The Crimea (Live), Fibbers

You might remember the sublime Lottery Winners on Acid, originally released around eighteen months ago now, which has become the Crimea’s most popular song. It was certainly popular with John Peel, who called it one of his favourites of the past few years.

Tonight it formed the pinnacle of one of the best gigs I’ve seen this year, as singer Davey MacManus stood in the middle of the crowd in some kind of shamanic trance, covered in bubbles from a hidden bubble machine.

The Crimea’s short set was the most gripping performance I’d witnessed in ages – beautifully damaged indie pop seems to have a hallucinogenic effect on MacManus, who careered about the stage like a dangerously drunken marionette. In between assaulting the drum kit (and himself), he found time to deliver a breathtakingly intense performance which held the Fibber’s crowd utterly spellbound.

New tracks from the aptly titled Tragedy Rocks LP were well received, especially Gazillions of Violins, which showed that The Crimea still have the touch when it comes to mixing soaring harmonies with frenzied yelping in a way that is apt to break the heart of any listener.

Reviewed by Robin Seaton

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