Eyeless In Gaza
by David Elliott

Imperial College

Okay you two, where have you been when we’ve needed you most?! Granted you gave us in ‘Sun Bursts In’ probably the best single so far this year, but that was back in February for Chrissakes. Since then, nine months of passionless pop and not a note from Nuneaton.

I thought I’d better find out what was going on. A couple of phone calls later and I discover that they’re still alive and, better still, raring to give some new songs an airing. Two weeks later and I’m watching the new look Eyeless going through their paces.

Yes, there are some changes. Gone are the days when it was 50/50 whether their equipment would work or not; instead, we have a professional, even hi-tech, set-up allowing the duo to play at some leisure when before Becker used to tackle bass, keyboards and drums at the same time.

Bates’ voice is as intriguing, strong and passionate as ever, with those elongated syllables countering the songs’ natural metre. Honestly, it’s a joy to watch these two at work (at play?); such emphatic empathy is a rare phenomenon in today’s production line pop, and I wonder why they’ve still to reap the rewards they so obviously deserve. ‘Drumming the Beating Heart’ prepared the way, ‘Rust Red September’ should have been the clincher. But it never happened.

Perhaps these new songs from a revitalised, confident Becker and Bates will do the trick? If they don’t then I give up with pop altogether.