Eyeless In Gaza

by Nickie Sharp, Basingstoke

I’m a big fan of the duo EYELESS IN GAZA, who released some great albums on Cherry Red during the early ’80s, then seemed to disappear. I managed to get hold of a solo album called Love Smashed on a Rock by MARTYN BATES, but that’s all.
A Dutch friend recently mentioned that he had seen Eyeless In Gaza supporting Anne Clark in Amsterdam earlier this year. After the gig he bought a new album called Fabulous Library, which he raves about. I’ve tried everywhere to obtain a copy of this release but, to date, I haven’t been lucky. Has it been issued in the UK? And have there been any other Martyn Bates albums?

Martyn Bates says Eyeless In Gaza reformed at the start of the year. “We’ve been playing as a three-piece myself and Peter Becker, along with Elizabeth S, of whom most Eyeless fans will be aware. We played with Anne Clark because we appeared on her last album and have also been playing on her new one. Fabulous Library only came out in Europe but copies can be obtained in the UK from Orchid Records, 56-60 Islington Park Road, London N1 1PX. We’ve been pretty busy recently, and I’ve been working with Simon Turner, who writes soundtrack music for some of Derek Jarman’s films.”

As for that Martyn Bates solo album listing, it runs: Letters Written (Cherry Red TRED 38), The Return of the Quiet (Cherry Red BRED 81), Love Smashed on a Rock (Antler Subway/Integrity IR 002), Letters to a Scattered Family (Antler Subway/Integrity IR 005), and Stars Come Trembling (Antler Subway/Integrity IR 011). In addition, Cherry Red are just about to release a 26-track Eyeless compilation titled Voices: The Best of Eyeless In Gaza and the band could be playing UK dates shortly.