Eyeless in Gaza (band)

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Eyeless in Gaza
Origin Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Genres Post-punk, new wave, experimental rock
Years active 1980 (1980)–1987 (1987), 1993 (1993)–present
Labels Cherry Red, Ambivalent Scale
Associated acts In Embrace, Hungry I, Drift, Twelve Thousand Days
Website www.eyelessingaza.com
Members Martyn Bates
Peter Becker
Past members Joby Palmer
Elizabeth S

Eyeless In Gaza are a post-punk/new wave musical duo of Martyn Bates and Peter Becker, based in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England. They have described their music as "veer[ing] crazily from filmic ambiance to rock and pop, industrial funk to avant-folk styles." [1] Formed in 1980, the group went into hiatus in 1987 as Martyn Bates pursued a number of solo projects and collaborations, re-emerging in 1993.

History[edit]

Becker, a laboratory technician, had played in a covers band before buying and experimenting with a Wasp synthesizer (he released a solo cassette-album in June 1980 and a second a year later).[2] Bates, a hospital worker, had previously been a member of Reluctant Stereotypes, and released a cassette of experimental electronic music in January 1980.[3] Shortly afterwards they met and together they formed Eyeless in Gaza, both contributing vocals and several instruments.[3][4] The band name is a reference to the novel Eyeless in Gaza by Aldous Huxley.[5] Bates has said he chose the name "for the sound of it.... I was reading the Huxley book when I met Pete.... It sounded perfectly nice." But Bates has also acknowledged an allusion to the "biblical myth" of Samson, saying, "I feel attracted by religion. I feel that people don’t pay enough attention to the spiritual side of their life; it is a very interesting side of the human psychism and it fascinates me." (Interview in Les Inrockuptibles, number 14, 1988)[6]

After a self-released single, they signed to Cherry Red Records, releasing debut album Photographs as Memories in February 1981.[7] After three further albums for Cherry Red and an album for Norwegian label Uniton, they added Aztec Camera drummer Dave Ruffy for single "Welcome Now" (1985), recruiting former Sinatras/In Embrace drummer Joby Palmer for the next album, Back from the Rains.[8]

The group then went on hiatus after Becker married and relocated to Spain, with Bates concentrating on solo work.[9][10][11] They reunited in 1990 to collaborate with Anne Clark on her album The Law Is an Anagram of Wealth.[12] In 1991 Bates formed Hungry I with former Primitives drummer Steve Dullahan.[13][14]

They returned in 1993 with singer Elizabeth S for the Fabulous Library album and continued as a duo since. Bates also recorded between 1994 and 1998 with M.J. Harris (Napalm Death/Scorn) under the name Drift, and in the early 2000s with keyboardist Alan Trench in Twelve Thousand Days.[15] He has also continued to release solo material. In 2012, Martyn Bates and Peter Becker appeared on "Right North", the eleventh album, a double digipack, of the international collective 48 Cameras.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Photographs as Memories (1981), Cherry Red - UK Indie no. 19,[10] CD reissue includes 7 bonus tracks from early singles
  • Caught in Flux (1981), Cherry Red - UK Indie no. 27,[10] original LP included bonus 5 track 12", The Eyes Of Beautiful Losers, also included on CD reissue
  • Untitled/Home Produce (1982), Tago Mago - split cassette with Lol Coxhill
  • Pale Hands I Loved So Well (1982), Uniton
  • Drumming the Beating Heart (1982), Cherry Red/Virgin - UK Indie no. 26,[10] CD issue (1996) also includes Pale Hands I Loved So Well
  • Rust Red September (1983), Cherry Red - UK Indie no. 5,[10] CD issue (1994) includes 6 bonus tracks
  • Back From the Rains (1986), Cherry Red - CD issue (1989) includes 4 bonus tracks
  • Fabulous Library (1993), Orchid
  • Saw You in Reminding Pictures (1994), Hive-Arc
  • Bitter Apples (1995), Ambivalent Scale
  • All Under the Leaves, the Leaves of Life (1996), Ambivalent Scale
  • Song of the Beautiful Wanton (2000), Soleilmoon
  • Summer Salt & Subway Sun (2006), Ambivalent Scale (first album)
  • Summer Salt & Subway Sun (2008), Beta-lactam Ring (both albums)
  • Answer Song & Dance (2010), Monopol
  • Everyone Feels Like A Stranger (2011), Ambivalent Scale
  • Butterfly Attitude (2012), Downwards
  • Mania Sour (2014), Ambivalent Scale
Compilations
  • Kodak Ghosts Run Amok-–Chronological Singles, etc., 1980-86 (1987), Cherry Red
  • Transience Blues (1990), Integrity
  • Orange Ice & Wax Crayons (1992), Document - previously unreleased material
  • Voice; The Best of Eyeless in Gaza (1993), Cherry Red
  • Sixth Sense-–The Singles Collection (2002), Cherry Red
  • Home Produce—Country Bizarre (2003), NDN - with Lol Coxhill, expanded version of the 1982 release
  • No Noise - The Very Best of Eyeless In Gaza (2005), Cherry Red
  • Plague of Years (2010), Sub Rosa
  • Orange Ice & Wax Crayons (2012), cat|sun MonotypeRec - previously unreleased material (different from 2002 release)

EPs[edit]

  • Kodak Ghosts Run Amok (1980), Ambivalent Scale
  • Invisibility (1981), Cherry Red
  • Others (1981), Cherry Red
  • Kiss the Rains Goodbye (1986), Cherry Red
  • Streets I Ran (1995), Ambivalent Scale - 5 track companion release to "Saw You In Reminding Pictures"

Singles[edit]

  • "Veil Like Calm" (1982), Cherry Red - UK Indie no. 42[10]
  • "New Risen" (1983), Cherry Red - UK Indie no. 15[10]
  • "Sun Bursts In" (1984), Cherry Red - UK Indie no. 13[10]
  • "Welcome Now" (1985), Cherry Red
  • "Shorepoem" (2009), Monopol

Videos[edit]

  • Street Lamps n' Snow (1994) - 1982 concert in Le Havre
  • Saw You in Reminding Pictures (2005), Cherry Red - DVD reissue of above video plus original promo videos for "Veil Like Calm" and "New Risen" and six tracks recorded live on the Isle Of Wight, 2004

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Biography", eyelessingaza.com. Retrieved 25 March 2013
  2. ^ Gimarc, p. 331, 344, 479
  3. ^ a b Gimarc, p. 278, 515
  4. ^ Henderson
  5. ^ Strong, p. 322
  6. ^ "Interview with Martyn Bates", Les Inrockuptibles, issue 14, 1988, reproduced at eyelessingaza.com. Retrieved 25 March 2013
  7. ^ Strong, p. 322-3
  8. ^ Strong, p. 323
  9. ^ Strong, p. 322-4
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Lazell
  11. ^ Walker, John & Robbins, Ira "Eyeless in Gaza", Trouser Press. Retrieved 25 March 2013
  12. ^ Henderson
  13. ^ Strong, p. 324
  14. ^ Larkin, pp. 155-6
  15. ^ Strong, p. 324

References[edit]

External links[edit]