London’s Grade 1-listed Union Chapel, is unique in combining the activities of a working church with that of a concert venue. The magnificent architectural space is a haven for promoters and bands, happy to take advantage of the building’s enviable acoustic by adapting their sets to the restricted 88db(A) threshold (over 15 minutes) that is imposed.
Over the years this has led to some classic ‘unplugged’ sets in the 900-capacity venue.
“The artists know they have to listen to the room — we ask them to play to the space and many produce shows that they wouldn’t normally do,” says head technician, Les Mommsen. “The pay-off is that we need to provide the best equipment that will enable them to achieve these lower levels, keeping the performance intimate, and at the same time enhancing the audience experience.”
With a sympathetic board of directors, Mommsen recently petitioned for a Soundcraft Vi3000 digital console, the latest acquisition in a carefully planned three phase upgrade of the technical infrastructure.