Friday, 6 December 2013

Daylight Delight

Frank Chickens 
Ben Calvert 
Dead Flowers
(& Hannah on the organ) 

Islington Union Chapel : 9th November 2013 

People of the capital. 

I just want to make you aware of a little gem that exists in your town. And its free*

At the gothic marvel that is Islington's Union Chapel from noon on a Saturday a band of volunteers put on a couple of hours of live music under the umbrella of 'Daylight Music'

There is homemade cake, biscuits to go with your tea and coffee and great music in relaxed surroundings. It occurs to me, even as a teetotaler, this this is the perfect antidote to a Friday night booze up.  

It definitely had a completive air the session that I attended last month. As I walked in, quite fitting for a chapel, the organ was playing but it took a few moments before I realized it was the theme from ITV cop drama 'The Bill' followed by a sensitive take on London's finest Chas n Dave's masterwork 'Ain't No Pleasing You' which set the tone perfectly.

Both Ben Calvert and Dead Flowers were the perfect accompaniment to a mid-day cuppa. It appears from his site that this was Ben's last show which is a shame but his description of the atmosphere was spot on. I'm unsure whether I'm a middle-ager or a hipster
but thats my problem.

The main reason for my attendance was Frank Chickens who I had briefly seen at Stewart Lee's 'At Last the 1981 Show' at the Festival Hall - a celebration of the alternative comedy boom. Lee had also sparked a campaign against the Fosters Lager promoted 'Best Ever Comedy Act' at the Edinburgh Festival by encouraging people to vote for Frank Chickens. This was to point out the ridiculousness of comparing comedic acts but also because he loves this absurd (in the best sense) act.

"Years ago we were described as a great embarrassment to Japan, now we feel we are a great embarrassment to the whole world" quoth Frank Chickens. Their show is shot through with a quirky energy and wicked sense of humour from the cult hit 'We Are Ninja' to the tale of lovelorn radioactive monster 'Mothra'. 
This collection of 'socially and sexually confused people' at turns creepy, kooky and sweet' can't fail to make you grin. Their seemingly innocent stage patter contains little barbed comic comments that confound any preconceptions. They truly are a unique force of nature.

There are some great clips of the whole show up on Youtube

The whole event was an absolute pleasure although on the day I went, only half full. So, people of London, support this great enterprise with your donations, cake purchases and bums on pews. It deserves to be THE place to be on a Saturday afternoon. Throw off the duvet and get down to the Union Chapel. 

The final event of the year is on Saturday 7th December with The Trans-Siberian March Band and Festivus

* well, they would appreciate £3-50 donation which for all this music is a small price to pay and all proceeds go to the Union Chapel's own homeless project. 

Daylight Music FB page
Arctic Circle -the organisers
Union Chapel Islington


  1. Hi..the donation from the door go toward the running of the event and some expenses for the bands. The money from the cafe goes direct toward the Margins project. Just to clarify. Lovely review, Ben (Daylight Music)

  2. I've said this before, but there should be more Daytime Music - bring back the matinee.