MFC Chicken @ Annabel’s Cabaret & Discotheque, Plymouth – 28/07/12

Horn of plenty - Spencer Evoy
London based retro-rock’n’rollers, MFC Chicken, were in Plymouth for their first ever South West show and what a debut it was. As the crowd swelled and the anticipation built within the classy surroundings of the Barbican’s finest venue, the four members of MFC Chicken approached the stage like a bunch of geeky misfits who were only playing a gig as a dare. But after a brief introductory blast from the band, we were welcomed to the evening by Canadian singer/saxophonist with the inspirational gambit “Tired of Twist? Weary of the Watusi? Hungover from the Hully Gully? Sounds like it’s time you tasted the CHICKEN”! And with that, the MFC Chicken are off and running in a whirl of rasping saxophone, hollered vocals, screeching guitar and rhythm section tighter than Chubby Checker wearing hotpants.

MFC Chicken trade in 1950s Garage Rock’n’Roll but this ain’t two-bit covers band, no siree Bob. Tonight these guys are proudly pushing their debut album, ‘Music For Chicken’, from which they play such crowd teasers as ‘Royal We’, ‘Man Size Tissue’ and ‘Striptease Girl’ which all get Annabel’s jumping, jiving, twisting and shouting within minutes. ‘God Surf The Queen’ sees the MFC boys descend in to razor sharp Dick Dale guitar work and lung-busting horn blowing and ‘Family Value Meal (Music For Chicken)’ gets the crowd singing along even if they’ve never heard the band before. There’s a familiarity to the music tonight that perfectly complements the energy and sincerity with which these guys perform so it’s no surprise that before too long everyone in the band is dripping with sweat.

MFC Chicken in full swing
The band throw in a few covers to bolster their set (they play three 45 minute shows in one night, after all) and the classic ‘Have Love, Will Travel’ made famous by the Sonics went down a storm and got the last few static squares up on the dance floor. This was a show that blew the roof off and brought the house down in equal measure and when the band played their trump card by introducing the audience to join in with the ‘Laundramatic’, well, everyone in the venue knew that they had witnessed a special night of live music. In a world where trend setters are increasingly looking backwards for inspiration, the music, style, passion and authenticity of a band like MFC Chicken will surely guarantee them some level of success. I mean, it can only be a matter of time before Lauren Laverne is pumping this out on 6Music on a Tuesday morning, can’t it?