Brussels welcomes Eyeless In Gaza, one of the most remarkable and
idiosyncratic bands of the late seventies and early eighties.
Truly singled out
Back in 1980 with their self-released single – Kodak Ghosts Run Amok –, the duo Martyn Bates – Peter Becker claimed their particular space, moving away from all 'punk' productions. Although inspired by epoch emerging movements (industrial, post-punk, cold wave,...), their universe cannot be said to be contained by or located solely within any of these prescriptive impulses.
The two following Albums Photographs As Memories and Caught In Flux, from the independent Cherry Red label, clearly show the band’s constant evolution, developing towards more the elaborated and melodic pieces of Drumming The Beating Heart to reach an undeniably balance with Rust red September: a quasi perfect balance between the free emotions of Martyn Bates (vocals, guitars, keyboards) and his both nostalgic and luminous poetry together with the unpredictable arrangements of Peter Becker (keyboards, guitars, bass guitar, drum machine, percussions, backing vocals and more).
The pressure to 'succeed' in the way the world was in the mid-eighties is definitely incompatible with the artistic creativity of Martyn Bates and Peter Becker. Eyeless In Gaza disappears from the scene and in 1986 the band splits.
Martyn Bates goes solo and becomes even more prolific. Various musical experiences and 5 solo albums later we are in 1992:
The duo Bates-Becker is reconvened, reaching a new maturity, freed of commercial constraints. The release of five independent albums move them through the nineties: Fabulous Library, '93 - Saw You In Reminding Pictures, '94 - Bitter Apples, '95 – All Under The Leaves, The Leaves Of Life, '96 – Song Of The Beautiful Wanton, 2000.
All while collaborating and contributing to myriad projects of artists such as Lol Coxhill, M.J. Harris, Alan Trench and Anne Clark, and film productions by Derek Jarman (The last of England, The Garden) and Patrice Chereau's Intimacy (also involving The Clash, The Stooges, David Bowie and Nick Cave). The presence of their unique poetical universe and the huge emotional power of Martyn Bates' voice cannot be overlooked in each of these co-productions and collaborations.
Return to the stage
We have to wait until 2005 to see Martyn Bates and Eyeless In Gaza back on the stage. July of last year the Bush Hall of London celebrates 25 years of the band. One month later, we meet Martyn Bates in Belgium (Feluy Castle) for his first 'intimist' concert followed by a similar performance in Paris. Today, completely freed of any mediatic and commercial pressure, Martyn Bates and Peter Becker are ready for their first appearance back on the continental stage since 1986.
June 9: the beautiful church 'Eglise Sainte-Catherine' in downtown Brussels sets its timeless scene for Martyn Bates.
June 10: Peter Becker joins and brings back to life and on stage Eyeless In Gaza. This appearance will cover all periods of their career as well as some unreleased musical treasures.Brussels welcomes Eyeless In Gaza, one of the most remarkable and idiosyncratic bands of the late seventies and early eighties.
ave du Panthéon 65/6 - 1081 Bruxelles
+32 (0)474 95 01 32
tickets available at
FNAC (shops and www.fnac.be)
Caroline Music (shops in Brussels and Liège)
prices: Martyn Bates 18€
Eyeless In Gaza 22€
Pass 2 concerts 34€
june 9 - june 10, 2006, at 8 pm
Eglise Sainte Catherine, place Sainte Catherine (downtown Brussels), 1000 Brussels