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Unleash the Merseybeast - Paul Baker talks to Ian McNabb ahead of the Mersey musician¶s hometown Sound City show May 10 2010 Best of Liverpool 1

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³We were a couple of years after the Bunnymen, Teardrops, OMD and that, and there was a feeding frenzy in Liverpool because the record companies realised how hot the North West was ± Manchester and Liverpool´ HE¶S Ian McNabb, he¶s a local musical hero and he¶s playing at this month¶s Liverpool Sound City so what¶s he doing on a train bound for London? ³I¶m going up to Iceland to solve the volcanic ash problem,´he says wryly. It turns out he¶s on his way to meet fellow musicians Beth Orton, Marcella Detroit and some of the guys from UNKLE to work on a possible future musical project. It sounds like it¶s all go for Ian right now. As the former frontman of influential and revered '80s outfit The Icicle Works there are always going to be demands on his time, but Ian still seems to love it.

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³I¶ve got lots of gigs µtil the end of the year and then we¶re playing the Head Like a Rock album at the Philharmonic with choir and strings, in December. So there¶s plenty going on.´And that¶s not to mention Ian¶s solo show at the Stanley Theatre, May 22, as part of the Sound City event which will turn Liverpool into the gig capital of the UK from May 19-22. So is he looking forward to it?

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³Absolutely yeah, can¶t wait. It¶s a different band than I¶ve used before because my band is scattered to the four corners doing proper jobs. Going to try and play a good chunk of the new album and greatest hits and just try and put on a good show.

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³I¶m really looking forward to this, I think people are just expecting me to play on my own, but it is the full hit!´Ian will be keeping the fans happy with the best of his solo and Icicle Works material. The Icicle Works sprang up in the early µ80s when Liverpool¶s music scene was almost as big as it had been during Beatlemania.

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³We were a couple of years after the Bunnymen, Teardrops, OMD and that, and there was a feeding frenzy in Liverpool because the record companies realised how hot the North West was ± Manchester and Liverpool ± and they all tried to sign bands from that area µcos we were cool. ³People were saying it was like the Merseybeat days 20 years later, you know.´ Ian recalls that it was the sound of µ70s glam rock which first turned him on to music, thanks to bands like T-Rex, Mott the Hoople and Sweet. Later he discovered The Beatles. Looking back, Ian remembers just how quickly everything came together for the band when they were first starting out. ³We did an independent single with Probe Records and John Peel played it, God bless him... Then A&R men started coming to see us and then eventually we got a singles deal with Beggar¶s Banquet. Then that did well, got to the top of the Indie charts and we got a proper deal. It was pretty easy, probably took us about 18 months to getting our records played from when we started.´Ian realises he came into the industry at a good time for music and recognises the plight of musicians trying to make a name for themselves today. ³There was hundreds of gigs then, it was just a lot easier then. [Nowadays] it seems you play in the real tiny toilet places or big arenas. I think a lot of the middle ground has been lost because the corporations have taken over everything. Like it¶s the 02 Arena and the 02 Academy and underneath that you¶ve got pubs!´After a number of chart singles, including a hit in America, and a five album career, The Icicle Works disbanded and Ian pursued a solo career that soon garnered him praise and media attention, if not big record sales. 1

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COMEDY FESTIVAL: Review of Best of Liverpool night at the Royal Court May 17 2010

best of liverpool, ian mcnabb (What's this)

Fun on the Tyne - Pam Bloom bridges the gap between Liverpool and Newcastle May 12 2010

THE FAB FOUR - Sarah Hooley gets 'Carried' away as SATC 2 mania sweeps the city... May 11 2010

Junk free zone - Michelle Rushton turns to the experts for tips on how to encourage children to eat healthily. May 11 2010

Comedy Cure - Laughter is the best medicine for the Year of Health and Wellbeing May 11 2010

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