Eyeless in Gaza at the Ace
by David Ilic
From the slightly tacky monochrome images which comprised their debut on 12-inch (‘Photographs as Memories’) the music of EYELESS IN GAZA has remained largely elusive when anything approaching accurate description is called for. Post-punk experimentalists they certainly are, yet in keeping with Aldous Huxley’s surrealist text from which Becker and Bates lifted their name, the overall impression of their working parameters has tended towards the blurred. Veering between Gothic-flavoured improvisations (check out their excellent cassette release on Tago Mago) to variations on popular song formulae (their latest Cherry Red release ‘Rust Red September’ is as good an example as any) they twist taut organ and guitar figures over simplistic frameworks. Bates’ voice further enhances the darkness, possessed of a quality that like the work of John Martyn circa ‘Solid-Air’ can bend the sound quality of words into credible musical shapes which appears not as idly crafted lyricism, but as a strand in their musical web. Pensive, and occasionally austere, their performance at the Ace (Sat) should provide a neat contrast to the delicate, minimalistic pop of the Marine Girls and Cherry Red stablemate, singer-songwriter Kevin Hewick.