As the saying goes, it’s all about location, location, location.
As Jim Beam’s Welcome Sessions series continues to dole out nothing but good vibes, the fourth artist in the series has today been revealed as London alt-rockers Wolf Alice, who took to the hallowed halls of the famed Union Chapel to recast their sonic spell ‘Lipstick On The Glass’. And now, in this haunting rendition, we can watch as the Union Chapel becomes more of an instrument than a venue.
Walking through the labyrinth of the 19th-century Gothic church (and music venue, and charity drop-in centre for the homeless), frontwoman Ellie Rowsell effortlessly slings her ethereal vocals off the historic stones, retelling their beloved story from within the folds of 2021’s Blue Weekend as it’s never been told before. Encased by a choir, Wolf Alice build the performance to dizzying heights as they take to the stage, reminding us in one fell swoop not just of the untapped potential of the fan-favourite single, but the untold possibilities that come with live music.
“As performers, there are just some venues that you connect with musically and emotionally,” Rowsell says of Wolf Alice’s showcase for the Jim Beam: Welcome Sessions series. “That can be rooted in memories of seeing live music there or the spectacle of the space, but it’s also the people that make it what it is. Live music is a community, creating one onstage with your fellow musicians and the audience through your music and the experience around it, as well as the relationships you create with the people behind the scenes – the staff, the promoters, the technicians… It’s a coming together of people passionate about the live experience to create an irreplaceable and utterly unique shared experience.
“Going to gigs made us want to do what we do, which is why it’s heartbreaking to see so many close their doors. When we had the opportunity as part of the Jim Beam: Welcome Sessions, we chose Union Chapel. It has incredible acoustics and is visually very beautiful, and for me a sense of nostalgia – I grew up nearby, and even did an annual Christmas concert with the local community choir here. We wanted to play ‘Lipstick On The Glass’ for its melodic grandeur, which we hope pays homage to the space we are in. It’s a privilege to play here and it’s something we will collectively remember forever.”
Wolf Alice perform for Jim Beam: Welcome Sessions as the series’ fourth feature artist, following on from Jack Garrett, Fontaines D.C. and recently Jose Gonzales – all of whom rose to the occasion to return to a tentpole venue from their past to reignite the passion for live music after an extended period without it. Partnered with the world’s #1 bourbon, this crowd of musicians has effortlessly reminded one and all that live music is, and always will be, a place where we are all welcome.