Tour Diary Holland 2004
by Phil Pickett

First part written on 29 November 2004 - Last updated: 01 December 2004

Special SAILOR Greetings to all the Dutch fans and everyone we've met whilst on tour here. We're having a fabulous time in a great country where all are so friendly and helpful... except perhaps a few of those who have given directions on the way to theatres! Well actually they're well-meaning, but when they say "Go right" which we've found (to our cost on the odd occasion- but now we know!) they actually mean "straight on". For instance, not having ever once been to Arnhem (A Bridge Too Far?) we found that by driving straight through it twice into the countryside beyond - we'd finally visited the town no less than 3 times in the same day! (3rd time lucky).

The tour kicked off in Egmond aan Zee north of Amsterdam on the coast (20 November) and afterwards many of our faithful fans arrived to turn it into the usual 'SAILOR- party" - Katrin and Karsten of course - Christel and a number of others had driven from Germany, Linda from England and others from all over the place.

Peter and Grant brought their cars over so we could be self-contained (we're actually quite good at looking after ourselves!) which means we can drive back to the same hotel in Leusden every night - Bliss!

Earlier in the tour, however whilst we were getting ready to leave the hotel to travel to the gig and 'belting-up' in the two cars, Phil (who usually navigates) asked Grant which town they were going to and was surprised that he too didn't appear to have a clue. The two then turned to the 'font of all knowledge' - 'Naylorman' in the back seat, who also surprisingly said: "I've got no idea - I thought you guys would know!"
Meanwhile, Peter and Rob (who on that day were following) were getting impatient in Peter's car as Phil got out of Grant's to ask them if they had any idea where we were supposed to play that night.
"No mate, we thought you guys had all the details" came the bemused reply. Therefore whilst the others waited in the cars, Peter and Phil, - too embarrassed to call the promoter over this minor mishap, went all the way back into the hotel, switched on Peter's Apple Mac and went to the trusty 'Marinero' site to find out where SAILOR were playing!

In fact it's now Monday 29 November, and Rob went back to England yesterday on our day off to see Anna and his new baby son Louis, and importantly for the band, to bring his truck out to Holland to enable us to bring the Nickelodeon back for essential repairs and for its use on the forthcoming UK tour. He therefore had to get up at the crack of dawn to be at Dover this morning in time for the ferry so as to be on time for our show tonight in Almere (which was great by the way). - So as you can see he just made it (with only 25 mins to spare).

It's heartwarming and very special for us to be back in the land of substantial bicycles, 'Top Pop', hot chocolate and street organs again after all these years - since "Traffic Jam" topped the charts in Holland - our very first hit record anywhere in the world. Judging by the reaction we've received from Dutch audiences, it looks very likely we'll be playing concerts in Holland on a much more regular basis. Most of the audiences have been singing along to everything and seem to know all the words to our songs.

The Rubettes are great guys with whom we're all having a good laugh and everyone is getting on a treat - all of which should bode incredibly well for the lengthy demanding UK tour coming up.

On Saturday (27 November) we made the long drive up to Leeuwarden, a charming and very quaint port town in the north (what more appropriate place could SAILOR possibly play?) The show was one of best for a very long time, but also made more memorable on this occasion by our meeting Lody Scheffer (supreme Dutch fan and ex-sailor himself) and his family for a get-together afterwards where we were presented with a magnificent SAILOR 30th Birthday Cake (see pic on the right) which went down very well - and quite quickly as I recall! An approach was also made by a wealthy individual that evening about possibly getting the band out to play at a brand new hotel in the Seychelles next year. Let's see - we'll have to look in the diary on that one (Not!).

Phil's mandolin was accidentally smashed on 26 November at Rijssen with the neck hanging off in bits. All very sad, but miraculously fixed by a local guitar maker and ready for action again at Almere. With Gert, Renee, Bas and Jos, we certainly have a great team on the road with us.

Uncharacteristically (probably why it was so funny!) 'Naylorman' mistook a Burger King sign for the moon one misty damp night on our way out of Vlaardingen (21 November) causing no end of mirth on the way back home to Leusden after the show. In SAILOR, these instances tend to not be forgotten that easily, and quickly made it into the band's 'folklore' - like the time for instance when Phil, on seeing the 'Soulful Dynamics' at an east German Hotel Breakfast buffet (but not at that time having yet met) cheerfully ventured his assumption that they might possibly be visiting African dignitaries "on their holidays!"

"Frock" or "Nickers?"
Rob has been designing a wonderful new "frock" for the keyboards on certain shows where the "Nick" might be too cumbersome, or expensive for certain promoters. It's beautifully elaborate and intricate in design and we're sure, if asked nicely he might eventually post it on Marinero some time in the future.

Better sign off now. Three more shows to go - Kerkrade, Etten-Leur and Roermond then back to Blighty. To everyone out there whether Dutch or not - do try and come, we'd love to see you. If not, there's always next time!

Loads more to write but as there's another show tomorrow - also have to sleep!

All the best,
SAILOR - Peter, Grant, Rob and Phil

The last part of the tour diary comes from fresh from the MARINERO headquaters...

The last three concerts in Kerkrade, Etten-Leur and Roermond were a big success - in spite of the usual problems in finding the venues etc. that Phil has already mentioned above.

Special thanks for all the great photos, reviews and everything from us to
Christel Müller, Linda Welch, Heiner Imdahl, Olaf Prause, Markus and Barbara Sauer, Lody Scheffer, Heinz Karp, Roland and Tina Muylkens from, Lucienne from, Peppo Woudenberg, Ralf Willemsen,
also special thanks to Michelle, Anna and Steve,
and (VERY IMPORTANT:) to SAILOR for the fantastic tour and from me personally for the wonderful surprise during the Roermond show on 02 December during which I was asked to join the band on stage for an early birthday celebration and got a nice bunch of flowers, a bottle of champagne and a card, as well the shock of my life ;-) THANK YOU SAILOR!

Go to the Concert photos-section for more photos, reviews and other information about the tour!

Best wishes and SAILOR-greetings,
~ Katrin (Webmaster)


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