Some clubs just have the perfect blend of crowd, music and atmosphere that make them stand out above the rest and Manchester's Electric Chair is most certainly one of them. One of the reasons why I wasn't particularly upset about upping sticks and leaving Taipei for Manchester a few years ago was that I would be able to go to the Chair on the last Saturday of every month. There are no gimmicks, no lazer shows just solid music put on by people who are as into it as you are. No promoter in the back counting the money. The night has been running since the summer of 1995 and with a music policy that incorporates everything from funk to soul to hip hop to house to techno and just about everything else in a place 'where everyone parties as one - strangers and soul mates, straights and gays, north and south, students and scallies', as Luke Bainbrige so succinctly put it in The Observer, there is no doubt that Manchester has been all the stronger for having a night of such high quality.
The residents, Justin & Luke Unabomber in the main room and Kelvin Brown in the shack are a huge part of the reason why the night is so successful. With a flagrant disregard for 'the rules' they're musical risk takers and the crowd at the Chair expects them to do so on any given night. A soul track at 2am? Why not!? Sister Nancy 'Bam Bam' into the Pixies? Sure! It's a party in the truest sense of the word. There is only one thing on the minds of the punters as they walk in the door and that is, 'Let's fookin' ave it.'
Just about everybody has played at the Chair at some point and luckily for us they've archived quite a few of the mixes on their site.
One of the standout moments for me at the Chair was on the night that Kelvin Andrews played and after he had finished slaying the place Justin Unabomber came on and played The Four Tops 'Reach Out I'll Be There' and cue an entire club of people singing their hearts out, it was a truly seminal moment and I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Every person who has ever gone to the Chair has a similar story about a moment or a record that was played, it is a club of nothing but seminal moments, I'd hate to describe something as magic but there is no better way to describe the night.
It's a shame that they are calling time on the night at the end of January but for those of us who have danced the night away with all our new best friends it is an experience that we'll always be proud of. Long live The Chair.
Electriks On The Web