Monday, January 23, 2006

The Crimea + Sleeper

The Crimea began life as The Crocketts, signed to UK major label, V2 in 1998. Their output was prolific, to say the least, with some 30 releases in a little under 3 years, including two full-length albums, “We May be Skinny and Wirey” and “The Great Brain Robbery”. Both albums met with tremendous critical acclaim, both in the UK, where they sold a respectable 50 thousand copies, and in the USA and Japan, where they quickly became some of the most sought-after export-only UK releases in a decade. The Crocketts quickly amassed a huge following, on the back of almost non-stop touring (including supports with The Stereophonics and The Levellers), most of whom have remained loyal to the band through their transformation into The Crimea. In late 2001, The Crocketts fell prey to the failing fortunes of V2, who dropped almost half of their roster as part of a ‘rationalisation’ plan. Unwilling to lay down in the face of such a huge setback, Davey and Owen holed themselves up in the rehearsal studio to re-write their musical CV, and emerged late in 2002 with the beginnings of the debut Crimea long-player, “Tragedy Rocks”. Comparisons came quickly, with everyone from Dusty Springfield, Leonard Cohen, The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and The Pixies getting a mention.

The Crimea - Radio 2 Sessions 02-01-2006
The Crimea @ Inaudible
The Crimea @ MySpace

Sleeper is composed of Louise Wener (vocals, guitar), Jon Stewart (guitar), Andy Maclure (drums) and Diid Osman (bass). Wener and Stewart met at while studying politics at school in Manchester, England. Relocating to London, the two recruited Osman and Maclure and began playing Wener's original songs. The group made its debut in 1993, which led to a series of positive reviews in the British music weeklies. By November of 1993, the group had released an independent single ("Alice in Vain"). In February 1994, the band released "Swallow," which charted in the Top 100; the following May, "Delicious" was released and it became a number one independent single. During May, Sleeper supported Blur on the London band's enormously successful Parklife tour. In February 1995, Sleeper released their debut album, Smart, which entered the U.K. album chart at number five and the independent chart at number one; it would be certified a silver album in four months. Smart was released in the U.S. in March to positive reviews, yet it failed to duplicate the band's British commercial success. In the late spring of 1996, Sleeper released their second album, The It Girl. Again, the album was a major hit in the U.K., yet it barely made an impact in the U.S.

Sleeper - B-Sides & Rarities

Alternative/Rock Albums
Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock'n'Roll
Bent - Ariels
Keane - Hopes And Fears
Royce da 5'9" - Death Is Certain
Faithless - Sunday 8pm
Jamie Foxx - Unpredictable
Matt Nathanson - Beneath This Fireworks
Hot Hot Heat - Elevator
Albums: Death In Vegas, Portishead, U.N.K.L.E, Tokio Hotel


Anonymous Daver from Chicago said...

The Crimea are definitely a band worth checking out if you're into big melodic hooks and a pop sound that I'd describe as smart and gently upbeat.

I'd heard the song "Lottery Winners on Acid" on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. The chorus is perfect -- instantly enjoyable and eternally memorable.

Great post!

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


- webmaster :o)

8:50 PM  

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