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The Icicle Works


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Liverpool, England (1980 – 1990, 2006 – 2008, 2011 – present)

The Icicle Works is an alternative rock band which formed in Liverpool, England in 1980. The band’s original lineup consisted of Ian McNabb (vocals, guitar), Chris Layhe (bass, percussion) and Chris Sharrock (drums). Layhe and Sharrock left the band in 1988, but McNabb continued the band with replacement members until 1990. McNabb reformed the band with different replacement members in 2006, but this incarnation lasted only until 2008. In 2011, McNabb reformed the band once more for a tour celebrating the band’s 30th anniversary. Since leaving the band, Chris Sharrock became the drummer for numerous bands, including The La’s, World Party, Oasis and Beady Eye.

Named after the 1960 short story “The Day The Icicle Works Closed” by science fiction author Frederik Pohl, The Icicle Works joined Liverpool’s early 1980s ‘neo-psychedelia’ wave, which also propelled Echo & the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes to stardom.

The band was founded in Liverpool by 18-year-old singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist and frontman Ian McNabb. In 1980, McNabb joined up with drummer Chris Sharrock (who had been playing with McNabb on and off since he was nine) and bassist Chris Layhe (who had been recruited though a classified ad), and they began playing as The Icicle Works. By the end of 1981, the trio had recorded a six-song independently released cassette, and in 1982 they released the independent single “Nirvana”.


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  • acevem

    Saints Row 3 brought me here.

    29 Jun 2013 Reply
  • dAniel_brit

    Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream) <3

    16 Apr 2012 Reply
  • Lesscities

    This group could've been one of my favourites, when it was more known in Germany... Nice arranged sounds...Fantastic music and voice.

    5 Aug 2011 Reply
  • slowpulse-girl


    28 Jul 2011 Reply
  • MazzyJ70

    Most of my Icicle Works stuff is on second hand vinyl from student days, therefore doesn't scrobble... Sounds as fresh as ever

    18 Jun 2011 Reply
  • RumbleFishing

    The s/t album absolutely the best wave record of the 80's ... great singing, great guitar, great DRUMS !! Totally energetic one way, totally calm the other. I was a damn good air-drummer at that time. Nostalgic ... I remember writing down the lyrics while listening to the LP over and over again, and translating it into my own language, the first few years we had English at school. Still remember the whole lyrics stuff.

    8 Jun 2011 Reply
  • ExScapegoat

    Great songs

    4 Jan 2010 Reply
  • epi_gee

    only 12 shouts? Who knows the song "waiting in the wings"? I believe its on a 12" only.. anybody know if its on CD? -E

    5 Nov 2009 Reply
  • Lesscities

    nice song,nice group..In Germany shamelessly underrated!!

    19 Sep 2009 Reply
  • BAMtime

    I just like it..........mmmmm.......relaxing!

    28 Mar 2009 Reply
  • sytim

    Small Price of a Bicycle is one of the great albums of all time...saw them Live in London playing songs from it. Totally blew me away!

    6 Jan 2009 Reply
  • dmen01

    One of the best bands of the 80's. Vastly under-rated.

    17 Dec 2008 Reply
  • smegger68

    Always underrated, never outshone.

    29 Nov 2008 Reply
  • floydkelley

    don't worry, there are many who appreciate icicle works...

    27 Nov 2008 Reply
  • Timebender

    More listeners now, please.

    16 Nov 2008 Reply
  • fergusmcphail


    20 Sep 2008 Reply
  • twinsen110

    one of the most underated bands of the 80's,they should have been huge!!

    11 Apr 2008 Reply
  • flashbleu

    God, they should be more popular than this.

    18 Feb 2008 Reply
  • MacTonight

    ...this is it?

    12 Aug 2007 Reply
  • shaggyshaggy

    Birds Fly is such a great new wave song.

    9 Apr 2006 Reply
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