|Also known as||The Crocketts 20th Century Vikings (1996), Georgeous Fame & the 3 Degrees (1998)|
|Genres||Indie rock, alternative rock|
|Labels||Blue Dog, V2|
|Associated acts||The Crimea, Mary Hopkin, Murry the Hump|
|Past members||Davey MacManus
The Crocketts were a British indie rock band from Aberystwyth. Formed in 1996, the band featured Irish vocalist Davey MacManus, English guitarist Daniel Harris, English bassist Richard Carter and Welsh drummer Owen Hopkin. The Crocketts were signed to Blue Dog Records and released two studio albums: We May Be Skinny & Wirey (1998) and The Great Brain Robbery (2000). After the band split up in 2002, MacManus and Hopkin went on to form The Crimea.
1996–1999: Formation and debut album
The Crocketts formed in late 1996 while band members Davey MacManus, Daniel Harris, Richard Carter and Owen Hopkin were attending Aberystwyth University. During their time at the university, MacManus studied countryside management, Harris studied mathematics, Carter studied zoology, and Hopkin studied minority language broadcasting. An early lineup of the band known as The Crocketts 20th Century Vikings featured Graham Salisbury in place of Hopkin, in addition to second vocalist Hannah Fowler; they released an EP in 1996 entitled Frog on a Stick. Shortly after forming the band, each member also created a nickname by which to be credited: MacManus used "Davey Crockett" (the inspiration for the band's moniker), Harris used "Dan Boone", Carter used "Rich Turpin/Wurzel" and Hopkin used "Owen Cash". After finishing university, the group signed with Blue Dog Records (a sub-label of V2 Records) and released their debut extended play (EP), Hello & Good Morning, in September 1997; the song "Stunner" from the EP received airplay on the animated television series Daria, while the song "Will You Still Care" was named by Kerrang! as their "Song of the Week" in 1997. The rest of the year was spent touring and recording.
On 9 March 1998, the band released the first single from their upcoming debut album, "Loved Ya Once", which was followed on 11 May by the second, "Flower Girl". The band toured England through April and May, before releasing their debut full-length album We May Be Skinny & Wirey on 14 September 1998. The album, produced by David M. Allen, was generally well received by critics; a review in music magazine NME praised the album for its "hard and curdle folk melodies with Davey [MacManus]'s splendidly Americanised primal howl and an intriguing array of influences". "Explain" was released as the third and final single from We May Be Skinny & Wirey on 26 October.
1999–2001: The Great Brain Robbery
Returning to the studio in 1999, The Crocketts released their fourth single, "James Dean-esque", on 10 May 1999. Music magazine Kerrang! awarded the single its maximum rating of five Ks, describing the track as "classy punk 'n' roll", highlighting its lyrics, and also praising its B-sides. On 25 October, the band released their second EP, Nintendo Fallacy, and toured throughout October and November in promotion of the release.
Between late March and early April 2000, the band completed a four-night residency at The Kashmir Klub in London, the final date of which saw the release of the band's next single and music video, "Host", on 3 April. The residency included a number of themed nights, including activities such as "Crockaoke" and a quiz night, which Hopkin explained was done to attract people from the music industry to the shows. The follow-up to the group's first album, The Great Brain Robbery, was released two weeks later on 17 April. The release received praise from publications including Kerrang! and Welsh Bands Weekly, who called it "eclectic, moving and passionate" and "fucking amazing", respectively; although it also drew criticism from Melody Maker and NME, who called it a "crock of shit" and "embarrassing", respectively. Speaking to Welsh Bands Weekly about the Melody Maker review, MacManus claimed that writer Daniel Booth was "famous for picking on a band and attacking them ... he just picked us", and that bad reviews did not affect the band as "everyone gets bad reviews".
After performing on a Kerrang! sponsored tour through May and June, The Crocketts released the second single from The Great Brain Robbery, "On Something", on 3 July 2000. In their review of the single, Kerrang! praised the "poetic verses" and "crashing crescendo of a chorus" of the song, claiming that it "could well be the single that gets them started [on the charts]". The band returned to touring in September on the Nuke Ibitha Tour in support of the third single from The Great Brain Robbery, "1939 Returning/Chicken vs. Macho", released at the end of the tour on 16 October. The band faced controversy at the end of the year, as frontman MacManus was at the centre of an investigation into a bottling incident at a London club on 12 December 2000 which left a man requiring cuts to his face, after a row said to have started due to the victim's negative remarks about the band.
2001–2002: Breakup and The Crimea
In late 2001, V2 Records dropped 23 of their 60 acts, including The Crocketts, leaving the band without a label. Hopkin filled in for Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable on the band's tour of Japan in January 2002, after Cable returned home to Wales due to "family reasons", and in March the group lost Carter, who decided to leave. The remaining three members later recorded an EP under the name Klutzville, before Harris also left in May and the band officially broke up. At the time of their breakup, The Crocketts had been recording material for a planned third album, but the departure of Harris was described as a "tragic and unforeseen blow" which signalled the end of the band.
Shortly after the breakup of The Crocketts, MacManus and Hopkin returned with a new band, The Crimea, and recorded their first album quickly. In a letter sent to the press, the band proclaimed that "The beast with two backs is back ... If The Crocketts were four cavemen banging stones together, this is the sound of four Tchaikovskys banging Kylie Minogue". The group were signed to Warner Bros. Records, and released three studio albums before disbanding in 2013.
- Davey MacManus ("Davey Crockett") – vocals, guitar, accordion (1996–2002)
- Daniel Harris ("Dan Boone") – lead guitar, backing vocals (1996–2002)
- Richard Carter ("Rich Turpin/Wurzel") – bass, backing vocals (1996–2002)
- Hannah Fowler – acoustic guitar, backing vocals (1996)
- Graham Salisbury – drums, backing vocals (1996)
- Owen Hopkin ("Owen Cash") – drums (1996–2002)
- Studio albums
|We May Be Skinny & Wirey|
|The Great Brain Robbery||
- Extended plays
|Frog on a Stick
(as The Crocketts 20th Century Vikings)
|Hello & Good Morning||
|"Loved Ya Once"||1998||We May Be Skinny & Wirey|
|"Pedro"||"Green Green Grass of Home/Pedro"
(with Murry the Hump)
|"Explain"||We May Be Skinny & Wirey|
|"James Dean-esque"||1999||Super Summer Swinging Sounds|
|"Host"||2000||The Great Brain Robbery|
|"1939 Returning/Chicken vs. Macho"|
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- "The Crocketts". Welsh Bands Weekly (9): p. 12. 2001. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
- "Frog on a Stick EP". The Crocketts Unofficial Website. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- Friend, Christopher (16 May 2004). "Who are The Crocketts?". The Crocketts Unofficial Website. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
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- "Bite Size". Kerrang!. 2002. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
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- "Letter to the press by the remaining Crocketts that accompanied a promo Crimea CD.". The Crocketts Unofficial Website. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- Moores, J. R. (13 August 2013). "DiS Obituary #2: The Crimea: "Stay away from drugs, women, and major labels."". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 3 February 2015.