What's Happenin'
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 (Iva D. … 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 has become."

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 are fantastic."

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," "and "Judas."

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. "…EMI 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 ago… 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 fans.

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.

Live Performances

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… TOUR?!


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… TOUR!

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."

The Boys

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… TOUR.

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… TOUR.

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… TOUR.

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… ahem… called Les Girls. Paul's birthday is coming up at the end of November and we hope his fondest wish comes true… to TOUR!

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… TOUR…

Iva… 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… TOUR!

And *whew* that's what's happenin'!