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Icehouse











One local band compared to Bowie possibly more frequently any other is Icehouse led by Iva Davies.


In early 1978, the band gained popularity on the Sydney pub circuit playing note-perfect versions of Bowie songs and among these was 'The Jean Genie'.


They also covered songs by Roxy Music, Lou Reed, T-Rex, Ultravox and Brian Eno.



The original name of the band was Flowers - inspired by the original production by Lindsay Kemp (Bowie's old mime teacher) and based on the debut novel by Jean Genet.


Their debut album was called Icehouse (the names were later reversed!). Released in 1980, it revealed a striking collection of originals, however, lead singer Iva Davies' voice was compared to Bowie and Ferry and musically the band took also took some cues.




The point of Bowie comparison seems to have a peak with Icehouse's international hit 'Hey Little Girl' - a song sometimes mistaken as the man himself.


It was around this time that Bowie invited Icehouse to appear with him in the UK and Holland as support on his 1983 tour.

  "We hung out with Bowie's band over a couple of months. He always seemed very personable to me. "

"The most memorable time we spent together was the night we nearly got killed. It happened in a club in Amsterdam when Bowie was rushed by a crowd. We got caught up in the crush. We literally had to be passed out over the top of this riot of fans. Bowie was used to crowds but even he was shocked by what had happened. It was frightening and something I'll never forget."

~ Iva Davies, 2008.



Over the course of several years, Icehouse extended the use of synthesisers in Australian music while producing eight Top 10 albums, twenty Top 40 singles and album sales of over 28 times Platinum. They also produced what is still the highest selling album in Australia by an Australian band (Man of Colours).



In 1995, Iva Davies and Icehouse recorded the ballet Berlin and accompanying album The Berlin Tapes.


Straying away from the bands usual approach of all-originals, this album was all-covers - moreover book-ended by the David Bowie songs with 'Loving the Alien' as the opening track and a slow ballad version of 'Heroes' as the closer.


The Berlin ballet has seen several revivals since it's original appearance.



The Berlin Tapes was reconfigured and re titled as the album Heroes in 2004. The reason for this is probably because that particular Bowie cover was gaining a lot of airplay during the Seven network's coverage of the Athens Olympics (2004). The song was also released a single where it reached #93 on the singles chart.


Both the single and the reconfigured album contain two different versions - the "Berlin Mix' in addition to the 'Athens Mix'. In 2006, it was revived yet again during the coverage of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games (2006).

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