The Crimea - Manchester Academy 3 - 08.04.06

The effortless and uplifting nature of Irish outfit The Crimea, displayed by the backing band is breath-taking, but I hear you add there are many compact bands out there today, so what makes these so special? The reason this troupe stands upon a musical lighthouse shining in the faces of the rest, is the fact that they retain an effortless gait whilst setting things up and keeping up with the most unpredictable, uncontrollable, existentially eccentric, feeling driven poet and former The Crocketts front man, Mr. Davey McManus. They do not need to look at him once and from the outset of the jungle journeying opener, ‘Baby Boom’ they set off on a trip. The instinctive understanding of what the other is doing, in a Dalglish-Souness ilk, makes The Crimea so captivating to watch. They undress their murky depth via soothing rhythms and darkly prosaic lyricism, as displayed in ‘Bad Vibrations’ from their quirky debut album, ‘Tragedy Rocks’.

The band and crowd divide that is getting wider and wider at some gigs is blasted into oblivion. Davey “Man of the People” McManus plonks his mic stand on the floor in the middle of the crowd and stumbles into position, with everyone gathering around him for a warm, up close and personal performance of the heart-wrenching ‘Opposite Ends’. The diverse power of The Crimea is thrust out in the uplifting psychedelic ballad ‘Lottery Winners on Acid’, with the added potency of a cosy sing-a-long. This ensures that hearts are warmed road for the cold journey home, with this number, undoubtedly, repeating in minds of attendees for days and even weeks to come.

David Adair

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