Crimea live reviews

Hopefully I shan’t managed to screw this up too badly on a first entry… which is a round-up of live reviews Chris has found, courtesy of Nouse (a student press), iShotTheDeputy (a community blog), Channel 4′s music gossip blog, and Warwick Boar (another student press). Click that ‘more’ link for the collated text.

The Crimea (Live), Fibbers – December 12th, 2005

You might remember the sublime Lottery Winners on Acid, originally released around eighteen months ago now, which has become the Crimea´s most popular song. It was certainly popular with John Peel, who called it one of his favourites of the past few years.

Tonight it formed the pinnacle of one of the best gigs I´ve seen this year, as singer Davey MacManus stood in the middle of the crowd in some kind of shamanic trance, covered in bubbles from a hidden bubble machine.

The Crimea´s short set was the most gripping performance I´d witnessed in ages – beautifully damaged indie pop seems to have a hallucinogenic effect on MacManus, who careered about the stage like a dangerously drunken marionette. In between assaulting the drum kit (and himself), he found time to deliver a breathtakingly intense performance which held the Fibber´s crowd utterly spellbound.

New tracks from the aptly titled Tragedy Rocks LP were well received, especially Gazillions of Violins, which showed that The Crimea still have the touch when it comes to mixing soaring harmonies with frenzied yelping in a way that is apt to break the heart of any listener.

Review by Robin Seaton for Nouse, 12/12/05.

The Crimea @ Club NME, Koko, London 09.12.2005

Every band on this planet could do with a frontman like this one. Davey Macmanus is staggering on the line between genius and lunacy with quite some skill. Either it?s just what he does, or ? dammit, I want the drugs he?s on!

No further ado, The Crimea launch straight into a sweeping White Russian Galaxy. What goes on in her pretty little head??. Hell, what I want to know is what goes on in his pretty little head. On second thoughts, maybe I give that one a miss, actually. The Crimea seem oblivious to the fact this is ?only? Koko (that?s the Camden Palace to you and I) and most of the people there appear to be First Year fashion victims who?re here for Club NME. They obviously think BIG. But somehow they manage to stay just on the right side of the big fat line that divides the posers on this earth from those who somehow have a godgiven right to do the rock?n?roll thing to the bitter end. Mind you, the guy on the left acts like he?s in the wrong band and would much rather join Status Quo in a large stadium. He likes to strike a pose and his facial expressions would make any budding panto star green with envy. But, somehow, this doesn?t ruin the overall picture.

Between many a breathless Thank You and From Russia, with Love ? we?re The Crimea, Macmanus belts out half the album, twitches, jitters, screeches, whispers and yells, before suddenly appearing in the middle of the crowd for the macabre?Opposite Ends?. Sometimes I think you could be more than a punchbag with lipstick on, when I?m half baked and the red mist is gone ? Without a care in the stupid world, without a stupid world to care about, he screams, surrounded by a bunch of audience posers who aren?t quite sure whether to run for the hills screaming or bask in his gory glory.

The mindbogglingly brilliant set finally comes to an end with the current and fabulous single ?Lottery Winners on Acid?. The XfM listeners suddenly spring into action (oh yeah, I know that one ?) and decide this is the best thing ever. About time, too, since the bastards manage to talk over the entirety of the morbid, quiet and, er, thought-provoking ?Someone?s Crying? a couple of songs earlier. Ah well, better late than never!

Review by Julia Vergho for iShotTheDeputy, 10/12/05.

Crimea river etcetc

The thing with these so called ‘indie´ bands is that a lot of them tend to sound a bit, well, the same.

So forgive us for not jumping through the proverbial hoops to get closer to the front at The Crimea‘s showcase gig last night.

Part of us is still quite glad, because at one point singer Davey MacManus took it upon himself to get into the crowd to sing, and the last time anyone did that it was a blood-soaked Towers of London, lurching towards us brandishing a microphone like a broken bottle and a haircut like an angry sunset.

However, The Crimea managed to convince us that they were a little bit more than your average indie band by being bloody great and even managing to put on a bit of a show in a room no bigger than an ample and well-fitted kitchen.

Anyone not convinced by the songs was converted to a blubbering wreck of admiration when the finale was accompanied by bubble machines. And knowing these indie types, it was probably the first time the band, and indeed some of the audience, had been near a soap product in a good long while.

We now think we might wub The Crimea. A lot. They sound a little bit epic and a little bit distressed, (think Conor Oberst fronting Muse and you´re not far off) and every song was great, especially the one about falling over.

Watch out for the Crimea wave etcetc.


Review by Michael for Channel 4′s Slashmusic, 30/11/05.

The Crimea/ People in Planes/ Good Shoes

Coventry Colosseum 26/11/2005

Unfortunately, from where I was standing I didn´t get a chance to verify whether Good Shoes really do have good shoes. One thing they were good at however was dkk-dkk-dkk-dkk angular offbeat guitar playing, although in a world already brimming with arty punk groups with a stellar ability to play their instruments like a metronome, it could be tough. What was great about tonight was the fact that the groups had so little in common with one another; the worthy, jaunty neck ache inducing Good Shoes; the ‘I can´t believe they´re from Wales!´ rock of People in Planes; and the masterful whimsical indie-pop of the Crimea. For People in Planes, think big, accessible, catchy tunes with just enough experimentation to halt before chest beating. Singer Gareth Jones has a fantastic voice, ranging from androgynous psuedo-operatic falsetto to pure anguish. Great to hear someone sound like they are suffering for their art, and also that the People in Planes haven´t been skimping on their rehearsals: they were impressively fully formed for a support slot. Then there was the mighty Crimea headlining. The band looked like they were really enjoying themselves, and with tunes which are melodic, poignant and humorous, often all at the same time who can blame them? Album opener White Russian Galaxy, and the kitchen sink psychedelic Lottery Winners on Acid stood out as the Crimea conquered at the colosseum.

Review by Ed Pablo for Warwick Boar, 05/12/05.

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