Markus Sauer

Markus together with SAILOR in Roermond (Holland) 02 December 2004

Review: SAILOR in Roermond (Holland) 02 December 2004:

Roermond, 02 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!
Markus Sauer

The Sauer family - Markus, Charlotte, Clara and Barbara - enjoys the concert in Volendam (Holland) - 30 April 2006

Charlotte and Clara together with Phil, Grant, Henry and Peter

Time for autographs

Markus and Henry

Review: SAILOR in Volendam (Holland) 30 April 2006:

A warm and sunny Spring day in Volendam at the Ijsselmeer – a picturesque marina, small colourful fishermen-houses and people twaddling and strolling along the promenade, wrapped up in the smell of fresh fish-dishes and - nicely said for a Rhenish palatine - deep-fried Dutch specialties.
I have no eyes for the idyll. Slightly exasperated I run through the streets to find the Jozeftheatre as quickly as possible. On the motorway from the Rhineland to this town we've had several traffic jams, even though not worldwide but still great and big, and now we have arrived here more than one and a half hours later than planned. The agreed time to pick up the tickets for SAILOR at the theatre is over.
A problem? Fortunately not. The doors of the "Jozef" are still closed, and together with Katrin and Christel, whom I meet in front of the theatre, I agree that the topic of punctuality (how German I start here already!) will probably be handled with Mediterranean calmness today.
Our assumption turns out to be true later on. About half an hour before the beginning of the concert we can get inside the theatre - and half an hour after the beginning of the concert the concert really begins. Before that we get the chance to listen to the soundcheck - a constantly repeated "one – two" already sounds suspiciously like Henry - and then we can also watch them. All four SAILORs are on stage in casual clothing and potter about with the crew. Something important is missing - I see two keyboards facing each other, but absolutely nothing that reminds us of a Nickelodeon wahtsoever. Could this be true, could they do this: a SAILOR headline concert without Nickelodeon?
Of course not. To save on the luggage, SAILOR have created something new. One of the old Nickelodeon has been photographed, the photos have been enlarged and put on some kind of cloth-canvas and are now put in a wooden frame that has a Nickelodeon-shape - ready is the "Fakelodeon"" (copyright for this formulation: Cap K.!). A good idea - but the illusion is not very strong when you have already watched how it's all put together.
After some waiting the show starts. The foghorn resounds, they jump onto the stage, illuminated by colourful lights and we hear the guitar chords of "Sailor". It's not the first time that I hear this song live, but only now when it's Henry who throws in the sharp "Give out the juice!", it sounds like in the old days.
Next it's "Blame It On The Soft Spot", followed by Phil's solo "Mack the Knife" that ends with "SAILOR´s back in town!" in his version. The sound in the front rows is good and not too loud - that would be something for the (very) young generation. Just good!
The unmistakable into makes us hope for "Girls Of Amsterdam" - but now. Henry comforts - but of course this is more than a comfort - with "Josephine Baker". A glass of French wine and a beret would match the accordion sounds - but different hats are worn here: The "Panama" hats are just ok for everyone! I feel addressed - as well as others - by Peter's remark about the "cameras" in the audience and the enrichment of the home DVD collections. Next they play a version of "Traffic Jam" that is very close to the LP-version - with an extended "solo" for the audience. This time I'm supported by many enthusiastic singers all around; Henry gives us an appreciative sign. During "Give Me Shakespeare" the hall slowly starts to move - but quite suddenly the first part of the concert already ends.
I must have missed a meet and greet at the merchandise desk during the break.
The second part starts with the hammering chords of "A Glass Of Champagne" – for me and many others the signal that we won't sit down until the very end of the concert! Nice cha-cha-feeling during "One Drink Too Many" – even though the "Knock on the door" which is actually a doorbell, comes out of the "Fakelodeon" in a rather croaking way. Arm-aerobic at "The Old Nickelodeon Sound" – meanwhile the front has stood up - "Vera From Veracruz" and then, back in the set, "Open Up The Door", a song that fits well into the red light quarter of Amsterdam.
Between all the songs we get perky announcements, grimace and jokes from all. "What´s going on behind me?"asks Peter whil Phil and Grant make fun behind him - nobody tells him. Allegedly "Karma Chameleon" has to be played because Phil's bank manager insists on it. I'd have insisted on it too. The song is simply great. "The Secretary" and "La Cumbia" are announced by Peter in an indifferent-babbling way, he says that these are songs from the "Ninedy-nnnn..s" and praises the local beer, showing a bootle. Then Henry hands the "Cumbia"-maracas down to us - now the whole bunch of us is dancing on front of the stage. Then it's time for Grant's Moment and the "Full Monty". We are prepared and wear our sailor's caps too. SAILOR only seem slightly irritated. One of the highlights but unfortunately also one of the last songs is "Girls Girls Girls" with rocking guitar-sounds from Peter. Another "Champagne". Lots of applause at the end.
Long "We! Want! More!"-shouts – now I finally know how to shout for an encore in English - are useless. A great show is over.
Now there's more waiting to come, and the hardcore fans do this for three-quarters of an hour. As the stage is cleared some booties surface for the hardcore fans: amongst others a paper with the "Sound-Patches for Phil" and handwritten notes. Then the boys emerge from the backstage area and start the promised "Meet & Greet". And the promise becomes reality! At first it's Grant who patiently signs CDs and gives me a "confirmation of authenticity" for his signature in my copy of the SAILOR book while we talk. Then the others join us too, we talk and have a good time. Henry asks where we come from and thanks us for coming! (We have to thank for the great concert!) When I ask for the matching song about the girls of the 15 kilometres distant Amsterdam he admits that they hade not played this song since the 70s. Shame. Phil suggests to take a photo of all SAILORs and my two daughters; they all pose, smiling and quipping, until the photographers have taken their photos.
This is what has impressed me most: the four of them take a lot of time for their fans and talk to them easily, as if they had known us for years. From time to time the British humour breaks through - I hope that I have managed to talk back in Pidgin-English in the right moments.
Again thanks for a great afternoon, SAILOR. I will return.
On the next day we want to go to Amsterdam before we drive back home. A hint: prepare your Amsterdam trip well! It's 11.30 am; the tourist office is overcrowded, so that we take our map and just start to walk - direction "centre". As a very heavy suspender-bird throws a kiss into my direction I realise that we have indeed arrived in the quater of the real "Girls of Amsterdam". That is surely not the right thing for a family excursion – even if this perspective has somehow completed our SAILOR weekend. Maybe they decide to rehearse this song at last so that these things don't have to happen again!

Last updated: 04 November 2006


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