Crimea News Articles

North South DivineThe Cockermouth edition of the Times & Star newspaper had an article on Andy Stafford in it on July 1st. It’s all about him and the band getting signed by Warners, so check it out on the Times & Star website or by clicking More. You can also view my little bio on him here.
The Times Leader website has an interesting article on a day in the life of Warner’s A&R man Perry Watts-Russell, who signed The Crimea to the Warners lable, and features a little bit on his involvement with the band. Click More or view the Times Leader website to read it.
And the new FF Vinyl compilation The North South Divine, featuring The Crimea’s White Russian Galaxy, was released on Monday. BBC Wales have reviewed it here and say that, among other things, “highlights include The Crimea’s brash new wave White Russian Galaxy”. You can pick up a copy from for ?7.99.

Published on 01/07/2004

Andy Stafford
A BRIDEKIRK man is on the brink of international stardom after being signed by recording giant, Warner.

Andy Stafford, 26, gave up a job as a public relations officer two years go to join The Crimea and the group looks set to do what many Brit acts have failed to do – crack the American music market.

Warner?s top man recently flew from Los Angeles to London to watch the five-piece in action following successful gigs in Texas and New York and immediately signed them up.

With the weight of the huge recording company behind them, Andy is convinced that the band?s career is about to take off – on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Crimea?s first CD has been recorded. Some songs will be remixed and a few more added before its release in the United States next year and in Britain shortly afterwards.

Andy?s parents, Jean and Jim, a doctor at the West Cumberland Hospital, live in Bridekirk.

Andy went to Cockermouth School, where he studied music and then Manchester University. He joined a PR firm in London but said his ambition has always been to play rock music.

The Crimea – from left, Andy Noton,
Owen Hopkin, Davey Macmanus,
Andrew Stafford and Joe Udwin
He met the other band members when he was in London and The Crimea was formed.

Its other members are lead vocalist and song writer Davey McManus, from Ireland, lead guitarist Andy Norton and drummer Owen Hopkins, who are both Welsh and bass player Joseph Udwin, who is from Zimbabwe.

The band has already had some success. Three singles released by independent labels with no marketing money behind them broke into in the top 100 chart.

The band has toured with the likes of Travis, The Stereophonics and Echo and the Bunnymen and is discovering that many of its fans are the very people they have been support acts for.

The Crimea won the ITV Wales? Pop Factory Awards 2003 for best new talent and was nominated in the NME Brat Awards.

It has also featured in Kerrang! and has had airplay by some of the country?s top radio DJ?s including John Peel, Jo Wiley and Jonathan Ross.

Andy describes The Crimea?s music as alternative pop/rock – a bit of Flaming Lips and a bit of Velvet Underground.

According to the group?s official website, the fans have added a bit of Dusty Springfield, Leonard Cohen, Mercury Rev and the Pixies to the mix.

If that is confusing it simply means that it is hard to define The Crimea except to say – again according to their fans – that they are forward thinking, imaginative, boundary pushing and classic.

Whatever their musical style, it seems to be working and Warner has proved that by signing them.

?We?re just delighted,? Andy said. ?It is very exciting. Many bands make it in the UK and then have to go the States and start all over. We are starting in the States.?

Review by Vivienne Paterson for the Times & Star newspaper.

Star maker
Wed, Jul. 14, 2004

A day in the life of an A&R rep

He’s the man who brought you bands like Radiohead, Muse and the Von Bondies, among many others. Perry Watts-Russell is an A&R (artist and repertoire) guy for Warner Bros. records, the omnipotent people responsible for finding new talent to sign for his record label, and he just happens to have one of the hottest jobs in the music industry right now.

We asked Watts-Russell, one of the most well-respected A&R reps in the biz, to keep a diary for one day so you could see what the job really entails. For anyone who’s ever given serious thought to working in the industry, read on.

8:45 – 9:45 – Take advantage of my early arrival at work to make phone calls to the UK and New York.
…Next is a conference call with managers (one in NY, one in London) of UK based band, The Crimea, my most recent signing. We lay out a tentative plan for the fall and the first half of 2005: College radio EP for September/October, appearance at CMJ Music Marathon mid-October, nailing down of U.S. agent, opening slot on a U.S. tour, urgent need for a photo shoot, potential mixes of the band’s home recordings for the album, projected February 2005 release date for the album. The managers also inform me that in addition to two big summer festivals in the UK, The Crimea have been offered the opening slot on Dashboard Confessional’s UK tour.

9:45 – 11:00 – Read and reply to multiple e-mails.
…the possibility of Mike Mogis (producer of Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, The Faint) working with The Crimea.

Article by Megan Rowlands and Perry Watts-Russell for

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2 Responses to “Crimea News Articles”

  1. Denyer says:

    I think "Tragedy Rocks" may become somewhat rare in time…

  2. m says:

    the possibility of Mike Mogis (producer of Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, The Faint) working with The Crimea


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