Thees Uhlmann leaves his band Tomte behind for a moment and starts his solo career. This is unchartered territory for the musician from Hemmoor near Hamburg, but listeners may brace themselves for complete musical openness: Thees Uhlmann gets rid of his indie corset and swaps it for storytelling, rock'n'roll, winds, pianos and hymns. On 10 July 2012 this charismatic musician will appear at the Rockhal Club.
The sound of his new band is light, sometimes even relieved, and the cover photo of their first, eponymous album flirts with the Springsteen school of rock'n'roll. With his songs, Thees Uhlmann manages to sail round the most dangerous iceberg there is for German rock and pop music: schlager. These are the moments when it becomes clear that it's possible to make German rock music without being embarrassing.
On his first solo album, Thees Uhlmann concentrates on storytelling and takes his listeners to a journey from Paris in the autumn ("Paris im Herbst") all the way to Rome in ruins ("Rom in Trümmern"), from Günter Grass to Jay-Z (together with German rapper Casper). On "Und Jay-Z singt uns ein Lied", he quotes the Byrds and the Bible, and pulls rap monolith Casper out of the hat as a surprise guest, which provides an extra portion of depth, precision and depth of field to the song.
There is a place for naked priests and souped-up cars in his heartland. His rock music has become less indie, but wider and more opulent. The guitar doesn't always have to lead the way. Why not a piano? Or a beat? A bass, some winds? Or all of them together? This is more US than brit rock, more tomtom than Tomte. Uhlmann draws on unlimited resources and knocks on the wall of sound, blowing up dust, cracking it and rocking it. It's a walk on a tightrope, but Uhlmann dares and wins.
One thing is for sure: it's going to be a warm, cosy, and personal evening with one of the most successful German self-made indie musicians on 10 July 2012 at the Rockhal Club. A concert you shouldn't miss, because who knows when you're going to be this close to Thees Uhlmann again?
Rockhal is a partner of KULTURPASS