The Swiss bands had a strong presence on the French instrumental scene: Les Aiglons were the absolutely top band with the biggest selling instrumental tracks of the sixties. More than one million copies of stalactite were sold; it was an almost world wide hit. They paved the ground for les Sorciers, les Four Shakers and then another Geneva band Les Relax.

Les Relax line up was: Gerard Martin, 19 years old, on organ, Gerard Mathey, the eldest one 22 years on lead guitar, Yvon Poncin, 19 years old, on bass and the youngest one 18 years old Jean Bernard Knecht, on drums. Les Relax as Christian Schlatter, former aiglons ‘s drummer and now Journalist, described them in his book R & R en Romandie, did not hesitate to come and challenge Les aiglons in their native town, Lausanne, where they too were very popular. They made a big show once at the Talentscout club in the capital of the Vaud canton.

Their success and their talent opened them the door of the famous Golf Drouot in Paris, where they played by the end of June 1963. There a Decca manager proposed them a record contract. They made the usual four tunes: with two self penned tracks: le sang du soleil (G.Martin/G Mathey), Natacha(G.Mathey) (which has been a small hit by their rivals les Four Shakers, and two other tracks Paris après minuit composed by Heino Gaze, and little buffalo by F Buhrlen/Tiri. The talent alone did not reach to make then hit the chart; we were already in 1964 and the trend was for vocal bands. Their original style somewhere between the tornados and Les Aiglons was not enough.

In 1965 the half of the band, of which J.B. Knecht, the drummer merged with half of the Mousquetaires, Larry Greco ‘s backing group and became the gentlemen, a vocal band in the Merseybeat line.

Translated from Christian SCHLATTER “R & R en Romandieter”.


  1. Vol 4 (Magic Records 176272)
    Le sang du soleil / Paris aprés minuit / Natacha / Little Buffalo.

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