Ian McNabb
British musician
Ian McNabb
Robert Ian McNabb is a British singer-songwriter and musician from Liverpool, England. He is known both for his work as leader and songwriter-in-chief of The Icicle Works in the 1980s, and his critically acclaimed solo career throughout from the early 1990s to date. He has also played with musicians as diverse as Ringo Starr, Crazy Horse, Mike Scott, and Danny Thompson of folk legends Pentangle.
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A Letter From... Liverpool #4
Clash - almost 5 years
OK Liverpool, we’ve had a sucky few months for local music. The disappointing loss of both The Masque and Mojo inspired a variety of responses from ‘this is a tragedy’ to ‘big fucking deal’, but Static Gallery’s closure hit pretty hard. No, it wasn’t the best place in the world. Yes, it could’ve done with, say, a second toilet. But as a lovingly-operated arts centre, not to mention host to some of the best damn shows this fair city has seen over the last decade, it was pretty special. And even more recently, Le Bateau – home of the long-standing and much-loved Liquidation club night – joined the lengthy list of venue casualties. Happily, Liquidation has moved to pastures new in the re-opened Magnet, and they’re promising things will only get better. So let’s surrender to this wave of optimism and get fucking excited. There’s been plenty of good news, in any case. April saw the inaugural GIT Awards take place – the self-dubbed ‘Scouse Mercury’ prize, designed to place the f ...
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Clash article
Snow White remake has real sparkle
Doncaster Free Press - almost 5 years
SNOW BUSINESS: Lily Collins as Snow White in Mirror Mirror. FILM REVIEW Mirror Mirror (PG) PANTO time on the big screen? Oh yes it is! You can’t help thinking that this movie, being a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, might have been better suited to appearing on cinema screens at the same time that our ears are being subjected to Slade, the tree lights are twinkling and everyone is ho-ho-ho-ing their way home through the snow in search of Christmas tidings. But never mind that. Mirror Mirror is a lavish comic fantasy drawing on an old tale with a new twist - and it does a pretty good job of it too. Heading up the cast is Julia Roberts who excels as the wicked queen but that would be to steal the limelight away from Lily Collins who shines as pretty Snow White. The telling stays pretty true to the original tale - the banished princess, the mirror on the wall (hence the title) and the dashing prince. But if you’re thinking Disney for the Seven Dwarves think again. T ...
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Doncaster Free Press article
Funeral of O2 Academy manager Sam Jones attracts hundreds of mourners - Southport Visiter
Google News - over 5 years
Singer Ian McNabb led the musical tributes, singing You've Got to Hide Your Love Away by The Beatles and his own composition, Too Close To The Sun. BBC Radio 2 DJ Janice Long read the poem And Death Shall Have No Dominion by Dylan Thomas, while members
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Google News article
Festival set to return after £1m boost to local economy - Chester Standard
Google News - over 5 years
“Chester Rocked,” said Ian Mcnabb who was involved in an impromptu late night performance on the Dawsons Stage with Ian Prowse from Amsterdam and The Suns lead singer Jonno. “Great day,” said Dave Monks from BBC Radio Merseyside who compared the Main
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Google News article
Rezoning appeal by port no surprise - Marlborough Express
Google News - over 5 years
Port Marlborough chief executive Ian McNabb said in the submission, granting the consents discouraged the relocation of swing moorings into mooring management areas and the port company did not understand why those in the northwest extension area were
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Google News article
Port company fighting decision - Marlborough Express
Google News - over 5 years
Port Marlborough chief executive Ian McNabb said this morning the port company had worked with stakeholders during the past few years to come up with the plan change. They were determined to explore ways they could extend the marina at Waikawa
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Google News article
Volunteering led to career - Marlborough Express
Google News - over 5 years
Katie moved back to Marlborough in 2008 with her husband, Port Marlborough chief executive Ian McNabb. The move gave her a chance to work with her great love – boats. She first went sailing when she was five, and had always loved boating, she said
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Google News article
The Picket - 25 Years on - Liverpool Confidential
Google News - over 5 years
The venue has seen performances by Deaf School, Billy Bragg, Pete Wylie, Amsterdam, Ian McNabb, Joss Stone, Neil Finn from Crowded House, Baaba Maal and Travis. It's also helped launched the careers of the emerging names who became some of Liverpool's
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Google News article
Legendary Liverpool music venue The Lomax re-opens - Liverpool Daily Post
Google News - over 5 years
And it also played home to Merseyside acts such as Pete Wylie, Ian McNabb and Ian McCulloch among others. But in 2000 it closed, moving to share the bigger L2 venue in Hotham Street, these days home to the Carling Academy. Now, after an absence of more
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Google News article
Marina zone decision weeks away - Marlborough Express
Google News - over 5 years
Port Marlborough will not decide whether to appeal Plan Change 21 for at least three to four weeks, its chief executive, Ian McNabb, says. The port company applied to the Marlborough District Council to have the Marlborough Sounds Resource Management
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Google News article
BUSY TIMES: A loader stacks logs at Shakespeare Bay - Marlborough Express
Google News - almost 6 years
Chief executive Ian McNabb said the port company hoped to have three log ships visiting the port each month, but it was up to the exporters to decide where the ships went. Nelson Forests is the largest exporter of logs out of Picton, with 30000 tonnes
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Google News article
Ian McNabb, The Duchess, York, May 21 - The Press, York
Google News - almost 6 years
IAN McNabb turns 50 in November next year, an anniversary that already has prompted the Icicle Works leader to flick through his back pages to write his first book. He is putting the finishing touches to Merseybeast: A Musical Memoir, an autobiography
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Google News article
Adult singing course in Neston - AboutMyArea
Google News - almost 6 years
In a career spanning nearly 18 years, vocal practitioner and sessional vocalist Paula Prytherch has worked with artists such as Natasha Hamilton (Atomic Kitten), Ian McNabb (Icicle Works) Seal, John Bon Jovi, Brian Eno, Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart,
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Google News article
The Icicle Works, Birmingham Academy 2, - expressandstar.com
Google News - almost 6 years
“It's good to see so many people here for a band that hasn't had a hit record in 27 years,” quips Ian McNabb as he surveys a near capacity crowd packed inside Birmingham's Academy 2. True, the ice-cool indie kids of the early 80s now resemble the Top
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Google News article
Review: Icicle Works at O2 Academy in Liverpool - Flintshire Chronicle
Google News - almost 6 years
FORMED in 1981 in Liverpool by singer, writer and guitarist Ian McNabb, his 'neo psychedelic warriors', The Icicle Works – also featuring Chris Layhe (bass) and Chris Sharrock (drums) in the original line-up – had a 16 year recording history between
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Google News article
The Icicle Works 30th anniversary tour comes to Liverpool - Click Liverpool
Google News - almost 6 years
Published Tue 26 Apr 2011 21:03 To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first ever Icicle Works live performance, Ian McNabb is pleased to announce a series of live Icicle Works shows. One of which will bring him to Liverpool's O2 Academy this
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Google News article
NYTimes - almost 9 years
THE word Liverpool invariably evokes two images: the Beatles and soccer. That's a shame because this industrial city, which celebrated its 800th birthday last year (and is the 2008 European Capital of Culture), moved on a long time ago. Avant-garde architecture and glassy museums share the skyline with redbrick warehouses and foggy quays.
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NYTimes article
NYTimes - almost 33 years
TO hear just three Pink Floyd songs, fans of the now-dormant group filled the Beacon Theater Tuesday and sat through some 90 minutes of undistinguished material by David Gilmour, Pink Floyd's guitarist. Mr. Gilmour has a place in millions of record collections as the singer of Pink Floyd's ''Money,'' which he did not write. But his husky voice and
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NYTimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ian McNabb
  • 2016
    Age 55
    In March 2016, McNabb released his first album of covers, titled Respectfully Yours.
    More Details Hide Details See Ian McNabb Discography & List of songs recorded by Ian McNabb Albums Side albums Around the time the "second generation" Icicle Works were winding down, McNabb became a de facto member of The Wild Swans, playing guitar and singing back-up vocals on their second studio album, 1990's Space Flower. As well, he worked with Ian Broudie on Broudie's studio project The Lightning Seeds, providing backing vocals on the band's first three albums, released between 1990 and 1994. McNabb also co-wrote a total of two songs with Broudie that wound up on The Lightning Seeds' second and third albums, 1992's Sense and 1994's Jollification. 1998 saw McNabb as part of a touring band for Mike Scott and The Waterboys, playing bass and sometimes keyboards. He also had occasion to serve as a touring bassist for one of his heroes, Ringo Starr, whose son Zak Starkey had had an early music industry break in 1988 when McNabb hired him to be a member of a late-running version of The Icicle Works.
    He also revived The Icicle Works moniker and current lineup for a sporadic set of concerts throughout the rest of the year and on into 2016.
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  • 2015
    Age 54
    In August 2015, McNabb released the side album Krugerrands, his second release in collaboration with Cold Shoulder.
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  • 2014
    Age 53
    This slot, titled 'The Ian McNabb Show', started broadcasting on 20 June 2014 and continued for a few months.
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  • 2013
    Age 52
    McNabb's tenth studio album, Eclectic Warrior, was created as a pledge music project, and was released on Monday, 18 March 2013.
    More Details Hide Details Liverpudlian band Cold Shoulder played on the record, and toured with McNabb on the subsequent tour. In June 2014, Mcnabb joined radio station 'Radio Wirral' and was appointed to host a regular Friday night slot from 10 pm until 12 midnight.
  • 2012
    Age 51
    His ninth album, Little Episodes was available exclusively through his website beginning in February 2012.
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  • 2009
    Age 48
    McNabb's eighth studio album, Great Things, was first made available at gigs in September 2009.
    More Details Hide Details As of November, it was made available for sale on McNabb's website.
  • 2008
    Age 47
    In late 2008, McNabb participated in a concert reunion of City Lights, an early pre-Icicle Works band of which he had been a member as a teen.
    More Details Hide Details At the end of the year, McNabb released his autobiography, entitled Merseybeast: A Musical Memoir.
    In January and February 2008, McNabb was involved with "The Number Ones Project", a concert and compilation album celebrating Liverpool's fifty-six No. 1 singles on the UK charts.
    More Details Hide Details McNabb played at the January concert, and subsequently appeared on the album, released in February, with his studio cover of John Lennon's "Woman".
  • 2007
    Age 46
    In December 2007, McNabb's second live album, How We Live: At the Philharmonic, was issued.
    More Details Hide Details The album was culled from two June 2007 shows at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall.
  • 2005
    Age 44
    Later in 2005, McNabb released People Don't Stop Believin, an album of b-sides and outtakes from Before All of This.
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    In 2005, McNabb successfully pushed a single, "Let The Young Girl Do What She Wants To" to No. 38 on the UK charts.
    More Details Hide Details This was McNabb's highest-ever chart placing as a solo artist, and his biggest hit since The Icicle Works' "Love Is a Wonderful Colour" reached No. 15 in early 1984, a span of over 21 years. This unexpected chart success was assisted considerably by his loyal fanbase buying several different formats of the single in an attempt to gain greater publicity and recognition for his then-current album, Before All of This. But despite support from a number of prominent DJs such as Jeremy Vine and Janice Long on BBC Radio 2, further widespread success continued to elude McNabb.
  • 2004
    Age 43
    2004 saw McNabb issuing a second 'Best Of' album, Potency: The Best of Ian McNabb.
    More Details Hide Details This covered his whole solo oeuvre, showcasing his eclectic musical taste and output.
  • 2003
    Age 42
    Another "bits and pieces" collection, Boots followed in 2003, the title being both McNabb's nickname (after his penchant for wearing Beatles-style boots in the mid-80s while with The Icicle Works), and a reference to the 'official bootleg' nature of the release.
    More Details Hide Details The double disc set includes some very hard to find items, demos, and alternative versions.
  • 2002
    Age 41
    McNabb returned to his own Fairfield label in 2002, and issued the low-key The Gentleman Adventurer.
    More Details Hide Details Best described as a semi-acoustic album, it is similar in spirit to his first solo album, Truth and Beauty, with occasional use of the drum machine to accompany more upbeat numbers such as "Ain't No Way to Behave". Almost entirely performed by McNabb (with help from his long-time collaborator and bassist in the latter-day Icicle Works Roy Corkill), the album takes in a variety of styles from rock, through ballads, a touch of funk, and acoustic storytelling.
  • 1999
    Age 38
    McNabb followed APPBOBOTEP with a live acoustic album, Live at Life (2000), compiled from a pair of Christmas gigs in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details The album included one newly written track, "Why Are the Beautiful So Sad", which continued to chronicle McNabb's dislike of celebrity culture as noted earlier in "Don't Patronise Me". Ian McNabb (2001) marked McNabb's full-band return, and was issued by Sanctuary Records. The album's opening track, "Livin' Proof (Miracles Can Happen)", was written for the Go-Go's reunion which had recently taken place, but was declined by that band. McNabb's version was pressed as a promo single. The album was moderately received critically, with reviewers complaining of a lack of variety in the rock bombast of the record as compared to its two predecessors. 2001 also saw the issuance of a demos and outtakes collection, Waifs and Strays, which included previously unreleased material and alternate versions of familiar McNabb chestnuts.
  • 1998
    Age 37
    On returning to performing his own material, McNabb focused on acoustic music, leading to a residency at the Birmingham club of Ronnie Scott. The material arising out of this became the low-key album A Party Political Broadcast on Behalf of the Emotional Party, released by McNabb on his own Fairfield label in 1998.
    More Details Hide Details Aside from McNabb, the only other musicians on the album were Waterboys Mike Scott and Anthony Thistlethwaite, and legendary bassist Danny Thompson. The album also produced one single, Little Princess which failed to chart.
  • 1997
    Age 36
    In 1997, This Way Up parted company with McNabb, and released a 'best-of' collection entitled My Own Way: The Words & Music of Ian McNabb.
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  • 1996
    Age 35
    The 1996 album Merseybeast saw McNabb with a new backing band called "The Afterlife".
    More Details Hide Details But despite high expectations for the new CD, the album's first single, the fierce "Don't Put Your Spell on Me" only hit UK No. 72. The second single, the album's title track (Merseybeast, which saw McNabb exploring his scouse roots and merging them with West Coast Americana) fared even worse, hitting UK No. 74. Although generally well received by critics and fans, in the end Merseybeast failed to capitalise on the commercial success of its predecessor. This led to a two-year hiatus on McNabb's part from both touring under his own name, and recording full studio albums.
  • 1994
    Age 33
    Molina and Talbot toured with McNabb in 1994, featuring on the short live bonus CD which accompanied his next album, Merseybeast.
    More Details Hide Details This performance also featured Noel Gallagher of Oasis on uncredited rhythm guitar as the group covered The Seeds' "Pushin' Too Hard". Gallagher's refusal to be credited reportedly inspired the later McNabb composition "Don't Patronise Me", although McNabb has always denied this accusation.
  • 1993
    Age 32
    He then resurfaced in 1993 with a collection of demos which would form the basis of his first solo album, Truth and Beauty.
    More Details Hide Details Recorded on a shoestring, it won him a record deal with Andrew Lauder's new 'This Way Up' Label. The album's first proper single If Love Was Like Guitars became a minor UK hit in 1993. Following this, the 1991 single Great Dreams of Heaven was re-released, but failed to gain much airplay, possibly due to lyrical references such as "babies being born H.I.V." The next single pulled from the album, I'm Game, failed to chart, so This Way Up went for a different strategy. I Go) My Own Way was re-recorded with The Stone Roses producer John Leckie at the helm, but it too failed to significantly impact on the UK charts. Still, This Way Up stuck with McNabb and vice versa. Post-Truth and Beauty, McNabb was allegedly inspired to a rockier sound by the engineer who mastered that record, telling him "Aye, Ian, your rocking days are behind you." Legend has it that McNabb went back to his home in Liverpool, and recorded a demo of what would become the coruscating opener of Head Like a Rock, "Fire Inside My Soul".
  • 1990
    Age 29
    The Wild Swans dissolved in late 1990, and McNabb then issued two solo singles in 1991 to little notice.
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    Around the time of the split of the Icicle Works in 1990, McNabb spent some time as a de facto member of The Wild Swans, playing guitar and singing background vocals.
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  • 1989
    Age 28
    McNabb put together a new "second generation" Icicle Works line-up in 1989, which released one album in 1990.
    More Details Hide Details However, the album was commercially unsuccessful and the band broke up the following year. In October 2006, after 15 years as a solo artist, McNabb unexpectedly revived the name "The Icicle Works" for a series of UK concerts. However, this new version of McNabb's old band did not feature any original Icicle Works members other than McNabb himself. In essence, McNabb seemed to be re-branding himself, using a somewhat more successful trade name in order to give his work increased exposure. Throughout 2007 and into early 2008, McNabb played dates as both a solo artist and with The Icicle Works. He then retired the name for a few years, before playing a handful of "30th Anniversary" shows as The Icicle Works in 2011.
  • 1988
    Age 27
    The original line-up of The Icicle Works broke up in 1988.
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  • 1981
    Age 20
    During 1981, McNabb auditioned for the role of Barry Grant in Brookside but was unsuccessful.
    More Details Hide Details He also played extras in many television dramas at this time. The Icicle Works had success in the UK with the top 20 single "Love Is A Wonderful Colour" in 1983. They also hit the top 40 in North America with the single "Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly)" in 1984. The Icicle Works continued recording through the 1980s with limited success. In the UK, several of the band's follow-up singles charted, although none reached higher than No. 52. In the US, they briefly made the Modern Rock charts in 1988, but achieved no further mainstream recognition and were regarded in North America as a one-hit wonder.
  • 1980
    Age 19
    McNabb became the lead vocalist and songwriter for the band, which was founded in 1980 and named "The Icicle Works".
    More Details Hide Details The band's other members were Chris Sharrock on Drums and Chris Layhe on Bass guitar and backing vocals.
  • 1976
    Age 15
    McNabb quit Young World near the end of 1976 and joined an all male teen cabaret group called City Lights.
    More Details Hide Details In 1977 the group auditioned for ITV's New Faces but were unsuccessful. McNabb began attending the Mabel Fletcher College of Music and Drama. Ian quit City Lights in February 1980, having agreed to start a band with Chris Sharrock.
  • 1974
    Age 13
    McNabb's first musical performance was playing You're Sixteen at Fairfield Conservative Club in Liverpool in 1974.
    More Details Hide Details In 1975 Ian auditioned and joined the young cabaret group Daybreak (Later renamed "Young World"). The group played at men's clubs around the North-West of England during the mid-1970s. The group unsuccessfully auditioned for television talent show Opportunity Knocks. Chris Sharrock later joined the group, where McNabb first became friends with him, he would go on to drum for The Icicle Works. McNabb wrote his first song at age 15, titled "Apologise (I Will)".
  • 1960
    Born on November 3, 1960.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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