Monday, 29 January 2007

Boro sign Korean ace - What Do You Think?

The latest offering from Red Eye is up on

Ronald Goode's response made me chuckle something awful.


Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Album Review: Can Cladders

For years, The High Llamas appeared to be a band steadfastly resistant to change. Having charted a course that remained unflinchingly true to their intentions of re-channelling late-`60s Beach Boys records through a filter of Steely Dan-styled soft rock and Stereolab-esque electronic cleverness through their first six albums, 2003's Beet, Maize & Corn, was, therefore, something of a curve ball.

With the rhythm section of the band replaced with a rich orchestral backing, the album marked a radical departure for the band and, given how critically celebrated it was, one which fans might have assumed would be permanent.

In fact, it appears that Beet, Maize & Corn was merely a stylistic vacation, as Can Cladders has Sean O'Hagan return to his regular modus operandi of crafting bouncy and jaunty pop music. So, while the album starts with a wonderful strings arrangement on The Old Spring Town, it's soon replaced by the harmonies of Winter's Day, which, of course, are ever-so-slightly reminiscent of the Beach Boys. Later, Bacaroo has the same graceful, gossamer feel of an early Free Design record.

As ever with The High Llamas, the comparisons with the Beach Boys are undeniable and, yes, a little bit lazy. But ultimately, it's meant as a sincere compliment, because Sean O'Hagan isn't far away from equalling Brian Wilson's genius.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Album Review: The Amber Gatherers

Having showcased his interpretive skills with a selection of traditional folk songs on 2004's stately No Earthly Man, former Appendix Out front man, Alasdair Roberts, this time shifts his focus to illustrate his original material.

The Callander-born songwriter also eschews the unadorned acoustic guitar of the previous album, instead employing a full band, with brushed drums, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, synthesizers and accordions, courtesy of Tom Crossley, Gareth Eggie and Gerard Love. That Roberts allows electronic instruments to permeate his work doesn't mean that he has altered his seemingly anti-modern ideology, however.

Even though The Amber Gatherers consists entirely of original material and has more diverse instrumentation than any of his previous albums, Roberts, with his anachronism and use of obsolete language, still manages to make the recordings sound like they've existed since the Dark Ages. In less expert hands than Roberts's, the chiasmus of The Cruel War or the time-worn drinking song of I Had A Kiss Of The King's Hand would surely prove unwieldy.

The hand-drawn map of the UK, which trades cities for song titles, affords the package a yet more rustic feel, but it's the tuning guide that perhaps best indicates Roberts's intentions. Having spent three albums tackling traditional folk material, Roberts is encouraging his audience to interpret his songs on their own, with the hope of expanding the public space in which his songs exist. With songs this captivating, Roberts may yet get his wish.

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Boro paid agent £3million - What Do You Think?

The news that Middlesbrough paid Pini Zahavi three million quid has got Red Eye's panel salivating.

Read what they had to say here

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Joanna Newsom with the London Symphony Orchestra

Last night saw absolutely indescribable anticipation take over one of the capital's most salubrious venues - the climax of a four-date UK tour by the creator of 2006's most applauded album, and the only night to feature the London Symphony Orchestra.

Alasdair Roberts had the unenviable job of opening for an audience impatiently awaiting the arrival of Joanna Newsom, but with a selection of songs from The Amber Gatherers, Roberts captured the audience's attention immediately, his angular frame belying the gentle and fragile beauty of his songs.

Thirty-minutes later, Joanna Newsom arrived on stage in a brown dress not dissimilar to the one she wears on the cover of Ys. Backed by the LSO, Joanna proceeded to chronologically play her way through Ys in its entirety. Emily, a song for her younger sister, was sharper and more vibrant than on record, while the immaculate Monkey And Bear was exactly as exquisite as the original, its Celtic roots highlighted by the soft vocal harmonies provided by Newsom's drummer.

Newsom unveiled superhuman strength and dexterity in negotiating her towering pedal harp for the ten-minute solo of Sawdust & Diamonds - allowing the orchestra some respite - and it became impossible to take my eyes off her, save for an occasional glance to check that the fat percussionist chewing his gum at the back of the stage still looked bored.

Bill Callahan took to the stage for Only Skin, waiting patiently for twelve minutes before delivering his four lines with baritone excellence. He and Newsom exchange a warm nod at the song's conclusion, his presence having helped detail the song's romantic exhilaration. The beautiful Cosmia followed, bringing the first half of the evening to a magical conclusion.

Newsom returned to the stage, alone this time, justifying her change of dress not as a "Christina Aguilera costume change", but a necessity due to the intensity of her performance. She re-starts with The Book Of Right On, before moving on to Sadie (renamed Sasha in dedication to a nine-year-old girl in the audience who was celebrating her birthday). Indicating her shared passion of Scottish folk with Alasdair Roberts, she then played a version of the Robert Burns poem, Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes.

Her guitarist and drummer came back out to play a new, unnamed song that couples Irish folk imagery with African rhythms - it was radically different from the rest of the evening's music and gives a unique insight into what her third album might sound like. After a delightful version of Crab, Clam, Cockle, Cowrie and another brief departure, we were blessed with a second encore: a bravura performance of Bridges And Balloons. The two-minute standing ovation she receives was the only predictable thing about the whole evening.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Scott 'Bam Bam' Bigelow found dead

Scott 'Bam Bam' Bigelow has been found dead in his home in Hudson, Florida.

Kevin Doll, the Public Information Director for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, said, "We can confirm that Scott Bigelow was found in his home this morning. At this time the cause of death is unknown."

Monday, 15 January 2007

Relegation worries eased - What Do You Think?

The third production from Red Eye has been published by

I'm starting to fall in love with 'Cathy Clarke'.


Saturday, 13 January 2007

The Battle of Helm's Sweets

Missed Manners have posted their attempts at re-creating the Battle of Helm's Deep in candy-form.

The photos are great and the commentary is hilarious.

"Alas! The evil host is through the walls! And up the carefully crafted stairs of Starburst candies. Is there no end to their cruelty? The answer is most definitely NO, as you can see from the piles of dead men and elves. They are covered in the sweetest candy blood we could find (red Nerds and more licorice rope)."


Monday, 8 January 2007

Transfer window inactivty - What Do You Think?

I'm delighted to see this piece return for Hopefully Red Eye will become a regular on the site.

This week, the Boro six mull over the lack of transfer activity at The Riverside.


Tuesday, 2 January 2007

What Do You Think?

Someone called Red Eye has produced a version of The Onion's American Voices that chews over the comings and goings at Boro. have published the results.

Besides the speckling on the .gif (why it's not a .jpg, I have no idea), it's really rather good.