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The Chair
papa westray
The band Lazy Boy Chair was formed back in 2004. It followed an approach from the Orkney Folk Festival, which was looking for a group that could fill dance floors at their 'Stomp' events. The first ever performance was so successful that it was decided to make the line-up a permanent unit. While the band has moved on a long way from that point it has never lost sight of that ethos – get people dancing, and have fun.

The eight-piece line-up – featuring 2 fiddles, accordion, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass, drums and percussion – gives a big full-blooded sound. The mix of Orcadian, Scottish, Irish and European tunes are under-pinned by a dynamic rhythm section, drawing inspiration from diverse styles from rock to salsa and jazz. The result is a unique sound that is guaranteed to get an audience on the dance-floor.

2007 proved to be a watershed period for the band. Still appearing under their Lazy Boy guise they picked up a prestigious Danny Award at the Celtic Connections festival in January. They followed this with memorable performances at festivals from Shetland to Belgium.

2008 began with a hugely successful weekend of events at Celtic Connections to mark the release of the album Huinka. It continued to be a phenomenal year for The Chair, with gigs at the UK's most prestigious folk music events. Performances at the Hebridean Celtic Music Festival, Cambridge, Stokes Bay, Shetland and Brampton Live festivals have seen the lads hailed as highlights by both audiences and critics alike.

It culminated in The Chair being named Band of the Year at the 2008 Scots Trad Music Awards. The band has already secured some very desirable festival bookings for 2009, and is about to return to the studio to begin work on the follow up to debut album Huinka.
What the media says about The Chair…

During Celtic Connections 2008 The Chair played no less than six performances across three days, culminating in an appearance at the Royal Concert Hall with Cherish the Ladies. Hi-Arts magazine described it as:

"… A splendidly red-blooded blast of testosterone."

It went on to describe the band as:

"… Big on both melody and rhythm, stirring in dirty blues riffs and heavy dub beats along with Celtic and east European tunes, all welded together by strikingly sharp musicianship."

The bands performance on the main stage of the Hebridean Celtic Music Festival (2008) was described by festival-goers and critics alike as the highlight of the event. Scotland's premier daily newspaper The Scotsman said:

"Asked for their personal highlight as the weekend drew to a close … a decided majority of people unhesitatingly nominated Orkney eight-piece The Chair, who played a blinder … further fuelling the wildfire buzz kindled by their award at last year's Celtic Connections."

The bands appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival (2008) met with an equally enthusiastic response. The Chair's debut album Huinka was among the top selling CDs at the UK's most prestigious festival. The band's appearance on the main stage made such an impression on BBC Radio 2 presenter Mike Harding that he immediately interviewed the lads for a special feature on his show – the BBC's flagship folk music programme. In his Cambridge Festival blog he says:

"One of the delights of Cambridge for me was watching The Chair giving the audience such a good time yesterday on the main stage. A bunch of fiery musicians from the Orkney Islands, they obviously enjoyed themselves as much as the audience and their set was a sheer joy."

Other memorable quotes about The Chair:

"Their energy, sound, talent and interaction with the audience was second to none." — The Shetland Times.

"Raw anarchic energy underpinned by impressively tight delivery: a true party band with depth, heart and ample collective talent." — Sue Wilson, Folk Music Critic.

"They rocked it up triumphantly to close the show, their big, brash sound embracing everything from dub to zydeco." — The Scotsman