Jazz Cafe Review

I know, I know, the video’s taking forever. Audio decided to unsync itself and took 3 hours to redo. Now just 230 minutes left until it’s uploaded. Again. Unless anything else goes wrong :| . So here’s a review instead.

The-Crimea-at-Jazz-Cafe-The-Upcoming-Andrei-Grosu-4_800x532The boys from The Upcoming were out in force – with photographer Andrei Grosu sat right next to yours truly, and he managed to get some excellent shots. I knew that spare seat would come in handy :) Journo Aoife O’Driscoll was probably slumming it down with the standing crowd, but still managed to get a four star write-up online. Hit more for both that and the pics, and if anyone finds Andrei’s website let me know, he deserves some credit :) . Specially as they credit immortalsoon in the review links ;) .

Roisin Gadelrab of the Camden Review also attended, but clearly missed the humour in the bloke shouting “FROG ON A STIICKKK” through half the show. Matt swears it wasn’t him. Of course it wasn’t. It’s deffinately not him shouting through every other live recording ever either. We love you really :) . Cept Miss Roisin. Who was also dissapointed she couldn’t find Annie Macmanus, who was actually there for a short time, at the back downstairs somewhere. Fame gets you nowhere in a Crimea gig. I should know. Well it gets you in to soundcheck but otherwise. (Srsly though, it’s been a pleasure, thanks Joe/Owen/Andy/Davey/Whoever).

The Crimea at The Jazz Cafe | Live review

The Crimea’s farewell gig drew an almost uncomfortably packed crowd to The Jazz Cafe this Tuesday night. Coming to the end of an eleven year run with three studio albums, The Crimea are going their separate ways as lead singer, Davey Macmanus, plans to relocate to South Africa to open a children’s home. Noble as their reasons are, Macmanus and the band seem genuinely wistful – and this incites a wonderful, emotional set.

Macmanus is immediately the centre of attention, totally commanding the stage with his soulful crooning. Audience members crane and twist to get a better glimpse of the singer through the crowded hall, though everyone listens with silent, rapt attention before bursting into applause after each song. It’s almost as though the crowd are awed into silence by Macmanus’ gorgeously raw vocals. Macmanus seems entirely in his own world during many of the songs and is almost unaware of his adoring fans as he loses himself in his own music. Songs such as Loop a Loop and Baby Boom showcase some existential, philosophical lyrics, and it is in these songs that his voice is at its most emotional.

When the band strikes up the dark love song Opposite Ends, a song fraught with passion, the crowd can’t help but join in with infectious enthusiasm. But Macmanus’ interaction with his audience is reduced primarily to philosophical proclamations and obscure poetry. This does however seem to be a signature style as the crowd are appreciative as ever.

Though there is little interaction from or with the rest of the band, the music is beautiful, often haunting and always complementary. The pining style of Andrew Norton on guitar and the elegant piano by Andrew Stafford contrast stunningly with Macmanus’ gruff voice. Meanwhile, Tara Blaise’s soft, sweet soprano brings a welcome tenderness to the anguished love songs.

The band is invited back for not one, but two encores by the relentlessly encouraging crowd. Their final song is the 2006 hit Lottery Winners on Acid, accompanied by clouds of bubbles blown out into the crowd, it brings an upbeat and poignant end to The Crimea’s farewell gig.

The Crimea produce songs one might expect to find playing at the climax of a fabulous indie epic. Macmanus is intensely passionate about his work and this informs a distinct voice for the band. This is thoughtful, resonating music that will undoubtedly transcend the group’s end.

Verdict: ****

For further information on The Crimea visit here.

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Review by Aoife O’Driscoll for The Upcoming, 31st July 2013. Photos by Andrei Grosu.

News: The Crimea’s farewell, Farah Fridays at Camden Beach and Explode The TV


IF ever there was a need for the Jazz Cafe to reinstate the “STFU while the music’s playing” plea on its central pillar, Tuesday was it.

The venue was full to capacity as The Crimea played their last ever gig – launching third album Square Moon – before magnetic frontman Davey MacManus heads to South Africa to set up an orphanage.

The crowd were devoted, but the chattering over MacManus’s soft words, was out of control.

Talking is inevitable but why waste money on tickets if you’re just going to shout over the entire performance?

Well-known fact I only learned last week: The Crimea’s frontman Davey MacManus is Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac’s brother – I scanned the crowd but failed to spot her.

Review by Roisin Gadelrab for the Camden Review, 1st August 2013.

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