Gig Reviews & Interviews

Crimea fans have posted a recent interview they did with Davey MacManus up on their website. Although a Polish site, it’s been translated into English at the bottom of the page and is well worth a read. If you happen to be able to read Polish (or would like to translate it ;o) ) then they also have a review of the band playing the Windmill last year (actually they have two Windmill reviews, but this one I’ve not mentioned before) and a little news post that looks like it has something to do with the band. Anyways, click more for the interview.
Live New Orleans were at this years SXSW fetival and reviewed The Crimea’s gig, aswell as taking a few photos. “MacManus’ guitar missed Norton’s head by inches twice”. Oh my. Click more to see what caused that.
Google just brought up the following review of the SXSW gig on a Myspace blog. Looks like the lads made a new fan. Anyone else wanna comment on the guitar pointing thing?
And the Music For Robots blog has an entry on The Crimea’s gig at Spaceland, LA, a few days ago.

Davey McManus (The Crimea)

Is the band fully satisfied with “Tragedy Rocks”? What would be different if they were to record it again?

We recently completed recording the album again. The differences are basically it sounds on a level par with other contempary music, therefore giving us just as good a chance as anyone else. If I was to record it again I would do it all in a posh studio, as unfortunately these tend to sound better than my home one, and I wouldn’t use a producer, bastards.

What influences the lyrics of your songs? How often are they personal?

I try not too write from a personal point of view. I try to write from everybodies point of view, which is pretty egoistical, I try to look at shit things and make fun out of them.

Is Isobel, the heroine of “Opposite Ends”, a real person? If so, who is she for the author of these lyrics?

I know no Isobels. I guess I was going pretty mental when I wrote that song, staying in the old malthouse in Aberystwyth over New Year. She is supposed to represent the one that got away.

Let’s go back to the past. Last year Crimea prepared some great songs, but you didn’t find a record label to release them. Didn’t you feel upset about that and think of giving up?

Well I was going to train as paramedic as I was sick of doing shithouse jobs in London for the minimum wage. It was annoying that we couldn’t get a deal in the UK, but we had a few teething problems. There was never any mention of giving up, we managed to always get something going that would keep us excited, also the cold realisation of how bad it is trying to survive in the real world.

Some questions about the oldest songs. What happended to the fantastic “Girl Just Died”? We expected this song to be included on the album. What guided the band when choosing the final set of the songs for “Tragedy Rocks”?

“Girl Just Died” is on the new album. What guided the choice of songs, was which ones sounded better out of all my home recordings, the lighter songs tend to, asthey are easier to record , so hopefully on our 2nd album we can address these issues.

What about “Allah Was Wrong”? Is that raw style definitely behind The Crimea?

Never, it just wouldn’t go down well in the USA, the raw style is becoming more apparent with every show.

Which songs on “Tragedy Rocks” are the band’s favourites? E.g. lyrically or to be played live. And why?

Well we recorded most of the songs without playing them live so that was the biggest challenge when me and Owen got band together. Live I’m pretty much proud of it all, but I like “Weird”, “Someone’s Crying” and “Losing My Hair” best at the minute.

What will be included on your new album? Is it going to be a widely available re-issue of “Tragedy Rocks”, a completely new material or a combination of these two options?

I think it has five new songs on it, and “Bombay”, “Out Of Africa” and “Six Shoulders” didn’t make it as I want to record them properly in the real studio for the next record.

What was the most unusual gig that The Crimea have already played?

It was probably South by South West, there was about 10 people there, we were in pieces, and I fell on my arse. It was unusually shit. We used to play a lot of house parties in our East London days.

Having recorded so many catchy songs, is The Crimea going to conquer the charts in 2005?

Jesus, this is what we’ve been gearing up to for 10 years, I’m touching a lot of wood right now.

How would you rate The Crocketts three years after they split up?

I started playing guitar and writing songs at 18 and it shows, at times we were naive, at other Timesour label were shit, I can listen too it but only when I’m absolutely wrecked. I think live we were a sight to be hold, on record we never quite captured it.

How would you describe your audience?

Well loyal obviously and hopefully growing old with us, I’d like to think Crocketts fans are still there, and that this album will please them.

What are your favourite artists/albums of all-time? Which bands bring main influence on your music?

Leonard Cohen, Shane MacGowan, Dusty Springfield.

What were the band’s reactions to the shocking news about the death of Mr John Peel?

It was terrible. John Peel hated the Crocketts but he loved the Crimea and played all 9 demos on a cd I gave him. We did one Peel Session but we were rubbish at the time, his support was invaluable especially in America where he is very highly regarded.

Did you know that there is such a devoted group of Polish Crimea fans? Are there any chances to see The Crimea here in Poland some day?

Well the Crocketts almost made it to Poland on a New Model Army tour. I’d love to get out there.

Interview by Kuba Ambrożewski for

The Crimea


March 18, 2005

The Crimea was a thirty minute fireball. The British rock quintet consumed the crowd with moxie and left them wanting more.

The two year-old band played passionate rock that was jagged and poppy during their SXSW showcase at Exodus Friday night. The set consisted of tortured, strained, noise vessels like “Someone’s Crying.” In between the breakdown and the demon-exercising, stage-pounding guitar rave-up, lead singer/guitarist Davey MacManus whispered, “Where was your magic, Lord? Where was your magic?”

The concert also comprised linear, melodic, and layered soft observations. On “Girl Just Died,” Macmanus said, “If you want to see my angry side/Better tell me my girl just died.” Keyboardist Andrew Stafford played a synthesizer that mimicked a Moog and a steel drum on “Lottery Winners on Acid.” This was the band’s most catchy and radio-friendly song. The guitars sounded like a whole string section, while the lyrics read like a romantic dream–”Everything she say I was thinking anyway.” Drummer Owen Hopkins added tight beats, while Joseph Udwin was the bassist/vocalist.

The songs were brilliant and average at points, but what kept the performance interesting was Macmanus’ stage presence. He stuttered, shook, reached into thin air, and he looked like he was on the verge of a breakdown. His eyes were watery. The spotlight was squarely on him during “Opposite Ends,” when Macmanus delivered spoken-word ramblings a la Michael Stipe’s in “E-Bow The Letter.”

Even though it was his command of the stage and willingness to put his whole body into songs that sold the music, because of the short set, Macmanus’ dramatic motions seemed insincere and a little too self-aware.

At the end of “Someone’s Crying,” MacManus and lead guitarist Andrew Norton swung their guitars and stumbled around the stage in rock seizures. MacManus’ guitar missed Norton’s head by inches twice. When they were into the songs, they seemed to be in a zone.

Review from Live New Orleans.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

THE CRIMEA won my heart BIG TIME at SXSW!!! Best performance PERIOD!!!
Current mood: refreshed :o )

I had a blast at SXSW this year…

…the band that wowed me more than any other band last week was THE CRIMEA…I had only heard one song from a compilation and heard strong buzz…
little did I know that the lead singer was going to mesmerize and hold me captive for the duration of the set…I couldn’t take my eyes off of him and his charismatic, pentacostal like idiosynchrosies…many spiritual symbolism and wrestling come out in the lyrics in similar ways that Jeff Buckley and many others have brought it out…
The finale was ELECTRIFYING!!!! A song that could have been written out of the book of Job…marrying the lyrics of Kum-ba-yah into something much darker and intense…a song that shakes a fist at God for taking away a loved one…
“Someone’s Crying Lord…” the song starts out and ends with the lead guy releasing a gutwrenching cry of pain and anguish and he falls to his knees in exhaustion and ends up prostrate onstage….I had chills and walked away so WOWED…all of the musicians bring a strong talent to the band as well…
the only cheesy bit is when the lead guy holds his guitar in salute type modes for seemingly no reason at all…but then again…it did add quirk to a wholly intriguing guy… One of my producer heroes…Dennis Herring is responsible for producing some of Crimea’s album…I can’t wait…Folks, look for it in JUNE….

Review by Jeremy.

Not The Decoration

The CrimeaWhile we’re visiting England, why not check out the absolutely amazing Crimea. I caught their live show at Spaceland on Monday and it was just incredible. I’ll admit to sleeping on them in the past, and hadn’t even heard of them before they stepped on stage. Frontman Davey stares out over the crowd like he’s looking three miles into the distance, shakes like a seizure, and makes you believe every single word out of his mouth. Guitar slinger Andrew nails some crazy noodles, and throws his hat in the ring for indie rock guitar giant. There’s some serious talent in their ranks.

Unfortunately, the recorded output doesn’t hold up as well as the live show, but it’s still definitely good. This track comes off of the Lottery Winners On Acid EP, which isn’t to be confused with the British-only single of the same name. This EP is a little teaser for us folks in the US, since their album Tragedy Rocks is only out in the UK so far. I’m told that it should be out in May, but I don’t think the band even knows when. It’ll be worth tracking down though. And please, go see them live if you get the chance. Incredible show.

You can pick up the EP from Amazon for 8 bucks. Highly recommended.

Review by Mark for Music For Robots.

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2 Responses to “Gig Reviews & Interviews”

  1. Christopher says:

    Lap it up, Denyer :o )

  2. Denyer says:

    > "Bombay", "Out Of Africa" and "Six Shoulders" didn’t make it as I want to record them properly in the real studio for the next record.


    There is a Plan, it is Right, and this time no-one will have to get nailed to Anything.


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