The Icicle Works




unpublished feature

“While we’ve been over here I think what we’ve been doing is trying too gain entry to the dinosaur club. Like last night we just thought 'what the fuck's this’ it’s sickening but you just look from a distance and observe, like you're looking at specimens in a zoo or something and I'm just totally happy that we're going home soon.

“All the backstage nonsense, the falseness especially in Hollywood where even the guy sweeping the street is really an actor and whoever you speak to on the phone says 'thank you very much for calling'. But if you break these people down you find they're not fake, they actually mean it... but it's still phoney.

“And all the record companies are very keen for us to become part of this elite club which is the dinosaur club. Even if they do mean what they say, it still comes across as being totally plastic and android.”

Ian from The Icicle Works reflecting on the Hollywood way of things. His group are in California to support the Pretenders on a few of that band’s West Coast dates. An arrangement stemming from Chrissie Hynde’s appreciation of The Icicle Works when they shared a billing on TV’s The Tube.

We’d been idly talking of ‘back home’, the sterility of the current music scene and generally agreeing on a preference for finding musical pleasure in smaller venues.

All a far yodel from the building that stands behind us: The Universal Amphitheater, a 6,000 seat venue and both a physical and symbolic monument to the size of ROCK events US style when the mega dollar-earning league is reached.

For us, there’s a dwarfing feeling to the place. When The Icicle Works are on stage there’s a marginal ripple from the massed ranks – a reaction as much to the Liverpool accents (long rock and roll memories here!) as to the material itself. This shifts to almost choreographed hysteria when the Pretenders open their set.

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 


mick sinclair

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