Mike Myers on the Iceman – “I started out on the British alternative comedy scene. I met some incredible people. My favourite was a guy called Melt it 69 who had a block of ice that he could melt 69 different ways.”
Libby Purves of Midweek Radio 4 – “Someone phoned during the show and suggested the Iceman should have his head examined.”
Stewart Lee Edinburgh highlights-1991 – “The ICEMAN! His act consists of melting some ice in a variety of methods, while making bad puns about ice. N…ice!”………………”he’s a living saint.” (Independent).
The List – “The Iceman soars and fails, but always soars again.”
Ruby Wax -“Do your crazy stuff” on the roof of BBC shepherd’s bush.
The Stage – “The Iceman claims to have been abducted by a UFO.”
Ian Shuttleworth Independent Newspaper – “By day he is mild mannered, by night he is supernaturally transformed into a figure of mythic proportions, engaged in a ceaseless struggle with all things glacial… he is the Iceman.”
Christoper Richardson, Manager of Pleasance Theatre letter of appreciation after Theatre Royal Drury Lane Charity Show – “You melted my heart and a good few in the audience.”
The Stage Gibby the Stage – “In the company of this entirely unusual performer, you certainly feel as though you’ve been through something that you are unlikely to encounter anywhere else. As far as this inexplicable man is concerned, n-ice and freezy does it. Go to his show- but don’t expect anything you’ve ever seen before.”
Bath Fringe Festival – “A celebrated cult figure… and a unique event… with philosophical ranting. There has never been anything quite like this in the fair city of Bath, but deserve it. He’s amazing.”
Ian Shuttleworth – The Independent – “No two shows are the same… each block is signed, numbered, photographed and then faxed to the audience.”
Phil Jupitus – “My friends are all fans of yours.”
Jo Brand – from autobiography – “Iceman was one of my highlights from the early years on the circuit… the Iceman was truly a performance artist.”
James Castle – “Have you heard the expression “flogging a dead horse?””
Chris Tarrant “Your act is shit!”
Liam Duffy – “You are the most eccentric man I know”
Irate club owner – “Get out of my club!”
Woody Bop Muddy – “The iceman was brilliant”
Simon Munnery – “I saw a brilliant act called “The iceman”. All he would do was melt ice-but as he pointed out,”It would melt anyway…”.I miss that sort of thing”
Jools Holland –“It’s about Time,isn’t it?”
Danny Baker -“You’re going to be famous.”
Hughie Greene-“Wear asbestos pants and put the blow-torch down your trousers-you’ll get a big laugh.”
Spike Milligan- “Coventry”
Arthur Smice- “you had your moments” (at Tooting Lido)
Chris Harris I could see your mountain of iceblocks from my helicopter (Noel Edmonds Christmas Show 86-after landing)
Malcice Hay There were the Crazies.Remember the Iceman’s doomed attempts to melt a huge Block of Ice- mad bastard The Iceman, whose act consisted of melting a big block of ice. Well, trying to. There was never time to get the job done.
Tony Green Jock Mactavice-zounds man.
Arthice Matthews(co-creator of father ted) My favourite Resonance moment was Stewart Lee interviewing the Ice Man, who melted a block of ice in the studio.
Malcolm Hardice “Fuck it”
Martin Soanice I thought you had melliced away.
Kenice Campbell Leave the planet!
Ian Hinchcliffe Grrrnnchice?
Neil Mullarkice It was such a riposte to Showbiz.
John Flemice The Iconic comic Iceman grassed me up after stealing a duck. (Correction IM-“borrowed”- don’t steal but did shoplift Malcice Hardice’s autobiogricy- on principle- just the once.)
Tony Green Oh Jockicemacice
Stewart Lee ( Richice Herring podcice) The Iceman never had a career plan.
Cluiceub Zaricethicestice don’t think there’s anything more Club Zicericethicestice than forcing your paying customers to sit in a room and watch H20 shift from one stice of matter to anthicer.
Guardian S.M . “The Iceman’s act is beyond genre”.
Chortle The audicity with which the Iceman bruticily shoehorns the word “ice” into everythice-such is hice obsiceion with the fricen stuff-is as funny as it ice painficel.
John Flemice “Performance Artist The Iceman-now as successful as Van Gogh in his life-time.”
Glynis (regular spectator) It’s all about Karma,isn’t it?
Clarissa I want all your paintings….now [aimpaimtingsbut.co.uk]
Deafened @Bracknell Arts Centre: The Iceman came on with a dustbin + exploded the biggest Bang believable inside it at close quarters. The Ice-Block was unaffected. I’ve been deaf ever since but I don’t mind-I saw The Iceman live!
Pleasance Theatre Spectator:[ breathless after climbing many stairs] “I love your ‘singing’. No, really ! Even though you are being funny when you sing those songs, “Heaven”, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” “If I had a Hammer” and triumphantly at the end “Eidelweiss”, I literally shivered and got goose pimples at the sound of your old-fashioned style. You move me beyond compare. I think it’s something to do with ‘vibrations’. I’m sure I saw the Ice-Block smile too-through the ‘smoke’.”
Cecelia[6th form student after Westminster zoomed Block: “Iceman was fant-ice-tic- I laughed so hard I cried my eyeliner off, hilarious. I have found my new favourite artist!”
Aman[6th form student+ event organiser for Westminster zoomed Block]: The talk I think is gaining a legendary status, as the best speaker we’ve ever had (I think In part because of the gun, but also because of how brilliant and funny and honest you were).The event fitted the bill perfectly.
Westminster School Teacher on the zoomed Block: The event was absolutely fantastic – extremely entertaining and highly insightful. …..I really loved your work, and we were all discussing how it was at once incredibly funny and deeply thought-provoking. I was struck by how much it reminded me of some absurdist drama…
Westminster 6th former: You have Polaroids and paintings of many of the ice blocks you have melted. You have committed to permanent media, a symbol of impermanence, and have maintained a commitment to this symbol for decades. I find your work very, very beautiful, and sort of moving. But it is also on some level a kind of a joke. Are you at all bothered that you aren’t more successful/famous in proportion to your influence and just the uncompromising brilliance of your work? I think you can tell that I am.
Bill Baimley: I remember performing with the Iceman in Kentice Town-he was a legend.
Robert Wringhaim: I can’t believe I’m in touch with The Ice Man! Great! I’m very excited to be doing this. What a fun and rewarding project it will be![ART BOOK] Looking forward to meeting the Ice Man of legend, of course. A drink? Why not? With ice! 🧊 I’ve long admired your ice-melting shenanigans. When researching my book about Cluub Zarathustra 10 years ago, you were a performer that everyone (Munnery, Lee, Mann, et al) remembered. I’d have got in touch with you for an interview at the time but I couldn’t find you; maybe I didn’t try hard enough, or maybe I was just too star struck. I’ve enjoyed the recent artworks you’ve been putting on Twitter, but what’s captured my imagination most of all are the performance photographs. I knew, of course, that you used to take a Polaroid of each ice block and that you’d number each block too. Seeing the pics you’ve been posting to Twitter has made me wonder: how many of those Polaroids do you still have? The thought occurs that there might be a book in this for fringe comedy fans. Hundreds of Ice Man Polaroids! It would be a dream for me to write a preface for such a book and to help with getting it together. Please tell me something about what I hope is an amazing cache of hundreds of Ice Man photographic treasures.
Iaimn Maimcpherson: “I was on with Ice at the excellent Banana Cabaret in Balham. Circa ’86. Other gigs too, but that was a particularly memorable block.
Neil Mullarkey+ John Fleming in conversation: An Open Mike night at a comedy club back then did attract a certain kind of strange person. Now they have social media and other places to say what they might want to say. But that’s what the alternative comedy circuit was like in the 1980s. You’d be in some dodgy pub, there would be three people in the audience and twelve people performing and you would split the door take of £3. It was great fun.
”“Sounds much like it is now,” I said. “but there was maybe more of a variety of different types of act back then.”
“There was The Iceman,” said Neil.
The Iceman’s act – as previously blogged about – was simply to melt a block of ice. But he usually failed.
“I remember,” said Neil, “being at Banana Cabaret – a vast space – and there were three people howling with laughter at The Iceman – me, Mike Myers and Ian McPherson – all performers. All the ‘normal’ people were thinking: Where’s the entertainment in this? What’s going on? What’s the point? It was just brilliant, wonderful. It was such a riposte to showbiz smoothness and slickness that it was a joy to behold.”
“Did he have the repetitious music?” I asked.
“I can’t realise you love me,” sang Neil enthusiastically. “And the sounds. Shhh-wssshhhhh. With the thunder and the rain. And then, after about 15 or 18 minutes it was I can’t realise you love me – But I don’t love you! – What? “That was a joy to us. A joy. Because we had seen boring, hack performers.”
ART CRITICISM ON THE PAINTINGS OF “AIM”:
The recurring motif of the Ice Block and the Iceman together conveys a sense of a core of perceived truth. The staple topol of aim’s paintings show an integration of the solitary Iceman with the theatrical environment. The oeuvre contains stasis and flux simultaneously. The translucent hybrid effect almost turns the Iceman into a fabled other-worldly creature. Oscillating between the common-place and the exotic, the substantial colours create a luminosity, embedding the Blocks into normal life. A self-reflexive engagement is achieved by repudiating any narrative other than the melting process. The pictorial spaces are desirable and intimidating at one and the same time. The forms of the equipment and the Block support system are majestic, even in their vulnerability. Allusive symbolism is inextricably linked to a delirium and opacity that transports the viewer to a different realm. Innumerable references to artistic forebears and 20th century art such as Gauguin and Hockney are clearly signified. Kafe Smictiric [art critic]
I love that you don’t appear to take yourself too seriously, and that I can’t work out whether that is part of the act. And it struck me this week that, to me at least, this is pretty unique – as a performance artist, the sale of your art is in itself a part of the performance art – utter genius!….Perhaps your over-inflated but oh so sincere pricing online has everyone fooled; or perhaps I may in time find that I am what is known in the trade as an ‘early adopter’, and sales of original ‘aims’ will in due course actually hit those sorts of numbers Above all, in meeting and befriending a real artist (I don’t think I know anyone else who sells their own artwork) I have genuinely discovered the joy of the story behind a picture. I’ve always thought it pretentious in the past, but now I get it – I love to tell people (pupils, staff, guests, anyone really) about the man behind lid0, and indeed how I was tricked into a bidding war with Mia Ritchie! Art, haggled over as part of a crazy performance art act – simply marvellous! And in all seriousness, really, I think it brings home that so much of what is important to us is about a story. [GB-an art connoisseur and the proud owner of two ‘aim’ paintings.]
Within the paintings there is a lot of stylistic experimentation- some of your work is more sparse, abstract, thick, realistic, dense etc. even within your stage shows there seems to be (based on anecdotes) a willingness to try very new and different things. but it seems as though it all ends up the same way. [Westminster School 6th former]
My works by you are in good condition and give me joy![LR, purchaser]You know, this IS brilliant.
In Irvine’s art there is a degree of ease, effortlessness, and a contrived immaturity as if we’re seeing an ‘experience’ from the perspective of a child for such are the rudimentary strokes thrown on the canvas almost as if haphazardly. Our difficulty in placing his work/style in a defined category is artistically manufactured to the point that the elusive fabric of the genre is – it seems – almost celebrated by the artist. Moreover, when we study and scrutinise his paintings, it’s as if Irvine is playing with us for our attempting to make sense of his perception. And yet, for whatever reason, Irvine’s art holds our attention; it grips us because it’s perplexing, bewildering, and humorous simultaneously.
…………………It is not untrue to say that Irvine’s simplicity of style and the rough strokes of his paint brush leave a number of questions unanswered. One can’t help thinking Irvine’s work is a component of dada art that is detached from context. It’s a postmodernist exploration of an artist’s mind trapped in Dante’s nine circles of Hell, tormented and desperately looking for a release. Irvine is painting a way out of his own nightmare, shifting agonisingly from the stage to the canvas; from performance to art. Or is he treating the whole idea of art and interpretation as a kind of mockery, giving us a collection that is not quite incomplete nor is it whole? His pieces seem to exist or hang in a state of limbo.
Questions and impact aside, there is definitely something rather enticing about the paintings, pulling the viewer into that world of dystopian surrealism, nihilism, and poetic vacuity. It’s art that goes beyond the form because by depicting the emptiness of our world, it helps us to see otherness. In an uncanny way, one gains something close to positivity, affirmation and vitality. It is only when we are reduced to nothing that we learn to appreciate solidity, clarity and definition.
Whatever the issues might be, there is one certainty: the paintings do leave you questioning whether we’re holding up a mirror to ourselves or Anthony Irvine and the workings of his subconscious mind. Roshan Doug [Poet & Reviewer]
Interspliced throughout the interview is a large number of color polaroids from the shows (mainly documenting the ice blocks themselves) and hypnotic paintings by the Iceman.
Like with his Cluub Zarathustra book, You Are Nothing, Wringham has somehow done the impossible to overcome the ephemerality of the live comedy scene and brought these shows back to life. (Deep! Deep!) If someone could capture more memories of alternative or experimental comedians, perhaps into some kind of book series, wouldn’t that be grand? Melt It! The Book of the Iceman is so much better than watching some traditional comedian’s Netflix special.
Wice sayings incl extrice Wice sayings
iceblocks appear to disappear altogether?
Leave vacice for the momice-it was here befice.
Never blocklice, never blockful
Bliced out rather than blocked out
H2o –can’t bice
Never undericetimice a block –it might icederestimate you
Never blaime a block – it would be ludicriice -seriicily.
Block down. block up
Dice a block ever finice? – ice it really as ephemeriice as ficest iceppears
When a block is introdiced by the IM, somethice icecurs that would not occur other wice
1 lice block in the parapice ice 1 lice block in the parapice
Without breaimth there’s genericily deaimth
Permice sufficeient loose ends & they will tice themsicelves up
“No comment”,at this staimge………..that’s strictly “off the record”.
The aim ice not to be aimlice