Some Of My Thoughts

My head’s a scary place, especially when you don’t own it. Band, managers and press are asked not to click [More]. This is for the old-skool, a glimpse into the strange world of the Cro-mea, a first draft of what should have been a Tragedy Rocks review but went a bit wrong. I’m so gonna get shafted for this. But get to a Crimea gig and have a listen to the new stuff. Tragedy Rocks – a great album? This ain’t nothing kids.

Ou est la beast.

A question every Crocketts fan has been asking since early 2001, when The Crocketts revealed they were busy collecting material for their new album, going by the name of “ou est la beast”. Three years later and although the band’s line up has change, the beast finally made it.

Tragedy Rocks is now the title of The Crimea’s first album, and the fourth LP penned by lead singer Davey MacManus. Containing songs from throughout the three years after The Crocketts split, everyone from new guitarist Andy Norton to ex-Crockett lead man Dan Harris are included in the recordings. Old Crox Army favourite Opposite Ends lies back to back with John Peel’s top tune of 2002, Lottery Winners On Acid, and newbies Howling At The Moon… and Out Of Africa look set to make a whole new generation fall in love with The Crimea. Hang with me while I take you for a ride through The Crimea’s quest for the elusive world domination.

The LP starts off with The Crimea’s second single, White Russian Galaxy. Formerly known as Who Knows, this track was recorded in 2001 with ex-crox Rich Carter and Dan Harris. It reached number 89 in the Official UK Charts, and secured the band’s place in John Peels heart. Next up, Davey’s telling tales of more drunken excapades in the bedroom. Baby Boom, the latest single from the band, was recorded in 2003 with Julz Parker on lead guitar and backing vocals and is said to amble, ramble, then then finally reel you in. Enough of the fishing talk, onto the new stuff…

The Miserabilist Tango was one of the highlights of the band’s live show, with Andy Stafford getting his first proper lead line on the keyboards. Davey sounds suitably out of it yet again before the whole band get together for some big howling chord sequences. Bad Vibrations is another new one, first air’d during an interview on Radio Wales, it’s another song that sounded better live, but is still one of my favourite Crimea songs.

Lottery Winners On Acid. What can be said about John Peel’s favourite track of 2002, single handidly bringing the band more airplay in one month than The Crocketts had in five years. Davey’s tale of warped love sits in the middle of the album, seemingly un-altered since it’s release as the band’s debut single.

If I was ever asked to name one song that summed up The Crimea’s work, Opposite Ends would be top of the list. I first heard the would-be novel Opposite Ends after purchasing The Crockett’s On Something single, and without haste labled the CD the best I’d ever bought. Back then it was more a poem than a song, an acoustic tale of two halves, Davey and his lost lover. It wasn’t until I recieved a live video of one of The Crocketts gigs until I heard the electric version of the song, and bloody hell was it ever good. Dan surpased himself with the lead line, and lord knows what Davey had taken, what with all the mumbling and punching himself in the head, trying to play the guitar upside down… And then Rich left. Never ones to let their fans down, Davey, Owen and Dan recruited bassist Geoff and recorded and epic performance of Opposite Ends under the band name Klutzville. The song’s undergone name/musician changes and had a whole new verse added to the begining of it since then, but it’s the old (and my personal favouite) Klutzville version that appears on the album.

The Crimea are capable of some amazing tracks. You may not have heard them all, but this is one. Howiling At The Moon… is currently my favourite track on the album. A fast base line and choppy chords shove it straight to the top of the ‘must be released’ track list. Hang on, isn’t that a lyric from…?

The Great Unknown, lifted from the B-side to Baby Boom, is a slow number with Andy Stafford again taking the main musical spotlight, though a little bird told me Davey wrote the keyboard line. A talented man indeed. And the tale of an unwanted life on earth leads onto the longing for a life in Utopia. Bombay Sapphire Coma is the new name for another old Klutzville track, given a new facelift in terms of title and vocal track. I think I can also just hear a new guitar from Andy Norton line stuck in there. Maybe I’m imaging stuff. Listening to an album all day does weird things to you.

While in Aberystwyth on a warm summers evening, waiting outside a pub for The Crimea to turn up and play a gig, Owen came over to me and asked what I thought of Six Shoulders Six Stone. Not knowing why he asked, I thought the band might be thinking of releasing it as the next single, but Davey’s suicide song has only just appeared on the album now, unchanged since Lord MacManus was seen handing out copies in a Camden pub, years ago. I reserve judgement myself, it’s good enough to be great, but I don’t see that special something. I just wanna die too. And Out Of Africa should explain why. The words Man and Monkey have gone together ever since.. um… some chinese guy dressed up as one for a cult karate drama. And unfortunately if we don’t stop fighting each other, drunk irish men are gonna keep writing degrading songs about us. But bugger me if they don’t kick some Busted butt.

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