Wednesday, 16 December 2009

687 THE CRIMEA, People In Planes, The Heights, Bristol Louisiana, Wednesday 23 November 2005

Rachel picked up the CD from former Crockett Davey McManus' new band The Crimea in Amoeba Records in Hollywood, so wanted to check them out "live". Mellower than the totally manic Crocketts, I was intrigued as to how McManus' crazed "live" performances would fit in with his new charges' more sedate stuff. Triumph or disaster? Let's see...

So we lost our way again down to the Louisiana, but arrived at this sell-out show just as the Heights were finishing off their set with a spiky number. Shame we didn't see more of them, rather than the ham-fisted People In Planes, whose grungy noise improved as their set wore on, but could still do with more rehearsal time!

McManus, looking smaller than I recalled and actually resembling Matt Damon, according to Rach (!), led a sharpish soundcheck in front of the packed crowd, and The Crimea then took the stage at 10.15 to the sound of breaking glass. Their set was slow-burning, uneasy mood music which had a definite sleazy and sinister undercurrent. Slower and mellower than the Crocketts, yes, but the air of underlying menace remains. McManus, whilst reining in his craziness somewhat, still performed with the jerky, twitchy attitude of a St. Vitus Dance sufferer, still the performer who once prompted Rachel to declare she was, "not entirely not scared of him!" "Girl That Died", with it's catchy hookline, "You want to see my happy side? Tell me that my girl just died" (!) was typical of the paradoxical nature of their lyrics, fitting in perfectly with the music's creepy mood.

The set built to a crescendo, with all band members joining McManus in going nuts onstage, before Davey performed the first encore amongst the crowd! To lighten the mood, a bubble blizzard erupted during a jolly final encore double-punch of the Rubinoos' "I Think We're Alone Now" and their signature "Lottery Winners On Acid" to cap a fine set. I complimented a sweaty Davey on the way out - this was definitely triumph!

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