With Berlin once again in the spotlight, the press were brought briefly back to life where Icehouse is concerned. Much that was said was similar to the previous musings put into print in regards to Berlin's '95-'96 run. There was a review from an interesting source, found in the 9 May 1997 issue of the Australian Financial Review. Written by Valerie Lawson, the review seemed a bit on the stingy side of praise but wealthy on comparison to many other subjects pertaining to the city of Berlin. About the music of Berlin, Ms. Lawson had this to say: "Lambert on piano, bass guitarist Steve Bull and drummer Paul Wheeler are on stage throughout, providing a strong backing for Davies' vocals and playing his linking, incidental music. Although this is billed as Murphy's work, the musical concept of Davies and Lambert clearly drives Berlin."
The following collection of paragraphs was taken from a U.K. magazine called TNT (reporter unknown).
"During the halcyon beer swilling days of Eighties rock, Cold Chisel ruled the roost, but internationally they failed, their music too hard edged and parochial for the global market.
"Where Chisel failed on the international charts and international gig circuit, acts such as Icehouse, Mental As Anything, Divinyls, INXS, and many more scored hits.
"God, even Australia's version of Status Quo, The Angels, managed a couple of hits in outback United States and regional France.
"But it's Iva Davies' Icehouse that really pulled critical industry attention from punters and pundits alike, with its infectious post new-Roxy Music take on rock. Whilst Davies' rock origins were performing punk covers in his band Flowers, his formative musical days were as a classically trained musician, and his original music with Icehouse was stamped with the seal of a man who knew his staves from his treble clefs.
"Iva's back. Slowly but surely he's returned to form.
He was recently in London discussing a new deal, sussing out recording
studios and generally checking out the scene.
"Nice one, eh Iva?"
We are sure the press will fall quiet once again until the first stirrings of the new Icehouse album are heard. Then there will be more to print in black and white.
As mentioned in the U.K. article above, there was released
onto the European market a new Icehouse single. "Hey Little Girl
'97" has done very well throughout Europe, with reports of it being
played in the dance clubs and selling very well in the shops. Released
by Edel/Control Company (Edel 0042405CON), it features five different
versions of "Hey Little Girl." The versions are titled as follows:
The picture sleeve of this single is from a photo shoot held back in 1994. Those with sharp eyes will note that the lovely model on the right of the photo is none other than Tonia Davies!
Another release for Icehouse fans to get their hands on
is a new compilation from Massive Records. Dubbed No Promises,
this new collection was created for the European market as well. The success
of its predecessor, Love In Motion, had the executives in Europe
clamoring for another batch of songs from Icehouse's stellar past! The
tracks featured are:
Avid dissectors of Icehouse will notice subtle differences in most the tracks in this collection - we'll let you find them for yourselves.
EMI are no longer the distributors for Massive Records. The new company chosen for the task of flinging Massive CDs to the world is Warner Bros.
Looking towards the future, we hope that we will be able to fill this space with details on the new studio album coming from Iva Davies and Icehouse!
With the closing of Berlin on May 24th, the respective members quietly went back to their day jobs. Again, we hope to have this section of What's Happenin'? filled with news of a tour in 1998!
Radio and Television
We'll all meet back here in 1998 but before you go [deep announcer's voice] "This just in: There is the possibility of a Best Of compilation of Icehouse videos. Massive Records has this idea developing in the early stages, and it is said to include videos from Man Of Colours, Code Blue, and Big Wheel. Stay tuned for details as they develop."
The latest promotional tool to help Icehouse on its way to bigger and better things is the Official Icehouse Website, authored and maintained by Craig Peacock. Craig has created a handful of other web sites, and from the look of them, his effort for Icehouse will be very impressive indeed! At press time, sections covering Icehouse and Primitive Man are complete with articles and photos from the time, and soundbites from a few of the songs from each album. Additionally, there is a similar section promoting the most recent Icehouse album, The Berlin Tapes. Take a look!
Paul Wheeler will be playing in the Sydney-based band, Primary. They have signed with Warner Bros. for representation in Australia and the USA, and will soon begin to record their first album in Sydney. The album's producer will be Nick Launay, whose prior works include albums for Icehouse (Code Blue) and Midnight Oil. Primary will be doing some shows in November and December with INXS. Primary's manager, Gary Grant, is helping INXS set up their Australian tour. In the past, Paul has played drums for two other acts also managed by Mr. Grant, Vince Stone and Max Sharam.
Paul took part in a few impromptu performances with Guy Delandro at a resort in Northern NSW.
Eternally, Paul would like to return to the City of Angels (no, not Berlin!).
Stephen Morgan is still hard at work at the studio he manages. He told us he's been "writing, recording, and producing a whole heap of stuff over the past few months." His wife, Caroline, has joined him in the studio, providing voice-overs for some radio commercials.
The biggest news for Stephen and Caroline is the arrival of their first born child! On August 5th, Billy-Jack Connor was delivered to his very ecstatic parents! Their son was a healthy 8 lbs. 15 oz. and, as Steve put it, "consumes every waking minute of our lives but it's all worth it." Spellbound would like to extend our congratulations to Caroline and Steve as well as their families! Welcome to the world, Billy-Jack!
Paul Gildea is still hard at work, creating lessons on guitar for a music library. He occasionally plays around the Melbourne area with various acts. Paul, as we go to press, is gearing up for a big birthday bash celebrated in his honor!
David Chapman, when asked for his latest news, told us that he was quite busy and putting in many long hours at his studio. His bachelor status has been wearing on his mind, it seems, and he is currently on an endless search looking for "Miss Right." However, this search may have to take a back seat to David's diligent, dedicated work ethic.
The Previous Boys
Spellbound is pleased to announce that two previous members of Icehouse have made trips to the altar!
Joined in wedded bliss are Andy Qunta and Jane Wareing! The couple had a quiet ceremony witnessed by close friends on April 25th. The Quntas, with daughter Alexandra, reside in Los Angeles and are currently working on various musical projects.
Guy Pratt has married his girlfriend, Gala Wright, who is the daughter of Pink Floyd's keyboardist Richard Wright. Guy and Gala had a huge wedding, touted as the rock social affair of the year. Their wedding was attended by such legends as Jimmy Page and the members of Pink Floyd.
On the professional front, Guy has been kept busy working with Garry Moore on the weekends, and writing a musical with Gary Kemp (ex-Spandau Ballet).
Spellbound would like to send out our congratulations to both couples and wish them many happy years ahead!
The previous, current, and future boy, Iva Davies is a man wandering through a place filled with snippets of sounds, pieces of structure, and flashes of inspiration. We're not talking about Berlin here. We're talking about Iva, alone in his studio, striving to write the next Icehouse hit, the next Icehouse album. It ain't easy. Iva has described the process as "slow and still a long way to go." In creating a song he loves, he finds that working on it for long hours causes him to begin to hate it. He takes a break, comes back to it, and tries again. Many of us still have Big Wheel and The Berlin Tapes echoing in our ears. The question arises, what will Iva take from these previous works to use as components for the next? He says, "It's all there. It's not The Berlin Tapes. It won't be a coffee table album. So far, it's pretty meaty. They are fairly confronting songs." He has several in the works, which have been heard by some of the people in the inner circle of Iva's realm. The reports are that the songs are good very good. Iva describes the songs as "rock songs with a hint of modern programming in them."
In June, Iva took a trip to London to meet up with various people with whom he has written what he calls "sketches of songs." Numbered among the persons involved were Guy Pratt and Andy Partridge of XTC. He is using some of these sketches to create whole masterpieces. While there are elements of the "modern/dance" sound, Iva says this will all be heard through "walls of guitars." For the fans of Icehouse who enjoy the rock 'n' roll side of the band, this looks to be one worth waiting for! Iva's very tentative ETA for the new album is February or March of 1998.
Iva did take a two week working trip to Fiji. There were two hurricanes through the area since Iva was last there. He went to assess any damage. He found the house was in fairly good condition but the adjoining cottage was in need of intensive repair. Iva also took parts of a boat motor with him. Imagine trying to get that through the metal detectors
Icehouse memorabilia was recently featured at a charity auction, with the proceeds from the bids going to the Pathfinder Organization. Iva was pleased to help out and to hear that his contributions raised a nice piece of change for the event! Contributed to the auction were a poster from Berlin, coupled with the hat worn in the picture! The lucky person taking this haberdashing prize home bid almost AUS$1,000 for the pair! Another lucky bidder forked over pretty close to AUS$500 and took home the entire Icehouse CD catalogue! Congratulations to all who were involved with this worthy cause!
The Davies children have been having a great time of late.
Evan experienced his first birthday on August 9th. The presents were wonderful,
the family was attentive, but there was nothing for Evan like putting
his arms - up to the elbows - in his birthday cake! Evan's big sister
celebrated her fourth birthday with many of her classmates and family.
[Deep announcer's voice cuts in
just received this bulletin: Icehouse fans, especially those of the female
gender, are being warned to brace themselves. Iva Davies is gearing up
to cut his hair. Reports coming in are saying that he is contemplating
something akin to a military cut. We will await further details."