After touring with the Police, new-wavers Re-Flex take their politics of dancing to a smaller crowd


By Steve Newton

The opening slot on tour with a band as influential and heavily exposed as the Police is one that many groups would pay a pretty penny for. An up-and-coming British band named Re-Flex, whose new LP The Politics of Dancing is on the charts worldwide, were chosen for the Police’s latest American tour.

“But it’s not one of those situations where the support band has to pay out thousands to get on the tour,” stressed keyboardist/computer programmer Paul Fishman. “The Police liked our record and invited us along. We knew we wouldn’t be sharing the same dressing room, or staying in the same classy hotels, but they were very friendly and genuinely interested in what we’re doing.”

Their dozen-or-so dates with the Police since completed, Fishman was contacted in Toronto on the eve of Re-Flex’s own headlining tour of small halls and clubs in Eastern Canada and North Eastern USA. And even though Fishman admits enjoying the big shows–which included a gig before 45,000 fans in Syracuse, New York–he feels the smaller dates are equally significant. And fun.

“When the Police are on tour, they do two days on/two days off. And when they had their days off we’d be out there trying to work on the clubs and things, because it’s important to us to work on that level as well as the big concert halls. It’s a great buzz for us to actually do the smaller places, where the audience comes specifically to see us.”

So with the prestige of a Police tour behind them, and a hit single in the title track from the new album, Re-Flex will hit the road on their own. And their upcoming live work will give the band more time to get comfortable with a relatively new addition to the group–computers.

“Our approach when we introduced them was to add greater texture to the band’s sound,” says Fishman. “It was either that or bring in two more people, and we can just barely handle the four of us.”

“Chemistry has always been a very important thing for us, and our band exists out of tension. We actually fight and hate each other’s guts sometimes. But that form of tension is very important in our music, and we all respect it.

“And we have respect for simple tunes too,” says Fishman, commenting on a line from the tune “Hitline” that claims “A simple song sure sticks in the brain.”

“I’m a great believer in the simplicity of language, the simplicity of communication. That doesn’t mean that you make music for birdbrains. I have great respect–not only in pop music, but in all forms of music–for how something very simple can be so satisfying.”

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