ICEHOUSE goes DubHOUSE
ICEHOUSE set to become the reggae / bluebeat-soaked
DubHOUSE for two very special Christmas shows!
“This Christmas, music is all about joy” says ICEHOUSE’s Iva Davies and for two nights in December, Sydney and Melbourne fans will be treated to some serious joy as ICEHOUSE reinterpret their classic hits at The Esplanade in Melbourne on 4 December and Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory on 7 December.
After more than 30 years of writing and performing some of Australia’s most successful and iconic music, Iva has made a discovery: “I’m Iva and I’m strictly roots.”
“When we play as ICEHOUSE, we make sure we play the songs as faithfully as we can, the way people have loved them over the years. DubHOUSE is a bit of fun for me and the band plus we’re adding extra singers and a brilliant brass section to make this into an end-of-year party for the band members, our fans and our friends.” Iva added.
In a recent interview in his studio, Davies explained how this temporary metamorphosis came about. The explanation took us on a journey from Iva’s first instrument, the bagpipes, to his classical training on the oboe, from a festival in Germany to holidays in Fiji. But at the heart of the story, it was a simple case of having some fun.
It was at a German music festival ICEHOUSE were playing at in 1983 when Iva met the reggae legend, Peter Tosh - one of Bob Marley’s original Wailers.
“Ever since I saw Peter on stage, just happily playing, I wondered what it would feel like to be that relaxed!” Iva says, laughing at the memory.
“Since the early ‘80s, the live ICEHOUSE band started occasionally throwing reggae feels to sections of Can’t Help Myself and from time-to-time the band brought those rhythms to other songs. During the Primitive Colours tour last year, I was asked in an interview what musical role I’d like most outside of ICEHOUSE. I said I’d love to be the guitar-player in a reggae band - a chukka-man. The journalist and I had a laugh about it and moved on,” Iva says.
“However, the idea seemed to keep resurfacing. So I thought why not have some fun and see how a couple of my songs would sound if I got the band to play them in a dub-meets-reggae-meets-pop style. And it just grew from there - this path has opened up a kind of ‘dancehall-party’ in the band and the music”.
Earlier this year Iva began working again with European label, Repertoire, and its founder, Thomas Neelsen, who raised the possibility of putting out a collection of extended and 12” mixes which have released in Australia through iTunes. Iva added, “As I went back over the various mixes, I found myself gravitating again and again to the more Dub versions of the songs and my desire to be the chukka-man kept coming back”
The idea also germinated in Fiji, a destination Iva has visited many times. Whenever a local reggae band there started to play, Iva inevitably saw three things happen every time: people smile, they start to move and then they dance.
“Reggae is the music that makes everything feel like a party, so this Christmas, for just a couple of gigs, we are going to BE the party. Smaller venues than we normally play with the people who are there having a great time. For the joy of it. We’re going to have a lot of fun with the music and performances and we want our fans and friends to come along with the idea of being part of a joyous gathering.”
“In a way, in DubHOUSE we’re revisiting and compiling things we’ve been doing for ourselves for decades and now we’re letting other people hear the music with those colours. And there might just be a few other songs thrown in for fun”
When asked if he would be growing dreadlocks and making the change permanent, Davies laughed and added, “This is fun for us - and it should be great fun for everyone who comes to party with us. If the audiences like it, we’ll see where we go from there. But no, this is definitely not a permanent change! And no dreadlocks! I get enough stick from my mates for the pictures of my hairstyles back in the 80s!”
Tickets for both shows are on sale now and are selling fast, marn!
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
The Esplanade Hotel - Gershwin Room, St Kilda, Vic
Tickets available now from www.oztix.com.au
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst, NSW
Tickets available now from www.moshtix.com.au