The story of how MFC Chicken came into being is an interesting one, if we trust the press release at least. Hot off the plane from Canada, Spencer Evoy found himself outside a fried chicken shop on Holloway Road with no cash in his pockets, so he resorted to busking with the saxophone he was carrying to raise funds to satisfy his rumbling belly. From the flat above the shop, fellow rock ‘n’ roll lover Bret Bolton heard his music and realised they were both on the same wavelength. And so the band was formed a few days later in the now closed chicken shop from which they take their name.
That’s the history, as for the music on this, their debut album – well this is unlikely to be a quote they use for promotion purposes although it’s meant in the best possible way – ‘Music For Chicken’ is a bit like an episode of Dad’s Army. Bear with me… here’s why. Like the celebrated sitcom, MFC Chicken are recreating the past, not as a comedy, although definitely with the occasional tongue in cheek. How many chicken references does an album need for example? Just as Dad’s Army episodes contain all the same ingredients, so does the music created by these guys. So faithful is it to its raw fifties influences that it’s almost a checklist of clichés (look at the cover for example), and that’s just as it should be.
There’s some great rock ‘n’ roll to be found here and you can see why they describe it as “the music The Sonics were listening to”. It’s ragged, vibrant, has some blistering guitar work and plenty of scorching sax. You pretty much know exactly what you’re in for, there are no surprises and you’ve seen it all before, but it stands the test of time and will always have a place – plus it’s thoroughly enjoyable and done incredibly well. ‘Music For Chicken’ is good clean fun that’s there for pure enjoyment for everyone and doesn’t have a sell by date. Now if you read those last couple of lines and substitute ‘Music For Chicken’ for ‘Dad’s Army’ you’ll see exactly how that bizarre comparison works.