Losing My Hair

Anyone wanna take over a fair to middling Crimea fansite? I don’t know how much longer I can keep it up. Damn Uni. I know why Davey called it an internment camp now…
Sooo… Thought the WOXY session was the only radio promotion the band were doing over in the States? Think again. They also popped over to British Accents Radio to talk and play another session on monday afternoon. Of course, no one thought about telling anyone, but never mind eh… Oh wait, they played Sleeper just before The Crimea. Noooooooooo… Show recordings anyone?
Here’s Filter Mag’s news on the show and the tracklisting via Spinitron.
Also giving the band some radio luvin’ on Monday was Zane Lowe, who played White Russian Galaxy during his radio one show. Whether he procedes to play the remainder of the album during a single future show remains to be seen, though lord knows Peel would. Single in January? Unlikely, but hopefully the US album should be out around then.
This month’s scandalous appearance of The Crimea in tantalisingly feminine surrondings come curtosey of The self styled “web for women” features a bio on the band which looks to be a larger version of the one on their MySpace profile. Next up, PlayBoy. Or some shots of them surrounded by naked women… Nah, it’ll never happen.
This Out Of Africa download seems to be getting music news sites in a twist. FMagazine have a large bio and gig dates along with a link to the download, GigWise a much shorter post with link, This Is Fake DIY virtually nothing but the link and Thunder Chucky have the news hidden away down the bottom of their news coloumn.

British Accents Newsletter

*This Sunday on British Accents Radio, THE CRIMEA are scheduled to stop by and talk about their new album “Tragedy Rocks”, their American travels and whatever else is on their minds. The Crimea will play Monday, October 3 at TT the Bear’s.

BAR news from Filter Mag by Dave Virr.

British Accents (Rock) with DJ Dave
Sun Oct 2nd 2005 2.00pm?4.00pm

3:58PM Badly Drawn Boy ?Disillusion? from The Hour of Bewilderbeast
4:02PM The Rakes ?22 Grand Job? from Capture/Release
4:04PM Futureheads ?Hounds of Love? from The Futureheads
4:07PM Simian ?When I Go? from We Are Your Friends
4:11PM Echo & the Bunnymen ?Stormy Weather? from Siberia
4:16PM Siouxie & the Banshees ?Slowdive? from Twice Upon a Time
4:20PM Metric ?Monster Hospital? from Live It Out
4:23PM Ash F/Chris Martin ?Everybody’s Happy Nowadays? from Shaun of the Dead soundtrack
4:27PM Travis ?Happy? from Good Feeling (1997)
4:31PM Wanndies ?Yeah?
4:34PM The Ordinary Boys ?Life Will Be The Death of Me? from Brassbound
4:37PM Blur ?End of a Century? from Parklife
4:40PM These Animal Men ?(Come On, Join) The High Society? from (Come On Join) The High Society
4:44PM Franz Ferdinand ?This Boy? from You Could Have It So Much Better…With Franz Ferdinand! (Sony 2005)
4:46PM Interpol ?Say Hello To The Angels? from Turn on the Bright Lights SINGLE (matador 2002)
4:50PM The Departure ?Be My Enemy? from Dirty Words
4:54PM The Clientele ?Since K Got Over Me? from Strange Geometry CD ALBUM (Merge 2005)
4:59PM The Wedding Present ?I’m From Further North Than You? from Take Fountain
5:02PM Super Furry Animals ?Ohio Heat? from Love Kraft
5:07PM Oasis ?Who Put The Weight of the World on My Shoulders?? from Goal! soundtrack
5:11PM Charlatans ?Then? from Some Friendly
5:15PM Supergrass ?St. Petersburg? from Road To Rouen
5:18PM Tom Vek ?If You Want? from We Have Sound (Startime International 2005)
5:22PM The Fall ?Dead Beat Descendant? from A-Sides
5:25PM The Subways ?I Want to Hear What You Have Got to Say? from Young For Eternity
5:28PM The Shortwave Set ?Is It Any Wonder?? SINGLE
5:32PM Sleeper ?Inbetweener? from Smart
5:36PM The Crimea ?White Russian Galaxy? from Lottery Winners on Acid CD ALBUM (Double Dragon 2004)
5:39PM Babyshambles ?Fuck Forever? SINGLE
5:44PM The Crimea ?Opposite Ends? from live acoustic on WMFO
5:50PM The Crimea ?Howling at the Moon? from live acoustic on WMFO
5:53PM The Crimea ?Lottery Winners on Acid? from live acoustic on WMFO

Tracklisting from Spinitron.

The Crimea

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-based band’s debut album, is both lush and lacerating; 13 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”

Having already received high praise from John Peel (the legendarily impassioned British DJ called “Lottery Winners On Acid” “one of the best songs I’ve heard in years”), SPIN (which deemed the band’s 2004 SXSW showcase “an arena-worthy performance”) and the Austin Chronicle (“consolidates all three Kinks eras � Sixties, Seventies, Eighties � in a slick ’00 lathering of wit and whimsy”), The Crimea are poised to make more headway in America � certainly more than the Light Brigade did in the Ukraine.

“We want to be a timeless rock band, lyrically, musically and aesthetically,” says drummer Owen Hopkins. “I don’t want to be pretentious and compare us to the Beach Boys, but we really like Brian Wilson’s term ‘pocket symphonies.’ We’re trying to do something that isn’t just drums, bass, guitars. Something intricately woven, but always sort of skewed.”

Yes I was a fool and yes you were a fool. But who can name a penny that has not been in the pocket of a fool.
- “Opposite Ends”

Though The Crimea now includes guitarist Andy Norton, keyboardist Andrew Stafford and bassist Joseph Udwin, much of Tragedy Rocks was hashed out solely by Macmanus, an Irishman who doesn’t use the Internet or listen to other bands but is already a published author. Unamazing Disgraces, his book of stories and poems, came out in 2000 from Shiny Beast, and he performs solo under the name Kernel Krok. Welsh native Hopkins, who moonlights as a journalist for such publications as Kerrang and NME, co-founded the band and was there for most of the recording.

That happened 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.”

His secret weapon was his voice � instead of composing and arranging the material on actual instruments, he’d sing the different parts, then turn those vocal melodies into guitar and keyboard lines. “That’s why I think they’re a little bit more hooky than your average guitar solo,” Macmanus says.

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.

On a scale of one to ten, let’s pretend that life’s a six or seven.
- “Howling At The Moon”

Jetlagged from the flight and shoehorned onto the tiny deck of a faux-Irish Sixth Street bar, both Hopkins and Macmanus say their Austin show was terrible. But Macnanus is a notorious performer � “not quite the guy out of the Doors, but I’m baring my soul up there, giving absolutely everything,” he says. Adds Hopkins, “He’s very, very, very full-on. Some of the shapes I see him pull don’t really comply with the physics of the body.”

So sure enough, after SXSW, a swarm of A&R men checked out two subsequent gigs in New York City, with Warner Bros’ Perry Watts-Russell as the winning suitor. “It was really really exciting,” says Macmanus. “The music actually did the work, which I never thought would happen in my lifetime.”

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”

The music is still doing the work. 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”

Article taken from She Knows.

Posted 29th September 2005

Warner Bros. Records

To download the exclusive non-album track, ‘Out of Africa’ for free – click here

The Crimea present their debut album ?Tragedy Rocks?, a lush and lacerating collection of edgy and melodic cocktails sweetened by sonic ambition and spiked with frontman Davey McManus? debauched, bitter-funny tales of mean streets, meaner romance, good gin and not-so-good times. The intoxicatingly inventive album is set for release on October 17th on Warner Bros. Records.

Highlights of the album include the carnival-ride lope of ?Lottery Winners On Acid?, the hypnotic ?Baby Boom? and the woozy jangle of ?Bad Vibrations?. Throughout, The Crimea succeed in creating a sound instantly identifiable yet utterly unique. In the States, The Crimea have already won favourable comparisons with artists as diverse as the Flaming Lips, Low, Elliott Smith and Leonard Cohen.

?Baby Boom?, an early independent single, was named by John Peel in the Top Ten of his final Festive Fifty (2003) ahead of ?Maps? by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and ?Seven Nation Army? by the White Stripes.

One of The Crimea?s earliest breaks came when Davey spotted Fran Healy of Travis and took his chance to pass him a demo. A week later The Crimea opened for Travis at Brixton Academy. Kings Of Leon were also suitably impressed with The Crimea?s demo and again offered them a support slot.

In the US, The Crimea have won a successive of great support tours following a sensational performance at SXSW. As well as a recent tour with Billy Corgan, The Crimea have also hit the road with Ash, The Bravery, Keane and Dashboard Confessional.

Davey is also a published author. His debut collection of short stories and poems was entitled ?Unamazing Disgraces? and released through Shiny Beast Publishing under the pseudonym Kernel Krock. His friend JT Leroy asked him to read poetry at his latest book launch alongside Marianne Faithful and impressed the literati present.

The album cover for ?Tragedy Rocks? was designed by Tom Petty?s daughter Adria.

Article by Fteam for Fmagazine.

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4 Responses to “Losing My Hair”

  1. emily says:

    hey–just randomly discovered your site as well as the page that excerpted a paragraph of my blog in it (…

    i’m not really sure of what you guys meant by i’m trying to avoid RSI in my wrists (perhaps by the corgan layout made by the awesome Erin Hickox, or the consistent droning on about the corgan show…maybe)but in any case, uh, it’s cool that you put reviews of The Crimea on your "crimea-y fan site type place", no matter how negative…just wanted to let you guys know that, even if it is 3 months late…

    rock on ;)

  2. Christopher says:

    >>it’s cool that you put reviews of The Crimea on your "crimea-y fan site
    >>type place", no matter how negative…

    never was a statement like that more appreciated than now. take note lads. and thanks :o )

    and the rsi thing, it was the whole "They play about five songs, and I am proud to say that I did not applaud for a single one" thing. seemed a bit harsh at the time. but hey, at least they had a crowd there ;o)

  3. Denyer says:

    >it’s cool that you put reviews of The Crimea on your "crimea-y fan site type place", no matter how negative…

    Yup, non-PR spin is good. :)

    > i’m not really sure of what you guys meant by i’m trying to avoid RSI in my wrists

    Probably the brevity.

    > the corgan layout

    So the full screen of whitespace/picture was actually intentional?

  4. emily says:

    intentional? yes. but…not designed by me.

    and, yeah, sorry about the not-applauding thing…at least a bunch of other people were. applauding, i mean.

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