Favourite Live Union Chapel Moments of 2022

Favourite Live Union Chapel Moments of 2022

6 January 2023

Huge thanks to everyone who has come to our events and supported our work last year, our 30th year of being a live venue and charity. We ended the year reaching our Crowdfunder target and sharing our favourite gigs together with you, including Orchestra Baobab's sold-out show that ranked Time Out London's 2nd best gig of 2022 

"I’ve never been to Senegal, but Orchestra Baobab have regularly taken me there. And I’ve never felt more like I’ve been in a sweaty Dakar bar than one fine day in August this year. It was the time of the second heatwave. I was perched on a pew in Union Chapel, ginger beer in hand. And here was my favourite band, on their fiftieth-anniversary tour, postponed due to Covid. They rattled through the famous ones from the 1982 album ‘Pirate’s Choice’, but with Orchestra Baobab it’s not really about that. They don’t have bangers. They have vibes. And so we got an hour and a half of floating riffs, blaring sax and dancing, dancing, dancing: just the tonic for the hellish heat outside."
(Huw Oliver, UK Editor)

Union Chapel Project's CEO Michael has shared highlights, thanks, and photos from across Union Chapel's year in this Twitter thread including Mustafa The Poet, Mavis Staples, Milton Nascimento, Jack White, Ed Sheeran, The Margins Project, Organ Reframed, Union Chapel Church's programmes on climate justice, Black Lives Matter, and Refugee Week, the many comedy nights and fundraisers, inspiring social justice events and training, plus funding and awards

"2022 was full of challenges, but there were many amazing achievements by the team at Union Chapel and the artists, promoters, communities & campaigners we call friends & family we’ve been proud to host." - Read more here

Speaking of Ed Sheeran, we're immensely proud to have hosted his intimate and moving fundraiser show during an extremely full week back in October, which also saw us hosting McFly's Tom Fletcher, St Mungo's comedy fundraiser featuring Tim Vine, Kerry Godliman, Stephen Bailey, Dane Baptiste, Seann Walsh, and Felicity Ward, the London Homelessness Awards, and more. Read all about it here

Ed Sheeran photo credit Mark Surridge

Go Behind the Scenes with Ed Sheeran

Watch the highlights video of his unforgettable acoustic performance at the first Wellstock x For One Night Only event in aid of mental health charity Shout

“I’ve wanted to play Union Chapel for ages so I suggested Union Chapel. My favourite Damien Rice live album is him playing here, I came to see one of my favourite acts here, but I’ve never played here – it's just  always been on my list...This is easily my favourite show of the year” (Ed Sheeran)
No tickets were sold for this one-off performance. The lucky few in the audience were the winners of a prize draw that raised more than £200,000 for Shout, free, confidential, 24/7 mental health text support service. Thanks to all those who entered the draw and to partners Marks and Spencer, ASOS and Chase 

Lyrix x Youth Music Incubator

We continued our support of upcoming artists by hosting the finale of the seven month 'Shool of Lockdown' internship programme for six 18-25 year old female/non-binary event producers from under-represented backgrounds. The team design and produce a magical live show at Union Chapel's Upper Hall celebrating neurodiversity, care leavers and female/non-binary talent. Find out more in their video here


Waste Stops Here!

A climate justice mission highlight was Union Chapel Church's event that brought community together to share inspiring ideas to reduce food and clothes waste as part of Great Big Green Week in September. Watch the impact on our Islington in this behind-the-scenes video

The event, co-organised with Islington Climate Centre, Islington Environmental Emergency Alliance, and Islington Council, has been shortlisted for a Green Heart Hero Award 💚


Plus more personal highlights from you and our team

Richard Marx | 3, 4, 6 October

"The sheer power, charm, comedy, and camaraderie he brought, just with his fantastic vocals and one guitar, meant I was smiling in awe throughout. The atmosphere made it clear the wait was totally worth it" (Beth, Union Chapel)

"He always gives his fans a great concert to remember! It was my first visit to Union Chapel and what a stunning place" (K)

"It was my dream to see Richard and he was great! Voice still the same" (C)

"He was fantastic. Definitely worth the wait to see him. And the venue is gorgeous" (D)

"Ideal venue for such a great performer" (D)

"Was an amazing evening. I feel privileged to have been there. Thank you Richard Marx and Union Chapel" (L)


Organ Reframed | 16 - 18 September

"It was so worth the wait! Absolutely fantastic on every level, can’t wait for the next one" (H)

"Truly transcendent experience made stunning performances by all taking part. This work needs to be taken to and shared with many more people." (G)

"An incredible evening of sounds and visuals. Loved every minute from the talk onwards. Very moving too, incredible music." (G)


Tom McRae | 29 September

"Really rather special. Tom McRae and Union Chapel doing what they do best - being bloody wonderful!" (A)

"The chapel is THE best place for acoustics, magical gig, one for the memory book" (M)

"Every visit to UC is wonderful" (L)


Adam Buxton and some colleagues in aid of Nerve Tumours UK | 24 November

"An amazing gig for a great charity in the most incredible venue" (J)

"Fab show. Sarah Kendall was the absolute standout for me" (H)


Ed Sheeran - For One Night Only with Well Young's Wellstock for Shout | 11 October

"It’s always been a dream of mine to play there, was so intimate and powerful" (Ed Sheeran)

"Absolutely magical, it is one concert I will never forget. The acoustics were spine tingling" (J)


Matthew Halsall | 5 May

"The Union Chapel is a magnificently unique venue in which Matthew Halsall clearly felt at home, causing us to drift into a meditative state with the gentle harp and powerful saxophone, occasionally waking to experience the wonderous glow of the Rose window. I could have stayed all night." (George, Burrell Foley Fischer Architects & Urban Designers)


Joep Beving | 7 October

"Loving all music involving piano, I came down to Joep Beving’s show having not heard much of him before – and I’m so glad I did. Joep played so beautifully and shared stories behind his music, which made the show feel so special and intimate, especially when in a setting such as the Union Chapel." (Sophie, Union Chapel)


Live at the Chapel with Simon Amstell | 5 November

"It was a treat enough to see comedy legend Simon Amstell headlining this gig at Union Chapel, but getting to see an all-queer line up of brilliant comedians in this gorgeous venue felt truly special. Chloe Petts was a wonderfully warm and welcoming host. I make sure to come back every month for these gigs!" (Olivia, Union Chapel)


Reflection and Remembrance: Requiems by Fauré and Charpentier - Figure Ensemble | 12 November

"An exquisite, meditative evening of music and readings apt for November’s traditional association with remembrance of the dead. The Union Chapel itself gives a solemnity and beauty to the occasion" (★★★★★ The Reviews Hub)


Cara Dillon | 6 December

"An absolutely exquisite evening. What a way to kick off the Christmas season!" (C)


The Spirituals | 15 December

"It was an absolutely incredible night. So special for my boys to attend as well. What a wonderful church" (A S B)


Carols by Candlelight: The Mystery of Christmas | 18 December

"A lovely evening. Really made me feel Christmasy! Thank you" (L)


Thanks to Evening Standard for ranking us one of the Best London Independent Music Venues for #IMV23

"It’s hard to keep your eyes from the ornate, cavernous ceiling or to the beautiful stained glass window above the stage. The acoustics mean it is perfect for stripped-back performances, but a whole range of artists have played there. Keep an eye out for any gigs that use the chapel’s world-renowned organ — you won’t have heard anything like it before."

Catrin Finch Seckou Keita | 8 June 2022 by Tatiana Gorilovsky
Organ Reframed: Chris Watson & Claire M Singer | 17 Sep 2022 by Patrick Rogers
Carols By Candlelight: The Mystery Of Christmas | 18 Dec 2022 by Emile Holba

‹ back