Spellbound - Vol I Iss III
© November 1993
Here's what's happenin' -
With the industry stirring around in Australia and passing along whispers
that "Icehouse are back, " these ads began to appear asking
the public "Who is Satellite?" A subtle marketing ploy that
did get people's attention whether they noticed the ad printed in music
mags or painted across a billboard rearing into the Australian winter
sky. Many soon learned "who" Satellite was as the ad changed
to include the words "Icehouse 6th September."
"Satellite" was the title of Icehouse's new single and it emerged
on September 6th. Along with it came various articles in magazines and
newspapers, ranging from small blurbs to full-fledged interviews with
Iva. As we reported in our bulletin, Iva did embark on a press tour of
Australia and New Zealand for two weeks in September. The main subjects
were the new single and the coming album, Big Wheel. Also covered
within these articles was one of the first mentions of Icehouse's (or
should we say Iva's?) own record label, DIVA. On The Street, a
music publication free to the public, ran numerous articles in September.
In one, titled "Rolling Along Ice-ly
" and written by Simon
Woolridge, Iva is quoted (from a letter sent in to the magazine) as saying
these last few years of quiet have actually been an "extraction from
the lion's jaws." The article goes on to read "the end result
of these changes is the inception of DIVA, Icehouse' own independent label,
which by all accounts seems driven by the man from whose name it is derived
DIVA, get it?)." Later, Mr. Woolridge writes, "Davies
is happy to be free of the constraints of major supports, despite the
fact that it has meant producing the album on a shoestring budget. He
now sees Icehouse as an 'indie' act, something which it quite literally
As for press response to "Satellite," we have not gleaned a
lot from Australia's press. OTS said the song, recorded in Iva's
home studio, has received extensive airplay and "it can be presumed
that the song has been accepted as 'FM-quality' production." Another
OTS blurb on "Satellite" says, "
the song is
very recognizably Icehouse, with a harder, guitar-based edge that harkens
to the glam beginnings of a band called Flowers."
Also bantered throughout the press is the usual mention of Iva's influences,
from the 70s to now. In TV Week, Australia's legendary Ian "Molly"
Meldrum has a column called "Molly's Humdrum." In the issue
dated September 25, Molly said he spoke with Iva and had this to say:
"He said he had been thinking about how Flowers started and the influences
such as David Bowie and T-Rex had had. On 'Satellite,' it's almost as
if Iva has gone back to a garage band-style sound, which is much rawer
than some of the heavily produced Icehouse songs. I think the results
As for newer influences, one has to say, "Are they really newer?"
From an article out of the Victorian Herald Sun, dated September
23 and written by Nui Te Koha, Iva says, "I started hearing music
that was coming out of America and England, and were direct references
to everything that I liked. People were wearing these influences so blatantly.
You could hear Pink Floyd, David Bowie, T-Rex, Zeppelin, the Kinks in
almost everything. I was excited by that. It was a signal to me that I
could really do something close to my heart with this album."
This same article, titled "Poison Iva," later goes on to say
that Iva, Paul Wheeler, David Chapman, and Simon Lloyd were all listening
to acts such as Brian Eno, Iggy Pop, Trent Reznor, Soundgarden, Blur,
Meat Beat Manifesto, and Porno For Pyros. This article also quotes Iva
speaking about various songs on Big Wheel. "There is some
fairly angry stuff ("Feed The Machine," "System")
but there is also a sense of humour ("Satellite") that is almost
Morrissey or Ray Davies." Perhaps the best quote, taken from this
article, also comes from the "Poison Iva" himself: "The
Flowers had an attitude, and I feel, after everything I've been through,
that attitude is back. It's like starting everything from scratch."
OTS also had a tiny article on "Satellite" the video.
They reported that it was filmed at Sydney's Hellfire Club and features
"the exotic Christie McNicole, who at over six feet in height stands
out very prominently in the vid." The video also featured actor Marcus
Graham, who made an appearance in what we believe is not his normal mode
of dress. Additionally, the article informs us that the video includes
a "psychedelic lightshow" by Ellis D. Fogg. There was no mention
of blacklight posters or lava lamps but one can assume
OTS actually seemed to know every aspect of this latest chapter
in the Icehouse story as they also reported that Iva has re-signed a world-wide
deal with EMI Music Publishing Australia. Iva was originally signed with
them in June of 1986.
Big Wheel is also discussed in all the various articles and we'll
let the quotes flow
Nui Te Koha, Victorian Herald Sun - "The tracks on Big
Wheel are strung together by music pieces. It's often bizarre. It
feeds off an industrial ambience that runs through most of the songs.
Often, repeated beats or lines become a song further down the line. Some
of the parts, although separated, are intended to fit - bitter songs of
mistrust and betrayal: "Feed The Machine," "System,"
Molly Meldrum, TV Week - "I haven't heard the Big Wheel
album yet, but by talking to Iva it's certainly not going to be a Man
Of Colours II."
Simon Woolridge, OTS - "The Davies home studio has produced
some great and distinctive sounds on Big Wheel."
There has also been mention of a companion floppy disc coming out in a
limited edition package with Big Wheel. This description, taken
from an article out of New Zealand's Star Sunday magazine, really
gives those of us with home computers something to look forward to. "
staff in Auckland stood to attention in the company boardroom as the ponytailed
37 year-old made his presentation on an Apple Macintosh computer. As the
disc came up on screen to a rather tinny musical refrain from Big Wheel,
Davies demonstrated features which included lyrics, a track-by track commentary,
and a full Icehouse discography." Simon Lloyd is getting the credit
for creating this wonder, with Iva saying, "No, I'm not really computer
literate. Our keyboard player, Simon Lloyd, is the one who is responsible
for producing this phenomenon."
In this same article, amusingly titled "Davies' Big Wheel
Has a Floppy Side" and penned by Steve Braunias, Iva also mentions
the loyalty of this fans. The article reads, "Icehouse has been in
action since 1981, but still inspires loyal attention. Davies points to
the fact that two new Icehouse fan clubs have sprung up in Los Angeles
and Baltimore, where the groups' long career is discussed in avid detail
Okay, so Iva forgot that the Baltimore club actually closed down two years
but we proudly thank Iva for his mention of Spellbound, residing
in the Los Angeles area.
So, these are just some of the things about Icehouse that have recently
been put down in black and white.
"Satellite," the first single from Icehouse's new album, was
released on September 6th. It got almost immediate extensive airplay and
it did well in the charts.
Big Wheel, the album itself, was due out on October 18th, but due
to packaging problems it was delayed until October 25th. It was well worth
the wait and the problems with packaging were obviously smoothed out as
it came out looking great! Of course, the sound was even better! Our patience
was rewarded with one of the best Icehouse albums to be released to date.
With the addition of the fantastic floppy disc, we can look towards the
future and know there are only good things in store for us as Icehouse
October 18th was, however, a date to note for Icehouse. It became known
on this day that Icehouse are no longer represented by Rod Willis Management.
The "parting of the ways" was amicable and friendly. We would
like to thank Rod Willis for all his past help with Spellbound and wish
him the very best for the future.
Icehouse have performed some of the new material before a live audience.
The concert was held on October 28th in Whale Beach, north of Sydney.
It was not open to the general public but was recorded for broadcast on
Triple M the following Monday. The audience of 200 invited guests and
radio contest winners were the first lucky people to hear tracks off of
Big Wheel performed live. They were also treated to some Icehouse
classics and hot cover versions. Although the sound was a bit rawer than
the band would have liked, it was only the first time out for these new
songs. The line-up for this show was Iva, David Chapman, Paul Wheeler,
Paul Gildea, Stephen Morgan, and Simon Lloyd. No plans for an actual tour
are in the works as of this moment.
To our knowledge, the only radio appearance to date was the Whale Beach
concert, broadcast on Triple M on November 1st. The entire show was not
broadcast - they aired only five songs, those being "Satellite,"
"Great Southern Land," "Big Wheel," "Cadillac"
(dedicated to Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating), and "We Can
Get Together." Is this just a first glimpse of what Icehouse fans
can expect if there is a
wait for it
The video for "Satellite" began spinning on various music video
shows soon after its release. Iva was the guiding force behind the video,
as the storyboard included on the floppy disc for "Satellite"
can attest to (another amazing job by Simon)! October 30th saw Iva on
Smash Hits, talking with Kim Wilson and viewing "Satellite."
Iva talked about the interactive floppy disc that comes in a limited edition
package with the Big Wheel CD. Iva also talked about the band's
line-up, saying that although there is a three piece core to the band
(Iva, Paul W., and David), they'll augment it if they
On November 1st, Iva was on the Steve Vizart show. This particular
show included a tribute to the TV show Countdown and Iva was one
of the featured guests.
November 10th was a day of taping as well. A segment was filmed for the
Hinch show which will feature shots from Iva's studio, and Iva
playing his oboe at the Conservatorium. That's one we'll all need to keep
on the lookout for, although we'll have to look for it under another name
as Mr. Hinch got sacked!
November 12th was yet another appearance on the Vizart show. Our
three boys performed "Big Wheel" and the audience loved it!!
Iva also got a chance to chat and to meet Yankee popstress Belinda Carlisle.
Iva looked healthy and proudly told everyone about his then twelve-day-old
daughter, Brynn (to which the audience responded "ahhh"). All
in all, a great appearance.
The next single will be "Big Wheel"! Iva wasn't sure of an actual
release date as we go to print but he says it will be late November/early
December. We get five tracks on this single! They are: The 7" of
"Big Wheel," the Bill Laswell mix, the General Dynamics mix,
the album version, and one called "Turn It 'Round."
Simon is currently at Massive working on his various computer ideas and
doing a bit of coordinating for Icehouse. He's also been very helpful
to us in providing information and "toys"! Thanks, Simon! However,
we look forward to hearing Simon's sax playing if and WHEN Icehouse
Steve Morgan has been seen playing with John Farnham and appearing in
videos with him as well. He also continues to play his country rock with
Paul Gildea down Melbourne way. We've also heard he was sporting a goat
on his chin but we're not sure what that's all about
He did play
bass at the October 28th Icehouse show and we hope that signifies that
he will be there in the line-up should they
Paul Gildea, as mentioned above, is still "doin' that country thang."
But, he's also been known to fly off to other parts of Australia and even
to Germany to perform. One of the places he recently flew to was Sydney
to take part in the Icehouse show. We hope Paul gets used to flying a
lot as it is a fact that one must fly a lot when one is on
Paul Wheeler has been an integral part of Icehouse and has been kept busy
with the various appearances. He did take a few days for himself and went
up Brisbane way to visit a friend. He can also be seen playing with a
fellow by the name of Vince Stone every Tuesday night at a club in Sydney
called Les Girls. Paul's birthday is coming up at the end of
November and we hope his fondest wish comes true
David Chapman's news is spelled out in his interview in this issue. He's
a great new addition to the Icehouse camp, and looks like he'll be included
in the line-up when Icehouse go on
what can we say? He's been busy working on and promoting one
of his best albums ever. It seems that Iva has learned a few hard lessons
during his mandatory vacation from the music biz, and has decided to take
complete control over his career. From starting his own record label to
mapping out every nuance of the videos for the new album, Iva's making
sure everything goes the way he wants it to. This time, he is responsible
The final and perhaps best news of all was the birth of Tonia and Iva's
baby girl, Brynn Ellen!! Brynn was born on November 1st, the first day
of the Celtic New Year, appropriately enough! She was born at Mater Hospital
in Sydney and both she and her mummy were well taken care of. Brynn came
home the following weekend and, after a bit of settling in, is now a happy,
content baby in her new nursery. As you all can guess, Tonia and Iva are
very happy and looking forward to their first Christmas with their new
daughter. The new Davies family was photographed by Women's Weekly
magazine on November 9th. That will be a special issue for Icehouse fans
to get a hold of. Brynn will most likely be christened sometime in early
December. Once again, HUGE congratulations to the Davies and Kelly families
from all of us at Spellbound!
For Iva, after becoming a new daddy, there isn't much more he could experience
except for the feeling of TOURing once again
We'd like to thank Simon, Paul W., and Louise Stovin-Bradford for all
their help with information! We hope to thank you three in person if Icehouse
And *whew* that's what's happenin'!