ICE TIGER

Country Australia

Style Hard Rock
PhotobucketThe Ice Tiger story began in late 1987 in Perth, Australia when guitarist Graham Greene found himself at a loose end after five years in cover band Flash Harry and a stint in the house band at Gobbles nightclub. Feeling the need to go out and play some fun rock and roll, he enlisted the help of Flash Harry band mate Steve Essex, Kosmic Sound co-worker Greg Garbellini, and Greg’s fellow Mixed Emotions band member Don Benson on drums, keys/guitar and bass, respectively. The direction Graham envisaged for this embryonic band was in the style of the melodic hard rock of the day, so he knew that the singer had to have both style and a great voice. Enter Dave Crosby, who had recently disbanded his heavy rock outfit True Colours.

The band held their first rehearsals, and realized they were on to something. Although the music they were playing was not on Perth radio, they knew that the bands whose songs they were covering were selling decent numbers of albums in Australia, and the people who were buying those albums were out there. The first smart move the band made before even finishing rehearsals was obtaining the services of uber-sound engineer Ben Glatzer, ensuring that the live sound for the band would always be consistently good, regardless of venue.

With all the core personnel in place, Ice Tiger stretched its claws for the very first time on New Year’s Eve, playing a warm-up show in the sleepy south-west town of Manjimup. Graham’s original plan for the band was purely to play some fun tunes on the weekends, have a good time and maybe make a dollar or two. His ‘little jam band’, however, was to make a slightly larger impression than anticipated.

Ice Tiger’s first Perth gig was at the legendary (and now gone) Raffles Hotel, playing to a curious crowd who were interested to see how the blend of musicians would work out. Dave Crosby was well known as a rock/metal singer. Graham and Steve had been in one the city’s more popular top 40 cover bands, and Greg and Don had come from a new wave/pop act, meaning that fans of one musician were not necessarily familiar with any of the other band members.

By the end of the gig, there was a new type of music fan in Perth, the Ice Tiger fan. The band’s mix of hard rock hits and highly visual stage show was just what Perth had been lacking as the halcyon days of the Perth ‘Pub Scene’ were fading. A high quality act that was not afraid to put on a show, as well as heading in a musical direction that was yet to be tried successfully in the local music scene.

As Ice Tiger attracted new fans and grew in stature on the local scene, they started to introduce original songs into their repertoire. The songs were well received, and before long the band were recording their first single. Turn To Fantasy was released as a single in WA and made it to #1 on the local independent charts, receiving airplay on major commercial radio stations. The second single, the power ballad All I Need Is A Friend debuted at #1 on the independent charts and again received extensive airplay. They appeared regularly on the Telethon and Appealathon TV shows, and were a featured act on an episode of Hey Hey It’s Saturday that was taped in Perth, reaching a massive South Pacific audience.

Around this time, Ice Tiger started recording their debut album, and during the process made the first of two lineup changes – Keys/Guitar player Greg Garbellini left to be replaced by keyboardist Johnny Calabrese. Shortly after the completion of the album, Steve Essex vacated the drummers stool to be replaced by James Pool, who appeared in the album’s videos.

The album Love’n’Crime was released in 1991, hitting the #1 spot on the local charts and charting nationally. The band performed heavily in support of the CD, and filmed two videos – Don’t Say and Lovin’ Crime. The workload and pressures of the hectic schedule eventually helped to cause the breakup of the band. After a farewell tour of WA, Ice Tiger played their final gig in mid 1992.

Ice Tiger disbanded and for the next twelve years lay dormant, save for the fond memories of a legion of fans. The Tiger, however, awoke on November 26th & 27th, 2004, with a pair of reunion concerts.

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– Love ‘N’ Crime [1991]

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ICE TIGER, 8.6 out of 10 based on 14 ratings