Iva Davies Biography
Iva Davies, born Ivor Arthur Davies, on 22 May 1955 is an Australian singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is known for his distinctive singing voice, which was influenced by glam rock singers such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music and Marc Bolan of T. Rex.
As the youngest of three siblings, Iva grew up in a musical household with both parents’ members of the local choir. One of the most iconic Australian bands ever ICEHOUSE was formed by Iva Davies, the front man and musical creative force, that lead the band to an amazing 28 platinum albums, eight top 10 albums and over thirty Top 40 singles.
Iva Davies Career
Iva Davies’ music career spans more than 40 years. He came to prominence in the early 1980s as co-founder and lead singer of rock band Icehouse, becoming one of Australia’s top rock stars of that decade. He is the only member who has been with Icehouse throughout its entire history.
In addition to his work with Icehouse, Davies has made music for television series and films, most notably as the composer for the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. He has also had a solo career which included work on the soundtrack album The Berlin Tapes with Icehouse.
Davies first performed professionally as a 16-year-old musician with the Lucy Fields Jug Band, led by Lindsay Campbell around 1971. The band secured a recording contract with M7 Records, but the company changed its management team shortly thereafter and the band’s album was never released. Davies performed Handel’s Concerto for Oboe in Eb major in 1974, with Strathfield Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Gill . Davies released his first single, “Leading Lady” on the RCA label in July 1975 .
Davies and Welch got together to form the band Flowers. Davies re-established an old acquaintance with Cameron Allan, the director of Sydney-based independent label Regular Records, in 1979 and Flowers signed with the label in early 1980. Their debut album Icehouse containing the song “Can’t Help Myself” reached the Top Five, making it the highest-selling debut album in Australia. To take advantage of this success, the band changed its name to Icehouse in 1981. The name was taken from a cold flat Davies lived in and the strange building across the road populated by itinerant people.
Davies with Icehouse went on a European tour with David Bowie in 1983. In 1985, Davies and fellow Icehouse member Bob Kretschmer worked on the ballet Boxes with the Sydney Dance Company. In addition to scoring the ballet, they also co-wrote the script with Graeme Murphy. Boxes opened at the Sydney Opera House in December, and Davies performed in an acting/singing/dancing role to sold-out crowds for three weeks straight.
1985 saw Davies win an APRA Music Award for Most Performed Australasian Music for Film for Razorback. Davies was an early adopter of the Fairlight which he used to compose the music of the film. His score has been described as “pioneering” and “an important contribution to Australian film scoring”.
Davies and co-collaborator John Oates won an APRA Music Award for the Icehouse song “Electric Blue” (from the Man of Colours album) in 1988, in the Most Performed Australasian Popular Work category. On 25 January 1988, Icehouse performed “Electric Blue” at the Royal Command, New South Wales Bicentennial Concert in front of the Prince and Princess of Wales at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
In the early 1990s, the Sydney Dance Company worked on creating a work which became the ballet Berlin. As well as recording the score to the ballet, Davies performed these songs live with Icehouse at each show. He was an intrinsic part of the ballet, in a role similar to the one he played in Boxes. He was successful in creating a translation from the dancers to the audience. Berlin was an instant success and ran for two seasons.
Davies travelled to Los Angeles in 2003, to record the soundtrack to the Peter Weir film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World with Christopher Gordon and Richard Tognetti. Together, they won the 2004 APRA/AGSC Screen Music Award in the Best Soundtrack Album category.
Davies in 2005, scored the mini-series The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant. On 6 November 2006, he won the 2006 APRA/AGSC Screen Music Award in the Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie category. From 15 June 2008, Davies was a judge on Seven Network TV series Battle of the Choirs; his band Icehouse performed “Great Southern Land” on the grand final show won by University of Newcastle Chamber Choir.
Iva Davies Age
Iva was born on 22 May 1955 in Wauchope, Australia. He is 63 years old.
Iva Davies Family
Before divorcing in 2010 after twenty years of marriage, he and his wife Tonia Kelly welcomed children named Brynn born in 1993 and Evan born in 1996.
Iva Davies Net Worth
Details of Iva’s net worth will be updated soon.
Iva Davies Awards
- 1982 Countdown Award – “Most Popular Male Performer”
- 1985 APRA Music Award – “Most Performed Australasian Music For Film” for Razorback
- 1988 APRA Music Award – “Most Performed Australasian Popular Work” for “Electric Blue”
- 1991 16th Annual “Mo Awards” (Australian Variety Artist Association) Nomination for “Best Male Performer”
- 2004 APRA/AGSC Screen Music Award – “Best Soundtrack Album” for Master And Commander
- 2006 APRA/AGSC Screen Music Award – “Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie” for Mary Bryant
- 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours – “Member (AM) in the General Division” for services to music, entertainment and the community
Iva Davies Songs
- A Break in the Clouds feat. Icehouse
- Desdemona feat. Icehouse
- Early Images feat. Icehouse
- Familiar Winds feat. Icehouse
- Gravity feat. Icehouse / Bob Kretschmer
- Indian Summer feat. Icehouse
- Labyrinth, Pt. 1 feat. Icehouse
- Love Dance feat. Icehouse
- Loving the Alien feat. Diamond Gods
- Melt Steel, Pt. 1 feat. Icehouse
- No Promises feat. Icehouse
- No Promises (Reprise) feat. Icehouse
- Regular Boys (Reprise) feat. Icehouse
- Russian Dolls feat. Icehouse
- Solitare feat. Icehouse
- Surgery feat. Icehouse
- Terra Incognita feat. Icehouse
- The Tempest, Pt. 1 feat. Icehouse
- The Tempest, Pt. 2 feat. Icehouse
- The Walker feat. Icehouse
- To Forget feat. Jarboe
Iva Davies – Video
Iva Davies News
Icehouse’s Iva Davies reflects on his life including fight training to freight trains in Kiama
Updated On: 27th January 2018
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Summer brings back fond memories of a grandfather clock and freight trains for ICEHOUSE frontman Iva Davies.
Originally from Wagga Wagga, a young Davies would spend his school holidays in the seaside town of Kiama on the New South Wales South Coast at his grandparents’ home on Gipps Street.
“We would get the train up to Sydney then down the coast to Bombo Beach station which I remember very clearly. I spent a lot of time mucking around under that railway bridge, in the lagoon, out on the rocks fishing,” Davies recalled.
Two noises punctuated his stays in that house, he said. The annoying ticking and chimes of a small grandfather clock next to the bedroom and the sound of trains going through a tunnel and into the night.
“When I visited there about 10 years ago [the house] was still there then, I’m assuming it’s still there,” the now 62-year-old said.
Davies will get the chance to revisit his childhood haunt during this year’s Red Hot Summer Tour where ICEHOUSE lines up with other Australian chart-toppers of the ‘80s and ‘90s in Port Maquarie, Kiama, then Dubbo.
The group is headlining the tour which also includes Boom Crash Opera, The Black Sorrows, Baby Animals, Mark Seymour, Pseudo Echo and Shannon Noll.
“This particular bodyguard was in the top 15 in the world kickboxing championships. He made Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a string bean.”
Those extended school holiday stays began to fade when Davies was around 10 and his family moved from the Riverina to Sydney, a city where he began to immerse himself in music.
Bagpipes were a favourite of the young musician though were put in mothballs early. They won’t be coming out again anytime soon after a repairer confirmed there was no hope for the original set.
It has been a different story for the much loved oboe, a wood-wind instrument that took Davies to the Sydney Conservatorium (before he dropped out at 21) but is still part of his stage presence today.
“I do play but nothing like I used to be in my professional days, but nonetheless I can achieve a result,” the multi-instrumentalist said.
ICEHOUSE has enlisted Michael Paynter (an established musician in his own right) who takes the lead in some songs while Davies has a breather, literally.
“He’s an extraordinary singer. I let loose on a couple of my songs because he brings something to them which is original and different and Man of Colours is one of them … so I’m quite happy to take a back seat in that and play the oboe,” Davies said.
The past year has been a celebration of 40 years in the pop-rock world after ditching classical music training for a pub covers band with a few original Flowers, that would become ICEHOUSE. Throughout its history, Davies has remained the only constant in the oft-changing line-up of the group.
Unlike many other musicians that have preceded the star or walked in his path, Davies resisted temptations to indulge heavily in drugs and alcohol and instead took a more holistic approach.
“One of the ways you can ensure you will lose your voice is to go out to a club and talk over loud music for hours on end until three in the morning, so it was never really an option. I can’t speak for the other guys in the band, of course they didn’t have that same sort of pressure,” he said.
“It was tricky on a lot of occasions and I certainly went out and had a good time but there was definitely a discipline there driven by that absolute hard learned lesson of not burning myself out.”
Davies spoke of the relentless touring, especially following the release of their biggest-selling album Man of Colours in 1987. The pressure would have pushed him to breaking point if it wasn’t for a champion fighter.
“There were 14 months of touring with that album,” he said. “Seven of those months were in North America alone and we were in a different city every day.”
For days on end he would wake to catch a plane to another city he hadn’t seen before, greeting record label representatives who were hungry for a bonus so therefor would drag him to endless media interviews, before he was allowed to spend an hour or two at his hotel in between the soundcheck and the gig.
“I never eat before a show so often I found myself alone in a hotel room with room-service at two in the morning then a few hours sleep, get up and catch another plane,” Davies said.
Soaring fame meant he couldn’t go anywhere without a bodyguard – a man renowned for his champion kickboxing skills, a man who saw something was seriously wrong.
“This particular bodyguard was in the top 15 in the world kickboxing championships. He made Arnold Schwarzenegger look like a string bean – and he recognised I was starting to mentally and physically fall apart,” he recalled.
The bodyguard demanded the music mill leave his client alone for at least two hours every day, so they could find “the smelliest, dirtiest boxing gym in the city” so he could teach Davies to fight.
“It wasn’t just about the training, it was really about the kind of window of getting away from everything for that two hours every day and that was what really saved my life,” he said.
Exercise still plays an integral part of Davies’ life, though he has swapped hard-core fight training for something a little lighter, something he never dreamed he would be doing.
“I’ve done the most unthinkable thing that I’ve always promised myself the whole of my life that I would never do, and that is I’ve taken up golf,” he laughed, also noting he is the world’s worst golfer.
“It was just something I associated with people who were old who couldn’t do anything more active that that, I really didn’t get the zen-like experience of actually being in a beautiful place and just walking.”
Touring life is a lot more relaxed these days, with Davies and his band-mates not constricted by the call of their record label. Nonetheless fans of all ages are still eager to catch hits like Electric Blue, Great Southern Land and We Can Get Together live with the group playing to more than 250,000 people in 2017.
Davies said obviously their patriotic anthem stirs a lot of emotion from the crowd – and the band – when they perform it, but there were a number of songs that drew a party atmosphere.
“Audiences have changed because of the fact that 20-year-olds can now have access to any music they want to explore and they do explore it because they can be carrying around tens of thousands of songs in their pockets … I probably owned three albums that I painfully saved up to buy,” he said.
“There is so much music available and it’s a different system that exists now than it did when record companies really made their choices for you.”
Over the years ICEHOUSE has shared the stage with a number of national and international greats such as David Bowie, Peter Gabriel and Hall & Oates but there is still one act Davies has on his bucket list.
He “absolutely reveres” English alternative rock back Radiohead (who spawned hits such as Creep and Karma Police). He has had the privilege of watching them live before but would be ecstatic to see them in Australia again, let alone play on the same bill.