The Iceman cometh
FOR anyone who grew up in the 1980s or ’ 90s, Iva Davies was one of Australia’s most reliable musicians whose band Icehouse managed to be creative and successful.
For his two children, born in the ’ 90s, he was just ‘‘ Dad’’.
Davies ( pictured) put Icehouse on ice in 1993. Swatting away offers to join retro tours, he thawed Icehouse sporadically over the past two decades.
Inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2006, he took daughter Brynn and son Evan along to the event.
‘‘ That was the first time they’d ever seen me play,’’ Davies recalls. ‘‘ They thought they’d gone to Mars. They had no idea about the history of Icehouse. Until recently I never even had a gold record up in my house. It was all in storage.’’
After shows last year to mark the 30th anniversary of their debut album, Icehouse opened for Hall and Oates this year. Davies’ kids went along.
‘‘ By then the penny had slowly dropped,’’ Davies says.
‘‘ They’ve been trawling YouTube. I think they’re starting to get the picture.’’
Davies, 57, is overseeing the 30th anniversary reissue of Primitive Man and the 25th anniversary reissue of Man of Colours.
As home to Great Southern Land, Hey Little Girl, Crazy, Electric Blue, Street Cafe, Nothing Too Serious and Man of Colours, the two albums are the highest sellers in the Icehouse catalogue.
Globally, Primitive Man has sold more than 650,000 copies; Man of Colours more than a million.
As well as high quality control for the reissues ( original B- sides, remastering) Davies has adopted the policy of doing nothing rather than something substandard.
‘‘ I always said no to nostalgia bills. I didn’t want to disappear into that wasteland of old bands,’’ Davies says. ‘‘ I’d rather do nothing than do that.’’ While he was nervous about how Icehouse would be received and how he’d hold up after a 20- year break from regular touring he found the reaction to his comeback last year remarkable, playing to more than 100,000 fans over several months.
At Sydney’s Homebake they played Flowers in full and the footage has been released on their website.
‘‘ Homebake was particularly buoying because, while there were a lot of older people there to see us and Ratcat and The Church, the vast majority of the 20,000 people there were in their 20s. And the vast majority of them were singing every word of every song.’’
PRIMITIVE MAN; MAN OF COLOURS Anniversary reissues ( Universal) out now. ICEHOUSE Hamer Hall, Melbourne, November 5. On sale now. Ticketing details at icehouse- ivadavies. com