A hush has once again fallen on the press where Icehouse and Iva Davies are concerned. With Berlin winding down its tour of Australia in the latter part of '96, mentions of the band were quieted. Spellbound's press staff member in South Australia, Bernhard Sayer, unearthed a final article about the Sydney Dance Company's appearance in Adelaide.
From The Advertiser, 14 September 1996 by Anita Donaldson: " Berlin is dance art at its best: strong choreographic content integrated with music and visual design to give us theatre that is not only entertaining, but also powerful and thought-provoking."
Berlin was put on the Dance Company's back burner but was never far from Graeme Murphy's thoughts. With the 1997 season, he brought it to the fore once again. With the May 3rd opening, the press will surely feel compelled to speak their thoughts on this ballet. As of yet, it is early in the complicated game to report on what the critics' circle will have to say about the new Berlin but there should be plenty to print from the press in the next issue. Spellbound will capture it all in black and white.
There has been a reshaping of The Berlin Tapes for the newly acquired Japanese market, as well as the Australian. The Australian re-release of The Berlin Tapes was sent back out to the public with the addition of eight songs. While these tracks can be found on previous CDs, it makes it convenient as well as collectable for the Icehouse fan to buy! The ambient additions are:
The Japanese The Berlin Tapes truly is a must!! There are quite a few features that make it so. First and foremost are the three new tracks! Recorded prior to the "Berlin formula," these are covers that Iva created before Berlin was a twinkle in Graeme Murphy's eye! The extra songs are:
Icehouse's version of "Blank Frank" was originally released on the "Satellite" CD single.
Just to give a mini-review: Although all four tracks are fantastic, "Be My Friend" is brilliant!!!! Perhaps it doesn't quite fit in with The Berlin Tapes as is, but it is a shame this song was not heard on a wider scale.
Another great feature of these Berlin Tapes is the lyrics! Yes, the lyrics are printed for each song. A few translation problems but overall the listener can figure out those tough spots!
The Curios CD, for some curious reason, has been put on hold. Although the fans loved the idea, it has been shelved for now. Spellbound will keep track of this project and should it be brought to life again, we will pass on the good news!
Berlin had a preview show on May 2nd, with the true opening night on the 3rd. Taking the stage to handle the musical side of things are Iva Davies of the White Suit and Dulcet Tones (sounds like a '50s group), Max Lambert of the Tickling Ivories (but does he giggle? ), and Paul Wheeler of the Thumping Skins (easy there, Pauly). Steve Bull steps into the faintly Spinal Tappish position of bass player. Andy Cichon, a previous Berlin bass player, has fled this fate by relocating to New York City! Andy is going to try working in the Big Apple.
The boys will make those dancers move to their tunes until closing night, May 24th. Is it a coincidence that May 24th is Keith Welsh's birthday one of those previously mentioned bass players hmmmm
Radio and Television
These amazing 20th century inventions have not given Icehouse fans their money's worth in recent months. Perhaps we should just pull the plug .
A quote from Adelaide's DB street magazine, 26 February-11 March edition. Under the heading "Icehouse and Michael Jordan" it read: "You may have blinked and missed it but yes, that is an Icehouse tune featured on the soundtrack of the Disney/Michael Jordan vehicle Space Jam. The producers requested a remix of 'Into The Wild' from the 1986 album Measure For Measure. They got it - and they used it. Meanwhile, apparently Icehouse's Masterfile album has gone platinum."
Apparently it has always the last to know! As for Space Jam, the "Into The Wild" remix sounds very much like it was taken from Full Circle. The CD soundtrack here in the States does not contain the song. However, it wouldn't hurt to check the Australian release to see if they used that song as a marketing strategy for that part of the world. The snippet of "Wild" comes up about an hour and eighteen minutes into the movie, and lasts twenty seconds.
Paul Wheeler has (thankfully) returned from his adventures in Singapore to the clean and friendly environment of Sydney! Perhaps his time in Singapore could be more aptly titled "Paul's Misadventures." Where Paul was promised five-star hotels, he found himself sharing a room with six other people. There was a very tight budget where food was concerned, so Paul lived on noodles and Big Macs! The band played in clubs and Paul said he felt they were considered by the natives to be a "novelty act" because they were the only foreign band. The natives didn't seem exactly enchanted by the band, tending to find more enjoyment in the contents of the bar and dancing to the piped-in disco music. This took a toll on the band, with the backup singer abruptly returning to her home in Brisbane early in the piece. In all, Paul spent three months overseas before coming home himself! Paul said he just recently got paid for this trip. He said "it was good to get the money in the end." We chased that comment down with a healthy dose of ironic laughter
Since being home, Paul has 1) slept, 2) swore he'd never go back to Singapore, and 3) played a few gigs with Jenny Morris. He has also been playing with a young band called Primary. He describes the music as Red Hot Chili Peppers meets Depeche Mode. They seem like an "up and coming" band so we advise Sydneysiders to keep an eye out for them. You just may see Paul Wheeler up there
Paul is slated to be the drummer for Berlin and is looking forward to the performances, as well as free drinks and discounted parking.
After Berlin finishes, Paul may be recording more demos with Shock Poets. These demos could eventually be released as singles. In the future, Paul is hoping to visit America once again.
Stephen Morgan has a busy few months ahead of him! His place of business keeps him on his toes during the day. The studio he manages is hoppin' but he enjoys going home at night rather than just starting his working hours then.
Steve is a season ticket holder for the "mighty Essendon Bombers" and is very excited about the games now in full swing. The Bombers scored a win over Carlton, which Steve seemed very pleased about. Mr. Gildea how can you stand it?!
Steve and his wife Caroline have been able to practice their parenting skills on the new Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy Steve gave Caroline for her February 21st birthday. They named her Belle and Steve says she is beautiful.
They'll need the practice due to the impending birth of their first child!! The baby is due in late July and they have opted to be surprised about the sex of the new little one. Steve said he will let Spellbound know when the baby is born and we will then pass the news on to Spellbound readers.
Paul Gildea has a job working for a music publishing company. A "real" job like Steve's! However, he is keeping his guitar tuned and working live with such acts as Vicka and Linda Bull (from the Black Sorrows).
David Chapman call him studio mogul call him crazy genius call him whatever you like! David's working, making money, and is happy doing it! Zig Zag Lane's third studio is finished and things have never been better for partners David and Derek. Mr. Mogul will be sliding behind the wheel of a new Volkswagen Golf convertible. Look for Dave to be cruisin' around Sydney with the top down, ladies!
David has done some rebuilding on the house, adding on some space. Judas, the beloved dog, is well and happy (which we are very glad to hear!).
Mr. Chapman is also writing another album for EMI. He had previously written six tracks for a production album for EMI, which turned out to be EMI's second biggest selling production album ever! Persons buying this music would use it as background music for television programs and commercials. He describes the second album he is working on as "ambient groove." He says he'll let us know what it's called when it's finished so that we may try to track it down
David has written the theme for the AFL (Australian Football League)!! Paul Wheeler and Steve Bull are both playing on this new theme, too. Australians wanting their "David Chapman Music Collection" to be complete should fire up their VCRs for the next televised AFL game!
The Previous Boys
Keith Welsh is an incredibly busy man! He is currently involved in all aspects of running a weekly trade magazine called The Music Network, which is sent to music industry personnel and retailers. The magazine is owned by another "previous name," John Woodruff, who is responsible for much of Savage Garden's recent success. Keith is still involved with managing Boom Crash Opera.
Guy Pratt is still the bass player for Pink Floyd and was recently featured as such in an ad in the April issue of the U.S. magazine, Bass Player. His picture, baby-faced as ever, is on the inside cover. He is evidently one of the "hardest working bassists" using Trace Elliot bass strings.
Guy is also said to be playing on the latest Whitesnake
album. There is a Guy "STARKA" Pratt listed as the bass player.
We shall see if we can confirm that this is our Guy!
Simon Lloyd is still in England, living in a large (strange) country manor. He is working on various computer projects and exercising his sense of humor.
Tony Llewellyn has just released a new CD with his band The Love Dogs! The debut album is called Dolphin Hotel and it's a great one! The press release reads:
"The Love Dogs are a Lismore based band which formed
in 1996. Their debut album Dolphin Hotel was written on a leaky
houseboat on the Richmond River and recorded in a nearby farmhouse on
a sugar cane farm."
The previous, current, and future boy, Iva Davies has had quite an interesting time of it lately! He has started to feel that he has been receiving messages from the "Great Beyond" telling him (as he put it) to "go out of the room. Close the door." Those "messages" have come in the form of studio equipment breaking down, blowing out, or crashing. These disasters have been anything from his computer keyboard, to a DAT player, to the power source for his mixing console. The worst (and most recent) was a hard drive crash which took seven weeks of work with it! Take a deep breath, Iva, and start again
and so he shall, with the new season of Berlin! Things will be different this time around. A bigger stage, new faces in the Dance Company, and some set changes. He will be joined on stage by four fellows instead of six. Berlin will run from May 3rd through May 24th. There are two shows on Saturday, one being a matinee. The show takes a break on Sundays. There are rumors that this season of Berlin will be filmed for a commercial release! This is just in the talking stages but if rumor becomes fact, we will let everyone know.
Another rumor floating about is the possibility of taking Berlin the ballet to Berlin the city! If this should happen, it looks to be an event for the latter part of the year, possibly November. There are currently no further plans for Berlin to travel elsewhere.
Iva has spoken of a re-release of The Berlin Tapes that may contain different artwork. This new packaging may also contain a promotional postcard. We will follow up this bit of information with Massive and inform everyone if and when this hits the market.
After Berlin ends its current season, Iva does plan to go back into the studio and commence writing! There is no time frame to report for the release of a new studio Icehouse album. However, 1998 will probably be a good year for Icehouse fans!
One show Icehouse fans in Australia can look forward to this year is a documentary that will be screened on June 17th on the SBS Network. The program is called "So Simple, So Hard" and it traces the happenings in the lives of four women who try out a dating agency. Iva and Max Lambert have composed and performed the music accompanying the show. Iva says he takes "no responsibility for the program's content and only slightly more for the music."
Iva has given a listen to Snout's version of "Love
In Motion" from the Idiot Box soundtrack. When asked what
he thought, he said it was "interesting." It is novel for him
to hear his own songs covered. He said the only other cover he is aware
of is a cover of "Hey Little Girl" done shortly after the original
was a hit. A French artist recorded the song and recreated the original
"in painstaking detail." The only difference was that it was
sung in French! The Idiot Box soundtrack is on the rooArt label,
and as far as we know it is only available in Australia.
On the homefront, the flu bug has bitten down hard on the Davies family. Iva was the first one to feel the sting and hasn't quite been able to shake it. Brynn fell very ill over Easter, with Tonia following a few days later. The latest family member to feel the bite is Iva's mum. Time for everyone to send happy, healthy vibes!!! The one family member to truly escape the bug has been Evan, who will celebrate his first birthday in less than three months time!
So from Berlin to California to Sydney that's what's happenin'!