Kayak are a Dutch progressive rock band formed in 1972 in the city Hilversum by Ton Scherpenzeel and Pim Koopman. In 1973, their debut album “See See The Sun” was released, including three hit singles. Their main popularity was in the Netherlands, with their top hit (Ruthless Queen) reaching No. 6 on the Dutch charts in March 1979.



Kayak was founded in 1972 by three students at the Hilversum Academy of Music. Keyboardist Ton Scherpenzeel, drummer Pim Koopman and vocalist Max Werner formed the basis of the band that would be one of the most prolific symphonic rock bands of The Netherlands, along with contemporaries like Focus and Earth & Fire.

Although Kayak was named a typical ‘album’-group, the band scored several hits with songs like ‘Ruthless Queen’, ‘Starlight Dancer’ and ‘Wintertime.’ In 1978 Kayak even made it to the USA Top 50 with their single ‘Want You To Be Mine’.

The big commercial success came in 1979 with the album ‘Phantom of the Night’, that held the number one spot in the Dutch album top-100 for several weeks, and was rewarded platina by selling more than 100.000 albums in Holland alone. Co-founder Pim Koopman had left the band three years earlier, to concentrate on a successful career as music producer. Max Werner had by then become the band’s drummer and was replaced as vocalist by Edward Reekers. Perhaps the most unexpected change in the line up was the addition of two female background singers. Of those two, Irene Linders was to become the writer of lyrics to many of Ton’s songs. In 1981 Kayak disbanded due to personal and musical differences as well as financial problems with their management.

This turned out to be only a temporary standstill for the band. In 1999 Ton and Pim once again joined forces, which lead to the first new Kayak album in 19 years: ‘Close To The Fire’ . The line up also featured original singer Max Werner, albeit just for that one album. In the second phase of their existence Kayak proved to be more productive than ever. In constantly changing line-ups no less than three rock opera’s were released (‘Merlin- Bard of the Unseen’, ‘Nostradamus- The Fate of Man’ and ‘Cleopatra- The Crown of Isis’). Since the restart several lead vocalists fronted the band: Bert Heerink, guitarist Rob Vunderink, the returning Edward Reekers and Cindy Oudshoorn.

In 2009 Kayak was dealt a massive blow: halfway the ‘Letters from Utopia’-tour drummer Pim Koopman died of a heart attack.
After 18 months of silence the band made the decision to continue. By the end of 2014 vocalists Reekers and Oudshoorn both announced their departure from Kayak, which made Ton Scherpenzeel throttle down for a while and re-think the future of the band.

But his creative flame kept burning. in 2016 Ton decided to start working on the seventeenth studio Kayak album with new musicians. The disc, that is set for release in the fall of 2017, will be the foundation for a tour, that will hopefully bring Kayak outside the Dutch borders once again. The band, operating with seven members for many years, will continue as a five-piece unit live.

For the umpteenth time in their career Kayak fully lives up to its name: just when everyone thinks the boat has definitely turned over and sank, Ton Scherpenzeel and the band resurface with renewed energy and creativity!

Kayak are currently working on their 17th studio album, due to be released in 2017.

Kayak Discography

1973 See See The Sun
1974 Kayak II
1975 Royal Bed Bouncer
1976 The Last Encore
1977 Starlight Dancer
1979 Phantom of the Night
1980 Periscope Life
1981 Merlin
1981 Eyewitness (live)
2000 Close to the Fire
2001 Night Vision
2001 Chance for a LIVEtime (live)
2003 Merlin- Bard of the Unseen
2005 Nostradamus- The Fate of Man (2CD)
2007 Kayakoustic (live)
2008 Coming Up For Air
2008 35th Anniversary Concert (2CD) (live)
2009 Letters From Utopia (2CD)
2011 Anywhere But Here
2014 Cleopatra- The Crown of Isis (2CD)
2017 Seventeen