The show of Thomas B. Rouge and the Velvet Snickers might best be described as a road trip through the diversity of American music that ranges from the happiness Southern Afro-American music sets against every-day hardships to the electronically distorted sounds of avant-garde New York. Their show, however, is not the unbound and random journey one could expect from its diversity of sound, but is rather set to a clear aim – the core of music: Entertainment. This is precisely why the spotlight is on the music and the rapture that comes with it. No fancy costumes, no highbrow talking or masking needed!
The Velvet Snickers, composed of Big Burt, whose smooth appearance on stage is matched by his stunningly groovy bass play, and President Nils being the gravitational center of every show, allow their eccentric and creative counterpart, Thomas B. Rouge, to find a genuine sound through experimenting with ways to go beyond the borders that are imposed on different musical styles. It is this nascent sound, in which Mardi Gras tunes come along with rough and sometimes tender blues and folk highlights, that prevents them from becoming a mere cover band of good American music. On stage, three very distinct individuals with lots of stories to tell pick up on musical classics to make them their own and to talk in the language each of them knows best. Songs about good mood & bad love, running rivers & melting steams, black crows & white doves, rainy trains & sunny dreams. This leaves the audience with the impression that the show identities originate in distant places such as Louisiana, Chicago and New York, rather than dull Hamburg.
Now, what is the secret behind their performance that keeps the crowd dancing in a state of enthusiasm long after the closing hours? Indeed, three highly talented and experienced musicians have passion for and expertise in the music they love and perform. One may only anticipate the rigor preparation in the rehearsals that makes every show appearing as a seamless, balanced flow of music that transports different atmospheres and moods. In the end, however, the spectacle comes from the simplistic and unpretentious expression of rhythm, chords, and harmonies. It’s the mumblin’, ramblin’, and shoutin’ that makes the crowd go crazy!
Rich The Roadie