Icicle Works

The Icicle Works (Ian McNabb, left)

The Icicle Works were a post-punk band from Liverpool, UK originally formed in 1980. The group underwent various personnel changes throughout the eighties, all centred mainly around founder member Ian McNabb. The group had a Top 20 hit "Love Is A Wonderful Colour" in early 1984 and a Top 30 eponymous debut album the same year. The group effectively dissolved in 1990 after being dropped by the Epic label. While McNabb has continued to release and perform solo material, The Icicle Works as a group has also occasionally played live as the original albums were re-issued. (Read more on Wikipedia...)

Links to Peel

The group's debut single "Nirvana" was played shortly after its initial release on the band's own Troll Kitchen label in October 1982, with Peel making much of the obscure label name. The follow-up single "Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)" was also played regularly on its original release on the Situation Two label in June and July 1983. Playing "Love is a Wonderful Colour" (their first release on Beggar's Banquet) in November 1983 he admitted that he was warming to the record despite having previously "slagged it off" on Round Table a few weeks earlier. The single would go Top 20 in early 1984, thanks also to a live performance on Channel 4's The Tube in December.  Peel may have lost interest in the band when they began to enjoy some mainstream success although on the 18 July 1984 show he mentions that he had received a postcard from Hawaii by The Icicle Works writing about how they were enjoying themselves performing gigs there. A further session was recorded and aired in August of that year. The group also recorded a further session for Janice Long in 1985.

Three Icicle Works albums are in the John Peel Record Collection: I028, I029 and I030.


  • Three sessions.

1. 26 January 1982. Recorded 1982-01-11. All tracks available on the 3-CD deluxe re-issue of The Icicle Works ("In The Cauldron Of Love" and "A Factory In The Desert" on 3-CD edition only).

  • In The Cauldron Of Love / A Factory In The Desert / All Is Right / When Winter Lasted Forever

2. 02 March 1983. Recorded 1983-02-26. Repeated 29 December 1983. "Love Is A Wonderful Colour" and "Reaping The Rich Harvest" available on 3-CD edition of The Icicle Works album re-issue (2006).

  • Love Is A Wonderful Colour / Reverie Girl / Reaping The Rich Harvest / In The Dance The Shaman Led
THE ICICLE WORKS John Peel 8th August 1984

THE ICICLE WORKS John Peel 8th August 1984

3. 15 August 1984. Recorded 1984-08-08. Full session available on The Small Price Of A Bicycle (Expanded Edition).

  • Hollow Horse / Deep In The Woods / Conscience Of Kings / When You Hear The Mission Bells


  1. Love Hunt
  2. Birds Fly
  3. Love is a Wonderful Colour
  4. Reaping The Rich Harvest
  5. Factory in the Desert
  6. Nirvana

Other shows played



See Also

External links

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