Ting Tour (1992-1993)

first published: 02-07-98 / last update: 26-10-04


The ting tour was one of the biggest ones the band ever did. After not touring since 1990 and recording in the studio for a year the band was ready to tour again in 1992. The core of the band (Henk, Rob & Robert Jan) was not enough to play the complex songs and they expanded the band with 2 new members. The tour lasted from September 1992 until at least September 1993. With the first few months concentrating on theatres in the Netherlands, while the rest was normal concerts and festivals, mostly abroad. They visited the usual countries: Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, France and probably also Austria, Italy, Sweden and Canada. The shows themselves were rather long, often reaching over two and a half hours. In February 1992 the band did a few concerts in the Werf, their studio. It was for a selected audience and they premiered a lot of Ting songs there. The band was even more expanded, with I believe an extra cello player, but I don't have anymore information about this than that the version of yellow boat that was played there was released on the ting album. A few radio and TV performances were done during this tour, but most of the information comes from live audience tapes. The best one is the concert in Hengelo. I lived there at the time and of course I went to the concert. A friend of mine had a tape recorder and I was able to tape the complete show. Many very good performances and big surprises happened that night. Especially Henk was in a very good mood and afterwards I spoke with most of the band and they all agreed the concert was very good. The Groningen concert is also very enjoyable. The Winterthur concert is also a special case. Although the normal concert part is a bit short the complete performance of hjuvi with an orchestra more than made up for this! For me the Deventer concert was my first Nits concert and I was very impressed! I had been a fan since late 1989, but I had missed the giant normal dwarf tour, so it was really time for me to finally see them. I made up for not seeing them for a few years by seeing them at 3 normal concerts, one festival performance and a TV-show recording!


Although the Ting album was in a large part recorded by the trio that had been the Nits since 1990, for the tour they expanded the band with two musicians that had already played on several songs on the album. Martin Bakker was the successor to Joke Geraets on bass and multi-instrumentalist Peter Meuris was hired to play percussion and violin. He often would play what I call melody blocks (there probably is an official name for them, but I don't know it), these are various wooden blocks that have a certain tone when they are hit. Peter was able to play melodies on this percussion instrument. This version of the Nits would be together until 1996.

Henk Hofstede: lead vocals, guitar, triangle, ukulele, popping toy, rattling device
Robert Jan Stips: keyboards, backing and lead vocals
Rob Kloet: drums, percussion, backing vocals, wooden shoe-blocks
Martin Bakker: electric and standing bass, ukulele, backing vocals
Peter Meuris: percussion, violin


The stage setup itself wasn't as spectacular as in the previous or following tours. Before the intermission some sporadic lamps were hanging from the ceiling, while after the intermission several large and colorful flag-like structures were set up on the stage.

Besides the flags and lamps the main thing on stage was the large orchestral percussion set. Several timpani, drums, cymbals and other percussion instruments I don't know the name of were setup on a platform at the back of the stage. Peter and Rob would often both be standing on the platform playing very busily. With this kind of action on stage a more extensive stage setup was not needed. A rather funny side note: At the Deventer concert in the intermission we were sitting on the edge of the stage with a small group when one of the flags fell down from the pole. The flags were made up of plastic and wood and were rather heavy. One of us got hit on the head, but luckily nothing serious was the result. Aad Link, the manager, heard about this and invited us backstage after the concert as an apology! Henk there told us that being on stage always is a very risky thing... The Groningen concert was the last one from the Dutch theatre tour and the crew had rigged up all kinds of things to make it one the band wouldn't soon forget. During boy in a tree the smoke machine was turned on for way too long so the complete theatre was filled with smoke, Robert Jan's keyboards were wrapped in toilet paper, Rob had some drumsticks that were sawed in half. At one song he took those drumsticks and they broke immediately in half, causing great laughter from Rob himself! During the train at the back of the stage it looked like a train was coming on stage with two round lights and a lot of smoke. Before yellow boat Henk would make insect noises with his keyboard, but this time a giant fake fly was on stage and a crew member with an enormous fly squatter ran after it! Also during soap bubble box a huge balloon was hanging above the stage and this time a small light bulb came swinging from the side and popped the balloon!


Of course this tour featured almost all ting songs. Only night falls was played very rarely and I try wasn't played at all. In the Werf concert sin February 1992 a lot of ting songs were premiered, but I don't know which ones exactly, but they included Yellow Boat, SLA, Ting, Fire In My Head and Cars And Cars. Also before the tour started the Hjuvi project was finished with an album and performance. For one concert in Switzerland another Hjuvi performance preceded the normal concert. The rest of set lists were based on some songs from the giant normal dwarf album and earlier hits and concert favorites. There were also requests during this tour, often resulting in unique cover songs. In the infinite shoeblack in the middle of the song Henk would often start singing other songs for a while, always cover songs. One new song premiered during the end of the tour: what we did on our holidays. The ting songs were particularly spectacular with Peter and Rob working very hard on the big percussion setup, while on the other songs (except Nescio) Rob remained behind his normal drum set. In contrast with the Ting album Henk did play guitar on a lot of the ting songs. The older songs were all reworked for the five men band and featured extra percussion or violin, with Nescio having the most radical new arrangement.

Overview of all the (known) songs played:

Adieu, Sweet Bahnhof

This was played slightly different than in earlier tours. For the first verse and chorus Henk would sing without microphone standing on the edge of the stage and sometimes even between the audience. From the second verse on Henk would return to his microphone and the rest of the band started heir backing. From here on it was similar to normal live versions of this song, only it was played a little bit faster. Robert Jan played piano, accordion and backing vocals. Peter provided some violin touches and melodies. At the Paris concert this song was sung as a duet with Kent, who sang his parts in French. They later recorded a French studio version with Kent that was released in France on the Nest album.

All Or Nothing

This short song from Ting was played in the first part of the concert. Peter would play the main percussion line on some woodblocks. The melody to this nice little happy song was done on piano and guitar. Henk sang some high vocals, while Martin or Rob provided backing vocals. It was played similar to the album, except for some added guitar bits.

Apple Orchard

The live bass and extra percussion made most songs from Giant Normal Dwarf this tour sound much more alive and warm. Although I really like the album and GND tour versions of these songs I must say that this tour's version sound very good! The song started out with the familiar voice sample, with Robert Jan lip-synching it on stage, which looked rather funny. Rob played the drums and provided the backing vocals. Martin played his standing bass. Peter played violin, which replaced the oriental sounding samples of the original. He also added some more melodies to the song. Robert Jan would play his parts using various sounds, including a trombone sound solo. Martin Bakker also provided backing vocals. At the Paris concert the intro contained a bit of Neil Young's out on the weekend

The Bauhaus Chair

This was played with the piano, guitar and violin as the main instruments for the melody. Some sparse drums, strong vocals and the great violin made this version even more melancholic than usual. This definitely is my favorite version of this song, also because of the very nice violin solo Peter played in the instrumental part. Robert Jan played an organ sound during this part. 

Bike In Head

This song started out, as usual, with the bike bells, drums and some weird bike in head samples. The bike bells were partly distorted by the keyboards and partly played live on real bike bells. The song itself was played in a rather normal way, except for the extra percussion, which was all over the place. In the breakdown part Robert Jan played with the pitch wheel to distort the piano melodies and Peter played on his melody blocks. The ending was the band shouting over a 'bike in head' sample. In Groningen several audience members (including me!) had brought their own bike bells and used them a lot during this song, the band seemed to like this.

Black Magic Woman

This Santana song is a very unlikely one for the Nits to play, but they did it in Basel as a request. It lasted about a minute and it had a Latin beat and bass. A few lines were sung and a short piano solo was played. The ending was a nice vamp of the beat.

Boy In A Tree

The song started out with a tubular bell, percussion and a crow sample. Later this was joined by guitar, the keyboard melody and other effects. After this long instrumental intro Henk would start singing. Peter played his melody blocks, as well as plenty of other percussion instruments during this song, while Rob would play the main rhythm on the drum set. This song was played similar to the giant normal dwarf version, but with much more percussion and a real bass. The sound is much less airy than before, because there are 5 people playing instead of 3. Rob and Martin provided backing vocals and Henk's voice was distorted when he sang 'boy in a tree'. Robert Jan was very busy during this song, playing the very bright sounding piano and providing a lot of sound effects. In the outro the tubular bell was heard again, as well as rattling percussion and the crow sample.


However short it is on the album, this was a great song in concert. It was played very different and much longer than the album version. The song itself is more or less an instrumental continuation of the 'cars and cars' theme (that's probably why they called it 'bus'). Robert Jan would start the song with some jumpy piano melodies, joined by some percussion, guitar and violin touches. Then Rob, who had disappeared from the stage, walked on the stage wearing wooden blocks under his shoes. He pounded his feet very hard and this way he provided the rhythm of the song. He even increased the speed of this at some point, while his face became redder and redder! The whole band played over Rob's rhythm, resulting in a rather jazzy version of the tune. Towards the end the violin parts got more pronounced before the song returned to the jumpy music of the beginning. This time Peter's violin provided great interplay with Robert Jan's piano, resulting in an even more jazzy sound. After this stopped Henk held a tubular bell which he would ht with a mallet. When the audience started applauding he would tell them to be silent, while he hit the tubular bell a few more times. While he was doing this the rest of the band joined him in the center of the stage under the light that was hanging above them. After a few tubular bell sounds one of the band members would pull the cord hanging from the lamp, turning it off and the band would leave the stage for the intermission. In Groningen the crew had rigged it so that when the cord was pulled a sound effect of a flushing toilet was heard.. At outdoor concerts this song was often part of the encores. The Amsterdam July 93 concert featured a nice piano segue from 'bus' to 'j.o.s. days'.


This was always played as the first encore. Henk and Martin would come on stage, both playing the ukulele. Peter Meuris would join them with his violin, which he played by picking the strings. Henk sang the vocals over this rather nervous sounding backing. Robert Jan inserted some trumpet touches here and there. For the chorus the band started playing full force with Henk and Martin still on ukulele. Robert Jan used the orchestral sound and Peter started playing the violin in the normal way. After this chorus the band stopped and the song seemingly ended. But after a short while Robert Jan and Peter continued the song by playing some melodies very loosely over a ukulele and percussion backing. After a while the song returned and for the instrumental ending Rob started playing his kick drum and the tempo increased for this. The song ended without the 'classical' part that was present at most other tours.


A rock and roll song, probably by Chuck Berry. It was played at a backstage jam after the Nijmegen concert, according to Walter Schäppi's Nits Overview.

Cars And Cars

This classic Nits song was still brand new this tour. It was played as on the album, but with an added guitar. Plenty of reverse cymbals, as well as some nice timpani touches, were played by Rob and Peter. Unfortunately on tapes this song never sounds as good as it did in the concert halls, especially the percussion parts somehow sound less good on audience recordings. Robert Jan inserted his 'mathematical' piano lines all over the song. The chorus sounded very powerful, but the highlight of the song was the long instrumental part. Henk's guitar sounded great in this and Robert Jan's parts became even more fast and complicated. The percussion also got to great heights here. After this the song returned to the normal part to end it as on the album. The audience reaction to this song was one of the best ones for the new songs.

Christine's World

Henk described this song as 'a girl gets of a bus in america and disappears'. It was also the first song ever Henk wrote that mentioned a girl's name. It was played similar to the album version. Compared to the other ting songs, this one didn't have a lot of percussion, only some cymbals and snare dums. Henk played the repetetive piano chord, while Robert Jan played the more complicated melodies. This song was rather uneventful and sounded very serious, but there were some nice melodies in it. In the instrumental part near the end Peter played some violin.

Concert Medley

At the Hengelo concert Henk asked for requests and someone said 'everything!'. The band then proceded to play a medley of
a large part of the songs they had played earlier in the evening. They held themselves to the setlist, up until a few songs after
the original encore. Then they stopped, the whole medley lasted about 8 minutes. This resulted in what is for me the highlight of this tour and maybe of all their tours! Maybe I'm biased because I was there to witness it, but I think everyone who has heard the tape from this concert agrees that it is a great Nits moment. The band played short fragments of approximately 30 seconds of all the songs and they made improvisational segues from one song to the other. Robert Jan only used his piano, while Peter didn't touch his violin, he only played the percussion set. Rob remained behind his drumset (except for the bus part!). Henk played guitar and Martin played the standing bass. Sometimes this resulted in false notes and rickety moments, but often it was like all the 5 bandmembers were thinking in the same direction. When this happened truly great musical moments were the result. Not only was this musically great, the band and the audience enjoyed it a lot with plenty of laughing all around. Afterwards I got the chance to speak to the band and Henk and Rob both told me that they were very proud of this improvisation. I will now give an overview of all the songs that were part of this medley (between brackets is the length of the fragment).

Ting (0.35)

This started the medley. The lyrics are the verse with 'Here comes the rain'. It was just piano and drums and it ended with Henk singing 'Ting Ting'. Robert Jan was a bit surprised when they started and he played a horrible false note.. It didn't quite segue into the next song.

Cars And Cars (0.33)

Henk continued immediately after ting ended with singing the first two lines of cars and cars. It wasn't more than that. Rob played some simple drum lines and Peter provided some nice percussion. After this again not really a segue but a straight continuation into:

There From Here (0.24)

This fragment only lasted the first few lines of the song. It started with the guitar, piano and vocals, but the drums entered soon. After this the first very nice segue was played. It went into:

Christine's World (0.35)

This started out just as the normal version, but the lyrics started at 'I'd like to buy a photograph'. The almost spoken lyrics of the last line were done very dramatic.

House On The Hill (0.32)

Of this song only the chorus was played. Although it was very short it was still very powerful. Again not really a segue at the end.

River (0.40)

Robert Jan started singing 'his' song straight out of house on the hill. He sang 'Said old river, you smile.', followed by a part of the chorus together with Henk. The
vocals slowed down towards the end.

All Or Nothing / Dapperstreet (0.34)

Peter started the percussion for all or nothing, but Robert Jan started the dapperstreet melody on the piano almost at the same time. After a few seconds Peter faded
away the percussion. Henk then sang the first four lines of dapperstreet, while Peter started to play the melody blocks. A strange little segue brought us then to:

The Train (0.40)

This was very percussion heavy, just like the normal Ting tour version. Peter and Rob played their cymbals, while Robert Jan played some free piano lines and Henk sang the first verse of the song. At the end it slowed down and segued into:

Boy In A Tree (0.28)

A percussion and piano intro started this. Henk just sang 'Boy in a tree' very dramatically and with a distorted echo. It fluently segued into:

The Bauhaus Chair (0.16)

This was just played instrumentally on the piano and was more or a less a segue itself between the previous and next song. Rob sprinted away to get his wooden
shoeblocks for the next song.

Bus (0.20)

Rob came running on stage with his wooden shoeblocks, causing great hilarity. Robert Jan played a bit of the piano lines while Rob was running up and down the

Intermission (unknown)

Normally in the concert after bus there was an intermission and in the medley it was no different. I was changing the tape in my tape recorder as fast as I could so I wouldn't miss the next part, so I can't really remember what exactly happened on stage. I do remember the band sitting in the middle of the stage on the ground and pretending to be resting.

S.L.A. (0.25)

After the intermission it continued with this song on percussion and piano. Henk spoke 2 lines of the lyrics very fast in a muffled voice.

Apple Orchard (0.32)

The first verse of this was sung over a piano melody and drums.

Sugar River (0.23)

The melody of this sounded very good on the piano. Rob played the drums and Peter the melody blocks. Wile the rest of the band stopped Martin continued his
bass line for a while. Henk said then 'This could go on all night!'

Sketches Of Spain (0.48)

We are now very near the end of the medley, but they saved the best for last. Martin started the bass line after Henk sleezily sang 'the streets of Barcelona are filled with blood and rain'. Peter played his melody blocks and the whole music sounded rather rickety, but Henk's very dramatic, almost scatting vocals of 'it never stops' sounded incredibly good. This was really the end of the medley except for:

Pelican And Penguin (0.12)

This was just the drumline with some rooster samples. The whole medley ended with one last cow sample.


This was played with a fuller sound than the original Kilo version and the live Urk version. The intro had orchestral sounds, the bassline and percussion. This version concentrated less on the bass than the Urk version, other instruments were featured much more to the front. Robert Jan used many different sounds, including piano, bell ,trombone and violin sounds. Martin, Rob and Robert Jan also provided backing vocals, while Peter played the melody blocks.

The Dream

No big surprises with this song. It was played straightforward with a little bit more percussion, especially in the 'wheel is turning' part, but not enough to make this version really stand out. The driving force for this song were the kick drum and bass. At the Zurich concert Henk recited some lines from the Erlkönig by Goethe. This poem is also the basis of the Henk-song Sleep (what happens to your eyes).

Drumsolo / Unknown song #1

In Nijmegen someone in the audience requested a drum solo. This caused Henk to say that Rob hadn't done one in 20 years, only when he just joined the band he would do them. Of course Rob started a fast and tight solo. It sounded very nice and later Peter joined him on melody blocks and other percussion instruments. The whole thing lasted about a minute and a half and featured some nice interplay between the two drummers. After this it stopped, but after a short while they started again, but now Robert Jan and Martin joined them on piano and bass, resulting in very loud rock and roll type music. Henk started singing some impossible to understand lyrics. This was probably a cover song, but due to the hectic sound I can't make out what it was supposed to be.. It was also rather short, just about a minute and a half.

An Eating house

This was great this tour. This was the only time it was ever played very different from the original. Unfortunately it wasn't played very often, usually only as a request (it can be found on the Groningen, Nijmegen and Basel recordings). Usually it started out with some weird synth sounds and drums. It had a slight Caribbean feel to it. Then a fast groove started and a fast version of the song started. Peter played the melody blocks and Henk sang the vocals very fast. When the vocals came to the 'and daddy said..' the song slightly changed with Henk shouting 'nothing!' for a few times. Te music after this became very wild and chaotic with strange melodies and touches by Robert Jan. The ending of the song changed into a heavy rock and roll sound, with Robert Jan on piano. Not all the lyrics were song and it lasted only a couple of minutes, but every time it was great! At the Zurich, Basel and Bern concerts the song if I had a hammer was played in a medley with this song.

Egyptian Reggae

This song originally done by Jonathan Richman has to be a favorite of the band. They played it at the Giant normal dwarf tour, this tour and they used the original version after the Alankomaat tour concerts ended. This tour I have only one recording of it. It was played at the great Hengelo concerts during the band introductions. Usually Henk did the band introductions plainly, just naming the band members and their instrument. Before this he normally would say: 'It is time to introduce the band: this is the band!'. In Hengelo after every band member was named they played a few bars of this song with the full band. The band member that had just been introduced was featured slightly more than the rest in the small parts, for instance Peter on his melody blocks. This all sounded very nice.

Er Zitten Twee Motten In M'n Ouwe Jas

This was played as a request at the Groningen show. The song is a very old dutch song, originally done by Dorus in the 50s. The title translates as 'There are two moths in my old coat' and it's a rather silly song. The Nits played it as an instrumental, lasting just over a minute. Robert Jan used a very sleazy synth sound for it and all and members participated. A couple of years later this was also performed by Frits.

Fire In My Head

This was played similar to the album version, except that it had some very strange intros. An improvisation usually preceded this song, see 'for no-one', 'walter and conny as cooks', 'linksom draaien' and 'unkown song #1' for descriptions of these weird things. The improvisations always ended with Robert Jan slowly transforming distorted piano sounds into the 'fire in my head' melody. From here on it turned into the quite serious song we know. Henk provided he piano chords behind Robert Jan's intricate melodies. Martin played the standing bass as if it was a cello and Peter and Rob provided some nice subdued percussion that imitated the stones sounds that are on the album version. Also a lot of reverse cymbals can be heard. At some point in the song there was a loud rattling percussion break after which the pianos returned to finish up the song.

For No-One

A very short bit of this Beatles' song was played at the Amsterdam July 93 concert as an intro to Fire In My Head. After a sghort happy variation of the Fire In My Head piano melody, Henk sang the first few lines of this song over a piano backing. The music transformed into Fire In My Head after this.

Girl From The North Country

This was played in the middle of the Wintherthur infinite shoeblack performance in a medley with 'san quentin no.2' and 'she belongs to me'. It's a cover, but I don't know the original artist. The music was brushes drums, guitar and a pedal steel guitar keyboard sound.

Hjuvi (A Rhapsody In Time)

This was performed in Winterthur. The complete orchestral composition featuring all 12 rooms and the solo for conductor were performed with the Stadtorchester and the Schweize Jügendorchester. To my ears it sounds very similar to the original version. After this hour long performance, which included an extra encore of moved by her, a shortened ting show was given. Peter and Martin didn't participate in the Hjuvi performance, but were present at the ting concert part.

Home Before Dark

This song was once again played in the keyboard arrangement, opposed to the slightly more intimate accordion version that was more often played at other tours. Robert Jan did use an accordion sound for this song, as well as bell sounds and a mellotron type sound. Peter's ticking percussion were a great addition to the atmosphere. The Hengelo concert featured a rather strange version of this song. Before the song started Henk told they had written the song for a gas station attendant in Sweden between Gothenburg and Stockholm at the town of Husqvarna! This person was named Bjørn and he was very sensitive and sad, even worse than a Bergman movie.. In the song Henk would replace some of the lyrics with some fake Swedish mumblings!

House On The Hill

This spectacular and beautiful  was played as on the album with the alternating fast and slow parts. Robert Jan and Henk both played the piano. Rob and Peter provided strong and varied percussion and Martin's nice bass-playing has to be mentioned also. He also provided backing vocals. The ending was very slow and had a nice percussion sound in it.

If I Had A Hammer

This classic song performed by Trini Lopez (and written by Les Hays and Pete Seeger) was played in a medley with an eating house at the Zurich, Bern and Basel concerts, according to Walter Schäppi's Nits Overview.

If I Were A Carpenter

This song written by T. Hardin was played at the Zurich concert, according to Walter Schäppi's Nits Overview.

I'm A Believer

This Neil Diamond song was played in the middle of tree is falling in Zurich and Basel, according to Walter Schäppi's Nits Overview.

The Infinite Shoeblack

As I've mentioned at the GND tour pages, this might very well be my favorite Nits song and this tour's version really lived up to my expectations of it. The standing real bass and Peter's violin only added positive things to the song. Although it wasn't as subtle and intimate as the GND album and tour version, the fun and musicianship really made up for this. In the first part Robert Jan played the main melody over a subdued backing and Henk played around with his popping toy before he started to sing. Especially the Hengelo performance of this song was kind of weird. Peter's violin parts fitted in great with the song. The music became stronger as the song progressed up to the 'bell glass' part, where the only sounds were a tubular bell and Rob's brushes drums. This part usually was much longer than on the album and later in the tour at this point in the song the band would usually go into a completely other song. Examples of this were 'san quentin no 2',  (Winterthur, Amsterdam July 93), 'the girl from the north country', 'she belongs to me' (both Winterthur), 'Nathalie' (Groningen). After this the band returned to the 'bell glass' part and after a 'whaaaooosh' sample the next part of the song and the rest of the song was started. Very nice loud playing over a strong kickdrum beat was the result. The tempo increased after Henk sang the final vocals and live 'oooh' vocals and piano crashes were introduced. A final 'whaaa-ooosh' ended the song.

In The Dutch Mountains

This was played in its usual rather fast arrangement, quite the same as on Urk but with extra percussion or as on Frits - Dankzij De Dijken, but with the original lyrics. The repeating 'mountains-buildings' ending was used for this tour.

Ja Of Nee

In Groningen at the requests someone asked for 'yes or no'. Instead of playing this old Nits song Henk started singing 'ja of nee', which is Dutch for 'yes or no', over a weird improvised backing. It sounded strange, it had nothing to do with the 'yes or no' song and it was short, but it was very funny!

J.O.S. Days

This was played in the usual up tempo version with the keyboards and harmonica intro. One difference: Henk did the harmonica instead of Robert Jan this time. The version at the Amsterdam July 93 concert segued quite nicely from 'bus'. 

Linksom Draaien

This was a weird improv bit that was played as an introduction to fire in my head at the Hengelo concert. Robert Jan mainly
used his piano and Peter played the melody blocks for this strange tune. The vocals were sampled from an talking person
who seems to be given dance lessons. The lyrics were in Dutch, but don't make much sense in any language:

O, verdraaide hockeystick (Oh, damned hockey stick)
Linksom draaien, cha cha cha (Turn to the left, cha cha cha)

Love Of My Life

This tour featured the first time the Nits played a song from my other favorite musician: Frank Zappa. This song was one from the late 60s album 'cruisin' with ruben and the jets'. This isn't a typical Zappa album at all. It was Zappa's tribute to his favorite pop music: doo-wop from the 50s. All songs are rather straightforward and simple pop songs and love of my life is one of the best ones from that album. Luckily I have seen the Nits do this in live at the Hengelo concert and I was probably one of the few in the audience who knew the song... It was played at other shows too, but not too regularly. In 1995 it was released in a live version from this tour on the Muziekcadeau 1995 cd that was given away for free for a short period of time. The song itself was played very nice. They even did it weirder than Zappa himself. Henk's voice was distorted so both his normal voice and a strange high voice could be heard at the same time. The musical backing was piano, bass, drums, guitar and melody blocks. In the semi-instrumental break in the middle (not present on Zappa's version) Henk did some weird 'whoo-oo-ooh' singing and Robert Jan did a Louis Armstrong impersonation, a bit similar to the one in homeless boy from the dAdAdA album. After this the band ended the song with some more 'whoo-oo-oo's from Henk.


This French song from Gilbert Becaud from 1964 was played in Groningen in the middle of the infinite shoeblack. An instrumental intro and one verse were played. The guitar and bass started the song and Robert Jan used a violin sound on his keyboards for the melody. Before and after this some weird sounds in the 'bell glass' part of the infinite shoeblack were produced as well.


This Nits classic had been reworked so drastically that it took almost two minutes to recognize it. Up until this tour it was
more or less played in always the same way, but now the band decided to change it completely. It started out with Robert Jan on piano and Peter on violin standing next to him. They played a rather long, very classical sounding intro that slowly
transformed in a kind of gypsy style music that went faster and faster. Rob played the percussion set (this was the only
non-Ting song on which he did that) and Martin played the standing bass. After the intro Peter would return to his percussion
set to play on that for the rest of the song. Henk would sometimes play around with his popping toy during the intro and often
also shouted stuff like 'hopla!' Only when Henk started to sing 'Nescio' it was clear in which song this was. The Italian lyrics were sung over the classical part with Peter still on violin. From the 'I jumped of a bridge' part the song changed. The music transformed into the part that was usually played at the end of the song (the fast part with the acoustic guitar) with through it a four-note variation on the motif that usually introduces and ends this part played (I hope this makes sense, it's a bit hard to describe). The 'somebody whispers' part was sung by Robert Jan. He followed these lyrics by some very dramatic sounding piano lines. After this were normally the fast part came we now got a real finale. Rob and Peter started to softly play on the timpani. While Robert Jan played some percussive piano they increased the volume of their playing, sounding very impressive in the theatre, but unfortunately somewhat less clear on tapes. After a big last bang this very impressive and great song ended. Usually it was time for requests after this. It is worth trying to obtain a Ting tour tape for just this song!

Night Falls

I have no normal concert tape on which this was played, but I know they did play it early at the tour. The only live version I have of this song as the orchestral one that was part of the hjuvi performance in Winterthur.

Out On The Weekend

In Paris during the intro of apple orchard this Neil Young song was played. According to Suonna it was 'Henk ad-libbing to a suitable chord progression'.

The Panorama Man

Walter Schäppi's Nits Overview mentions this as being played at the backstage jam after the Nijmegen concert. At a few other shows this was also played.


This was played in Deventer and Utrecht as a request (both times requested by Jolanda..). It is a very horrible Dutch language song (a real 'smartlap'). Henk had already performed it 1 or 2 years earlier solo at the Rotland TV show. It was played very short and almost a capella.

Pelican And Penguin

This tour's version was the best one of this song in my opinion. It wasn't played too different from the original, but the fun on stage really influenced the familiar music. Rob started out the drumbeat and Robert Jan would go hopping around the stage on one leg. This looked very funny! Henk started the guitar parts and Martin's loose bass lines set the atmosphere for this version of the song. After a while Peter started playing the main melody on violin and transformed the song into a very country/folk type version. Robert Jan also joined in and provided a lot of samples, mainly roosters that he also distorted later on in the song. Two short violin solos were present in the song, which consisted of just a small variation on the melody. The ending was instrumental and extended. Some very weird samples and violin effects were part of this, while Henk would make all kinds of mumbling noises on top of it. Soon after a return to the main theme the song ended with a sample of a cow moo!

Ring Of Fire

This famous Johnny Cash song (written by Carter & Kilgore) was played at the Bern concert, according to Walter Schäppi's Nits Overview.


Robert Jan's vocal song was played rather early in the set. This melancholic song sounded a little bit better live than on the album I think. I guess it's because on the album the music is just piano and percussion. In the live version there also were bass and guitar parts. For the chorus Henk and Martin harmonized with Robert Jan and this sounded very good. The percussion was kept very sparse. The instrumental parts featured some nice piano melodies. The structure of the song was the same as on Ting, but after the album part ended the band returned for an extra chorus in the live version.

Room #1-12

All 12 hjuvi rooms were completely played at the hjuvi performance at Winterthur. Most rooms are instrumental, but 4 had lyrics: room #3, moved by her (room #7), cars and cars (room #9) and night falls (room #11).

San Quentin No. 2

The Nits played this Johnny Cash song in Zürich in the middle of the infinite shoeblack. The music was just brushes drums and guitar. In Amsterdam this also happened, except the whole band played on it with Peter on violin and a very short drum solo by Rob. It was still very short though.

Shadow Of A Doubt

This great song was played as a request at the Bern concert. 

She Was Naked

This was another cover song they played as a request. Or doesn't this count as a cover, since Robert Jan wrote this song. It is a Supersister song from the early 70s. In Utrecht it was requested and Henk said they didn't know it, but then Robert Jan performed it solo on the piano. In Deventer it was requested again and this time the band had actually learned how to play it! They performed the slow and jazzy first half of it. The wild, heavy-metal second half they didn't do. Robert Jan of course took the lead vocals and the piano. The whole band played on it and Henk provided some nice guitar touches. He also sang the last line together with Robert Jan.

Sketches Of Spain

This version had a long instrumental intro. Henk played low surf-guitar noises over a drum and bass backing. Robert Jan played some low orchestral sounds. All in all a rather sinister beginning. After the main melody was started by Robert Jan the song was played as usual. In the first instrumental part the band briefly returned to the sinister sound of the intro, but soon he normal melodies took over again. Henk played his electric guitar throughout the song and Robert Jan provided backing vocals for the 'I have seen the trenches..' part. The main deviation from the normal sketches came in the long second instrumental part. Here Peter played an incredible, haunting violin solo. This rather long, but slow solo had a spooky sound that complimented the whole sinister atmosphere of this version of the song.


This last song of Ting was played as the first song after the intermission. The abbreviation stands of course for Saint Louis Avenue. It started out with a slow piano intro over spooky percussion. It was played similar as on Ting, but with the stones replaced by various percussion effects. Also Henk provided a nice dramatic, tremolo whistle sound from the keyboard in the instrumental parts that really fitted in with the song. The rattling percussion ending on the stones that's on the Ting album was also done live on the big percussion set.

Smoke On The Water

This is a very famous 70s hardrock song by Deep Purple and it is as far removed from normal Nits repertoire as you probably can get. But they actually played it as a request at the Basel concert (which also had another unlikely cover: black magic woman by Santana). They audience was probably a lot into classic rock, because also a request for Led Zeppelin's stairway to heave was requested, but it was not played. Smoke on the water was, although it was very short and instrumental. Martin started the famous bass line and the heavy drums followed. The keyboard complimented the bass line and after about 30 seconds it was over.

Soap Bubble Box

This is a song about the New York artist Joseph Cornell and especially about his Soap Bubble Set. This is a box with various objects in it that are named by Henk in the lyrics (e.g. clay pipe and cork, map of the moon, egg painted blue, I can't find the cut out of camels, tin spoon and the rhinestones though..). Henk apparently saw this in the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, New York City). I visited that museum when I was in New York, but I couldn't find the Soap Bubble Set: unfortunately it wasn't there then. I saw some other stuff by Joseph Cornell though. The song was a very small hit in the Netherlands, reaching approximately no. 35 in the top 40. This happy little song was played the same as on the album. Robert Jan played the fast melodies and Henk played the piano theme at the appropriate places. In the beginning there was sparse percussion. In the instrumental parts the percussion increased and near the end after the last 'I saw a box in New York' lyric one really loud bang on a drum was played. The ending was the same stop-and-go thing as on the album, including the 'rattling device' that Henk used. A final 'Box!' ended the song. At the Steen & Been radio show it was performed as a trio with just one small snare drum, a very small piano and vocals. This resulted in a simple, but very nice version.

Jospeh Cornell - Untitled (Soap Bubble Set) - 1936

Solo For Conductor

This was performed at the Hjuvi performance at Winterthur. Solo for conductor isn't on the Hjuvi album, because it is silent. It is just the conductor waving his stick a lot and the orchestra pretending to play.

Sugar River

As with the other GND songs the real bass added a lot to this song, which sounded more powerful than ever in this tour's version. From the beginning on it featured lots of loud percussion and keyboards. Some insect sound effects can also be heard in between the frantic drumming and percussion. Robert Jan, Martin and Rob all provided the 'ah-aah-ah-ah' background vocals and Robert Jan also sang co-lead with Henk on the 'When I touch her knee' part. The instrumental part with the 'sugar-water' samples over it sounded incredibly loud and cool. This part was extended a bit towards the end of the tour. The version in Amsterdam in July 1993 was particularly fierce. Unfortunately the tape of this show sounds pretty bad...

There From Here

Another GND track that was enhanced by the standing bass, which also was the main instrument in the intro. The chords were played on the guitar over this. Rob sang backing vocals to this song. Robert Jan used an alto sax sound on his keyboards and there was rather simple percussion. The main parts were rather subtle, but in the instrumental parts the sound got somewhat wilder.


The album's title track was the song that opened the concerts. A slow fade in of a keyboard sound started it and Henk started singing 'I am waiting' for a few times with a distorted voice. After this the song really started with piano and 'ting' sounds, which were played by Henk on a triangle. The song sounded somewhat abstract and featured also a harmonica sound, busy piano parts and a lot of percussion that replaced the stones. The bass parts were excellent and very interesting.

Tomorrow Never Knows

This can be found on the Beatles cover CD. I don't know if it was ever played during a regular Ting concert, but it was part of the Werf concerts in early 1992. The atmosphere of the song was very eastern and very experimental and it had several sound effects. It featured a typical rhythm, violin, a sitar keyboard sound, piano and bass.

Tons Of Ink

This was played in Groningen as a kind of a forced request. During the request part a few members of the audience (Jolanda and co..) started singing the 'yo-oh-oh' lyrics. After a while Rob joined in on the typical tons of ink drums. The rest of the band soon followed. Robert Jan played the melody on piano and Peter used his melody blocks. Henk sang the first verse and the chorus. After this the instrumental part was played by Robert Jan. This ended the song, which lasted about a minute and a half.

The Train

A very long percussion started out this song from the Hat album. The two percussionists imitated a train on the cymbals. They increased their volume of playing gradually. After a while a rather loud, but short guitar part by Henk was played at irregular times during the intro. The busy percussion continued throughout the song after the vocals started, but Rob also played his kick drum. The melodies were mostly played on the piano. When the train noise part started the percussion continued to provide their cymbal sounds, but this time they decreased their volume. After a short break the song continued for the long version. The percussion was somewhat more subdued for this part, but the piano still was in full force.

Tree Is Falling

 This was played similar to the Ting album version and it featured the great musicianship this band could achieve. It started out with the piano and Henk singing 'tu-du-du-du'. The song alternated between the bright and gloomy parts. The cool descending scales Robert Jan played on the piano sounded even better live than on the album. Robert Jan also used a flute like sound on his keyboards. The very strong percussion featured the melody blocks between the other sounds. Martin provided standing bass and backing vocals. At the Zurich and Basel concerts in the middle of this song a part of Neil Diamond's I'm a believer was played.

Tutti Ragazzi

This wasn't part of the normal setlist, but this very old Nits classic was played as a request in Hengelo. After the concert I spoke with Martin and he told me it was the first time ever he and Peter played it. They just followed along with the other three band members. The other three probably hadn't played this song in a while as well. Keeping all of this in mind it is pretty amazing how this short version of this song sounded. I can detect no wrong notes from the two new and old band members. After someone requested it Robert Jan started playing the melody on piano and Rob soon joined in with his nice drumming. Henk sang the first verse and chorus with a slightly distorted voice. The tempo of the song increased towards the end of the chorus and it ended quite abruptly after just one minute and ten seconds. Way too short!

Under A Canoe

To my knowledge this was only played once during this tour, at the Amsterdam November 1992 concert. The sound quality of the tape isn't very good and sometimes it is difficult to make out what instrument actually makes what sound. A low keyboard sound that was sustained for a long time opened the song. Some industrial sounding percussion effects were played on top of this. The sharp 'I' vocal by Henk was repeated several times on top of this. Some slow piano chords, the drums and the bass entered also after a while. The familiar vocal sample started up the more normal part of the song with Henk singing the lyrics. The arrangement remained very slow and sinister. The chorus of 'and the shirt is waving in the meadow' was backed by organ instead of the choir samples. From the second verse on Robert Jan sometimes would replace the vocal sample with a trumpet sound. After the second chorus a short return to the slow intro was played, but soon it went back to another chorus. The dramatic instrumental ending featured more percussion than the rest with a lot of cymbals and timpani. The song ended as on Urk with the sustained vocal sample. Too bad this wasn't played more often, because this very spooky version of the song sounded great!

Unknown song #1

Walter Schäppi's Nits Overview mentions an unidentified song in the middle of 'the infinite shoeblack' at the Zurich concert. He describes it as 'Elvis trying to sing the Beatles' One after 909'.

Unknown song #2

For the Bern concert Walter Schäppi's Nits Overview mentions an unknown song between ring of fire and an eating house.

Walter And Conny As Cooks

This was a weird improvisation that was used as an intro to fire in my head at the Groningen concert. It is the longest one of the weird intros I have on tape, lasting over 2 minutes. It had nothing to do with the Nits instrumental from the Omsk album. It had the same origin though. I've heard that in the 60s there was a Dutch TV program in which you could learn English. This was presented by two English characters: Walter and Conny. This improvisation was based on samples that apparently come from this TV show. It is a rather sexist dialogue between Walter and Conny. In between every sentence some instrumental sounds were improvised by varying band members. To me it often resembles a Zappa type collage music. Henk didn't participate in the instrumental parts, but a lot of piano, percussion and even tuba sounds were used. The lyrics of the samples were as follows:

'Lesson 14: Walter and Conny as cooks.'
Walter: 'Conny, I'm speaking to you, listen to me.'
Conny: 'Yes, I'm listening.'
Walter: 'Bring the butter.'
Conny: 'I'm bringing it.'
Walter: 'Now I want the steaks.'
Conny: 'I'm bringing them.'
Walter: 'Thank you. Now Conny, this knife is for you.'
Conny: '(...) fine.'
Walter: 'You must peel the potatoes.'
Conny: 'Peel the potatoes?'
Walter: 'And the onions, I must read this.'
Conny: 'Walter, here are the onions.'
Walter: 'Bring me the pepper please Conny, will you?'

This was followed by a distorted piano segue into fire in my head. This also happened at the Zurich concert, according to Walter Schäppi's Nits Overview.

What We Did On Our Holidays

During the last few concerts of the tour this new song was played. During the end of the tour the band decided they wanted to do a greatest hits album with one or two new songs on it. They wrote 'what we did on our holidays' for this. But the recording was so enjoyable they decided to record more new songs. This eventually ended up as the album dAdAdA and the greatest hits album was delayed until the 1995 Nest album. The song is about people who still go on holiday to countries were there is a war, for instance former Yugoslavia. The song was pretty much developed to the version that ended up on the dAdAdA album. All the parts were present and the lyrics were the same. Some small difference can be heard though. Robert Jan provided the backing vocals and he played a keyboard solo, using pedal steel guitar sound. This was in the place of the violin solo. The violin was present though, but Peter only provided some touches with it.

With A Little Help From My Friends

This famous Beatles song by the Beatles (and later Joe Cocker) was played at the Paris concert together with Kent. It's a rather straightforward version of the song with Henk and Kent alternating the lead vocals.

Yellow Boat

This song started out with Henk playing sound effects on his keyboards of buzzing insects. After a while he pretended to squat the insect and the song started. In Groningen a crew member came on the stage holding a huge fly squatter while he ran over the stage. The insect sounds were a bit longer this time. The song itself featured Henk on piano chords and Robert Jan on piano melodies. The percussion was rather sparse for a Ting song, especially in the beginning. In the instrumental parts there was a bit more percussion, though. It was played very similar to the album version. The end of the live recorded album version had the audience shaking matchboxes. This time the band themselves shook the matchboxes, but Robert Jan used his car keys instead of a matchbox. In Groningen several audience members had brought their own matchboxes (yes I was also guilty of this..) and shook them along with the band.

Yes Or No

This wasn't actually played. But at Groningen there was a request for it. Henk started then singing 'ja of nee', which is Dutch for yes or no. At the next tour the band would play this song as a request though!