Barry is in a Christmas mood. The singer and guitarist of The Futureheads from Sunderland, UK spontaneously plays a line of “Oh Christmas Tree” on the guitar as he spots one on a brightly lit building over the street. It is cold on this mid-November evening, so everything has to be done quickly. Just outside the venue we climb on the roof of Flex-Café surrounded by Ringstraße on the one side and the Donaukanal on the other. Barry hits the first chords of “Radio Heart” and instantly creates impressive dynamics, just using his voice and an acoustic guitar. The renditions of the two songs in this offstage-session are obviously very different from The Futureheads’ stage performance, but the more intimate, stripped-down versions still get the same energy across. Even the welder in front of the Flex entrance stops his work when Barry wants to kick off with “The Beginning Of The Twist”. Much to Barry’s amusement he restarts for a few seconds just for the camera.
With an almost boring regularity the annual readers poll of the German music magazine Spex tells the same story every year: The Flex is the best music club in Austria and is one of the most popular clubs in the German-speaking world. Among subculturally interested people the Flex still maintains its status as a must-visit-spot when coming to Vienna. The club opened its doors in 1990 in the 12th district but less than five years later moved to this days’ location – an abandoned metro tunnel on the bank of the Donaukanal, close to Augartenbrücke and Schottenring underground station. Besides live shows of different musical styles Flex is particularly known for its alternating club evenings all week, with Dub Club (Dub and Jungle music every Monday), Crazy (Techno on Tuesday), London Calling (Indie on Wednesday) and Beat It! (Drum’n’Bass on Thursday) being the most beloved ones and frequently featuring international guest DJ’s. But Flex is not only a place for clubbing. In summer people just hang out at the often modified Flex Café and have some drinks on the waterfront.