LIFE SOUNDTRACK: Icehouse – Primitive Man



LIFE SOUNDTRACK: Icehouse – Primitive Man

I am undoubtedly firmly rooted in 80s music, mainly British 80s music, with stating U2, Tears for Fears or Depeche Mode as my favorite bands back then and today still. While I’ve seen those three live, each of them even several times at smaller and at bigger venues, like Olympiahalle in Munich or Madison Square Garden in New York, I’ve never seen any of my past favorite Australian bands live. 

In a Life Soundtrack a while back, I talked about INXS and this one today is about  Icehouse, also from Australia. Until today, I didn’t even know how the band look liked or that it is basically the brain child of Iva Davies, the charismatic singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of Icehouse. In 1977 he formed the band Flowers, with which he became popular for their new wave and synthpop sound. A few years later, he changed the name to Icehouse -a nod to an always cold apartment he used to live in- adding even more synthesizer and pop elements. 

And that’s when I came across the 1982 (USA 1983) released album Primitive Man, which I never physically possessed but only transferred to cassette tape. This must have been a high quality tape because I played it endless times. I was so in love with Iva Davies’ voice and it manages to evoke similar emotions today. 

Having read up a bit now about the band Icehouse and Iva Davies in particular, I am pretty happy to know that he’s still making music AND touring. While I am not sure if I ever manage to see Icehouse -in whichever formation- live, I am now determined to get my hands on Primitive Man on vinyl, aside from the 7″ for Hey’ Little Girl which I still have since the late 80s.

And now to some music from Primitive Man. Videos, that I haven’t seen before, blame it on German television, on not yet existing MTV (launched in Germany in 1997) or YouTube. Thanks to the latter, this is all no problem now…

Let’s start first with the video to Hey’ Little Girl:

Fast forward to February 8th, 2012,  when Iva Davies and Icehouse were performing Hey Little Girl live at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in Sydney.

When you watch the video to Great Southern Land, read up on the commentary:

When “Great Southern Land” was released as the first single from the Primitive Man album in 1982, a video for it was filmed in a disused sandstone quarry in the Kuringai National Park near Sydney. Then, in 1989, when the song met its first release as a single in North America and Europe, a new clip had to be made to accompany the overseas single.

Our look back to Primitive Man wouldn’t be complete without Street Cafe. The circumstances around this video seem to have been quite unpleasant. No idea why they felt the urge to film in Tunisia.

Icehouse’s Street Cafe from The Album Primitive Man (1982) The “Street Café” clip was filmed in Tunisia, in a four day visit into which was packed a lifetime’s worth of difficult, unpleasant and even hazardous living experience for performers and film crew alike.

As much synthesizer driven as Icehouse are, I always loved aside from Iva Davie’s smooth, charming vocals the bad ass guitar on this song in particular!