The story of Fat Sams Band started in 1884 when Hamish McGregor decided he wanted to put a Swing /Jive / Boogie band together. Auditions were held and the band was assembled. The first 35 arrangements were done by the late and very great Tommy Sampson and the band went live on Valentines Day 1985.
The gig was a great success and prompted much interest in the newly formed outfit. Soon after their debut, the band got their first residency at the Good Time Emporium, in Edinburgh. Playing there twice weekly – Fat Sams Band soon built up an enviable following.
It was at that time when Edinburgh’s first themed restaurant was envisaged. This prompted Hamish to engage with the owners resulting in one of Edinburgh’s longest residencies for the band. They could be heard every Wednesday evening between 8 and 11 pm.. at Fat Sams Downtown Diner, on the corner of Fountainbridge – the site of Edinburgh’s old meat market. Many of the diner’s logos and characters were shared – adding to the already popular image of the band.
Festival appearances followed and their first of many was in 1887 when the band featured at The Guinness Jazz Festival in Cork, Ireland.
Tours in England, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Finland, Canada and the USA followed.
After the closure of Fat Sam’s Diner in 2000, the band continued to flourish as can be seen from their many concert dates and festival appearances.
It’s interesting to note that bookings now come from parents who, in their childhood, first saw and heard Fat Sams Band in the Fountainbridge diner and now want the band to feature at their children’s 21st birthdays and weddings.
February 14th 2015 will see the band celebrating its 30th Birthday.