Wednesdays Treasure: Def Neon - Roni - MFC Chicken - Hope and Social - Anna Atkinson

Def Neon - Stand Aside

Background promo - Welsh electro-rock outfit Def Neon have just dropped their new track Stand Aside. It's the latest offering from their upcoming, self-titled debut album due for release on the 25th of November. There's a press release about the album plus other materials available here and i'll be happy to send you a pre-release copy of the whole thing for review if you'd like.

The album will be officially launched at new DIY music festival Foundations in Manchester this November, with a UK tour planned for 2017. Hailing from Wrexham, North Wales, Def Neon are a band that fuses elements of rock, electro, synthpop and bass music to create a sound that has been described by critics as energetic, intense and unique.

The band's infectious and accessible sound coupled with their engaging live performances across the UK have proven popular with live event organisers, club promoters and fans alike, leading to a number of headline shows, festival appearances and high-profile support slots for The Orb, 65daysofstatic, Death in Vegas, Pop Will Eat Itself, The Birthday Massacre, Syd.31, The Algorithm and Sonic Boom Six. Facebook here.

The description electro rock is spot on. With the song 'Stand Aside' Def Neon really do blend full on rock music with electro and the result is fabulous. The vocals are powerful and passionate which adds to the eclectic melting pot of ideas.


Roni - Gravity

Background -  When asked about the artist she has grown into, Roni asserts that Elvis Presley always taught her to sing. Raised on a musical diet that consisted on Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton, country music has always been in her blood. However, through her teenage years and into adult life, the eclectic artistry and raw honesty of Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Nicks have resonated with her, and been a huge influence on her own songwriting.

While she many have taken a hiatus from performance international stage, Roni kept performing in her local area and focused her energies on writing extensively. Now armed with in excess of 90 songs, Roni is in the planning stages of an album, which she teases with the release of the rather lush Baby Bird. With her close friend, the multi-Award winning Sarah Jory accompanying her on her fledgling outing, Roni is perfectly placed to return to the music scene full-time.

Following the acclaim of her single Baby Bird, Roni returns with her new full-length album See You Again Baby, which is her most touching to date. Of the record she says, 'The album is a 12 track long, laid bare gritty cocktail of bluesy acoustic Country/Rock. It contains some old and popular songs from my back catalogue plus several from recent writing sessions. I wanted to show the more genre crossing nature of my songwriting which shows [I hope] some versatility, having influences from so many different kinds of music. I am aware that people struggle to pigeon hole me, which can be a great thing to have!

It was co-produced by my now ex-husband during our separation which was incredibly difficult! He wishes to remain out of the picture. I played all the instruments except for lead guitar solo in ‘Kinda Late’ and lap slide in ‘Gravity’ .... all compositions solely by me along with all harmonies... It is truly a solo album!!' Facebook here.

'Gravity' gives a good flavour of the new album 'See You Again Baby'. The songs are often quite stripped back acoustic affairs, with a mixture of country blues and rock. Roni has melodic vocals with enough edge to give the whole collection a fine roots feel.


MFC Chicken - Blackout Drunk .

Background - MFC Chicken is back in action with Colonel Spencer back from spending another well-dressed summer hidden deep within the Canadian Wilderness. The Chickens are ready to take Europe by storm with a new album and extended tour of Spain and the UK. After debuting an expanded all-star Deluxe line up at Spring 2016's Hipsville Festival to great acclaim and significant excitement, MFC Chicken have taken this new and improved recipe into the studio for their latest and greatest album to date, Goin' Chicken Crazy.  It keeps that same raw Chicken energy, humour and party vibe that you fans have all come to know and love while adding extra punch and power with a load of special guest talent.

In addition to the core line up of Spencer Evoy (Tenor Sax and Lead Vocals), Alberto Zioli (Lead guitar and vocals) Zig Criscuolo (Bass) and Ravi-Low Beer (Drums), the Deluxe line up includes Chuchi Malapersona (Oh! Gunquit) on baritone sax, Dan Criscuolo (The Fuzillis) on baritone guitar, Tim Harrison (The Caezars) on piano, as well as veteran Chickens The Reverend Parsley on guest keys and Fernando Terror sharing double lead vocals with Spencer on one of the albums' most lyrically inappropriate tunes.

The Deluxe Chicken line up will feature at the October 20th Dirty Water Club album launch party at Nambucca (located on the legendary birth road of MFC Chicken, Holloway Road), and at several of the Spanish dates on MFC extensive Iberian tour taking place late October/November 2016. Facebook here.

MFC Chicken serve up the finest and freshest deep fried songs as 'Blackout Drunk' from their new menu demonstrates. They are also awesome live, enjoy!!!


Hope and Social - Sunrise Laughing.

Background - On the 30th of September, darlings of the Leeds’ DIY scene Hope and Social released their debut single “Sunrise Laughing”, from their much anticipated studio album “Feel”. This new record shows a breadth and depth that extends beyond that of Hope and Social’s already eclectic back catalogue

A sonic-smorgasbord of a single, “Sunrise Laughing” is as light, bright and fresh as it is big, ballsy and bold. Sweet, summery and non-too-serious, “Sunrise Laughing” sees Hope and Social embracing the use of the recording studio as an instrument in its own right. This band come over like a cross between Elbow having a tea party with The Polyphonic Spree. There’s a lot of joy and laughter and as their name encapsulates, much to be hopeful and social about. The video comes from the extremely talented Virpi Kettu (lead animator, Radiohead - Burn The Witch), the first of 9 videos for the album.

The story so far “Feel” is Hope & Socials 5th studio album. With a career spanning over 8 years, 10 LPs, 1000s of gigs including Glastonbury, Leeds Arena and many a pub/front room up and down the country, Hope & Social do all the things that bands do, and so much more. Whether turning their studio into a Bistro for 70 fans, hosting their boutique garden party  writing and performing the music for the critically acclaimed theatre piece “Bring The Happy” (Edinburgh Festival Fringe/Tbilisi International Festival), or traversing the length and breadth of Yorkshire, teaching 1,200 people how to play their songs for their 2014 Yorkshire Festival project “The Tour Of Infinite Possibility” (culminating in 12 gigs in 4 days, and a performance of Hope and Social’s official festival song, “The Big Wide”, at the opening ceremony of the Tour de France at Leeds Arena, in front of a live TV audience of 300 million people), Hope & Social are a band who very much enjoy throwing themselves into impossible challenges and exploring new ideas and ways of working. Website here.

Album release tour dates:
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds - Thursday 20th October
Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds - Saturday 22nd October (Feel - The Videos Premiere)
Town Hall, Hartlepool - Friday 28th October                 
The Bedford, London - Thursday 3rd November
The Tin at The Coal Vaults, Coventry - Friday 4th November
Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham by sea - Saturday 5th November
Gullivers, Manchester - Tuesday 8th November
The Lion Inn - Blakey Ridge, York - Thursday 10th November
Bilton Working Men's Club, Harrogate - Friday 11th November
Fibbers, York - Saturday 12th November.

'Sunrise Laughing' is melodic, catchy, bright and mood lifting, and has an extra level of energy that kicks in perfectly as the song builds. A real tonic for the ears and the heart.


Anna Atkinson - When We Were Young.

Background from Anna - I am sharing my first single off my new album 'Sky Stacked Full'. "When We Were Young" is about making things together. I'm a descendant of a long line of makers. My maternal grandfather was a shoemaker who also made ornate wood carvings with a pen knife. My mother was a visual artist, phenomenal cook and quilt maker.

My ancestors from both sides of my family experienced poverty, war, suffering, beyond anything I can imagine. And yet in the face of that, they continued to make things of incredible beauty.

This new single explores my connection to the past. When I was a child, my mother had a subscription to ARTnews, and one edition had an article about a Canadian artist - Janet Morton - who knit a sweater for a house on Ward's Island. I thought it was the most amazing concept and it was the initial inspiration for the song - its working title (Sweater For A House) came from that.

In October I'll release 'Sky Stacked Full'. The songs were written over a span of ten years and recorded over a period of five months at CBC Studio 211 in Toronto, featuring the playing of co-producer and guitarist David Occhipinti. In time, I will share it in full but for now have a listen to my new single and sink into my past. Facebook here.

'When We Were Young.' is a beautiful song with Anna's vocal soaring above a splendid traditional sounding background. The video gives a peak into her past, the album is eagerly awaited.