A Great Southern band


YOU couldn't grow up in the 1980s without knowing every word to songs such as Great Southern Land, Hey Little Girl, Electric Blue, and Crazy.

From their music to those incredible mullets, Icehouse was a force of influence on an entire generation.

Fast forward 30 years (yes, for those old enough to remember, it's been 30 years since the Primitive Man album came out) and Icehouse is now influencing an entirely new generation.

After an 18-year hiatus, the band went back on the road last year for gigs including Homebake, which lead singer Iva Davies said was a real eye opener.

"I was actually incredibly nervous about Homebake, considering it's predominantly 20 year olds and we were up against Gotye," Iva said.

"We ended up having around 20,000 people watch us, at one point my bass guitarist came over and whispered to me, 'Do you see how many 20-year-olds are watching us?'."

Iva believes technology is behind Icehouse's new generation of fans.

"Technology has changed everything; I see my 18-year-old daughter playing Janis Joplin or my 16-year-old son playing Jimmy Hendrix. They have access to thousands of songs from across other generations and they think it's really cool when they discover someone their friends haven't heard of before."

So when Icehouse's Primitive Colours Tour rocks the Sawtell RSL on October 13, it's likely those who listened to Icehouse on vinyl or cassette will be rubbing shoulders with the downloading generation.

While Iva said he had embraced the band's new era, the Primitive Colours tour is all about the band going back to its roots.

"We sort of eased back into action last year. The 18 years preceding that we'd only played about six times together at private functions," Iva said.

"Having done the festivals, wineries and entertainment centres since last October, we also wanted to have the chance to get closer to the audiences so we're playing a variety of venues just like the days when we first toured Primitive Man."

While Iva's been busy during what he calls his "period of distraction", composing classical music scores for ballets, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and even the film score for Russell Crowe's epic Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, it's clear Icehouse has loved getting the band back together.

"I've rediscovered these guys really love playing, it's what any musician really wants to do," Iva said.

So will that rediscovered passion lead to some long awaited new material from Icehouse?

Iva said it won't happen in the near future.

"This has been fairly obvious, I tend to compartmentalise things; it's either a block of writing or a block of recording and I'm looking at performing until next year," he said.

But writing new Icehouse material is certainly something still on Iva's radar.

"The thing that is most exciting is that light bulb moment in a studio and suddenly something happens."

Icehouse plays the Sawtell RSL on October 13, tickets available from the club or Park Beach Music.

Topics:  icehouse social animal

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