The Union Chapel is no ordinary venue, it has a wonderful charm all of it's own. It is intimate, warm and welcoming. A variety of acts use this venue, everyone from traditional choirs to DJ's, comics and some fantastic alternative bands. http://www.unionchapel.org.uk/index.php Union Chapel, Compton Ave, London N1 2XD 020 7359 4019
I love this Venue, not just because of it’s easy access for me, as it is at Highbury and Islington and so accessible by tube and now the wonderful Overground but there are also loads of busses to this part of town.
As you come out of the tube station, turn right and head down Upper Street, walking past The Buffalo Bar on the corner and walk down for a few hundred meters, On the opposite side of the road is a Church, a grade 2 listed church at that, it is in need of repair as all old buildings are and there is restoration work needed on the late 19th Century tower.
If you are early then there is a pub a bit further down called the Hope and Anchor somewhere to get a drink! While queuing to go in, you wait outside on Compton Avenue, on both sides of the arched entrance way depending on what type of tickets you have purchased. Once through those doors you really do feel like you are in a Church and to some extent it is, as it is still consecrated, it holds religious events as well. The back of the space is where you will find all the evenings merchandise and also somewhere to stand and view the room, looking forward on your left you can purchase soft drinks like hot tea etc, these are all okay to drink in there while sitting in the pews, yes I did say pews but we are not here for sermons just fantastic music.
Before the gig starts and they are usually on time here, you can go upstairs to the restaurant and bar,the door is on the left, here you can get some lovely food and alcohol is served, you just can’t take it down with you. This room is also inviting with relaxed seating, sofas and old tables and posters from past and forthcoming gigs.
The acoustics of course are fantastic and having seen a range of acts here, the sound seems okay for all. the only thing you can’t do is get up and dance at the front but then there is nothing stopping you from doing that at the back! or even in the balcony of you must. The views seem pretty much okay all around, I can’t imagine any being really restricted anyway you can just go in and sit anywhere. A lot of free concerts take place during the day under the FREE Daylight Music sessions, there are usually full listings for the next few months up on the website and links to the bands and tickets.
I have been a number of times and seen people such as Jeffrey Lewis; Lone Wolf; Alessi’s Ark; Mountain Man; John Grant; The Unthanks doing various albums and even other peoples work and many others. A lot of these are obviously acoustic but it can still take some good electric guitar in there!
It’s a venue worth checking out and becoming attached to, I know I am!