As with the latest instalment of the Star Wars series, although back, they're not quite the same as you remember them.
To start with, this was the first gig I've seen them playing under the new name, and with the newest line-up.
Anyway, there I am, sitting in a corner of the venue next to some big speakers, listening to support number one, Left Front Tyre. Not exactly blessed with musical talent, and a drummer that looks like the guy from 'A', so I got bored and drew a picture of them. I would have been fine just sitting there for two hours, but someone had other ideas.
A guy I'd been introduced to by Jon half an hour ago comes up to me and says "Davey wants to meet you". We walk downstairs and, knowing what happenes to people who write bad reviews of the crox, I'm pleased when the Kernel's nowhere to be found. He's turns up eventually, shakes my hand, tells me he's got a CD for me, and solves the mystery of Holly's dissapearence (she's gone mad, apparently). I'm introduced to Joe, who smiles. Thank god. If he'd looked angry, I'd have run. I'm pretty sure he was the tallest guy in the whole of London.
I try and hide somewhere, but people are still trying to talk to me, so when I finally find my ticket stub, (before realising I have my hand stamped and don't actually need the ticket), I make my way back upstairs to the music room.
If this isn't enough to freak me out so much that I never wanna go to a Crimea gig again, unknown to me, there's now a huge hunt going on involing Crox fans trying to find me. I dunno what the hell that was all about, but no one introduced themselves to me.
Kidd Dynamo are playing, they're Irish. They play about five songs, during which the Crimea are getting ready, and saying hi to me again. Fame has finaly hit, I'm now waiting for the fortune. And then Davey gives it to me, in the form of a nine track promo CD, consiting of the old Klutzville promo and three more songs. I was told it's not for the site, so that's all you're gonna hear about it from me, for now.
Guitar pedals are swapped, set lists are taped (after Jon being told not to nick them before the set has ended), and the band get up on stage to much applause.
Davey's shaking his body, stamping his feet, and singing Who Knows. They're not much different than at the acoustic shows, except Joe's here, and he's singing along with Davey.
"Tragedy rocks" is shortly followed by "It was a black day" (La Sinoco), at the end of which the crowd is chanting "Owen, Owen...", which he deserves as he looks like he's putting everything he's got into the drumming.
"Bombay Sapphire Coma" is next. Usually one of my favourite songs, everything sounded different without Dan. But thats ok because...
"Fred. Fred.. Frederick. I guess I was a little prehistoric pumpkin." One song which would sound good if a two year old played it. I'm happy.
For anyone intrested in lyrics - "No one said it's gonna be final" was the penultimate line.
Now The Crimea may have wanted to prove a point, and they did. "Lottery Winners On Acid" was one of the best of the evening, showing why it should be the next single.
"If you want to see my happy side, you better tell me that my girl just died." Sounding as good as ever, this is a song you're gonna remember for a long time if you ever hear it.
Opposite Ends sounds so different without Dan that I don't know if will ever get a proper release. The start of the song is boring, the middle is messed up, and I can't even remember the end. But it's widley considered as the best Crocketts song ever, and like the Crox, it refuses to die, and still sounds good. The crowd is jumping around, well ten of them are, and Davey thanks them at the end of the song, then introduces the band. "This is Joe, this is Andy, and this is Owen."
Davey's alot calmer than usual, having given up drinking so that he remembers what's happened during gigs. There was no jumping around, though the stage was a bit small. Joe had 'KONG' written on his bass strap, and something written on his left hand (anyone notice what it said?). He was singing along to most of the songs with Davey, as was Andy, hidden in the back corner of the stage with his keyboard.
Before leaving, Davey proclaims "I saw the Lord", and I wouldn't be suprised if he actually had. Dead Alcos Kidneys, as it is otherwise know, deffinately had some kind of divine influence. The best song of the evening had Davey screaming, doobeedooing, and the crowd jumping around like they were possesed. Deffinate contender for best Crimea song so far.
The Crimea then left the stage, retreating to the band room, and I got a picture of Joe's set list. The crowd wanted more, so The Crimea got back on stage and went straight into 1939 Returning. Andy was playing Dan's part perfectly, and the song sounded as good as it ever did. The crowd went mad, so did Davey, and you couldn't hope for a better ending. "Thankyou folks" was the last thing Davey said, before they finaly left, and the dash for set lists began.
They were all gone in seconds, someone even tryed to get Owen's drum sticks, but some mean looking crew guy was having none of it. I didn't want to go away empty handed, so I went to pick up a water bottle from stage. I think it was Davey's, I dunno really.
To end the evening, I got rid of a spare CD by giving it to Elodie, who must have joined the hunt for me because, without any introduction, she knew who I was. Strange. Not as strange as my Mum trying to talk to Davey though, who explained to her that they should be playing closer to Leeds soon, and then left to give out promo CDs to record execs.
I managed to get all the band to sign the promo Davey gave me. Joe took Owen's place of being most pleased to sign something, and told me to just go into the band room to find the other three members. An hour earlier I'd looked into the room for two seconds and quickly had the door shut on me, so I thought better of just walking in there. Andy, again, wasn't around, so I had to go downstairs to find him, and eventually shoved a CD and a pen in his hands.
After dodging an interviewer armed with a video camera wanting to know what everyone thought of the gig, I made my way out, back into the real world, where I will remain until I find a new disguise. At which point I shall return to see The Crimea play because, unlike other live bands, these lot can play music and sing songs and, unlike other bands, The Crimea are actually good.
Review by Christopher Friend, 14/09/02.