"Black Mamba" by The Eyes of Isabel

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"Black Mamba" by The Eyes of Isabel

Review

By now, I think many of us think we have a handle on the shape of an Eyes of Isabel release: Tony Ally conceives it, then he takes it to John Rivers and his team at Woodbine  Street Studio who help realise it & then film maker Andy McGeechan creates a visual story which captures the narrative & generally adds extra layers.

However I'm sure all of these creative people would be adverse to working to a formula and so with their latest, "Black Mamba", there are a couple of substantial new elements. Musically, they welcomed guitarist Ian Black (whom you'll know from Man Made Moon) into the studio to add his skills to the single.

In terms of the video (which can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNO9iW1KQsg), they've been even more radical as the story in it is entirely different to that in the song as written by Tony.

That tale concerned a true life case of a woman marrying for money & then poisoning her husbands to collect on the deal: Tony transposed it from the US to Mayfair and then it was transposed again into a tale of espionage wherein a female agent (played by Eyes of Isabel video regular Tracey Skarzynska) is sent to liquidate her colleague (Tony) who plans to sell stolen high tech.

They seem to have had a lot of fun filming (mainly in London with plenty of well know sites & sights as backdrops plus some in Coventry) and the result (edited by Adam O'Neill) obviously tips its hat to British spy films and probably was logistically and dramatically easier to have shot than the original story, though it's possible to say that not only did the theme of femme fatale remain, but so did that of human greed which was Tony's starting point.

Musically, although bringing in a guest musician normally involves giving them some sort of showcase, Ian fits in with what Tony plus Woodbine's John & Ollie play in a team effort, adding new textures & details to the band's sound.

I suppose one might comment that due to the fact that the songs are always presented solely in the context of Andy's striking visuals and high dramas & inevitably, that's what draws one's attention: to the detriment, to some degree of the actual song. Possibly bringing in guest players is their attempt to rebalance this, though as stated, the story still predominates in this instance: which as it is clearly the defining characteristic of the Eyes of Isabel, is probably fine by Tony & his collaborators.

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