THE TREAT are one of the best bands to emerge in recent years on the music scene in the UK. Drawing from a broad range of styles, THE TREAT play their own unique, colourful brand of progressive music. Their genre hopping, independent spirit is steadily capturing the imagination of many new listeners, providing the band with an opportunity to appeal to a pan generational audience. THE TREAT’s sound is by turns passionate, exhilarating, fun, dark, melodic and joyous.
The Treat’s Guitarist, Vocalist & Songwriter, Mike Hyder, formed the group in March 2001, initially fashioning the group as a power trio, influenced by Cream. The band worked on a set of original songs, broadly of a ‘classic rock’ style, to which they brought their own unique twists. THE TREAT spent 2002 gigging extensively all around the UK playing many well know venues, such as The Zodiac in Oxford, Moles Club in Bath & Half Moon, Borderline & Underworld in London. The band spent 2003 recording and releasing their debut album ‘IN TECHNICOLOR’. The album gained rave reviews from various webzines in the UK and overseas, and extensive radio airplay on the world wide web. The single ‘Agent 555’ from the album, spent 10 weeks at number 1 on the ‘Magazine’ programme’s listener’s chart on the London based Skywave Radio. Line -up changes followed, with versatile Bassist, Dom Lash, entering the fold, to add weight to the already ambitious ideas Mike Hyder was cooking up for the group. 2004 was spent rehearsing up a new batch of songs Mike had been writing for the band, this time of a broader musical palette, which included influences from the world of prog rock and psychedelia, while retaining their core, classic rock sound. In addition, THE TREAT continued to promote ‘IN TECHNICOLOR’ throughout this period.
2005 was a pivotal year for THE TREAT. An abortive attempt was made to begin recording their second album in the Spring. By the time work properly began on the album in the Summer, Mike had an extensive backlog of songs, enough for two albums, so the group decided to record their second and third albums, more or less over the same period. When Multi-Instrumentalist, Dave Hart joined the group in the Autumn, Mike’s artistic ambitions for the band went into orbit. Now fashioning the group as a modern ‘Traffic’, with acoustic and electric sides, Mike Hyder’s song writing blossomed, taking in influences from the world of folk, blues, ethnic/world music, jazz, funk, & country, in addition to their already established forays into prog, psyche & classic hard rock.
2006, 2007 & 2008 were spent extensively writing, arranging, rehearsing & recording many new songs, some of which ended up on their breakthrough, second album, ‘PHONOGRAPHY’. The band heavily promoted the album in 2008, their labour paying off with a glorious review in Classic Rock magazine. Other national UK music magazines followed, singing praises for the album and the band. The TREAT also signed a digital download distribution deal with an American company via their label Rockular Recordings, making their music available on itunes, Napster, Amazon mp3 & Rhapsody. In the Autumn of 2008, they signed a CD distribution deal with UK distributors, Code 7/PHD, making their music available on Amazon, Play & various high street shops, such as HMV & WHSmith.
THE TREAT started 2009 off with a bang, by winning Top 3 best album of the year for ‘PHONOGRAPHY’, from BCFM radio's Rock Show (Bristol, UK) and being championed further in the pages of Classic Rock Magazine, who tipped THE TREAT as being one of the best up and coming bands to watch out for in 2009!. The group were also played on Radio 1. In addition, they have also been heavily championed in the pages of a brand new publication, called ‘PROG’. THE TREAT’s music was included on the cover mount CD’s of the first two issues of the mag. In the Summer, THE TREAT unveiled their third album. A highly ambitious and extravagant double, their magnum opus, ‘AUDIO VERITE/DECEPTIVE BLENDS’.
Upon it’s release, the new album received overwhelming critical praise. It also sold faster than the band's preceding albums, raising further, their public profile nationally (and internationally in selected territories). The album was given significant exposure on selected radio shows in the UK, notably, ARFM’s ‘Soundscapes’ programme, BCFM’s ‘Rock Show’ & on the longest running rock & metal show in Belgium, ‘Underground’. Hits to THE TREAT’s website atwww.thetreat.co.uk increased significantly and 100’s of new friends were made on THE TREAT’s myspace site at www.myspace.com/thetreatuk
The remaider of 2009 and the following three years saw THE TREAT and the rest of the UK and the world weather the effects of an economic downturn and austerity. Further, Dom Lash moved to New York for a spell and Dave Hart relocated back to Dundee (Scotland). Live gigs for THE TREAT came to a stop but Mike Hyder continued to soldier on, writng songs and working on the next album. Dom returned to live in the UK and Dave regularly travelled to Oxford allowing recording to continue sparodically. The results were well worth the effort. In November 2012, THE TREAT released arguably their best colection of songs yet, on 'LEPERS & DEITIES'. Tha album was selected as album of the month in the Prog section of Classic Rock Magazine by Geoff Barton and received widespread critical praise in numerous magazine publications and online webzines. It has proven to be a consistent seller for THE TREAT, especially on itunes and other legal downloading sites, worldwide. THE TREAT began to play live concerts again, albeit, intermittently.
In 2013 Mike began to remix the original masters for the very first album 'IN TECHNICOLOR' and also set to work recording a solo album, 'CRAFTSMAN', using the core members of THE TREAT to back him. THE TREAT also appeared at the Cambridge Rock Festival in August 2013 , winning over new fans and supporters.
2014 was another busy year. In May, Mike Hyder released his solo album 'CRAFTSMAN' to rave reviews and significant radio exposure. Then he compiled a 'Best of' collection of songs taken from the first four albums by THE TREAT. The resulting album, 'SOUND BITES (The Best Of The Treat Volume 1)' was released in November 2014. Containing 16 tracks, over 1 hours worth of music, 3 brand new mixes of songs from the first album, 1 previously unreleased radio edit mix, a 36 page full colour booklet, song lyrics, an extended history of the band written by Mike and numerous previously unpublished photos of the band, this album is an ideal document for die hard fans and for newcomers to THE TREAT's work, containing songs showing their range and skills as musicians and Mike Hyder's broad style of songwriting.
Personal situations in the last few months of 2014 and 2015 prevented Mike Hyder from devoting as much time to THE TREAT as he would have liked, however, in the latter half of 2015, recording continued on future releases from THE TREAT.
In 2016 recording continues in earnest, to complete the next album by THE TREAT, which will be a double album, containing 20 tracks and nearly 2 hours worth of music. It is their most ambitious album to date.
Further, THE TREAT have made several videos in 2016 - notably for the songs 'Agent 555', 'Roaming' and 'Valerie' - all featured on the album 'SOUND BITES', - which they are posting on YouTube and on Facebook. They are winning over many new supporters and fans, who are looking forward to their next album release.
In 2017, THE TREAT will be performing a number of concerts. They are already committed to playing the Wheatsheaf on April 30th in their hometown of Oxford. They are currently in negotiation with promoters all over the UK for playing further gigs, possibly in a venue near you!
Since their inception, THE TREAT have evolved & progressed artistically & musically and although their core classic rock sound remains, it’s now liberally sprinkled with touches of prog, psychedelia, folk, ethnic, jazz & blues influences, all topped off with a top notch songwriting prowess and a nod towards pop sensibilities and tight, concise production. Though their major influences are from the golden decades of the 60s and 70s, THE TREAT manage to bring their own unique, up to date twist to these established styles, helping to keep this type of music vital & relevant for new generations of music fans & older music lovers alike.
Band Member's Profiles
(6 & 12 string Electric, 6 & 12 string Acoustic Guitars/Lead Vocal/Songwriting. Occasional Mandolin/Banjo/Sitar/Hamonium/Theramin)
Mike Hyder is a guitarist, songwriter and singer with a versatile approach to making music. He formed The Treat in 2001, with a vision to develop a band that was capable of making great albums that would stand the test of time.
Mike has very varied tastes in music, which influence his songwriting and his guitar playing. These include a love of classic rock, prog, psychedelia, metal, blues, funk, soul and folk, along with certain jazz, country, ethnic and orchestral music. His first love remains high energy, guitar based music. Mike is particularly pleased with the artistic achievements of THE TREAT's new album 'Audio Verite/Deceptive Blends' : 'I think with the new album we set sail on a varied and colourful musical adventure, developing a wider sound palette than we have previously enjoyed. The situation allowed me to explore increasingly varied styles of song writing, which I had wanted to do for some time. Working with musicians of equal strength to me, as Dave & Dom both are, allowed me to dip into my extensive stockpile of songs and finally record some of them, knowing we would collectively do them justice. Hence, one of the reasons why the album is a double and spans a wide range of genres. Listening to it, the album works as a whole and represents a very satisfying musical diary of this period of growth & development of the band. There’s a song for practically every occasion on here. If music is an art form and art a reflection of the human spirit in all its colourful shades, then I feel we have made our own musical equivalent with 'Audio Verite/Deceptive Blends'. Mike has continued to challenge himself as a songwriter, arranger, producer, vocalist and guitarist, pushing himself and extending his range and abilities, as can be heard on THE TREAT's 'LEPERS & DEITES' album and also his own solo album 'CRAFTSMAN'. Further surprises are in store on the next release by THE TREAT.
Among the artists and bands that have influenced him are Jimmy Page/Led Zep, Keith Richards/Stones, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Family, Caravan, Genesis, Bowie, The Beatles, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden, Zappa and Green Day.
(Electric Bass/Double Bass/Keyboards/Occasional Backing Vocals)
Dom Lash is a versatile bassist , who has a love of Jazz, rock and funk music. He plays both electric and acoustic double bass and experiments with numerous effects to create a wide variety of sounds.
Dom joined The Treat in 2002, after a chance telephone conversation with Mike and an exchange of CDs through the post.
The least outwardly flamboyant and extrovert of the band, Dom prefers to concentrate on his playing and provides The Treat with a solid rhythm to build on.As Dom says : ‘I tend to try and confront each musical situation separately and try and supply what I think is needed, taking ideas from others but not trying to copy them directly: then I can't help the fact that it ends up sounding like me - my limitations make themselves apparent but hopefully that helps somewhat it creating stylistic consistency!'
THE TREAT’s new album ‘Audio Verite/Deceptive Blends’ showcases Dom’s skills on Double Bass, as well as electric bass: His choice cuts on the new album are : ‘For A Reason for the upright (a side of my double bass playing that doesn't often make it onto record) and also This Is The One - not the most flashy, but it's satisfying to get that eighth note groove pumping along!’
Among his favourite musicians Dom includes John Wetton, Tony Levin, Robert Fripp, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Cecil Taylor, Charlie Parker & Napalm Death.
'Purple' David Hart
(Multi-Intrumentalist/Percussionist: Timpani/Djembe/Dumbek/Flute/Clarinet/Bass Clarinet/Melodica/Piano)
David Hart met Mike Hyder in August 2005, when Mike was looking for a Tabla player to play on ‘Citizen Of The World’ a track on the new TREAT album ‘Audio Verite/deceptive Blends’. Having impressed the band with his ability in the studio, David was asked to jam with The Treat on stage during their acoustic gig on Halloween night at the Oxford Union. Having proved himself to be a good live performer, he was then asked to play on several new Treat songs being recorded, among them Bass Clarinet on ’Art Of Deception’, also on Audio Verite/Deceptive Blends’. The band asked him back so many times that he soon became a fully fledged member of the band, adding numerous exotic sounds to their brew.As Dave says : ‘I was drafted into recording sessions initially as a tabla player for one song, and I must have let slip then that I play other instruments, because it all spiralled out of control from there. Indeed, if it wasn't for becoming the odd jobsman for The Treat, I probably wouldn't have touched a flute, or a saxophone, or timpani or congas in years. Of course, because all of the normal rock instruments are already covered by the time I get there, it usually just remains for me to add the decorative touches; most of the instruments I play are 'icing' instruments (especially the glockenspiel) as opposed to the 'cake' of guitar, bass and drums. And though I wouldn't claim to be a great virtuoso on anything, I do my best to make that icing crisp and smooth…’
Like Mike, David has a love of progressive rock music, Heavy Metal, and ethnic /world music. Dave likes Yes, Magnum, Rammstein, Pakistani Qawalli music & They Might Be Giants. Lately, he has been listening to a number of Jacques Brel songs. He is called 'Purple Dave', as an acknowledgement for his penchant for purple coloured clothes.
Although all three musicians in THE TREAT have their own individual musical identities, they ‘meet in the middle’ when working on arrangements of the songs that Mike writes for the band. Both Mike & Dom have a love of King Crimson. Dave & Mike have been to see Jethro Tull in concert together, and have an appreciation of Yes. Dom tends to veer more in a jazzy direction, with Dave showing a greater appreciation of folk styles. Mike likes both jazz & folk, with a healthy love of blues.