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“Best small venue - EVER!”
Review of Union Chapel

Union Chapel
Ranked #28 of 1,283 Nightlife in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A multicultural music venue. Scheduled to close in early 2005.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Booked to see Kerry Ellis and Brian May play a mainly-acoustic set, and was intrigued by the venue. Upon arrival; especially once inside, we weren't disappointed. It's jaw-droppingly beautiful! We chose to sit up in the front row of the gallery level, as the "stalls" were filling up rapidly. All seating is of the pew variety. Refreshments were all non-alcoholic (as you'd expect in a chapel), and the charm of drinking tea from a china mug whilst watching my guitar hero, was almost too much to take. The acoustics were amazing. Absolutely loved it. We've already booked another, and will look to return as often as we can.

1  Thank Paul1960_4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (187)
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161 - 165 of 187 reviews

Reviewed October 7, 2012

This was my first, but long-awaited, gig at the Union Chapel. The setting inside is wonderful, beautifully decorated, with seating on the pews, making it a truly different kind of venue for a contemporary music concert. Good sightlines and the acoustics were great. Alcohol can not be brought back to your seat, but this means you can spend time in the really superb bar upstairs - a colourful bohemian lounge of old sofas. Food here was as I recall vegetarian and homemade. The downstairs offerings were just coffee, tea and hot chocolate. As seating was unreserved, there was an odd practice of having to leave your coat on your seat to protect your place when in the bar - but it seemed to work. The only downsides were the loos, especially the outside portakabins by the steps to the bar - not good. The ones on the other side of the chapel were a bit better. All-in-all a fantastic atmosphere, I really enjoyed it and looking forward to coming again one day!

2  Thank BayB0y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

I attended a concert at Union Chapel recently and really enjoyed it -- the venue was just as appealing as the band itself. Wonderful acoustics and ambiance with stained glass windows and stone arches. Grab a pew in the upper balconies to really get the sound, but to see the show better, try some of the diagonal pews on the main floor. There are plenty of nice restaurants on the surrounding streets to eat before or after the event. Don't buy the outrageously expensive, teeny tiny ice cream containers they sell at intermission. Great spot, Union Chapel. Enjoy!

1  Thank J B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2012

I am not a regular concert goer but came to the Union Chapel to see singer/songwriter Albert Hammond.

The venue is only about 200 yards from Highbury & Islington tube station. Contrary to some previous reports, I found the ticket/entry staff very friendly and helpful - may be it was because there was only a smallish attendance and the average age was probably around 50!

The volunteer staff were also very friendly and helpful with coffee and tea being served just inside the entrance. I went up the stairs to the bar - a large room with a variety of seating ranging from oldish leather sofas to upright chairs found in church hall years ago! But what a great bar and atmosphere - well worth a visit. Food was being served.

I believe the chapel has a great repuation for it's acoustics - probably down to its high ceiling. But what a great place to have concerts in this working chapel. I found the pews comfortable and the whole place had an aura about it. I think it can hold about 1500 including the gallery upstairs but I estimate there were about 200 there.

A wonderful atmosphere and Albert Hammond gave a brilliant magical performance - as good as his CD's. Many younger people may not have heard of him but will know- The Air That I Breathe, When I Need You, A Moment in Time (Whitney Houston), Free Electric Band, It Never Rains in Southern California - he wrote all these.

An absolutely fantastic evening in a wonderful venue - do go to a concert here if you can or even just visit the chapel.

Thank Andrew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2012

We traveled a long way to see Kina Grannis perform live on February 9th. The staff did a horrible job getting people into the venue. People with actual printed tickets were given preferential treatment. Those of us with tickets waiting at the box office were only allowed in one at a time, and it was definitely chilly outside (snowing). The event staff were very unfriendly, yelling at the people in line, threatening to move people to the end of the queues.

Once inside, there was coffee and hot chocolate to counter the chill while waiting for the concert to begin. Imaginary Friend opened and Jesse was awesome. The Union Chapel's acoustics are amazing. Then Kina performed and it too was amazing.

I'm a Kina Grannis Street Teamer so I had a comped Meet and Greet pass. I also bought passes for my wife and two kids. This is when the real fun began. Apparently Union Chapel has a very strict venue curfew. Again the rude event staff started with the yelling and threats. They were allowing about a 30 second photo op with Kina and then pushed you out the door. Very disappointing when you have flown for 8 hours with the main goal of meeting the headliner.

I hate the the event staff made such a great venue forever tainted in my eyes. I will never go to Union Chapel again for fear that the fun police will once again be in place.

Thank danver1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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