The Crimea XFM Session Review

The Review

Music: Response Fatboy Slim's ex-bird Zoe Ball gave the first sign of The Crimea's invasion of the XFM Studios. The band were in the studio next to hers and, as she told listeners of her radio show, she thought they looked like nice lads. But there was an added extra to this session, a nice looking lass had turned up to play with the band. Welcome to the new five-member line up of The Crimea, playing their second radio session this year on Zane Lowe's Music: Response XFM show.

Just after eight pm the band appeared on air to much applause and cheers, and that was just my mum who'd turned up to listen to the radio. The first thing Zane did was to ask Davey how his sister, and ex-XFM presenter, Annie MacManus was. Davey lets him know she's fine and they start the Zane/Davey show, only to be interupted by Julia and a couple of songs inbetween.

During the chat before the first song, Davey told everyone about his infamous Safeway shelf stacking experience, and what happened to former band The Crocketts. Zane comments on the varied nationalities of The Crimea's members. With each band member coming from a different country it would have been hard not to mention it. But the band are there to play, and the first live track to be played is their current yet aging single Lottery Winners On Acid, which very few people seem to dislike.

Lottery Winners On Acid Owen counts the band in, and suddenly Julz's effect on the band's sound can be heard straight away. Whereas the Crocketts' sound could roughly be described as country punk, The Crimea have lost the punk bit and you can almost imagine people, not so much walking, as line-dancing through the streets to the new country sound. Well, at least it'll scare all the trendy kids away. And Andy's keyboards have started to work properly. About bloody time. While Davey adds random comments throughout the song, new lead-guitarist Julz cheers up his old solo bit, which has been left out of every other live version of the song I've heard.

Some applause and whistles later, Zane advertises the band's Borderline gig the following evening, and Davey gets to telling us about his part-time jobs. Aswell as stacking supermarket shelves, he also took up the building trade while writing and producing some of The Crimea's songs on his stolen recording equipment. Admitting he's just a love-struck junkie at heart, he tells about the meaning of the Lottery Winners song, how he'd like to add a full orchestra to the band, and that he (like everyone else) is just in the music business for the money. And the moterised stairway.

Enough talk, it's time to play another song, and this time it's Fred Flintstone. Not only a song name, it sounds like the prehistoric cartoon caracter has had a go at producing some of the sound sytem the band are using, or at least whatever's connected to Julz's guitar. Although having the sound of her guitar going up and down throughout the song is horibly annoying, it does give the song the aged feel that Davey was earlier talking about adding to his songs. Other than that, everything is sounding beautiful, especially Andy's now perfect keyboards, and Julz and Joe joining in with the singing. Like Davey's solo in Lottery Winners On Acid, Julz has cheered the whole song up, but still manages to keep in some haunting guitar sounds, and Davey reacts with some wooing and other strange sounds towards the end of the song.

The Works Zane complements the band on the just played song, which seems to be about the darker side of love. Davey corrects him as it being about the prehistoric side, and introduces him to Julz. Zane and the new guitarist have an amusing chat about their homeland Austrailia, and then he asks Davey how he manages to write songs. It's a cross between mathematics and mood as far as Davey's concerned. If his songs are to be believed then it's also drink and drugs that help him out. Not that they can help him with his guitar skills, because of which they haven't managed to play to many record execs in fear of sounding bad, though a publisher's just about to sign them up. Before going off to record some songs for Clair Sturgess' show The Works, the band stay to play a version of Who Knows, while managing to confuse everyone with some song name changing.

Whatever it's called, it's an excellent sounding song, showing off some excellent guitar skills from Julz. What sounds like the best song of the evening has Davey shouting some lyrics and Andy fitting in with the song lyrics by playing some angelic sounding keyboard parts. The song ends with some intresting sounding chords shared between Julz and Andy and after some more shouting from Davey, the band finish their third and final live song.

XFM Online Website After hearing the band with new member Julz for the first time, they sound different but it's nothing bad, and after Zane thanks the band for coming and, they leave to play at The Borderline the following evening, and again I suggest you go and see them play whenever you can because they sound even better in person, and keep getting better all the time.

The Interview

Click here to view a transcript of the interview with The Crimea on XFM.
Useful if you don't want to spend the time downloading the show.

The Lyrics

Lyrics to Lottery Winners On Acid can be found here.
Lyrics to Fred Flintstone can be found here.
Lyrics to Who Knows / White Russian Galaxy can be found here.

Review by Christopher Friend, 13th March 2003. Version 1.2 (14/3/03).