Diary Additions

As promised, more US band diary entries are now available for your viewing pleasure. This time the band find themselves in San Antonio and end up in a gay bar, gay bar (had to be done) and then move onto Austin, Texas for the first of their SXSW festival shows.
If you’ve not been yet, check out The Crimea’s profile where you can read an all new bio on the band and their first ever blog entry. Of course, there’s always the more button.

About The Crimea

Davey Macmanus – Vocals, guitar
Owen Hopkin – Drums
Andy Norton – Guitar
Andrew Stafford – Keyboards, backing vocals
Joseph Udwin – Bass, backing vocals

Who knows what goes on in her pretty little head?
- “White Russian Galaxy”
What goes on in Davey Macmanus’ head is not always so pretty. But as frontman for The Crimea, he turns it into beautiful and sweeping rock’n'roll. TRAGEDY ROCKS, the London band’s debut album, is both lush and lacerating; 11 edgy and melodic cocktails sweetened by sonic ambition and spiked with Davey’s debauched, bitter-funny tales of mean streets, meaner romance, good gin and not-so-good times.

Attractive head seeks guillotine.
- “The Great Unknown”
The album was hatched at a house in Plaistow, the oppressive East London ‘hood where Macmanus developed something of a Travis Bickle complex during a succession of tedious and unrewarding jobs. When he wasn’t stocking the supermarket freezer or sweeping up the park, he worked maniacally on songs, honing the lyrics down to maximum sparseness while building up the music on an eight-track recorder, using E-bow, a toy piano, various guitars and an aging Roland synth. Along the way, the living room collapsed right into their Shepherd’s Pie — about all they could afford to eat ? and they had to boot a housemate who used to steal everybody’s milk. Happily, they got a bassist in the deal when Udwin, who came to England from Zimbabwe, moved into the house.

Takes one black cloud to spoil the bright day. I was the black cloud she was the bright day.
- “Opposite Ends”
“I knew how I wanted to do things, and didn’t stop until I’d done it,” says Macmanus of the recording process. Album opener “White Russian Galaxy” — which he sums up as “man cannot understand woman, what the fucking hell?” — came to him so easily it might have been a dream, “but all the rest were like mathemetical equations. Six months of killing myself 24 hours a day.”
Even though they eventually got themselves a 16-track recorder, The Crimea remain amazed their Wall of Sound and vivid lyrics found the U.K. press comparing them to such greats as The Flaming Lips and Leonard Cohen. Or that they were handpicked for opening slots with the likes of Kings of Leon, Dashboard Confessional and Ash. Or that their third single, “Baby Boom,” came in at ..8 on John Peel’s 2003 Festive Fifty, just ahead of “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. Or, most of all, that they disproved a music business myth by getting “discovered” at SXSW.

You can call me Fred Flintstone, Tarzan King of the Jungle. I guess I was a little prehistoric, pumpkin, at your place this afternoon.
- “Baby Boom”
From the wry and unsparing evocation of male lust in “Baby Boom” to the epic despondency and Dusty Springfield references in “The Miserabilist’s Tango”, TRAGEDY ROCKS is an impressively realized debut album that lives up to its title and then some. Ever the brooder, Macmanus admits his personal preference is for the dark complexities of songs like “The Great Unknown” but he knows why people fall for the woozy jangle of “Bad Vibrations,” or the carnival-ride lope of “Lottery Winners On Acid.”
“It’s the only happy song on the album,” Macmanus says of the latter tune. “That’s why it’s my Mom’s favorite.”
If she gets a disease, I want a disease.
- “Lottery Winners On Acid”

Bio from The Crimea’s profile.

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