2006 • KAYAKoustic
Singer Bert Heerink’s unexpected departure has no serious consequences because Edward Reekers returns to the band after the succesful collaboration on ‘Nostradamus’, and Cindy Oudshoorn has become a full-fledged Kayak member.
There is no new album release this year. After the sudden demise of Nostradamus – despite the quite successful tour, the financial risk of a continuation of the project was too high – the band decide to opt for a small tour.
In the fall of 2006 there is the start of the KAYAKoustic Tour, which runs until the beginning of 2007. The band's original intent, an almost acoustical show, is watered down because of the late announcement: there are not enough theatre bookings to do the tour as planned, so a number of clubs has to be added to do the tour.
Eventually, a semi-acoustical approach is adopted, in which a great number of old songs that have rarely been played live before, like ‘Daughter or Son’ or ‘What’s in a Name’, were transformed by completely new arrangements.
In the theatre shows the strong vocal line up is emphasized: while Ton Scherpenzeel plays the grand piano, the guitarists stick to their acoustical instruments, Pim to his brushes and hotrods, and Jan van Olffen excels on double bass. Some of the shows of the tour have been recorded for a CD that is meant to be released in 2007.
2007-2008 • Coming Up For Air
A few months after the last KAYAKoustic concert the live album from that tour is released in May 2007. Just like the tour this release is on a small scale: the CD can only be ordered directly through Kayak’s internet web shop. The rest of the year there are no more gigs, as the band concentrates on writing and recording a new studio album, planned for an early 2008 release: ‘Coming Up For Air’, that will also once again take the group to the theatres and clubs of Holland. No rock opera this time, like the last two albums ‘Merlin’ and ‘Nostradamus’, but a ‘regular’ CD with fifteen songs without any conceptual connection.
The tour is also marked by the 35th anniversary of Kayak. In February 1973 ‘Lyrics’, the bands first single, was released. In the autumn of 2008 a live DVD is recorded in Paradiso , and subsequently ‘The Anniversary Box’, containing the Paradiso concert as well as a collection of fan chosen tracks is released.
2009 • Letters From Utopia
In 2009 Kayak releases a new album, a 2CD no less with 19 new songs, entitled ‘Letters From Utopia’. The line up had remained unchanged since 2005, the longest period in Kayak history. At the release of the album, shortly before the beginning of the tour, Kayak announces that it might just be their last tour. The band does not give a reason for this decision, but it is apparent that it is becoming increasingly difficult to set up a tour under professional conditions.
Having announced this, Kayak also made it clear that the band did not have the intention to quit the Dutch rock scene altogether though: they promised to keep on looking for other ways to continue.
On November 23rd disaster strikes: drummer Pim Koopman dies of a heart attack in the middle of the tour. The rest of the tour is, of course, cancelled. Kayak anncounces that the decision, whether to continue the band without Pim or not, will be taken when the time is right.
In 2010 the Pim Koopman Tribute concert takes place in the Amsterdam Paradiso hall, exactly (save one day) a year after Pim’s passing. Kayak performs a special set with guest artists or band members that Pim had worked with in the past as a producer and songwriter, like Pussycat, Diesel, The President, Jose, and Caren Maywood. Pim’s place as a drummer that night is taken by Hans Eijkenaar. A few weeks after the concert Kayak announces their intent to continue as a band with Hans as Pim’s successor on drums. A new album is planned for 2011.
2011 • Anywhere But Here
In 2011 the Tribute Concert DVD of the Paradiso concert in honour of Pim is released. The band works on a new album, that will be entitled ‘Anywhere But Here’ and is- no surprise- dedicated to Pim Koopman. Hans not only takes Pim’s place behind the drumkit, but also mixes the album. In September the album is released, and from October to December a re-energized Kayak embarks on a club tour.
Meanwhile, also having left their former label and bookings agency the year before, Kayak regain the copyrights to most of their releases since 1981 and set up their own webshop.