Kayak was founded in 1972 by keyboardist/composer Ton Scherpenzeel and drummer/composer Pim Koopman, along with lead singer Max Werner, guitarist Johan Slager and bass player Cees van Leeuwen. In the beginning critics often compared the band to contemporaries like Yes and Focus, but the band quickly developed their own style of symphonic rock that, although almost each album contained one or more ‘epics’, was concentrating on songs rather than elaborate solos and long instrumental passages.
Throughout the years Kayak has seen many changes in the line-up. Ton Scherpenzeel is now the only remaining original member and leader of the band. Kayak enjoyed a successful period in the late 70ies and early eighties. After 1981, there was no band activity until 1999, when Scherpenzeel and Koopman decided to restart the band. This second period was marked by a new explosion of creativity. Kayak’s output even exceeded their first period. In 2009 disaster struck when Koopman died of heart failure in the middle of their ‘Letters from Utopia’ tour. In 2011 the band overcame this big loss and returned to the stage and a new album. A couple of years later Kayak completed their rock opera trilogy ‘Merlin’, ‘Nostradamus'(2CD) and ‘Cleopatra'(2CD). When lead singers Cindy Oudshoorn and Edward Reekers left the band shortly after, Scherpenzeel realized he had to completely renew the line up in order to maintain his creativity as well as keep the band going.
Now, a reborn Kayak once again proves that the band’s name- though chosen randomly back in 1972- is as appropriate as ever. Just when everyone expects the boat to go under, it miraculously resurfaces and sails on. The new album ‘Seventeen’ was released in January 2018. Many raving reviews followed the release. The album hit the dutch album charts at no 6 and the was no 1 at the dutch vinyl charts. The band played many shows after the release, captivating the audiences.
The reborn band will perform on Saturday, 18th July 2020.
Bart Schwertmann – Vocals, ac. Guitar
Ton Scherpenzeel – Keyboards, Vocals
Marcel Singor – Guitars, Vocals
Kristoffer Gildenlöw – Bass, Vocals
Hans Eijkenaar – Drums