The Kliek was an Amsterdam-based beat band active from 1987 until 1996. The original line-up: Marcel Kruup, Robert Müter, Stefan Steutel and Peter Bodde consisted of some well-known faces from the Amsterdam sixties subculture that rose during the first half of the eighties. Everything sixties was very "in" in Amsterdam until ... house came along and most of the "incrowd" moved over to the RoxY. Well it certainly did separate the wheat from the chaff.

But it was at one of the infamous parties at "the Weesper" that I first ran into Marcel Kruup. At that time I was doing weekly video reports for the internal video channel of the student house at the Weesperstraat and so we regularly shot videos of groups performing in the bar in the cellar of the building. That night "The Other Side" was scheduled and I remember being overwhelmed by the entire entourage even before the concert started. A lot of people were dressed in sixties clothes and had the appropriate hair styles, there was a psychedelic light show and instead of "The Cure", "Joy Division" or whatever then popular new wave group the PA also played wonderful sixties music. A perfect little time warp! Then when "The Other Side" played, it was an eye-opener. I had seen "Blow Up" for the first time just a few months before and the concert really had something in common with the atmosphere of the "Yardbirds" performance in that movie.

A few years later (1988) Marcel approached me with the request whether I would like to join the Kliek on bass to replace Peter Bodde. As I played with The Exist at that time as well I said yes but intended it to be a temporary thing at first. However, it turned so much fun to play these long-forgotten sixties tunes Kliek-style that I stayed with the band much longer (until 1992) than I expected initially. Below is one of the first promo-pictures after I joined the band.

With this line-up we recorded the Valleri-EP and the "Club Liever Live" MC. Because we played a lot of gigs in the Netherlands but also abroad in Belgium and especially Germany, at a certain point Stefan decided he no longer could combine The Kliek with his duties at the university and decided to leave the group.

As an intermediate solution multi-instrumentalist Michel van der Woude accepted the invitation to take the seat behind the kit. But Michel always made it very clear that this was a temporary thing and so we did an enormous number of auditions for a new drummer. After the first 10 candidates we managed to convince Michel to stay a little longer because it seemed like all good (enough) drummers simply had evaporated. We managed to hold this situation for about half a year but then Michel made it clear he wanted to get out because he started getting complaints that although he was living in Utrecht, he played in an Amsterdam band. :-)

So we faced another round of auditions. During the fourth evening of auditions (2-3 drummers each evening) we finally found a replacement, or so we thought. Olivier impressed us with how he managed to play along with songs he had never heard before. Because we had a tour scheduled through Germany in 6 weeks, we gave Ollie all records and tapes to practice and made him very clear he had to be there in 6 weeks.

Unfortunately, he wasn't able to improve a lot so with only 2 weeks left before the tour we played the joker and asked Zjenja Guberman, who also played with The Exist, to join.

Fortunately, Zjenja didn't let us down and so, after one try-out in Wieringerwaard we were off to Germany. Actually, just before the concert in Wieringerwaard we heard that the Berlin Wall had come down, so we were even more excited to play Berlin the following week. With Zjenja we recorded Behind Bars and the other records that followed. I left the band in 1992 to concentrate on my PhD Thesis.

For a more complete overview please see Jan-Simon's biography.

Gert Veltink