Classics 30th anniversary Holland tour
with SAILOR and The Rubettes featuring Alan Williams
20 November - 02 December 2004
Bands: SAILOR, The Rubettes featuring Alan Williams
Photos by: Katrin Wagner, Olaf Prause, Markus und Barbara Sauer, Christel Müller
SAILOR on stage
Grant, Phil and Peter during "Vera From Veracruz"
SAILOR during "The Old Nickelodeon Sound"
Rob and Phil at the Nickelodeon
SAILOR on stage
Katrin's birthday surprise on stage...
...with flowers, champagne, card, song and kisses...
THANK YOU boys!! ;-)
The Full Monty...
The Full Monty...
The Full Monty...
A Glass Of
One Drink Too Many
Blame It On The Soft Spot
Vera From Veracruz
The Old Nickelodeon Sound
Girls Girls Girls
"Grant's moment" - drum solo
The "Full Monty"
Fans and SAILORs before and after the show...
Grant, Rob, Katrin, Peter and Phil after the show...
Christel together with Grant, Rob, Peter and Phil
Day 3 of our trip to
Holland... Click here for Day
1 - Kerkrade and
Day 2 - Etten-Leur.
My birthday is not today, but tomorrow (03 December), but as this is the last day of the tour SAILOR have prepared a very special surprise for me...
Christel and I leave for the concert a little earlier today to avoid the traffic during the rush hour. We leave the hotel at about 3 pm together with Peter and his friend Steve who drive with Peter's car. Fortunately, Peter tells us that the junction to Roermond is closed at the moment, so we know that we have to drive to the next one.
On the motorway we are overtaken by the honking red van of... Rob and Anna! ;-)
We finally reach Roermond at about 5.50 pm due to a traffic jam and leave the car at the car park next to the theatre / hotel "De Oranjerie". We pick up our tickets at the box office and meet another German fan whom we have already met at another concert some years ago.
When the entrance hall of the theatre is opened we are also joined by German SAILOR-fan Heinz, as well as Heiner and Olaf and a little later Markus and his wife Barbara. Unfortunately there will be numbered seats again today, so that the little "German SAILOR-crew" can't sit together during the concert. Christel and I have only got tickets for the middle of row 11 today (a very unusual feeling!), but are looking forward to being able to take some photos of the whole stage and the audience from there this time.
We go into the theatre and to our seats, and at 8 pm the concert starts with SAILOR, as usual. The sound is also fantastic, as usual. Unfortunately my good old camera breaks down after the first few songs, so that I can't take any more photos.
After "Karma Chameleon" SAILOR don't continue their set with "Panama", which really surprises us. Instead, Phil announces that there is a "very special lady in the audience" who is celebrating her birthday and who is taking care of the SAILOR website... I look at Christel in shock while the lights are turned on in the whole theatre, and I wonder whether they will ask me to to stand up and wave now. But instead of this I hear Phil saying "... it's the first time in 64 concerts she's not in the front row... and we would like her to come on stage to us now!"
I don't know if anybody has said anything more in between and can't quite remember everything that happens next - only a few hundred people turning around, trying to see who the boys are talking about, while I look for the best way to get onto the stage (not easy!). The only way is on the far left side, so that's where I go. Peter quickly rushes towards me to help me up and takes my hand, leading me to the middle of the stage and preventing me from a) stumbling and b) dropping dead in shock... (thanks P!!)
Rob plays "Happy Birthday" on the Nickelodeon, while Peter and the audience sing, and Grant and Phil present me nice bunch of flowers, a bottle of champagne and a card.
After a hug and a kiss from everyone I leave the stage again (even more difficult with all the stuff in my hands ;-)) - still trembling - and go back to my seat in the middle of row 11, where Christel welcomes me back and says that she has tried her best to take as many photos as possible. I just hope that the other fans who sit closer to the stage have taken some photos too!?!
My memory of the last couple of songs is rather shadowy for some reason. After the Full Monty SAILOR's performance is over and we all go back to the entrance hall of the theatre, as SAILOR are going to sell their merchandise and sign autographs there soon. We briefly talk to all the other fans as well as to the four SAILORs, Michelle, Anna and Steve and take some photos before the other fans go back inside to see The Rubettes.
Christel and I reach the hotel again at 11.45 pm, quickly followed by the boys (and girls ;-)). We all sit down and have a last drink to finally really celebrate my birthday - as it's now after midnight and therefore the 03rd of December - and of course the end of the great tour. Between 1 and 2 am everyone goes to bed, as SAILOR have to leave quite early to drive back to the UK with their own cars. Grant and Michelle are going to leave at 5.30 am, so we say goodbye to them now. All the others expect to see us again in the morning.
The alarm clock rings again at 6 am, as Christel and I want to say goodbye to Peter and Steve who leave at 6.30 am to get to the Channel Tunnel and back to the UK. Aftwards we go back to bed again for an hour before we also get ready and packed and then say goodbye to Phil at 9 am. Rob and Anna have left earlier than expected and are halfway in France already, so Christel and I enjoy our last breakfast at the hotel and then drive back home.
What a marvellous, marvellous tour...!
Katrin Wagner, 05 December 2004
Oh, and by the way, here's my birthday card from the boys: ;-)
A concert review by Markus Sauer:
December the last of twelve concerts of the "Golden
Classics" Tour with SAILOR and The Rubettes. The last night
of an exhausting tour - will the boys already be thinking about
their journey home? Will they try hard at all... and do they know
how important this evening is for me?
No, they can't know this. For more than 28 years I have been listening to their songs, have picked coconuts as a child, have visited the girls of Amsterdam at the Quay Hotel when I was young, have dance the Cumbia with some secretaries as an adult and am now warning my daughters: Keep off the streets at night! But I have never seen SAILOR live, as a child I was too small, then they didn't exist for a long time, then there was always something else to stop me... and now, on 02 December in Roermond, the time has finally come.
First shock as we reach the "Theater-Hotel De Oranjerie" at about 7 pm: A chalk-sign says: "Golden Classics 15.00"! The big day is ruined again - just like last year in Kassel? With a "Give me la Samba"-heartbeat I rush towards the reception, everything ok, the concert will of course start at 8 pm, somebody must have mixed up something on that sign.
A tasteful atmosphere at the hotel-lobby, evening-clothes, fur-coats... Am I right here with my sailor-neckerchief? In the entrance hall of the theatre next door I then discover my generation plus/minus 10 years and dressed in more casual outfits. Do I know anybody? Of course - from this website. Katrin W. from K.! Great that we finally get to know each other after lots of eMails.
It's already time to go into the concert hall. Numbered seats that somehow remind me of a cinema. Will there be the right mood for SAILOR? My wife and I sit down in the 9th row, with a good sight at the half-lit stage, where the Nickelodeon and Grant's drums are ready for the show. I still can't quite believe that my dream will come true, but the clock can't be fooled: in two, three minutes I will be seeing SAILOR!
At 8 pm a short announcement of one of the promoters, then the time has come: the lights in the hall are switched off, the stage becomes brighter and colourful and then they jump onto the stage to the showy intro-music, first I see Peter, Grant waves briefly before he goes behind his drums, Phil and Rob walk to the Nickelodeon, Rob rings the harbour-bell (what is a harbour-bell, by the way? but who cares about that now?) and Peter welcomes the audience with funny words.
At "A Glass Of Champagne" the first people get to their feet - you can see where the SAILOR fans are, there are quite a few. Next to me there is a big Dutch fan - that's what he must be called, he knows (like myself) every word of every song, including the vocal-additions, repetitions, shouts and tempo-changes. Shame I haven't talked to him afterwards.
Peter announces SAILOR and The Rubettes, when there's applause for The Rubettes he makes a negative gesture to the audience and earns a lot of laughter. Then we hear the foghorn (hundreds of times I had told my wife that the song starts with this, as an introduction to "Sailor"), Peter's cutting guitar-chords and then it really starts: "Sailor!" the uncensored version, of course, 30 years later people aren't that prudish any more (or maybe I haven't understood all the allusions in the English lyrics?). A groovy and very brisk version for me. Rob sings the additional lyrics "Get in the game pick out the dame" and so on - that sounds very good, taking turns with Peter.
The audience seems a little quiet during the first couple of songs - but that changes quite quickly. SAILOR are simply sympathetic; they also get the Rubettes-fans, who seem to be the majority tonight, to like them. With every song - unfortunately I can't remember the correct order any more - the mood gets better, until the whole hall dances and cheers at the end.
"Blame it on the soft Spot" the song with the funny, quick lyrics, 30 years old, but still played by SAILOR in their present set, is somehow a cult-song for me. From the DVD I know that Phil is going to hit the drum behind him twice during the second "hangover"-verse, where they sing "Then you wake up with your head in a mess with a frown on your face feeling guilty!" at "guil-ty!" (having made jokes with the drum stick to all directions before that), so I silently tell my wife to watch out for this - I think those are the moments when you can see the difference between intensive fans and sympathizers.
"Girls Girls Girls" is and remains the hymn for most people, as Phil says: "Everyone of you knows the next song!" Everyone knows it - and everyone sings along. Many stay on their seats - maybe the Rubettes-generation is a little older than us?
That is a topic: After "La Cumbia" Peter asks whether the people who have stood up are still feeling "all right" now, as it has not been that difficult! Is that a nice complaint about the audience or another self-ironic allusion - like the one of Phil when he talks about the first Holland-hit "two hundred years ago": "Traffic Jam". That song is the best one for me tonight - SAILOR do a nostalgic folk version of the song with a lot of guitar tunes, that I like even more than the orginial. Peter asks us to sing the line "We´re heading for a great big worldwide traffic jam...". My neighbour and I do our best, but dear SAILORs, if you want the audience to sing along could you do it a little deeper next time?
Rob's Version of "Josephine Baker" (unfortunately none of the present ladies followed Phil's request to dance and take her clothes of as a replacement for the main actress who couldn't make it) is very authentic and sentimental oh Boy!
"The Old Nickelodeon Sound" for me the true SAILOR-hymn! Peter and Phil ask the audience - although in most cases this is not necessary any more - to raise their arms and wave them to the song. Peter plays the guitar and starts singing - and Phil waves his arms with the drum stick in contrast to the beat and stops. many people have to laugh, but we can't be fooled, when the Nickelodeon plays it's all very easy!
A pice that doesn't belong to the usual SAILOR-repertoire: it's the birthday of the well-known Katrin W.! SAILOR ask her to come on stage and the whole hall sings "Happy Birthday!" together with them.
"Karma Chameleon" somehow an alien element in the set, as you can't get rid of the thought of Boy George - but tonight the song sounds almost like SAILOR!
The Latin-Medley shows that the end of the concert is near. But the mood is really cheerful now, SAILOR have brought movement into the hall. At "Volare" (and "Cantare") we all sing what Phil and Rob tell us with their signs ("Oh Oh" and "Oh Oh Oh Oh") even though Rob puts the sign to his backside not very gentleman-like while he runs back to the Nickelodeon.
SAILOR don't hestitate to give us all some more (I would have shoutet very for a very long time anyway!) and continue with the second part of "A Glass of Champagne".
Then the boys disappear - and insiders know what's to follow: Grant´s Moment at the drums of which I'd have liked to hear much much mor, also without the accompanying music from the tape, and maybe a few jazzy beats one day, who knows? and then the fun-strip to "In the Navy". Thunderous laughter in the hall, as the music seems to break down in the middle and brings the "justification" for the end of the "strip".
Again thunderous applause - but while my neighbour desparately shouts for "Girls of Amsterdam" the lights are already switched on again.
Shame that time has passed so quickly? No! For me it continues, quick into the foyer; maybe I get the chance to shake the hand of one of the boys, my wife knows what it's all about; we hurry, if there's a chance to meet SAILOR I certainly don't want to miss it.
But the whole stress isn't necessary: After a few minutes SAILOR walk into the entrance hall through the waiting people in the break, go to the two tables, sign autographs and are totally open and incredibly nice! When I ask Phil whether I could take a photo of him and me, he tells Grant, Peter and Rob to join us and all four wait patiently until the flash of my digital camera works. I have to enlarge this photo at home - at least to DIN2!! Rob, who is as old as me, is also very nice: I can briefly talk to him about the possibility to perform in Germany.
Then SAILOR leave and we wonder what the rest of the evening can bring. The decision is made quickly: Sorry Rubettes, but I don't want to mix up this SAILOR-experience with anything else now. We drive back to the "Rheinland" after a long drive through darkness and fog we will be back late enough anyway.
My conclusion: SAILOR were in a very good musical shape, have done a funny, ironic, entertaining show and are personally incredibly nice! It hasn't been obvious that this concert, my first one, has been the last one of this tour - and it certainly hasn't been my last one either! I have always been a SAILOR fan - but now I'm also a SAILOR-live-fan!