The Phantom Tollbooth

The Eye of the Eagle (Video)
Artist: Dave Fitzgerald, Dave Bainbridge & David Adam
Label:  Kingsway Music
Length:  About 45 minutes

Some months after the initial release of The Eye of the Eagle album, a video has been put together, mixing clips from the live premiere of the material in Norwich Cathedral with interviews with Dave Fitzgerald, Dave Bainbridge, and David Adam, the three creators of the album's music and verse. The music is, of course, of the highest calibre: ethereal Celtic sounds shaped by Fitzgerald's many woodwind instruments, Bainbridge's keyboards and stringed instruments, and a selection of excellent vocalists and the cathedral's boys's choir. The spoken word parts are contributed by a cathedral staff member, and are intentionally evocative.

The interview segments give glimpses into the lives of those involved in the creation of The Eye of the Eagle. Dave Bainbridge introduces the viewer to his beloved Yorkshire countryside; we see David Adam in the beautiful setting of Lindisfarne Abbey, and Dave Fitzgerald explains why Norwich Cathedral is special to him.

One of the accompanying album's great strengths is its completeness. It works as a whole that requires overall relaxed listening. Unfortunately, the video loses some of this quality because the music's flow is interrupted by the interviews. The transitions are handled well, and for those who are already familiar with the album it will not be overly bothersome. But for someone wishing to discover this project for the first time, this is not the medium in which to find it. Instead, this video serves as an interesting companion piece to the album, but no substitute for its audio-only counterpart.

James Stewart  7/12/99