Who are The Crimea?

The Official Biography

By Out There Management
The Crimea began life as The Crocketts, signed to UK major label, V2 in 1998. Their output was prolific, to say the least, with some 30 releases in a little under 3 years, including two full-length albums, “We May be Skinny and Wirey” and “The Great Brain Robbery”. Both albums met with tremendous critical acclaim, both in the UK, where they sold a respectable 50 thousand copies, and in the USA and Japan, where they quickly became some of the most sought-after export-only UK releases in a decade.
The Crocketts quickly amassed a huge following, on the back of almost non-stop touring (including supports with The Stereophonics and The Levellers), most of whom have remained loyal to the band through their transformation into The Crimea.
In late 2001, The Crocketts fell prey to the failing fortunes of V2, who dropped almost half of their roster as part of a ‘rationalisation’ plan.
Unwilling to lay down in the face of such a huge setback, Davey and Owen holed themselves up in the rehearsal studio to re-write their musical CV, and emerged late in 2002 with the beginnings of the debut Crimea long-player, “Tragedy Rocks”. Comparisons came quickly, with everyone from Dusty Springfield, Leonard Cohen, The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and The Pixies getting a mention.

The results of this hibernation were, however, undeniably unique.

The Crimea.
Photo by Iona Bateman - WWW.SOULFLUFF.COM Davey’s vivid lyrical biopictorials, coupled with their huge, ethereal arrangements and timeless classic structures, caused Derek Birkett, founder of One Little Indian Records, to label The Crimea’s frontman “the Lewis Carroll of his generation”.
By early 2003, the new Crimea demos had landed on a desk at NUXX/Warner Chappell in London, and within weeks, the band’s publishing had been snapped up.
Following the release of the single “Lottery Winners on Acid” (Shiny Beast SHB001CD), the band were taken on by the Helter Skelter agency (whose roster includes Coldplay, Ash, Eminem, QUOTSA, and Robbie Williams), which has seen The Crimea supporting Kings Of Leon, Travis, Primal Scream, Stereophonics and Dashboard Confessional within the last six months alone.
There have been two further single releases - “White Russian Galaxy” (Double Dragon Music DD2008CD) and “Baby Boom” (Boobytrap Records BOOBREC0006CD), whilst at the time of writing, the debut album “Tragedy Rocks” is in manufacture, with it's release planned to coincide with the bands’ appearance at the prestigious SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. This invite-only industry conference brings together the cream of artists, record executives, producers, publishers and journalists from all over the world, to facilitate the creation and furthering of business relations and strategic commercial partnerships.
Awards and plaudits have already come flooding in - The Pop Factory (Wales’s own Top Of The Pops) presented them with a ‘Best New Band’ gong in 2003, The London Independent have flagged them as ‘The Ones to Watch’ in 2004 and BBC Radio 1 Listeners voted them into the Top-10 of the “Festive Fifty” on the legendary John Peel Show, ahead of even the mighty White Stripes! In addition, The Crimea have been shorlisted for the NME 2004 BRAT awards and tour, the finalists of which will be announced by time of publishing.

The Other Official Biography

Same as above but without all the references and big words.
Bon Scott (ex-AC/DC vocalist) was right. It's a hell of a long road to the top if you wanna rock'n'roll. Just ask The Crimea.

Formed in the summer months of 2002 with two ex-Crocketts (scraggly punkers reared on chaos and confusion) and an eight track machine, The Crimea began life in Plaistow - London's Hamburger Hill. Fueled by the disease-ridden streets, populated by knife-wielding hooded youths, the vision slowly took shape. It was an exploration into the dark recesses of love and lust; a journey on intricately woven guitar and piano lines to the center of frontman Davey Macmanus's warped cranium. Dusty Springfield, Leonard Cohen, The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and the Pixies all spring to mind, but they would - it's forward thinking, imaginative, boundary pushing and classic.

Tours with Kings Of Leon, Travis, Primal Scream, Stereophonics, Dashboard Confessional and other mere mortals have seen the band forge a die-hard following. Three singles have come, left an indelible mark on pop's landscape and disappeared into the hearts of thousands. Lottery Winners On Acid, White Russian Galaxy and Baby Boom all got salivated over by various Radio 1, Radio 2 and XFM DJ's. Baby Boom even made no. 8 of John Peel's festive fifty. The White Stripes and their Seven Nation Army failed to invade the top ten.

Awards and plaudits have come thick and fast - The Pop Factory (Wales's own Top Of The Pops) gave them a 'best new band' gong in 2003, The Independent have flagged them up as ones to watch in 2004 and Big Cheese put Macmanus over three pages of a fashion spread.

And there's more. Powered by the band's debut album (scheduled for March 2004), Texas and the South By Southwest Music Festival is the first stop on a global assault. Ireland will fall soon after. And then? Well, who knows? It might have taken almost two years to get this far, but it's been five lifetimes-worth of preparation and they ain't finished yet by a long shot. On rock's big highway, this particular juggernaut is set to run and run.

The "WTF, Another One?" Biography

Taken from their MySpace profile.

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"

The Unofficial Biography

By Christopher Friend, 03/09/02 -=- Latest update: 19/03/04
Soon after the split of Davey and Owen's ex-band The Crocketts, there were more rumors of the vabd gaining a new bass player and in July the first of three acoustic shows under the name Kernel Krok showed that Davey and Owen had found new members for the band. Andy was on the keyboard, and Geoff on bass. Two weeks after the last acoustic show, Geoff left and was replaced by Joe Udwin, and details were released of gigs around the south of England, with the band now having changed their name to The Crimea.

In November 2002, their first single Lottery Winners On Acid was released under the Shiny Beast record label, and the band took up a tour of the UK while the single was quickly added to many a radio station playlist.

Although having greatly improved his guitar skills due to the loss of Dan Harris, in March 2003 Davey was replaced as lead guitarist of the band by Julia Parker. The Australian became a much loved member by fans after only playing a few gigs with the band. White Russian Galaxy was released a few months later seeing the band partake in another tour, finding out a little too late not to trust friends to buy reliable transportation for you. The band were now becoming rather well known and were chosen by Travis to support them at their first gig for over a year.

A couple of festivals and radio sessions later, more support slots for Travis and the Stereophonics (among others) and winning ITV Wales' Pop Factory Awards 2003 Best New Talent award, Aussie guitarist Julz Parker left the band due to commitments to her own band Project Winterhaven which includes a trip back to Australia for her in Winter 2003. Andy Norton replaced her on lead guitar just in time for their third tour in support of their third single Baby Boom, released on Boobytrap Records on 17/11/03.

March 2004 saw the band's first LP release. It's all home-grown material, put out on a home grown label, recorded throughout the two years of their existence. "Never rushed", as the Grolsch slogan goes. Speaking of which, along with doing well in various online competitions, being nominated in the NME Brat Awards and famous fans including Sophie Ellis Bextor and Frank Skinner, there's also rumors of a Marvin Gaye cover appearing on a TV near you soon on one of the famous beer company's adverts. So all's well in Crimea land, and Davey's looking great, spured on by the bouncing new Andy he's back to his pogoing ways on stage, which is just aswell as they're about to go off on tour supporting Ash, before their own headlining tour in June.

Band Members

As The Crimea have gone through a few different members in the past, here's a quick guide to their line-ups.

25/10/03 - Present Owen Hopkin - Drums
Davey MacManus - Vocals and Guitar
Andrew Norton - Lead Guitar
Andrew Stafford - Keyboards
Joseph Udwin - Bass and Backing Vocals

Davey Bio

Andy N Bio

Andy S Bio
11/02/03 - 25/10/03 Owen Hopkin - Drums
Davey MacManus - Vocals and Guitar
Julia Parker - Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Andrew Stafford - Keyboards
Joseph Udwin - Bass and Backing Vocals

06/09/02 - 11/02/03 Owen Hopkin - Drums
Davey MacManus - Vocals and Guitar
Andrew Stafford - Keyboards
Joseph Udwin - Bass and Backing Vocals

02/07/02 - 06/09/02 Geoff - Bass
Owen Hopkin - Drums
Davey MacManus - Vocals and Guitar
Andrew Stafford - Keyboards

*Members instruments are just the main stuff they play. Davey also plays the accordian and harmonica among others, Owen's played bass before and everyone adds a few vocals here and there.