Union Chapel

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148 Love It
© Andrew Firth
Union Chapel
Canonbury

The devil might have all the best tunes, but the Union Chapel is proof that him downstairs knows nothing about architecture.

The Grade I-listed gothic masterpiece, completed in 1877, is still used as a working church and help centre for London's homeless. Noble purposes, to be sure, but equally uplifting is the effect the environment has on performances – and performers. Put simply, bands raise their game when they're playing the Union Chapel – it'd be sacrilege not to – and the spellbinding surroundings and acoustics mean it still beats the crap out of the most modern, purpose-built venue the twenty-first century has to offer.

While itmade its name hosting acoustic nights and occasional jazz shows, the Union Chapel has since become a magnet for the thinking bands and their fans, particularly as part of the rightly lauded Little Noise Sessions for Mencap.

Venue name: Union Chapel
Contact:
Address: Compton Terrace
London
N1 2UN
Transport: Tube: Highbury & Islington
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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:9
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|11
1 person listening
Tiago Almeida
Tastemaker

This is not just a stunning venue/church it's so much more but mainly is a magical place.

Went for a gig tonight and I dare to say that there's no better venue in London for acoustic concerts.

It has to be said that everything is perfect. From the staff that take care of the venue as if it's their home and that takes care of all of us to the charity it runs in parallel.

One of the best things London has to offer!

AME
Tastemaker

Absolutely LOVE the Union Chapel. I have seen comedians, musicians and even sang here myself a few times! 

It is stunning, the acoustics are just perfect and most seats offer a great view. As it is a chapel, you're not allowed alcoholic drinks inside during performances, and whilst this isn't a big deal, be warned that before shows and during intervals,the bar gets very busy! It also happens to be in one of the best locations in London, only minutes away from the vibrant and diverse upper street. What more could you ask for from a venue?

mary r

Great venue, good acoustics, good selection of music and other events, nice bar and restaurant and important support provided to homeless and vulnerable people

karen f

Absolutely LOVE this venue, seen so many amazing things here including Stewart Lee and despite losing feeling in your bum on those pews up the back of the venue, the intimacy of this place makes any event in there feel really special. Plus they don't make a bad veggie curry in the bar. Surprised!

Chelsey C
Tastemaker

I've partied in airplane hangars, shops, rooftops, forests but I think the Union Chapel is the most memorable.

The fact that the main chapel is still decked out with rows and rows of pews does not put you off dancing.

The acoustics are amazing wherever you stand and it's quite hypnotic to watch people below you from the balcony dance away like some sort of musical cult.

Staff are very friendly, including the people on the door and where else can you listen to Nightmares on Wax jamming whilst eating cake and drinking tea. Thankfully if that's not what you're after, there is also a reasonably priced bar. Drinks aren't allowed into the chapel but no one said anything about my gin and tonic in the water bottle. Ahem.

Ashleigh A
moderatorStaff Writer

I can't even count the number of wonderful events I've been to at the Union Chapel. It is, of course, incredibly beautiful, but it also benefits from excellent programming and staff who truly care. There are often excellent free performances on Saturday daytimes (look for Daylight Music on Facebook) and the excellent food they serve in intervals is produced by Margins, a charity which helps people who used to be homeless to learn new skills and find their way into employment. The only downside is that you have to sit on pews, which must be the least ergonomic furniture ever to be produced.

sahktibhakti

My favourite venue..its beautiful…Saw goldfraap here first. I love the carols by candlelight free christmas event the best….arrive well in time as they closed the doors on the late comers last year…. Lovely surroundings to see your fav artist in.

Dale

The most beautiful venue in London and where I've seen the most memorable gigs. Magic place.