Recent Gig Reviews

There’s a very educated review of The Crimea’s gig at Birmingham Bar Academy up on the Fat Amp Music site, with the reviewer leaving quite impressed with the band.

The Sheffield version of This City has a preview of the Leadmill gig still up. It may be a little late with the gig having taken place four days ago, but this one isn’t: Evening News 24′s preview of the Norwich Arts Centre gig on the 14th is still valid and contains a little info on the support bands too.

Album stuff now, and Mark Stanley’s blog contains a recomendation and pointer towards the free album, while foreign blog (still not entirely sure where though) Muzak! contains a review of the whole thing. Unless they number things as differently as they write them, that 29% probably ain’t great.

Judge for yourself though, as the Indiestore wordpress blog points you towards the 7Digital Idiestore online shop, official Crimea online retailer, where you can download the whole album from instead of the official homepage. Strangely enough they also charge £1.50 for downloading the album as a whole. Possibly most interesting though is the last paragraph on the blog which mentions some very interesting stuff. Just don’t trust it any more than those Bombay Sapphire Coma rumours.

Modest Mouse with support from The Crimea @ Bar Academy, Birmingham, 2/6/07

The Crimea are made up of Davey MacManus (vocals), Andy Norton (guitar) Joe Udwin (bass) Andrew Stafford (keys) and Owen Hopkin (drums). Without going on about the band’s history, (which let’s face it you could google anyway) what The Crimea are doing now and the direction they are going in as a band has the potential to be even more eventful and exciting as where they have already been.

Moments before The Crimea took to the stage, the venue seemed to fill up as everyone edged closer towards the stage…,waiting…and hot. On this rather scorching evening you’d think the venue would have opened the aligning front window and back door to create a cross breeze, but No such luck.. The heat was soon forgotten though as the Crimea took to the stage. A review from another zine, last week described how the band didn’t throw themselves around the stage, how frontman Davey barely moved off his spot. This was true of tonight’s show, aside from a moment when guitarist Andu contemplated jumpin foward off stage before realising there really wasn’t anywhere to go. The zine went on to equate this to having no charisma. Far from it. Charisma is an individual’s ability to influence or retain someone’s attention, and the band did this throught vocalist Davey’s ability to tell the tales and seemingly relive some of the emotion involved. Jerky head movements, hand gestures and at times haunting vocals were all the charisma the band needed to engage the crowd.

The bands set included a number of tracks off their current album ‘Secrets of the Witchin Hour’, an album currently receiving much press attention. Being the first band ever to release a full album as a free download, the album, and the Crimea have a lot of people waiting to see what happens. This current tour already seems to be demonstrating one obvious impact of giving your album away for free online. Throughout the evening, each track was met with recognition and applause fro the crowd. Much of the crowd already knew the lyrics and were there to sing along. Many had already become acquainted with the music which in many ways completely changes a person’s live music experience. People already had their favourites and were there to enjoy music the so clearly liked.

With intelligent lyrics, defining melodies and an often anthematic feel to tracks it is clear that free download or not, ‘Secrets of the Witching Hour’ is deservedly begging to be heard. It is also why the Crimea are, and will continue to see tickets to their headlining tour fly out.

The band are currently on their UK nationwide headlining tour. See the official website for more tour details.



Review by Nadia for Fat Amp Music, June 2007.

Friday, 8 June 2007
The Crimea
@ Sheffield Leadmill (Sheffield)

The Crimea music is scattered with pianist splendour and a voice not too dissimilar to that of Bright Eyes, backed with smooth harmonies creating steady reflective little gems.

‘Requiem Aeternam’ explores the emotional madness of love, building with wavy guitar work before blowing up into beautiful flames of perfectly placed musical notes, before being watered down and brought to a conclusion.

The dominant keyboard and delicate drumming provide a soundtrack to life on ‘Raining Planets’ with thought provoking lyrics pondering the world.

It is songs such as this that feature on the Londoners second album, ‘Secrets Of The Witching Hour’, released on May 13 from which the band guarantee lots of blood, sweat and tears. It’s going to be an emotionally wonderful gig on the night of June 8 when the band appears on the Steel Stage.

Preview by theleadmill for This City, 19/04/07.

The Crimea at Norwich Arts Centre

Inexpiably named after a central European republic, even though they hail from Plaistow in East London, The Crimea have nevertheless achieved something of a cult following with their brand of twisting indie-pop melodies.

They’re songs have been described as “mini-epics” that reduce front-man Davey Macmanus (brother of BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac) to “spasms of jerking anguish”.

MacManus, former lead singer of The Crocketts, is joined in the line-up by Andy Norton (lead guitar), Joe Udwin (bass, backing vocals), Andrew Stafford (keyboards) and Owen Hopkin (drums).

As well as scoring a top 40 hit with the excellent single Lottery Winners on Acid, the band have supported the Kings Of Leon, Travis, Primal Scream, Stereophonics, and have appeared at the prestigious invite-only SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas.

BBC Radio 1 Listeners voted them into the top 10 of the “Festive Fifty” on the legendary John Peel Show, ahead of the White Stripes.

In a bold move, the band have made their new album Secrets Of The Witching Hour available as a free download – simply go to

Support comes from Norwich heroes Tin Man, formerly known as Cord, but who’re in the process of re-inventing themselves after being harshly dropped by their record label.

# The Crimea and Tin Man, Norwich Arts Centre, Thursday, June 14, tickets £6.50 adv/£7.50 door, call (01603) 660352

Preview by Simon Parkin for Evening News 24, 08/06/07.

The Crimea – Secrets Of The Witching Hour

One album I can’t stop listening to at the moment is The Crimea – Secrets Of The Witching Hour. The Crimea are a band from Camden in London, with some really catchy and quirky tunes. At times they remind me a little of “I Am Kloot” and they certainly leave me with that earthy 6-cans-of-Carsberg-Export feeling the first IAK record (repeatedly) impressed upon me.
Crimea’s fans include Billy Corgan and Regina Spektor and they have been featured heavily on several BBC Radio 1 shows and have also charted in the legendary John Peel’s – Festive Fifty. Their tracks which have been described as mini-epics by the Guardian, have some brilliant titles such as “Lottery Winners on Acid”, “Gazillions Of Miniature Violins” and “Several Thousand Years of Talking Nonsense”.
Their debut album, Tragedy Rocks, was released in 2005 but they where soon dropped by the suits at Warner Bros in 2006 for poor album sales. Gotta save label space for Paris Hilton, the Goo Goo Dolls and Kylie eh? (ah in all fairness they have some good artists too). Showing true persistence the band continued writing the new record, and May1st 2007 released it for FREE on their website Oh yeah and its great, so go get it and buy a ticket when the play here.

Article by DavieC for, 29/05/07.

!!! / The Crimea / Deerhoof / Kaiser Chiefs

The Crimea – Secrets Of The Witching Hour [; 2007] (29%)
Tak ogó?em to nie wiem, czy pisanie o tej p?ycie ma wi?kszy sens od drapania si? po lewej stronie czo?a praw? r?k?, d?ubania w nosie o?ówkiem czy graniem na powietrznej gitarze. Jest to rzecz nudna i wtórna w stosunku do poprzedniczki. Ka?da z tych piosenek mog?aby znale?? si? na drugiej/pierwszej/trzeciej edycji debiutu, i odstawa? swoim poziomem, na minus. Wi?c ja to, mówi?c kolokwialnie, olewam. Bo jak s?ucham celtycko-eurowizyjnego “Light Brigade”, to mam ochot? ustrzeli? s?siada z kuszy. Usuwam wi?c z dysku i id? na spacer, gdy? te przeje?d?aj?ce autobusy to b?dzie co? ekscytuj?cego w porównaniu z p?odami twórczymi Owena i Daveya. Jako porz?dny obywatel przestrzegam was przed tym gitarowym nudzeniem pod otoczk? artystycznego, autorskiego popu. Szkoda 34mb dysku. Wiecie, jak klajstry szybko si? niszcz?? Ja bym nie ryzykowa?. Nie dla czego? tak bezp?ciowego.

Review by Emil for Muzak!, 06/06/07.

New Crimea Album – FREE!!


indiestore favourites Crimea have released their first post-major label album by giving it away for free and we’ve got it all on indiestore. Secrets of the Witching Hour has been available for free download since May 13 from the band’s website and has seen more than album 40k downloads to date. The album was entirely self financed.

Their first album Tradgedy Rocks was released by Warner’s Reprise Records imprint in 2005 and sold a solid 35k copies. Speaking to their manager Stephen Taverner this week, the band has seen an increase in mechanise sales from the band’s webpage – which was part of the reason for giving the album away for free. In addition, they are actually getting an increased volume of requests from fans that want to buy the actual physical album – which the bands are now selling for £10. Smart thinking guys.

They have a line up of gigs this summer which should also see an increased number of people attending and supoprting the band.

Look out soon for new unreleased remixes of their music on indiestore and their forth coming single Loop A Loop and possibly a video.

Article from the Indiestore blog, 08/06/07.

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