Monday, June 01, 2015

Saturday Night at the Union Chapel

I'm up with the lark for work, but I thought I'd indulge in a  few moments thought about the Union Chapel on Saturday.
Islington was packed to the gills with Arsenal supporters, cramming the pubs and singing at the tops of their voices. We repaired to a Colombian cafe after the soundcheck where The Daintees ate tortillas and drank coffee and we listened to little bit of salsa music (underpinned by manly chanting).
Even at 7.30 when The Blinking' Buzzards played there were about 100 people already there in the Union Chapel, spread out in the pews and smiling in anticipation.
The cupola up above was still collecting beams of sunshine from the setting sun and the stained glass windows were still glowing with colour. Mike and June and Laura had set up the CD stall at the back of the chapel, and there was even a sweetie shop off to one side.
Earlier, I'd listened as the sound guys scooped the booming, echoing soundcheck from the myriad nooks and crannies of the building and centred it all on the area where the audience was going to be sitting, carving it into music rather than noise. It must be a difficult building to engineer, sound-wise but they did an amazing job.
I got up to play and was greeted by swirling fog as the smoke machine kicked in; I could just about see the audience and I spotted a few friends out there- Katy Carr, Lester Square and his missus, Johny Brown and Inge, Foolish Girl and Wilky, Steve and his missus and Jen. The Daintee's audience is really friendly anyway and always a joy to play to. The added feature of the Union Chapel, of course, is the amount of reverb on the applause, which quadruples to stadium proportions. I like very much.
On came Martin and the crew, with Kate resplendent in her new bright blue cowboy shirt.
Negotiating a set list from the bottom up, they started off with Neon Skies and charged through a set of favourites:  Little Red Bottle, Me and Matthew, Left Us To Burn (brilliant), Lilac Tree (groovin') and many more including a perfect version of Rain which sounded just as good on a Stratocaster as it does on the Yiari. Steve did a bit of classy trumpeting from the stalls and Jim-the-fiddle joined the band for the last two numbers. The band was tight, energetic and positive; Martin was on exceptionally funny form and everyone left with a huge grin o their faces when the curfew came along far to soon.
Thanks to me buddies for coming along- wasn't it fun?
Pic: with Kate, The Daintees' drummer, at soundcheck time

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