

This song from the Frits album was performed at the Amsterdam concert with Freek de Jonge.

Radar Love

This famous Golden Earring song was played in Apeldoorn. After Rob did a drumsolo Henk suddenly started playing this on the guitar. He was soon joined by the bass and drums and former Earring Robert Jan on piano, who played the famous theme of the song. Henk sang some of the vocals for a short while before it Rob ended the song with the drumbreak that's aslo in the original. Very short, but rather funny.

Radio Shoes

This tour had the definitive version of this song. I love the original, but the power of this tour's version blows away every previous attempt! It was kind of based on the Giant Normal Dwarf tour version, but instead of a drum machine this time there were two percussionist banging away! Martin's bass and Henk's guitar were prominent throughout the song this time. Both drummers and the bass provided a great groove, augmented by Henk's more funky than ever rhythm guitar playing. Robert Jan of course provided the 'kettle sound'. This was also played much wilder than ever before. The 'little red roses' part was sung by everyone except Peter. The ending was also great. It was a long instrumental section that featured a percussion solo, great guitar and insane kettle sound melodies. At foreign and festival concerts this song often opened the set. I can't understand why this wasn't on the Nits in Concert CD, it would have been great on it.

Red Tape

This song was a regular part of the setlist in the Dutch concerts, but outside of the Netherlands it was played much less. It was played as the last song of a small medley of old songs, the other songs were 'tent' and 'tutti ragazzi'. It was played on the small set. The song started with the typical red tape keyboard sound. Rather simple percussion and bass provided the rhythm to this very loose rendition. For the melodies Robert Jan used orchestral and guitar sounds. Robert Jan sang backing vocals and also played the solo that was originally done by Michiel on guitar. Halfway through the song a nice vocal break occurred. Henk repeated the word 'fall', while Robert Jan sang the 'work at all, stand or fall' lyrics. This also happened in the ending, but this time they 'faded' it out.

Rhythm Of The Rain

This song was recorded during the 'in the Dutch mountains' period, but was never released before Quest came out. It was performed though in 1987 and 1988. It was a regular feature in the setlists early in the Nest tour, but for some reason it got dropped when the tour got further. The 1987 version was very strong and tight, but this tour's version was a bit lighter and a bit more fluent. Robert Jan played the airy keyboard touches and melodies over the tight drum and bass groove. Henk played some very good electric guitar throughout. A nice break with brushes drums and bass occurred in the song. Robert Jan would sometimes insert some eastern sounding melodies in the song. At the two October radio shows (1st Denk Aan Henk and Black Sessions) both featured Henk making noises with his toy keyboard in the instrumental parts and the ending. At regular concerts this didn't happen, although it sounded quite nice. The song ended with a strange distorted thunder sound.

Ritme Van De Regen

The title of this song translates as 'rhythm of the rain', but it is not a Dutch version of the nits song. It's an old song from 1963 by Dutch singer Rob de Nijs. At the Hengelo and Breda concerts Henk sang a few lines of this song in rhythm of the rain.

Road Not Taken

This very beautiful slow song from Nest was not always played. In the beginning of the tour it was part of the regular setlist, but later it only popped up sometimes. It's one of those disappearance songs that seem to be all around the Nits catalog (for instance 'typist of candy', 'mountain jan', 'christine's world'). This time someone disappeared while walking on a mountain. It started out on guitar. The percussion joined in and after that the synth and bass. After this it was played similar to the album version. The keyboard sounds are very similar to the ones on whales of tadoussac, so I guess this originally might have been a dAdAdA outtake. This song is on the Nits in Cocnert cd.

De Rode Vaas

This song from the long forgotten story cd-single had never been played before. It's presence on Quest was responsible for the debut live performance this tour. The song was originally a duet with Pieter Bon, the singer of the band MAM. At foreign concerts this song was also always played and introduced by Henk as 'now we want to sing a song in our own language'. The lyrics are in Dutch (the title translates as 'the red vase'). A translation of the lyrics I did for the mailing list can be found here and there's also a description of the background of the song I wrote somewhere in 1997 (with 'long forgotten story', 'night owl/yöpöllö' and 'the yellow hotel'). And now to the music.. For this song Peter took the bass from Martin, who played the mandolin. Robert Jan inserted the bubbly sounds whenever he could and he played the melodies mainly using an organ sound. Rob played fast 'ticking' percussion and some loud snare drum fills. It was played rather similar to the original, but now Henk took all the lyrics. The bridge of the song sounded very nice. It included the vocal keyboard sounds and a strong snare drum part. 'Ich bin' samples ended this very abstract and amazing song. At the Leidsekade Live radio show a very good version was played. Definitely one of the highlights of the concerts.

 The Singing Telegram

This was returned to the setlists because of it's inclusion on Quest. They played it similar to this version, which was also like they did in the Henk, Dutch Mountains and Hat tours. It is a different; longer version than the originally released one on Henk. This song was perfect for the big sound. It was bass-heavy and had a lot of percussion. Henk's nice rhythm guitar and Robert Jan's loud keyboard parts made it complete. The longer instrumental break that is on Quest was also played. Henk really went for the vocals, giving his all. The drums and percussion were all over the place. A nice version was played at the second Denk Aan Henk performance.

Sketches Of Spain

This classic Nits song was completely reworked for this tour. It started out with guitar, bass and some sound effects. When the vocals started, Robert Jan would play some dramatic and moody keyboard melodies. No percussion was yet present, except for a few castanets sounds. These were mounted to the ground and were played by Rob. In the 'I have seen the tears..' part Robert Jan did the backing vocals. After this Rob started playing fast 'military' rhythms on the snare drum. Also some heavy keyboard sounds and melodies were played. From very quiet the song suddenly turned very loud. This extended instrumental part became somewhat quieter again towards its end. After this the band returned to the vocal part, but now with the drumming. Peter played some violin, but took no solo as he did in the previous two tours. The lighting concentrated mainly on the colors yellow and red, the colors of the Spanish flag. This fitted very well with the Spanish feel of the song and the lyrics. In the instrumental part the lights were flashing rapidly, also using other colors. The end result of this song was a very intense and beautiful performance. It can be found on the Nits in Concert CD.

Soap Bubble Box

This version of this song was built around Henk's toy keyboard. He would start out the song alone, making all kinds of noises with it, including drum rhythms and weird grooves. Early on in the tour he just played a few notes and sounds, but these progressed to increasingly longer things. Over one of these grooves Henk at least once started singing a song. In Reading he sang a bit of the Talking Heads song 'Cities', see that entry for more info. At the first Denk Aan Henk performance Henk even gave a little demonstration of his keyboard during the interview. After he ended all these noises the full band would start to play the actual song. Robert Jan played the fast piano parts, while Henk kept his toy keyboard for the main melody, which he played with a very cheap sounding sound. Peter and Rob provided very busy percussion on their small sets. After the last 'I saw a box in New York' line a loud percussion bang was played. The song didn't have the stop&go ending of the original, just one time 'box!' by Henk.

Strawberry Fields Forever

This famous Beatles song was played in both Quebec concerts. According to the the setlists on the mailing list in some kind of combination with mourir avant 15 ans!

Tear Falls

This song was released as a b-side to soap bubble box and it is present on Quest. It had never been played live before this tour, but now it was part of the regular theater concerts. It was only played in theaters, because it was probably too subtle to play at festivals and standing room-only concerts. This song and 'the house' were the most quiet songs of the tour. It was usually played right after the wild extravaganza of 'a touch of Henry Moore', making it a big contrast. The original song was recorded during the Ting era and that's very well audible. Robert Jan started it on piano, soon joined by Henk's vocals. Rob only very sparsely provided some percussion touches. Martin added some bass and Peter played the violin from the second chorus on. The first instrumental part had more percussion, a violin solo and dramatic piano parts. A rather subtle second instrumental part was just piano and Rob on a mini-cymbal. A big piano crash ended the song. A nice version was played at the Leidsekade Live radio show.


This song hadn't been played in over ten years, but it made a return appearance this tour. It was played in a trio of old songs with 'tutti ragazzi' and 'red tape'. Rob started out the song with a tight rhythm played with 2 wooden plates that were connected at one end by a joint. He banged the two sides against each other to make a loud noise. Robert Jan played some keyboard bass in the beginning, but later Martin played the real bass. Robert Jan switched to very heavy synth lines, close to the ones he used to play in his early years with the Nits. Peter provided a kick drum beat and after a synth break he would also play the snare drum. This song was as short as the original, but it was great to hear after so many years it hadn't been played.

They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha

This very obscure song from 1966 by the artist Napoleon XIV was played by the band at the Karlsruhe concert. It lasted only about half a minute and it was mainly a drum rhythm with a distorted piano sound. At the end Henk sang a few lines of this song. Robert Jan also sang some 'hoho, hihi, haha' lines. Very funny, especially since they carried a few 'hoho's' into the next song.


On the mailing list it was reported that at the Leeuwarden show this song was played. I have no confirmation of later performances. I guess it was played similar to the Ting tour version, but with less percussion of course.

Tombe La Neige

Performances of the Frank Zappa song 'love of my life' were preceded for some reason by old french songs this tour. One of these songs was 'tombe la neige' (snow falls) from 1964 by Adamo. This was played at the Black Sessions radio show. Henk sang a few lines of this song over the 'love of my life' music. The band apparently also knew how to play the full version with all the breaks and changes, because at the Tilburg concert they played it as the last encore. Henk enthusiastically sang the lead vocals. The band along with the same loose spirit. The played the whole song and turned it into an almost drunk-sounding sing-a-long with Henk and the audience singing long 'Ja-La-Lai' sections. The concert ended with the audience continuing for two minutes singing this part.. Great to hear!

Tons Of Ink

This was only played early in the tour. It started out with staccato music with all band members (including Peter on violin) and 'yo-oh-oh' chants. When the vocals started the chants were stopped, only to return in the chorus. After the first chorus the music became more fluent thanks to the bass-line. Peter also started playing the violin more prominently from this point. The staccato part and the more fluent part alternated a couple of times. A few more 'yo-oh-oh' chants were sung near the end. Unfortunately this version wasn't built for sing-a-long like the Urk version.

A Touch Of Henry Moore

This was the most spectacular song of the tour. It featured the houses as percussion instruments. Rob and Peter would hit them or sweep over them with mallets. The sounds they made were often slightly distorted and sounded great! The roofs would go up and down as well while they were playing. The song started out with long synth sounds and bubbly effects. This slowly changed into the familiar Henry Moore melody. Then the bass line and percussion started. Robert Jan sang the 'sometimes' parts and a few other lines, while Henk did the rest of the vocals. He didn't play an instrument this song and in the instrumental parts he would dance around on the stage a bit. Robert Jan put plenty of variation in his keyboard melodies. He also used the piano for some parts. In the middle part Rob switched to a snare drum and started playing on it, later he returned to the houses. In the 'there is more to it' there was just vocals and snare drums, but later the whole band returned. The chorus was not sung again, although it had been present for the first time at the previous tour. This song was always great to witness and the audience usually reacted very loud to it. At some point in the tour a weird synth effect entered the song just before the dramatic 'I know' vocal. At later festival concerts the houses weren't always on stage, but the percussion parts were played on ladders instead. This song can be found on the Nits in Concert CD.

Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles

This was another French song that was sung over the intro of love of my life. This song was from 1963 and was performed originally by Françoise Hardy. It was played at the Karlsruhe concert. The title translates as 'all the boys and girls'. Only a few lines of it were sung.

The Train

This song segued with the guitar from 'oom-pah-pah'. The first part was just vocals, bass and guitar. It was sung very slowly and sad. From the second verse the whole band joined and suddenly the song had the 'big sound' with kick drum, cymbals, toms and the common train keyboard sounds. When the whole band entered the audience would often start clapping along. During the train noises the stage would be completely dark with a starry background. A few white spots were moving from left to right over the stage, like a train going by. This was the short version of the song. After the part with percussion and train noises the song ended.


This title is a dutch name (pronounced the same as the english word 'trace'), not those big things with leaves! It's a not so famous song by Rob de Nijs from 1963. Henk sang a few lines of this, together with another Rob de Nijs song ritme van de regen, in performances of rhythm of the rain in Hengelo and Breda. This was rather funny, but also very short.

Tutti Ragazzi

After a couple of years being played as a request only it returned to the regular setlists again. Unfortunately this was only at the beginning of the tour, later it was dropped again. It was played in an old songs medley with red tape and tent. The intro was the jumpy keyboard part, but it really started off with the fast drumming a little bit later. Robert Jan mainly used a very sleazy organ sound in the song. He also used this for the instrumental part, which also featured a nice bass-walk. They quoted the song 'Telstar' in the instrumental section, just like they did in the late '70s and early '80s. Henk's singing was rather subdued for this song, in the past Henk would sometimes be very loud, but not this time. Close to the end a weird little drum break was played and soon thereafter it was over. This very loose version of the song wasn't very special, but it was a lot of fun to hear. The song popped up as a request a few times later in the tour. The Tilburg version is particularly notable. It features a fantastic keyboard intro and jumps from rather quiet to full force about halfway through.

Twist And Shout

This famous rock and roll song from the 50s or 60s was made most famous by the Beatles. The Nits often put a short version of this song into the setlist. Henk's singing was very enthusiastic. The whole band played on this rather faithful 'big sound' rendition and it included the increasing 'ah-ah-aaah' part.

Two Skaters

This great song was very irregularly played. In the early concert it was semi-regular, but later it only appeared as a request most of the time. It was played very similar to the Urk version. Rob and Peter provided very tight cymbal work. Henk used his whammy bar guitar a lot. Martin's nice subdued bass playing revolved around the theme very nicely with several small variations. Robert Jan played piano and orchestral sounds. After a while the intensity of the song increased due to the entrance of the snare drum. The instrumental parts sounded better than ever. A good performance of the song was done at the second Denk Aan Henk radio performance.

Typist Of Candy

This song sounded great this tour. It was played as the first song in the three part Henk trio of songs (the others were 'pillow talk' and 'home before dark'). The arrangement was a cross between the Henk and Quest versions. The first part was similar to the original album. Martin accompanied Henk's vocals on the mandolin. After a while Henk started playing the acoustic guitar and Robert Jan played typewriter sounds on his keyboard. Martin and Rob sang backing vocals. Peter and Rob had gone in the two outside houses, which were still closed at that point. After a while the mandolin dropped out and Martin switched to bass and the drums, percussion and orchestral keyboards fiercely entered. From here the song had shifted more to the Quest version. This tight 'big sound' version that was played now sounded great. Both drummers were out of the audience's and each other's view, but still sounded tight. The roof's of their houses would go up and down while they were playing. The ending was a long instrumental part which can be described as a long rhythmic drone. After the song ended Robert Jan continued to play the typewriter sounds, while Rob followed him on the drums until a bell ended the song. A very good version was played at the Leidsekade Live radio show.

Whales Of Tadoussac

This was played as a request in Apeldoorn and the band liked it so much they decided to put it in the regular setlist after this. When it was requested it took a little while before Robert Jan had his keyboard sounds set up. It had a bit of a slow start, but then it became the normal version similar to the dAdAdA version. Henk even remembered all the lyrics and Peter played the violin. I love that synth sound, which was also used for 'road not taken'. When it became part of the regular set it was played almost exactly as the original album version.

What We Did On Our Holidays

This was one of the few dAdAdA songs that was part of the setlist from the beginning of the tour. The beginning of the song had changed somehat from the original album version. It started out with a guitar keyboard sound and vocals. The violin was played from the first chorus on. No bass and drums were played up until halfway the first chorus. After this it was more or less the normal version of the song. Robert Jan changed to a mellotron sound after the first chorus and provided backing vocals, together with Martin.


During the performance of night owl in Helsinki Henk sang the last verse in finnish, using the yöpöllö translation that's present on Quest.