Velvet goldmine 

Who: Velvet

What: Shimano Soul Show

Where: Garibaldi Lift Co.

When: Saturday, July 19

Gravity goers, get ready for a superfly and sexified dancefloor explosion this Saturday night after the Shimano Slopestyle Expression Session. Velvet are va va vooming into Whistler.

The funked up, jazzed up live soul ‘n house collective has opened for the Chemical Brothers, DJ Shadow and even Maceo Parker. They’ve toured the club mecca cities of Montreal, New York and San Francisco to rave reviews, and are considered house pioneers in the west coast’s club scene.

Velvet’s legendary Canadian club regulars have packed houses time and time again. Vancouver’s premier dance club Sonar has hosted the group on many occasions and most Sundays you can find them at Steamers in Victoria, Vancouver Island.

They’re known as a band that takes risks, turns heads and tries new things in the name of audience excitement. Last year Velvet released four live CDs to quench the crowd’s desire for more and with a European tour and a solo album from Kuba planned for 2004, the fanfare for Velvet shows no signs of slowing down.

The group features a revolving door of invited musicians, cloaked by a DJ driving a laptop loaded with sonic samples and sounds, and the imposing vocals of band leader Kuba. With their booty shaking beats, best described as "gritty soul and house", the group twist and tweak some twitchin’ tunes that makes audiences go ga-ga.

"We’re really unique and I think that’s what people want these days," said Kuba. "We’re so hard to pigeonhole. We’re not rock, we’re not funk and even though we’re a live band we sound like a DJ. If you close your eyes you’d think it was a DJ but when you open them it’s exciting to watch."

What started out as a lounge act for Kuba, has seven years later become an experiment in fusing musical genres.

"We’ve gone from atmosphere music to a full-on dancefloor experience where anything and everything can happen. The DJ works his magic, the musicians follow and I’ll drop in some songs into the mix. It’s all pretty wide open. I’ll call out a tempo and whoever wants to throw down some disco riffs is free to go and who knows where it will go from there?"

Velvet is performing as part of the Gravity Summer Festival’s culminating celebration party titled "The Shimano Soul Show". With decked out dancers, visuals and light displays turning the GLC into the place to be, the riding rock stars from the week’s big events are expected to be there.

Doors open at 9:30 p.m. with Velvet playing at 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 available in advance at Athlete Registration, the G.L.C and Bestsellers.

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Blow-up quote: "We’re really unique and I think that’s what people want these days" — Kuba.

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