flector - Live At Bar Manhattan, Rheinfelden/Switzerland on September 3, 2021
This was my very first gig after the Covid-19 epidemic reared its ugly head at the beginning of 2020. Not that one or the other concert didn't happen, but with all the restrictions in place, it somewhat takes the fun away. At the moment they have been loosened a bit, so grab your chance to get a shot of your favourite music live. flector have been sidelined as well due to Covid-19 and the lack of gigging opportunities, but thankfully, they're back on track. With a new line-up to boot.
The Bar Manhattan in Rheinfelden/Switzerland is a small venue with quite a run of concerts. The upcoming events show one gig at least per week. I knew the place, but have to admit, I've never been there and this will surely change in future. Enough of the trivia, this is about flector and their stunning performance at the aforementioned place. Just so that all cards are on the table, I know Carlo Gartenmann since about 15+ years ago when he did a splendid job on the "From Roxette To Rosanne" book, so my opinion about flector is clearly somewhat tainted. But I swear, it's the truth and nothing but the truth.
The band calls their music spheric Hardrock (in a nutshell). Make of it what you want, but it might lead you into a false direction, although I have to admit, I struggle with the term "spheric", because with it, I associate a band noodling their way through a set with no end in sight (I have a Jazzrock phobia dating back to the 70s, where bands pretended to play Fusion and all you could hear was outfits not knowing what they were doing - and this comes from a Free Jazz, Noise, Industrial and Avantgarde fan). "Spheric" might be there, but what you really get is a tight playing band (see further down below).
flector play original songs only and I'm not exaggerating when I say, the quality of their songwriting is up there with the best. It's their very own music, although sometimes a bit of Pink Floyd shines through and I even heard the name Kansas mentioned in conversation. However, make no mistakes, flector are not a cover band (obviously) and they don't ape the Classic Rock years. The songs have a very high recognition value and more than enough power to blowdry your hair in front of the stage. The sound was very good, although as per Carlo, it was really their rehearsal backline in use at this time. Very clear, no clipping, well below the threshold were any tinnitus would be acting up and yet loud enough to keep anyone from falling asleep.
Last seen, a drummer!
One word I heard often was "perfection" and the phrase "they really know what they are doing" and I won't disagree with those statements. Back to the sound itself: I've heard good bands playing through shitty backlines and, of course, awful bands making themselves heard through equally bad equipment (or set-up or just because the guy at the soundboard lost his hearing completely by decades of "mixing" some band with the credo of "the louder the better and noone will have an idea anyway").
I will say, the band was rocking as in R-O-C-K with more than a share of Prog and I mean this in a positive way (I use the term Prog even though it's one of the most over- and misused descriptions of a genre in music). A gig with flector speaks more to the rocker in you than the intellectual nerd, but the music is quite a long way off the MOR route.
The current line-up
Adi Baba- Keyboards/Synthesizers
Jean Blume - Bass/Backing Vocals
Rolf Wiking - Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Matt Mc Allan - Drums/Backing Vocals
Carlo Gartenmann - Guitar/Harp/Vocals
The only drawback of this gig, the number of punters was well below what I expected. flector would have earned a larger audience but the real troopers that they are, they played like it was packed. I'm not sure, but I do believe at the most, we're talking about 40 people in attendance. Might have to do with flector hailing from Winterthur (Eastern Switzerland) and they have not made their name in the Basel area. Hopefully this will change in future and we'll see more of the band.
Head over to the band's website at www.flector.space to keep up to date with what's going on in the flector camp (plus you can listen to some of their songs). I did ask Carlo about a full CD coming up and as usual, it's a financial problem, especially when you want to deliver quality over quantity. The band certainly has enough songs to fill a CD without thinking twice about it. I do hope they will go the crowdfunding route to help get this up and running.