Union Chapel in Islington, north London, designed by James Cubitt and built between 1874 and 1877, is a working church, live entertainment venue and charity drop-in centre for the homeless, which describes itself as "liberal, inclusive, non-hierarchical, and non-conformist". Built in the Gothic revival style, the church hosts live music and comedy events, and was voted London's Best Live Music Venue by readers of Time Out magazine in 2012.
The chapel itself could not be more beautiful. Stunning design, superb acoustics, great atmosphere. The high, high ceilings, stained glass windows, stone arches and pews give it a wonderful, spiritual ambiance, further enhanced by the stage lighting and the array of twinkling tea lights.
Upstairs at the back there is a superb bar, a colourful bohemian lounge of old sofas, candle-lit tables and chairs, where you can have a ‘real’ drink before the gig. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are available from a booth downstairs for during the concert.
It is a wonderful place to experience, and perform, live music.
Backstage: a labyrinth of passageways and paneled rooms, very cold on this frosty February night. Standing around the few scattered heaters, we keep ourselves warm with banter, nervous energy and red wine.
Supported, as throughout the tour, by the wonderful ‘Open Road’ and, for the first time tonight, enigmatic songstress Rachel Sage, we took to the pulpit around 9pm. Singing, dancing, juggling, comedy and drama. Not rock, pop, folk, jazz, country, but a little of each. Sadie and the Hotheads. A kind of cool cabaret.